After chairing one of the most successful Kiwanis Ogeechee fairs in history, Statesboro Kiwanis member Wallace Brown should not have been surprised Thursday night when he was chosen as the 2015-2016 Kiwanian of the Year.
Earl Cashon, the club member who earned that title the year before, introduced Brown in the traditional game of clues where he dropped hints throughout his introduction speech until everyone guessed the identity of the winner.
“Each year we play a little game to see who can guess the winner of this award, as information about the winner is given out,” he said. “This year’s winner makes this game very difficult. In the spirit of the night, I will try to make my comments a little more vague than normal.”
He started by saying Brown was a Bulloch County native, married over 20 years and has been a Statesboro Kiwanis member for more than 10 years.
He said Brown has been a member of numerous committees over the years, has a degree from Georgia Southern University, and has worked in retail for more than 10 years.
Cashon continued: “This person is known for his bad handwriting, … for (his) sense of humor, … forgetful at times, when they could not find their wedding ring while standing at the altar,” he said. “This person is a real go-getter, … likes bugs, especially bees. They also like dust – they have worked in the Kiwanis parking lot (during fair week) for years.”
At this point, many guests of the club’s annual banquet nodded their heads in recognition.
Cashon gave it away with his next words.
“(He is) presently employed at Georgia Southern. He was the fair chairman of our most successful fair ever. It is my pleasure to introduce this year’s Kiwanian of the Year, Wallace Brown.”
As he accepted the award, Brown smiled broadly. “Thank y’all. It’s been 12 years, a lot of good times. They say if you love what you are doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. I wanted to give back to the community, and this has given me the opportunity to do just that.”
Brown joined Kiwanis upon invitation from former member Vince Galasso, he said.
The night’s program included recognizing several other members for various awards. The following were recognized for perfect attendance: J.D. Dunn (one year); Alex Grovenstein (two years): Carl Sellers (three years): Trish Tootle (five years): Dan Foglio (11 years); Fred Parrish (24 years); Darrell Colson (24 years) and Horace Harrell ( 34 years.)
Legion of Honor awards recipients were Gary Mikell ( 25 years); Mike Rushing (25 years); James Deal (30 years); and: Bob Lanier, Dan Hagan and Tommy Hagan (each with 30 years membership.)
Club members Cindy Collins and Deb Pease received Zellers awards for their service to the club, and members Jim Phelps, Bob Marsh, Chuck Sheets and Pat Lanier Jones were given Hixson awards for exemplary service,
Bede Mitchel received a Diamond Level Zellers award and Horace Harrell received a Diamond Level Hixson award.
Kiwanis Lt. Governor Gary Howard also issued the club awards for several accomplishments.
Statesboro resident and WTOC news personality Dal Cannady spoke at Thursday’s event, speaking on the importance of building relationships when working in the news media.
He talked about following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Jim Hildebrandt, who earned a respect and following for reporting on rural and smaller towns in the southeast portion of the state.
Cannady also spoke of the ways technology has changed the way the news is reported and received.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.