Marlinton Rotary Club has been serving the communities of Pocahontas County for the past 83 years. Last Thursday, the club held its annual dinner to honor members for their service and dedication to the club and county.
President Kenny Woods presented four members with the Century Award. He explained that the award is for members whose age plus their years of service equals 100 years or more. Gene Simmons, Roy Gibson, Phillip Cain and Roger Trusler were recipients of the award.
Woods also presented Phillip Cain with the Distinguished Service Award, which, technically, he should have received in 2019.
“Phillip, at our last meeting in 2019, you had to leave early and we didn’t get to give this award to you,” Woods said. “The inscription reads ‘presented to Phillip W. Cain for your many dedicated years as a member, past treasurer and as committee chairs on the Marlinton Rotary Club,’ given this eighth day of October, 2019.” We’re a little bit past that.”
Woods asked Gene Simmons – one of the longest serving members of the club – to talk about what Rotary means to him.
“Rotary is a service organization and somebody once said that service is the price you pay for the place you occupy in life,” Simmons said.
Simmons referred to “The Four-Way Test,” which states “Of the things we think, say or do, First: Is it the truth? Second: Is it fair to all concerned? Third: Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Fourth: Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
“It’s a little more than that,” he said. “Service is the things you do for other people and most of the time, you don’t get credit for it. It does things for other people. That’s probably the best thing that Rotary does.”
Simmons said he joined the club in the mid 1960s after being invited to join by member Adolph Cooper.
Among those in attendance at Thursday’s dinner were two of Simmons’ sons – Daniel and Dustin – who plan to join the club and follow in their dad’s footsteps.
Guest speaker at the dinner was Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton who shared information about improvements and projects taking place in Marlinton – including the Discovery Junction and trail updates.
As part of the celebration of 83 years of service, Rotary secretary Joe Smith made a pamphlet of memorable dates and a list of charter members.
The Marlinton Rotary Club was chartered on June 5, 1939 with the following members: Dr. John B. Davis – president, Brown C. Shanklin – vice president, John G. Beard – secretary, G. Steele Callison – treasurer, Curtis D. Gochenour – sergeant at arms, J. Walter Mason – board director, Edward W. Rexrode – board director, Paul W. Haddock – board director, Norman Phillips, Lt. Charles H. Hayes, J.E. Woodson, Lee Ruckman, G. Douglas McNeill, Dr. Kenneth J. Hamrick, James E. Jameson, Odie Johnson, James Michael, Rush Meadows, Layman W. Davis, Guy R. Faulknier and Herman M. Bowers.