Missouri Southern junior health promotion and wellness major Haley Henry is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Al Cade Beacon of Hope Service Award.

The award, instituted last year, was presented at the annual MLK Day Celebration Breakfast on Jan. 16 at Missouri Southern.

The annual award is named for Cade, longtime Missouri Southern faculty member and Dean of the School of Education, who passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2015. Cade was well-known for his service to others.

“I was so honored and taken aback when I was told about the award,” says Henry, who was nominated by kinesiology faculty member Dr. Andrea Cullers.

“I’ve always had a passion for helping people with any kind of disability,” says Henry, who is working toward a career in pediatric occupational therapy. “One summer I had an A+ class position that involved taking kids with physical and mental challenges to therapy. I saw the impact of the clinicians’ work and fell in love with the idea of helping people to be the best they can be.”

Henry is a Resident Assistant on the Missouri Southern campus. She also is the vice-president of the Caduceus Club, a campus organization designed for students contemplating careers related to medicine. In that position, she has helped bring healthcare professionals to campus to talk to students.

For the past year, she has been heavily involved in an organization called Love Your Melon, which is dedicated to fighting cancer. She currently heads up the organization’s local public relations efforts.

Love Your Melon, originally started by two high-school students, makes beanies, caps and hats. Fifty percent of profits from hat sales goes to pediatric cancer research. Also, for every piece of headgear that is sold, a hat is given to a child battling cancer.

Henry has also volunteered in the children’s ministry and helped with other events at the New Site Baptist Church in Monett. Since 2015, she has donated her time to efforts closer to Joplin including the Ronald McDonald House, the Watered Gardens homeless shelter, Lafayette House and the Victory for Haiti Mission.