Card given top Kiwanis honor
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
May 16, 2014 | 743 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
2014 Harlan White Citizen of the Year award
KIWANIS MEMBER Bob Card Jr. was the recipient of the 2014 Harlan White Citizen of the Year award. From left are Traci Hamilton, Kiwanis vice president; Card; Bruce Bradford, Kiwanis president; and Chris Newton, past president. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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The Kiwanis Club of Cleveland recognized several community members, and two of their own, for following in the footsteps of distinguished Kiwanian Harlan White at Thursday’s luncheon.

There are seven awards in all, with the crème de le crème being the Harlan White Citizen of the Year Award.

Kiwanis member Bob Card Jr. was the 2014 recipient of the Harlan White award. The award is given to an individual who emulates characteristics embodied by the late Kiwanian. The recipient must display “extensive” community involvement, promote patriotism and citizenship, have a “firm foundation of faith” and represent high business and professional standards.

The person who nominated Card labeled him as not only a successful businessman, but as a civic-minded public servant.

“He is a man of honor, integrity and high moral principles. His word is his bond, and for those of us who have worked with him, his handshake is better than any written contract a lawyer can draft,” the nominator wrote. “He never seeks headlines or public recognition for any of his efforts and contributions to help the people of our community.”

In a written aside, Card explained he missed the excitement of running a business. He decided to throw himself into community work after he took a long sabbatical. It is his privilege to serve the community alongside his wife, Susan, as they watch their five grandchildren grow.

Card joked he hoped he would receive the award for most improved attendance, and added, “Well, maybe next year.”

He thanked the Kiwanis Club for the honor they bestowed upon him.

“When I first met Harlan White, he was an executive with Bendix. He had come here from New York and wore a bow tie,” Card recalled. “He made you feel good, and so I always looked forward to seeing him on Thursdays.”

He stepped out of the past to share a couple words on the present, as well.

“Our Kiwanis Club has always done good work in the community,” he said. “With the current leadership of the club, and the leadership that we elected last week, it just gets better and better at it.

“I feel honored to be a member of the club.”

He offered a final thanks before leaving the podium.

Others honored at the luncheon included Merica Stum, Kiwanis member Leigh Ann Boyd, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Allen Mincey and Debbie Melton.

Stum was recognized for her “outstanding” community service and emergence as a leader in Southeast Tennessee. She was the recipient of the Horizon Award.

According to the individual who nominated Stum, she has a genuine love for the people of the Cleveland Bradley County community.

“She is one of the most engaging people I have ever met,” wrote the nominator. “Through her hard work and dedication, she is making a difference in the lives of people in our hometown today, and will continue to be a trailblazer for many years to come.”

Stum expressed her shock at being the recipient of the award.

“I feel so strange to be singled out for community service, because that is just what you do in Cleveland. In order to be a member of this community, you just serve well,” she said. “So thank you for honoring Jake and I for this award. I really appreciate it so very much.”

Boyd gladly accepted the Service to Youth Award for her “extraordinary” work with area youth.

The nominator listed Boyd as a friendly, caring and dedicated individual.

“She helps mold the next generation of youth leaders in our community,” wrote the nominator. “Leigh Ann epitomizes what it means to be a Kiwanian.”

The nomination cited Boyd’s work with the Key Club at both Cleveland and Walker Valley, and the Builder’s Club at Cleveland Middle School.

Boyd thanked the club for the honor and added it meant even more because Harlan White was a friend of hers. She said she appreciated the wisdom she gleaned from knowing him.

Rowland was presented the Patriotism Award for his “exceptional” commitment and dedication to the country and its ideals.

The individual who nominated Rowland labeled him a genuine role model.

“He has served our country honorably throughout his entire career and life. Service is a calling to him. He has worked diligently to secure a veterans home in Cleveland/Bradley County,” he said. “He has demonstrated the utmost professionalism, wisdom and integrity.”

The mayor said he was both honored and surprised.

Mincey was recognized for his tendency to place others before himself, which garnered him the President’s Community Hero award.

As the vice president of communications for the United Way of Bradley County, Mincey spends much of his time behind the camera at events of various organizations.

The nominator described him as a nameless hero to those who find themselves in need.

“He puts every fiber of his being into his labor of love,” the nomination read. “He volunteers his time in many ways throughout the community, whether it be taking photos for various organizations or simply offering a kind word of encouragement during times of need.”

Added the nomination, “He truly is a servant leader and we are blessed to have him in our community.”

Mincey appeared to be flummoxed by the award presentation. He thanked the club and informed attendees he did not expect the award at all. According to Kiwanis President Bruce Bradford, Mincey believed he was present for the award presentation of a friend.

Melton received the Humanitarian of the Year Award. The recipient of this award is recognized for their clear demonstration of “extraordinary” leadership in philanthropic and human services.

Melton is involved with the Salvation Army, His Hands Extended Ministries, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, the Caring Place, DiaperLove of Bradley County and the United Way of Bradley County.

According to the nominator, Melton “has one of the most caring hearts and is a lady of conviction and determination.

She has demonstrated so many random and anonymous acts of kindness throughout this community, having touched countless lives during times of need.”

Melton accepted the honor and then informed the club she was undeserving of the honor.

“I believe with all of my heart none of us deserve anything. We are given blessings in this world,” she said. “This morning in our devotions [we] talked about what makes a great person, and it really stuck with me.”

She mentioned three aspects: obedience to the Lord; humility, for the Lord shall lift you up; and being a servant to others.

The club will recognize the award recipient of “The Golden Rule” Award at a later date.