Stefanovich deservingof state-bestowed honor

Here in Sampson County, one of the things we do best as a people is reach out a helping hand to others, whether that hand comes in the form of feeding the hungry, helping students, raising money, bettering communities or a combination of them all.

From Plain View to Ingold, Autryville to Kerr Station and everywhere in between, we have a tremendous volunteer pool, people willing to roll their shirtsleeves up and get in the trenches, doing what they can for others. While there is always a need for more selfless people, Sampson is blessed to have many who can be called on day or night, for whatever task is at hand.

Steve Stefanovich is among those people.

He is always one of those to step in, doing it ever so quietly sometimes so as not to draw attention to himself, preferring to lavish the attention on the project or the group rather than on his own efforts.

That Stefanovich was recognized on the state level last week for those efforts is laudable and something that not only makes us proud but is deserving of an entire county’s pride. For Stefanovich, by virtue of his volunteer efforts, has put a spotlight on the entire county and the volunteerism that we are so richly blessed to have in our midst.

The long-time city councilman and owner of Go Automotive was one of 20 individuals from across North Carolina given the Governor’s Medallion Award for volunteerism and recognized by Gov. Pat McCrory last week.

Think about that for a minute — he was one of 20 across the entire state recognized for his volunteer efforts. What a remarkable feat that truly is, and a much deserved accolade from a man who has done so much for our community for decades.

Stefanovich was honored in the category of lifetime achievement, an apropos designation for a man who, since he arrived in Clinton, has made this community his focus. Whether as a member of the Sampson Community College Foundation, his involvement with the Sampson Arts Council, as a city councilman, as a member of Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church or through his automotive company, he has always found a way to make a unique difference in the lives of others. And he’s done it quietly and with little fanfare.

He has committed countless hours to this community through the boards he has served on and through the fundraising efforts for which he’s been a part, and he’s made certain that those hours he’s given have benefited young and old alike.

We recall awards his company has won through the years, honors spotlighting the volunteer efforts of the dealership, such as T-shirt sponsorships for recreational sports teams or Christmas gift giveaways to underprivileged children, among others.

But Stefanovich rarely talks about those accolades or, if he does, he turns the spotlight firstly to the cause and secondly to his “wonderful staff” at Go who he credits for helping him make a difference, either by their own volunteer efforts or by virtue of the hard work they put in that allows him to take time to do the things he does in this community.

Humble though he may be, Stefanovich has made a tremendous mark on this community and we are delighted that he was recognized in such a special way for those efforts.

We’ve known for years what an asset he is to Clinton and Sampson County. Now those efforts are being touted across the state, and well they should be.

Kudos to you Mr. Stefanovich for a job well done. And thank you for being so willing to do it.