Messenger photos by Linda Dillman
Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic volunteers Rev. Gordon and Ruthanne Johnson (on left) and Dr. and Mrs. George Anderson (on right), pictured here with Free Clinic Director Melissa Canney (center), received Service Above Self Awards from the London Rotary Club during a Feb. 28 banquet at the London Country Club.
Good deeds need not go unnoticed. On Feb. 28, the Rotary Club of London handed out Service Above Self awards to eight individuals.
The Rev. Gordon and Ruthanne Johnson, Dr. George and Rose Anderson, Clint Morse, Verna Gallimore, Ginger Kronk and Madison Rural Elementary fifth-grader Brooke West received plaques and a state proclamation during ceremonies at the London Country Club.
"I think it is just inspiring to be around these people who do wonderful things," said Rotary President Gary Feliks. "The accomplishment of these people is truly admirable. Service above self can come in many forms, and these people demonstrated how much an individual can make a difference."
The Johnsons were recognized for their commitment to the Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic. They have volunteered at 28 sessions since August 2005 when the clinic first opened. Clinic Director Melissa Canney, who nominated the couple, said Rev. Johnson works as a prayer partner and registration volunteer. Mrs. Johnson, a retired nurse, serves as an intake volunteer, providing initial screening and taking the vital signs of patients prior to their visit with the physician.
"I always tease Gordon because, as prayer partner, he has a lot of down time, but Ruthanne is always hustling and bustling," Canney said. "The community is a far richer and better place because of them.
"The Johnsons have also advocated on behalf of the uninsured with their church, First Presbyterian, which has become one of the free clinic’s most important local donors. The Johnsons faithfully commit to volunteer once a month and are always a warm, caring, and friendly presence. They are a fine example of Rotary’s motto. Not only with the free clinic, but in their daily lives as well."
Canney also nominated the Andersons for their service to the clinic for the past two years. Dr. Anderson, a retired physician, has served at 24 clinics as a doctor. Mrs. Anderson has joined her husband on many occasions by volunteering at the front desk.
"Rose has also helped with numerous mass mailings sent to inform our community of the issues facing uninsured residents and the services available to meet their basic health needs. Dr. Anderson and his wife also advocate with others providing valuable education and information about the free clinic," Canney wrote in her nomination.
"We could not offer the free clinic without our doctors, and Dr. Anderson has volunteered the most. Whatever I’ve asked of Dr. Anderson and his wife, they’ve always done. Doc and Rose are both excellent examples of what it means to place the needs of others above their own. Our clinic has been blessed with their service above self."
For many, retirement means slowing down, but for award-winner Verna Gallimore, nominated by Madison County Hospital Foundation Director Mona Flax, it was just the start of another career when she joined the Hospital Auxiliary in the early 1980s. She has put her accounting skills to use as treasurer and bookkeeper of the gift shop, held every auxiliary office, and served as volunteer manager of the gift shop for more than 10 years.
According to Flax, Gallimore delivers mail weekly throughout the hospital and works two shifts in the gift shop. She is the hospital’s top volunteer with over 19,000 hours to her credit. She also is a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church where she has been treasurer of the ladies group and a member of Las Jovenes Sunday School Class for more than 50 years.
"She also helps with the church newsletter and serves at every church dinner and special banquet. She is famous, both at the church and the hospital, for her exquisite pies, which are always sold before she gets them out of the oven," Flax wrote in her nomination.
"Verna Gallimore exemplifies Rotary’s four-way test every day, in every way. She is part of a generation that knows only how to be honest and fair. She has spent her life building goodwill—for her church, her hospital, and her community and benefiting all of us in countless ways."
Bob LeBeau nominated his friend, Clint Morse, for the Service Above Self Award. He and Morse have played music professionally since 1950. Morse is a gifted musician, arranger, and writer. His Christian music has been published.
"He covers the gamut in music," continued LeBeau, "and is also a finish carpenter. He’s contributed a lot to Habitat for Humanity and truly is a Renaissance man. By doing so many things, he gets asked to do a lot of mundane chores, but he never refuses. He’s very deserving of recognition."
Morse has been involved locally with Habitat for Humanity in accounting since the program began. He is a member of Madison County Arts Council and plays and arranges music for the organization; arranges choir music and plays keyboard at the First Presbyterian Church; and tutors Japanese and St. Patrick students.
Brooke West was honored for her dedication and support of her friend, Mariah Crawford, who lost her vision because of a tumor. West befriended Crawford in first grade, well before Crawford began losing her sight in fourth grade.
"Her friend, Brooke, was there and today she is still there," said Feliks. "She reads books and helps her through class changes. Last year, when the school took a trip to the Ohio Caverns, Mariah could not make the trip into the caverns. Brooke remained on the bus and kept her friend company. Through the whole process, Brooke thinks nothing of it."
Feliks continued, "Don’t kid yourself; Brooke still plays basketball, softball, the piano, and now 4-H is part of her life. She is a great student and a nice, nice person and embodies the idea that, as good as it is to receive, it is better to give."
In a letter nominating Ginger Kronk for the Service Above Self Award, the Lon-don native and former human resources manager for the Hyatt Regency in Chicago and Columbus was lauded for her service as chairperson of Cornerstone gift giving for the Madison County Hospital Founda-tion, as fundraising co-chair of the London Schools levy campaign, as a volunteer reader, a substitute teacher, and president of the elementary PTO.
Kronk is also an elder and deacon at First Presbyterian Church, chaired Vacation Bible School and the Christian Education Committee, is a Sunday School teacher, and served on the Daycare Center Board. She volunteers for the London Public Library and Cub Scout Pack 104.
"We have a very good educational environment here today and it’s because of fine people like Ginger that we have a school system that is functioning very well," Feliks said.