Dale Plummer, Williamson’s director of athletics since 1988, has been named the inaugural recipient of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)’s Region 19 Humanitarian Award for his outstanding character and service to others. He will receive the award at a ceremony in Atlantic City in May.
President Michael Rounds said, “It is no surprise that Dale was chosen as the first recipient of the NJCAA’s Humanitarian Award. He is a great role model for our students and exemplifies Williamson’s core values of Faith, Integrity, Diligence, Excellence, and Service in all that he does, whether he is working with students, dealing with coaches, teaching, or any of his many other responsibilities at Williamson. His community service, in this country and in Africa, clearly demonstrate his commitment to our core values. Dale always represents Williamson in an exemplary way and it is great to see that his colleagues in the NJCAA recognize that. There is no one more deserving of this great honor than Dale. Congratulations!”
Troy Tucker, NJCAA’s Region 19 executive director, said “I was shocked when I read all that Dale has done. Dale is so humble and unassuming. He never mentions all that he is involved in and what he has experienced. He is truly passionate about giving back and leaving a positive mark on all those he touches. I couldn’t be happier to honor him with this inaugural award.”
Plummer has been providing drinkable water to the poor in Kenya, Africa, for eight years; has been on the board of trustees of CityTeam in Chester for five years; has served on the board of directors of the Rocky Run YMCA in Middletown Township for four years; has served four years on the board of directors of the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association; and is very involved with his church, Bethlehem Church, where he facilitates a weekly Life Group for adults and is on the Missions Committee. Earlier, he served on the board of trustees of the Christian Academy in Brookhaven for ten years.
Plummer goes to Kenya with Start With One Kenya, a Christian organization that sponsors humanitarian mission trips. During the trips, he is part of a team that teaches the residents of isolated villages how to use a water filtration system to clean their water and has helped build a school. In rural Kenya, waterborne illnesses are one of the leading causes of death among children and are dangerous to people of all ages. He says the filtration systems they provide for the villagers provides them with clean water for ten years and saves lives.
After raising $3,500 to cover the costs of the 2-week trips, Plummer takes a 22-hour flight to Nairobi, Kenya, and then a 4-hour drive to Nakuru, a rural village. Using Nakuru as headquarters, his group visits as many villages as time and resources allow. On his trip in August 2021, his group impacted the lives of 15,000 Kenyans on the island of Lake Victoria.
Plummer said nothing could have prepared him for the poverty he saw in Kenya. “It was truly heartbreaking. The poorest areas in the United States are like paradise compared to the poverty I saw in Kenya. These trips take a lot out of you physically and emotionally, but as long as I can help, I will be there.”
Plummer said a funny thing is that when he was first introduced to the mission trips to Kenya he was hesitant to go because he was worried about conditions in a third-world country. He did everything he could think of to get out of going and let only his wife, Debbie, son, Ryan, and daughter, Laura, go.
He said, “Every excuse I came up with to not go vanished. It was clear to me at that point, despite my best attempts not to go, that clearly God wanted me to go and He was going to eliminate any excuse I could come up with. That first trip was so rewarding that now I can’t imagine not going. It was a life-changing experience.”
It was at Bethlehem Church that he began his mission trips to Kenya after representatives of Start With One Kenya gave a presentation.
Plummer has been volunteering with CityTeam in Chester, Pa., for 25 years, helping to feed the homeless, provide Christmas presents for the poor, and providing turkeys and hams for people’s Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving dinners. He also has helped alcoholics and drug addicts in the rehab programs at the organization earn a GED and prepare for employment by teaching them mathematics. CityTeam’s success rate for drug and alcohol rehabilitation is 70 percent.
Among his service at the YMCA is raising money to provide summer camp for underprivileged children.
“My goal is to do whatever I can to help the underprivileged. As a Christian I ask myself, ‘Where would Jesus be if he was on earth today? Who would he be helping? If he knew there were people in Kenya without clean water, that is where he would be. If he knew there were hungry homeless people in Chester, he would be there feeding them.’
“I’m called to be a servant leader. God put me in a place of leadership and I want to use my place to help those in need. Jesus is the greatest leader there ever was and I want to model my life after his.”
At Williamson, Plummer is responsible for the day-to-day operation of eight varsity sports, making play by play game announcements for several sports, running the Restall Sports Center, maintaining the athletic website, serving as co-chair of student activities, and teaching mathematics. He serves on several committees and is also advisor to the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and holds a weekly Bible study for the college’s athletes.