Harris Fellows named

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 19, 2003

Cookie Graham and Jimmy Ramage were given Rotary Club's highest recognition at the Brundidge club's annual award banquet Thursday night.

Graham and Ramage were named Paul Harris Fellows by the club and a donation of $1,000 each was given to the Rotary Foundation in honor of the two Rotarians.

Club members and guests gave the recipients of the prestigious recognition standing ovations as Assistant District Governor Earl Ingram presented the awards.

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Ingram praised each for their service to Rotary, to community and to their fellowman.

"The Paul Harris Fellowship is the highest possible recognition given by Rotary," Ingram said, adding the Fellowships support Rotary International's outreach program. "Paul Harris Fellows serve as a multiplier effect of good will by making a contribution to the Foundation and bestowing the highest recognition on these two members."

Graham has been a Rotarian since 1990 and served as club treasurer from 1997-2000. She is active in her church, Springfield Baptist, a member of the Brundidge Business Association and owns her a bookkeeping service.

Graham is known for her positive outlook on life and her contagious laugh.

"(She) can set the tone for any Rotary meeting," Ingram said. "Her jovial personality makes her a pleasure to be around."

Ramage has also been a member of the Brundidge Rotary Club since 1990 and served as club president in 1999-2000.

He is chairman of the board of Charles Henderson Memorial Association, secretary/treasurer of the board of trustees of Alabama Electric Cooperative in Andalusia and chairman of the board of the State of Alabama Governor's Office on National and Community Service.

Ramage is chairman of the board and CEO of First National Bank of Brundidge and has served Brundidge as its mayor since 1986 and a member of the council/commission since 1976.

"Following the object of Rotary, which is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise, Jimmy Ramage is truly living his dream of service to the community," Ingram said. "He knows the meaning of service to others."

Club President Dixie Shehane presented a special award of "Service above Self" to Rotarian Charlie Butler.

"Charlie always goes beyond expectations," Shehane said. "This year, as usual, he sold more Boston butts than any other member — 91."

Shehane expressed appreciation to Butler for his continued service to Rotary and the community.

She also recognized club members with perfect attendance for the year, Jack Jones, Lamar Steed, Danny Graham, Cookie Graham, Chip Wallace and Moses Davenport.

During the year, the club raised $7,892 through several fundraising efforts, including the Boston butt sale, the Auburn/Alabama ticket raffle and silent auction. The monies raised were used to support projects the club deemed worthy. The club made donations to the Abbeville tornado disaster fund, the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library, the Boys Scouts, the Pike County 4-H Clubs, Camp ASCCA, the United Way and Polio Plus.

The club also funded five scholarships to area high school seniors totaling $4,500. Rotarian Cot Wallace said in the past 10 years the Brundidge Rotary Club has awarded 30 scholarships totaling $27,000.

Shehane said Rotary is not all about money. It is about service.

"Our club assisted the Brundidge Business Association with its Fourth of July Parade, with the Cornelius Griffin Thanksgiving dinner by taking plates to the elderly and began a character education program," she said. "Each week a member of our club visited the fifth grade at Pike County Elementary School and read to them, putting Rotary in front of today's youth."

During the past year, Brundidge Rotary Club welcomed two new members, Harry Sanders and Carol Dorrill.

New officers were inducted for the 2003-2004 year. Johnny Steed will assume the role as president, Bruce Laviner will serve as vice president and Douglas Botts will continue to serve as secretary/treasurer.

The banquet was held at John and Carol Dorrill's Clay Hill Farms and featured an Outback theme.

This banquet was the first that may boast 100 percent attendance by its membership.