Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Lake Norman Aktion Club Receives Top Honor

Front Row (Left to right): Whitney Gaar, Donna Frye, Gwen Butler, Brad Wiles, and Adam Dunaway. Second Row: Kristin Hunter, Shekinah Mackey, Chris McCall, Club President Justin Teague, Stephanie St. Peter, Club Advisor Bill Russell. Third Row:  Joey Gift, Aktion Advisor Peter Rieke, Robby Payne, Aktion Advisor Jack Hatfield, Bill Clingenpeel - District Governor of Kiwanis of Carolinas and Top Row: Steve McIlwain – Mecklenburg County Arc.

Front Row (Left to right): Whitney Gaar, Donna Frye, Gwen Butler, Brad Wiles, and Adam Dunaway. Second Row: Kristin Hunter, Shekinah Mackey, Chris McCall, Club President Justin Teague, Stephanie St. Peter, Club Advisor Bill Russell. Third Row: Joey Gift, Aktion Advisor Peter Rieke, Robby Payne, Aktion Advisor Jack Hatfield, Bill Clingenpeel – District Governor of Kiwanis of Carolinas and Top Row: Steve McIlwain – Mecklenburg County Arc.

The Aktion Club of Lake Norman, sponsored by the Lake Norman Kiwanis, was named the Mecklenburg County Aktion Club of the Year by the Arc of Mecklenburg County, an agency which serves individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities. The award was presented by Peter Rieke, Aktion Club Administrator and Steve McIlwain, Aktion Club Coordinator at the Annual Mecklenburg Arc Awards Dinner held at Park Road Baptist Church in Charlotte.

Aktion Club President Justin Teague was also recognized with the Spotlight Award for his outstanding achievements and contribution to the club.  The Aktion Club of Lake Norman was recognized for their membership activity and service projects which included a coat drive this past winter and a contribution to the Ada Jenkins Center Food Pantry. The club meets on the fourth Friday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.  It is open to any young person over the age of eighteen (18) with special needs.

Bill Russell, president of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and an active member of the Kiwanis Club, is the Aktion Club Advisor.  “We have a really outstanding group of young people involved in our group.  Their energy and positive outlook is a constant reminder that our only real limitations are those we place upon ourselves.”

If you have a family member over the age of eighteen with developmental disabilities and wish more information on the Aktion Club of Lake Norman, contact Bill Russell at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce at 704-892-1922.

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June 30, 2014 Posted by | Lake Norman Aktion Club | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Legacy We Leave

KiwanisA few years ago, I completed my terms as president of two great organizations – the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Norman Kiwanis Club.  I enjoy the friends I have made in both and have continue to be involved.  It is customary in most associations to give some token to the outgoing chairman of the board or president.  In this case, both organizations stated during the outgoing ceremony that I likely had plenty of plaques already. They instead provided me an outgoing gift.  They were certainly right on target with the plaques!

I have plaques at the office and plaques on the wall at home.  I have plaques in the closet, some in the attic, and still others in a box in my dad’s attic at our farm.  I have no shortage of plaques. I still have the first recognition’s I ever received.  A blue ribbon for shooting the most free throws at basketball camp and a yellow fourth place for marksmanship at summer camp.  I pinned these to my bulletin board when I was a kid and beamed with pride when other kids asked me about them.   Incentives and rewards are important to drive people past what they thought was achievable.  Imagine any sport without a championship or the workplace without the “bonus.”  We are a competitive society that likes to win and we like to be recognized as the best of the best among our peers.

I read a story once about a man named James Dobson whose goal it was to become his school’s tennis champion.  He felt proud when the school placed his trophy prominently in the school’s glass trophy cabinet for all to see.  Years later, someone mailed him the trophy.  They had found it in a trash bin when the school was remodeled.  Jim realized, “Given enough time, all your trophies will be discarded by someone else.”    Plaques, rewards, and other incentives are important devices in motivating people to be their best.  In my lifetime of handing them out, I’ve heard many folks say, “I did not do what I did because of the award…”  And true as that may have been, no one ever handed me the plaque back.

1985 Rock Hill Jaycees- #1 Jaycee Chapter in S.C.

1985 Rock Hill Jaycees- #1 Jaycee Chapter in S.C.

All that being said, we should not lose perspective.  It is not what we receive for being the best but who we become by doing it.  What many fail to realize is all achievements will eventually be surpassed, all records broken, and reputations will eventually fade.  However, the lives we touch along the way and the difference we make in leaving this a better place than we found it will not..  And that is the legacy we leave.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Leadership Lessons | , , , | Leave a comment