The annual Springfield Southeast Rotary Club's Volunteer of the Year Award is our Club’s highest honor. It recognizes community service rendered outside of Rotary activities.
Those of us who serve or seek to recruit others to serve often speak of giving one’s time, talent, or treasure. Frequently, recognition is offered to those who serve by giving their treasure. Sometimes, recognition is given to those whose service takes the form of giving the precious gift of their time. And, somewhat less frequently, we hear a “Thank you” offered to one whose service represents the use of a special skill or talent.
The 2018 recipient, Charlie O'Reilly, has given very freely of all of these. He has shown by an extensive community service resume that includes leadership roles in a diverse collection of organizations, including:
- Community Partnership of the Ozarks
- United Way of the Ozarks
- American Red Cross
- The Salvation Army
- State-level Family Investment Trust
- Council of Churches of the Ozarks
- Springfield Community Center
- Developmental Center of the Ozarks
- Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks
- Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
- Academy of Missouri Squires
Charlie was nominated by the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. Janet Dankert, president and chief executive officer of DCO, is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club.
Here are just a few words from the nomination:
"Charlie O’Reilly is the founding father of CPO, serving on the board for more than 25 years. He remains on our board as a lifetime, honorary member. Early on, he served as Board President and helped lead the growth of CPO from a single focus non-profit with a small budget to an organization with a $4.2 million budget, more than 60 employees, and a regional service area."
Charlie has been recognized with many awards over the years, including:
- Springfieldian of the Year by the chamber of commerce;
- Missourian of the Year Award; and
- Philanthropist of the Year
Anyone who has ever served with Charlie or worked on a project with him will confirm that he brings a unique set of leadership and business skills to any effort in which he is involved. By his dedication and commitment, he challenges others to work a little harder, reach a little further and, in doing so, the entire organization is moved further than it might have ever expected.
Yet, to us, he’s still Charlie. He's a visionary with both feet firmly planted on the ground and one of the most genuine and nicest guys you’ll ever meet who just wants to make the town he calls home a better place in which to live and raise a family.
The members of our Club value and appreciate Charlie's service and the contributions from him and his family to Springfield.
Nominations for this annual award are submitted by our club members and community organizations, with the final selection being made by the Rotary volunteer committee.
Committee members in 2018 include:
Barbara Lucks, chair
The award has been presented since 1999. Previous recipients are:
2017 Angela Smith
2016 Irwin Cohen
2015 Doug Nickell
2014 Steve Rice
2013 Gordon Elliott
2012 Kirk Elmquist
2011 Dennis Whaley
2010 Gerry Lee
2009 Rick Hughlett
2008 Gary Deaver
2007 Bob Hammerschmidt
2006 Doug Pitt
2005 Anne Brown
2004 Todd Parnell
2003 Joy Lamberson Klock
2002 Steve Scott
2001 Barbara Lucks
2000 Mac McCartney
1999 Bill Reser