A Westby woman is this month’s Jefferson Award winner. Recipients of this prestigious award are people who go above and beyond to improve the lives of others.
The motto is ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Often are winners are doing simple, small gestures that make a huge impact on another person’s life.
Sally Vyvyan volunteers at Westby Elementary. The 80 year old is treated like a celebrity. Everyone wants to be around her and join her reading group. Students and teachers call her "Grandma Sally."
"How can you be my grandma? Why are you my grandma and I tell them I’m hear to love you, I’m here to help you and to teach you," said Sally.
Third Grader Evalyn Monroe says Grandma Sally helped her best friend with Math. She also helped her learn to enjoy reading. "We got to read in our Grandma Sally group where we get to read books with her and we get to sit at her table which is called the Grandma Sally table for lunch and I do it every day because I like her," Evalyn.
Teachers like her too. That’s why Renee Moilien nominated Grandma Sally for a Jefferson Award.
"She was going to be alone for the holidays and so one by one we showed up at her door with Christmas cheer and a little bit more," said Renee.
For decades Grandma Sally served as a foster parent and the last 16 as a foster grandparent. The 80 year old says she’ll continue doing it as long as she can.
Staff and students at Westby Elementary hope she does.
"She brought out the best in us. Grandma Sally brought us up to be better people because of who she is and what’s she’s given us. We cherish her. We love her," said Renee.
"Money isn’t important to me. What comes each day is what I need and that’s all I ask for. I don’t need any extravagance," said Grandma Sally.