As far as Ginger Haack is concerned, next-door neighbors Judy and Tom Skinner are the bedrocks of North Broadway United Methodist Church.

"North Broadway Church would fall down if it weren't for Judy and Tom," Haack said last week.

The other members' eyelids certainly would be heavier during services if it weren't for the Skinners.

"Judy and I open the church every Sunday morning at 7 o'clock and make the coffee," Tom Skinner said.

The church is at the center of a large and seemingly ever-expanding network of volunteer activities for the couple, who have been named ThisWeek Booster Community Volunteers of the Year by the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce after being nominated by Haack and several other area residents.

The Skinners, along with the chamber's Business of the Year, the Clintonville Woman's Club, and Businesspersons of the Year, Jennifer Williams and Scott Bowman of Weiland's Market, will be honored during the 17th annual Celebrate Clintonville awards dinner and auction fundraiser, set Thursday, Feb. 23, at the woman's club.

The couple join recent Volunteers of the Year Greg Denby of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Will Reiss of Bishop Watterson High School, Cat Erney of the Clintonville Farmers Market and Mary Rodgers of the Clintonville Historical Society.

"We're surprised and humbled," Tom Skinner said.

His wife, whom he met in junior high school, said she was dumbfounded when chamber President Jenny Smith called a few weeks ago to inform them of the award.

"I couldn't believe it," Judy Skinner recalled. "I said, 'Jenny, my goodness.' We're overwhelmed."

"They have done so much for so many people through the years," Haack said, noting how helpful the Skinners were to her when her husband died in 2015. "They do a lot of things that I don't know about. They don't thrive on recognition. I just think they're wonderful.

"I feel they are very deserving of the recognition."

When it comes to helping others, Tom and Judy Skinner are involved in a dizzying array of programs. Just at their church, he serves on the grounds crew and with the men's prayer breakfast group; she works with the bereavement program for members who have lost a loved one, the home-bound communion ministry for shut-ins and the leadership committee.

Together, they volunteer with others from North Broadway United Methodist Church with members of Columbus Mennonite Church to serve dinner once a month to homeless people at the YWCA Family Center.

Tom Skinner, along with several other men from his church, participates every Tuesday in the Horizon Program at the London Correctional Institute.

The program is designed to reduce recidivism and help prisoners to grow socially and spiritually by building connections with volunteers.

"We're called 'Outside Brothers' and they're 'Inside Brothers,' " Tom Skinner said.

Judy Skinner has been a volunteer for more than 30 years at the Ronald McDonald House.

"When Judy and Tom Skinner's son, Gregory, was undergoing treatment for leukemia in the late 1970s, Columbus ... didn't yet have a Ronald McDonald House," the nonprofit organization's website states. "The Skinners lost Gregory in 1978 when he was just 13 years old. After their devastating loss, Judy never forgot the families she and her husband saw at the hospital, living in their children's rooms and surviving on vending machine snacks and hospital cafeteria food.

"So when the Columbus Ronald McDonald House opened in 1982, Judy wasted no time. She began volunteering as a way to honor her son's memory."

"I think people find a need," Judy Skinner said. "We're getting this honor and we're extremely pleased, but if it weren't for other people doing these things, we wouldn't be able to."

Tom Skinner, who has been retired for 18 years, also volunteers at the Kobacker House hospice on the campus of OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.

"That's probably the most enriching thing I think I do on a volunteer basis," he said. "We're very appreciative of what we've been able to do in life."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1