Triumph Over Tragedy

May and June Silent Heroes overcome obstacles to bless communities

Megan McGowan, left, and Karen Logan were the June and May winners of the Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass awards. The awards stem from a partnership between WEC and WTVY News 4 that seeks to honor the accomplishments of those who quietly contribute to their communities.

A brief celebration in late October at Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s (WEC’s) Dothan office honored two Geneva County women for their efforts to turn tragedies into blessings.

WEC and WTVY News 4 partnered to present Karen Logan of Samson and Megan McGowan of Slocomb with the May and June Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass honors. The program highlights those who contribute greatly to their communities with little or no fanfare.

Logan and McGowan received $1,000 grants thanks to WEC’s Operation Round Up Charitable Foundation as part of their selections.

“The Wiregrass is full of people with good hearts, and Karen Logan and Megan McGowan exemplify that,” WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro says. “Their contributions to those who are hurting, whether young or old, reflect that we can turn negatives into positives in any situation. It is an honor to select these brave women as Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass.”

“There are a number of people who are doing extraordinary things in their communities and go unnoticed,” says Reginald Jones, WTVY News 4 anchor. “WTVY and Wiregrass Electric Cooperative are trying to get those people some recognition.”

Karen Logan

For the past three years, Logan has played an instrumental role in organizing and implementing a series of Celebrate Recovery meetings at First United Methodist Church in Samson. The faith-based program provides tools and resources to help people overcome various addictions, she says.

“It’s for everyone who has a hurt, habit or hang-up,” she says. “I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t qualify for that particular program.”

Karen Logan of Samson, left, accepts $1,000 from WEC’s Operation Round Up Charitable Foundation. Presenting the check is WEC COO Brad Kimbro.

As a woman of faith, Logan could serve several ministries, but addiction recovery resonates with her. When she learned about the Celebrate Recovery program, she knew she had to be involved.

“I have had a number of family members who had addictions, and they have died,” Logan says. “I learned a little bit about recovery when I went to family meetings with them. I felt like it was something I can get involved in.

“Everyone I know who is an addict has a big heart. They just need somebody to help them instead of stomping on them all the time. I wanted to be a positive in their life instead of a negative.”

So for the last three years, other than a break for the coronavirus pandemic, Logan has tried to buoy those on the road to recovery. Even more recently, she and FUMC-Samson have contributed to a new outreach program — the Geneva County Food Pantry.

Each month, with the help of donations, pantry director Robert Michaels and other pantry leaders purchase a semi-truck full of groceries and distribute them to needy families at the Geneva County Farm Center in Geneva.

The lines, though, can be lengthy, causing many to wait in their vehicles for hours. To help the elderly avoid that taxing situation, Logan and other church members collect the groceries for 30 families and bring them back to Samson for distribution.

Megan McGowan

WTVY News 4 anchor Reginald Jones, left, and Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro, right, prepare to present Megan McGowan with a Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass honor.

McGowan has spearheaded several major fundraisers and supplies drives for Ronald McDonald House Charities, a group that supports families with hospitalized children. Ronald McDonald House provided for her and her husband, Coy Matthew McGowan, after their son, Coy Maddox, was born 11 weeks premature.

For 13 weeks in 2016, the McGowans stayed at a Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola, Florida, so they could be minutes from their son instead of hours. A brochure the McGowans use to promote their fundraising efforts calls Ronald McDonald House Charities their “knight in shining armor.”

“I saw them help so many people while we were there,” Megan McGowan says. “It’s an amazing charity. They truly do what they say.”

Little Coy passed away, but every January the McGowans organize a supply drive to collect items like food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries to present to the Ronald McDonald House on their son’s birthday, February 3.

Additionally, several people help the McGowans collect pop tabs off soda cans, soup cans, and similar items throughout the year. Ronald McDonald House Charities uses the proceeds from the sale of that aluminum as a funding source.

“It started out as a family event,” Megan McGowan says. “Thankfully it’s grown to a communitywide event, with the school helping out and the Slocomb community, as well as my and my husband’s work. We wanted to make something good out of the situation.”

To nominate community contributors like Logan and McGowan, visit the Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass page at WTVY and fill out the form located there.