To better our communities, citizens a must

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 24, 2004

Too many times, citizens place too much emphasis – and blame – on the men and women elected to office when looking at the progress, or lack thereof, in their communities.

While we elect specific people to carry out the governmental tasks required by law, we also carry a false belief that whatever comes of our communities rests solely on the shoulders of politicians.

In reality, making a community better only happens when 8-to-5, hard-working citizens go beyond the call of duty to make their towns better.

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Wednesday, the Demopolis Rotary Club honored four people who have done just that for our community.

Stephen Gutshall, Drew Johnson, Jimbo Ward and Rick Manley were awarded the Paul Harris Fellow for their distinguished work in the Rotary Club.

In reality, the fellowship is bestowed upon men and women who have $1,000 donated to the Rotary foundation in the name of the recipient. However, the four men honored by Rotary on Wednesday have done a great deal more for this community than help provide funding to a worthwhile organization.

Gutshall, Johnson, Ward and Manley all take an active role in the city of Demopolis. Whether it’s service to various organizations or a commitment to spending volunteer hours for the betterment of our area, each fellow is deserving of the award. We, along with the Rotary Club, honor them for their service.

In Demopolis and our surrounding areas, there are plenty of men and women who take time from their personal lives to help with community-based organizations. Along with the four Paul Harris Fellows, we thank those who seek to make a difference through service.

For those who have time to become more involved in community, we believe there to be no better way to create a better lifestyle for all than by giving of your time. The entire West Alabama area has numerous organizations that volunteer money and time to those in need. We encourage everyone to find a role in those organizations, which helps promote the progress of our individual towns.