Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society

Our Hometown Hero

Photo: (L to R): Amanda Singleton, Therisa Ingley (Hometown Hero) and Diana Joyner, Office Manager

Photo: (L to R): Amanda Singleton, Therisa Ingley (Hometown Hero) and Diana Joyner (Office Manager)

Therisa Ingley is the winner of the recent Hometown Hero contest sponsored by Northland Communication, according to an announcement made last week.

Ingley was among three locally nominated individuals and was selected by votes from the public. Voting closed July 20 with over 20,000 votes submitted for the 19 contest winners across the nation.

Ingley was nominated by Jim and Marcia Cherry in a 500-word essay for her work with the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS).

Ingley is the CEO for SOAPS and has volunteered with 30 years. She has worked hard at transforming SOAPS into a well-known organization all over the state of Georgia and beyond. She assisted in the development of a low-cost sterilization program aimed at reducing the number of unwanted animals in the area. She has 25 foster animals in kennels that her husband built for her as a wedding present a few years ago.

“It doesn’t matter whether its cold, hot, raining or snowing, she continued to love, feed, water and care for these animals every day,” the Cherrys wrote in nominating Ingley. “Honestly, there are not enough hours in a day to keep up with Therisa!”

Married to Dennis Ingley for 43 years, the couple are the parents of two grown sons and the grandparents to a granddaughter and a grandson. Their grandmother’s face beams when she talks about her love to the little ones.

In addition to her position as a school psychologist with the Jeff Davis School System, Therisa gives hours and hours a day to the work of SOAPS, and her tireless efforts are immeasurable in the difference she makes in the lives of local animals.

Ingley received a $250 prize for her positive impact on the community. Northland also donated $500 to SOAPS in her honor.

Northland’s Business Manager, Tim Kelley, said, “It is an honor to give back to the community and to recognize those who make Vidalia a great place to work and live. Congratulations to our winning Hometown Hero, Therisa Ingley and to SOAPS (Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society), and thank you for all that you do in Vidalia.”

“I am both humbled and amazed at the outpouring of support in this community for my nomination as a Hometown Hero,” Ingley said. “I don’t consider myself a hero, but I am thankful that so many people voted so that SOAPS could benefit. The $250 I received personally will be added to the $500 to benefit SOAPS. ‘Finding Homes, Saving Lives’ is what we do — and this time the community made it happen! Thank, too, to Marcia for nominating me! Without them, it would have never happen.”