Two Women Honored With The Margaret Cason Ward Community Service Award

Awardees Debra Dabney and Mary Tucker pose with Rose Fitzpatrick, President of The Greater Leesburg Democratic Club 


LEESBURG – Debra Wanza Dabney and Mary Tucker, two concerned community activists, received the Margaret C. Ward Award for their community service at The Greater Leesburg Democratic Club’s (GLDC) monthly meeting on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Ms. Dabney and Ms. Tucker, well known and longtime residents of Leesburg, were honored for their tireless and compassionate work to improve the Lake County community and the quality of life for its residents.

Ms. Dabney a retired educator from Lake Sumter State College is a member of various community organizations including the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Leesburg Alumnae Chapter, Inc., where she still diligently works to serve.  It’s an understatement to say Ms. Dabney is a servant leader because she is so much more than that.

“I want to thank those who paved the way. The Greater Leesburg Democratic Club for establishing this Community Service Award in honor of Mrs. Margaret Cason Ward. What a pioneer, what a woman;” remarked Ms. Dabney.

“Priscilla Shirer said, ‘It’s wonderful how God takes normal women to do miraculous things,’” said Ms. Dabney, emphasizing her mindset: “It’s Service from the Heart, always.”

A retired case manager, Mary Tucker was formerly employed by Life Stream, where she assisted young adults who aged out of the foster care system,

“We are reminded of how history was made, which is absolutely necessary, and the people that made history globally. However, treasures are found locally in deep rooted, small places,” awardee Mary Tucker said.

“Our treasure, Margaret Cason Ward, is done with earthly duties, but she and those duties are not forgotten. That makes me happy.” continued Mary Tucker upon receiving her award.

The Greater Leesburg Democratic Club President Rose Fitzpatrick said, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Margaret C. Ward Community Service Award hasn’t been awarded since deceased Leesburg resident John J. Johnson received it in 2019. At our April 15 general meeting, GLDC members voted that the two nominees, Debra W. Dabney and Mary L. Tucker, were both outstanding candidates and voted to award them both for 2024”.