Thanks to those who serve nobly

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Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
London Rotary members Brendan Shea (far left) and Nick Adkins (far right) congratulate this year’s Service Above Self honorees: Dale McNeal; Sue McClelland, Four Way Test Person of the Year; Lisa Jackman; Jason Noble accepting on behalf of his wife Brittany, with his son Jaxon; and Marshall Geib. Not pictured: honoree Ruth Gorman.

(Posted Feb. 14, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Brendan Shea, first vice president of the London Rotary Club, opened the club’s annual Service Above Self awards presentation with the following quote:

“Rotary is a fellowship of noblemen, not a hereditary nobility but a nobility that must be earned and re-earned…Nobility is measured by its obligations, not by its rights and privileges.”

This quote, attributed to an Alabama Rotarian and printed in the July 1951 edition of The Rotarian magazine, sums up Rotary’s motto of “Service above self.”

The London club’s award winners live that motto. On Feb. 8 at the Madison County Senior Center in London, the club honored five community members with Service Above Self awards and one individual with the annual Four Way Test Person of the Year award.

Four Way Test Person of the Year

  • Sue McClelland

Rotary’s Four-Way Test asks the following: 1) Is it the truth?; 2) Is it fair to all concerned?; 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?; 4) Is it beneficial to all concerned?

“The career of this year’s winner took her down a few different paths, each and every one of them working toward improving lives in our community,” Shea said as he announced McClelland as this year’s Rotary Four Way Test Person of the Year.

As a social worker, McClelland brought education and prevention programs to children. She then followed a calling to become a minister through which she shared her love of Christ with her congregation and the community.

A few years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She used her diagnosis as a chance to help others by becoming one of the faces of Madison Health’s Cure Your Fears campaign. She continues to serve as a spokesperson for the importance of breast cancer screening.

McClelland said she was humbled to receive the Four Way Test award, noting that her parents, husband, and so many other people in her life have lived the Four Way Test themselves.

“I’ve been surrounded by people who did it every day because that’s who they were. They did it in ordinary and extraordinary ways,” she said. “I’ve been blessed with amazing people in my life.”

Service Above Self honorees

  • Marshall Geib

Geib has served at every level of leadership on the London Rotary board. He currently is secretary/treasurer. He also is a member of the Friends of the London Library board, a Keystone Society member of the Madison Health Foundation, president of the Academic Boosters at London High School, and member of the board of elders at First Presbyterian Church of London.

“Marshall’s unassuming contributions in all of these areas are award-worthy in and of themselves,” Shea said. “But what is astounding to me and, I know, to every member of this club is the manner in which Marshall has steadfastly continued to put others before himself throughout the storms of the past few years.”

Geib’s wife, Martha, and son, Clayton, both passed away unexpectedly; Martha in 2015 and Clayton in 2017.

“His strength, faith in God, and willingness to share Clayton’s far-reaching legacy of service above self have simply been awe-inspiring for us all,” Shea said.

  • Ruth Gorman

Gorman retired in 2017 as outreach coordinator at London Public Library.

“She worked  tirelessly to reach out to (community) members who were not able to come to the library at local churches, nursing homes, day care centers and hospitals,” wrote Nick Adkins, Rotary president-elect, in his nomination.

Gorman coordinated library volunteers, developed Pathways, a program that offered work opportunities to students with disabilities, and presented monthly programs at nursing homes.

She created Baby Bundles, each of which contains books, a bib and early literacy information and is given to families who delivery newborns at Madison Health. She also created Discovery Bags, each of which contains books, toys, DVDs and CDs for daycare providers to use.

Gorman started a permanent collection of children’s books for Martha’s Corner at Madison Health and worked with the Friends of the Library to purchase books to give to every child, ages 1 to 11, at their annual wellness checkups at the hospital.

  • Lisa Jackman

“Lisa is a driving hand behind so many programs and activities that make London a special place to live, work and raise a family,” Shea said.

Jackman is an active member of the London Community Association, London Rib & Jazz Fest committee, and the London Tree Commission. She volunteers for a variety of tasks at London Elementary and teaches Junior Achievement at the school.

Jackman also is involved with the Access Cowling playground project at Cowling Park and works the concession stand on behalf of youth athletic leagues organized through the London Parks and Recreation Department. She also has volunteered for the free lunch program coordinated by Vineyard Church.

  • Dale McNeal

McNeal is president of the London Recovery Project, which provides recovery services to individuals who are seeking rehabilitation from addiction.

“One of the remarkable things about Dale is that…he wasn’t necessarily out looking to found an organization or to hold an office,” Shea said. “He humbly followed the invitation of a friend from church and the promptings of God to answer a call. It’s a call that his remarkable background and personal history of triumph makes him uniquely qualified to answer.

“He countlessly spends his own energy and his own money–putting others before himself so that they can experience the freedom in recovery that he has.”

  • Brittany Noble

Noble is a full-time mother, substitute secretary at London Elementary, and vice president of the school’s PTO. She coordinates PTO activities, fundraisers and events throughout the year.

Rotarian and London City Schools employee Melissa Canney, who nominated Noble for the Service Above Self award, stated that Noble approaches her role on PTO as if it were a full-time job.

Noble also volunteers weekly at the school with the Sufficient Grace and Raider Rack programs. Both help students in need, the former by providing them with food they can take home and the latter by providing them with new clothing.

“Brittany sincerely wants each and every child to feel special, cared for, important, valued and loved,” Canney stated in her nomination.

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