Jerry Shelby honored by Limestone College
Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 28, 2011
Shelby receivesLimestone Collegecommunity award
GAFFNEY, S.C. — During Limestone College’s Alumni Weekend (April 15-17), Salisbury, N.C., resident Jerry Shelby received the school’s Service to Community Award.
The award is presented annually to the Limestone alumnus who exhibits the ideals of civic responsibilities. Shelby, a member of Limestone’s Class of 1987, is the embodiment of those ideals.
“If there’s any truth to the saying ‘It’s not what we are but what we do and for what we do we shall be remembered,’ Jerry Shelby will be remembered for generations to come,” said Limestone President Walt Griffin.
Shelby has always had a heart for helping others, and has served as president or chairman of practically every civic organization he has served. In his native city of Van Wert, Ohio, the list of organizations he served includes the Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Parent Teacher Association, United Way, Junior Achievement, the YMCA and the Cub Scouts. In 1969, Shelby received the Outstanding Young Community Leader Award for Ohio.
Shelby eventually moved to Salisbury, N.C., where his philanthropic endeavors escalated. In 2009, he was recognized by the Tar Heel State with the North Carolina Senior Citizen of the Year’s Ernest B. Messer Award.
For the elderly in North Carolina, Shelby has established a reputation as the “go-to-guy” for getting things done. Actively involved in the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP), he has submitted numerous resolutions to the North Carolina Legislature advocating legislation for victims’ help, judicial reform, help for the disabled, the disadvantaged and the underserved.
Initiatives taken by Shelby are not exclusive to the elderly, as time and again he has shown an open heart to help anyone in need. Here are but a few examples:
• The Internal Revenue Service sought Shelby’s assistance in locating the poor who qualified for the government stimulus program but had not filled out an income tax return. He worked with senior and social services to enlist volunteers, including himself, for a sight at the local library to help them fill out the necessary forms.
• When the city of Salisbury wanted to increase the city bus fare by $1, Shelby made it known to city officials that the $1 hike represented a huge road block for individuals on strict incomes. After his urgings, the rates were not increased.
• He saw a need for swings and benches for children and their parents in a local park, and refused to give up the effort until the city of Salisbury funded the project.
• He initiated a chapter Web-Aide project in Salisbury to assist seniors who had no Internet access.
When people see the passion Shelby exhibits in helping others and wish they could be like him, he typically responds with, “All you need is a voice. No heavy lifting is required. Use your voice to speak up.”
Limestone College is a four-year, liberal arts institution with its main campus in Gaffney.