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Letter: Jim Duncan’s dream has been realized

If you drove by Keppel Auditorium Thursday night, you probably wondered what huge event was taking place.

The extraordinary event has been occurring for 22 years in Rowan County. It started as a dream of one man, Jim Duncan, who was thinking about how to encourage volunteering for United Way and the community. Jim’s thoughts focused on how our youth are tomorrow’s volunteers. The Rowan Rotary club supported the idea and stepped up to recognize and encourage the good work youth are doing. The Rowan Service Above Self Awards were created with Rowan County United Way because of their vision.

The first year, the Holiday Inn hosted the event in its smallest meeting room. Each year it grew, recognizing more students for serving others, and the event moved to larger and larger meeting space. Eventually Catawba College’s Keppel Auditorium became the site of the Service Above Self Awards.

If you attended the ceremony or nominated someone, you know some amazing stories about kindergarten, middle school and high school students that work individually and in groups in serving others. Dr. Moody shook each of our children’s hands who were at the ceremony. All students had their names read — from 237 nominations totaling 40,512 hours of work — by Henry Diggs, Wes Thompson or Wilson Cherry.

I hope you will join me in thanking, Jim Duncan (the man in the top hat and Mickey Mouse bowtie) and the Rowan Rotary club, for recognizing our youth “serving others above self”. Additionally Cheerwine, Rockwell Farms and Catawba College support made it a special night.

All the students over the last 22 years have taught our community what Service Above Self really means through their good work as volunteers. You made the dream a reality. Our future is bright because you volunteer to help others.

— Bob Lippard

Salisbury

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