2018 Volunteer of the Year Charlie O'Reilly

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
Tom Slaight                       
Dan Emrie
Doug Nickell                      
Anne Soots
Cindy Howell                     
Carol DeHaven
Tammy Mast                      
Austin Garrett

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