Know a Great Leader in Titusville? We Have an Award For That
In 1987, the City of Titusville established an award in memory of Reverend Harry R. Lee, who served in a number of capacities across the city. He was the administrative assistant to the city manager from 1977 to 1987, but served as chaplain to the city, Sertoma Club and the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.
A City Council resolution states, “Whereas, by his spirit, words, and actions, he personified the concept of service and unity in the Titusville community, and set the example for encouraging service and unity” and declares that the award should always contain the following quote: “What a man does for himself dies with him…..What he does for his community lives forever.”
In March of each year, the selection committee solicits nominations from the community for the Titusville Community Service Award. The hardest part is for those nominations to be kept to the 250-word limit. There are so many good things to say about the candidates.
If you look at the list of honorees on the city’s website, it’s a veritable who’s who of servant leaders from over the years, with notable names like Rodney Thompson; his daughter, Laurilee Thompson; Bob Hudson; Misty Belford; and the most recent recipient, Joe Robinson. Joe serves as the executive director of North Brevard Charities Sharing Center and is a newly elected member of the Titusville City Council.
The selection committee has the unenviable task of deciding which applicant they believe best represents the spirit of the award. Although commonly attributed to Zig Ziglar, the quote, “We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable,” seems to have been a favorite of Reverend Lee and was linked with him in City Hall for many years by appearing on the wall of council chambers with his name.
Even though I grew up in Titusville, I never met Reverend Lee. But I think about him and his service to the community. I am grateful for him and those who came before and who have followed — those passionate about this community who make a conscious decision to make a difference.
One of my favorite quotes, and one I think Reverend Lee would have also liked, is most widely attributed to Mother Teresa, and says in part, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway… If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway… What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway… The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
I encourage you to take this opportunity to think about Reverend Lee, his impact on his community, and in his honor, make a difference in your own community in some way.
To nominate a servant leader who has made a significant impact for the Titusville Community Service Award, contact Titusville City Hall at 321-567-3686 or visit www.titusville.com.
Marcia Gaedcke is president of the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce and a lifetime resident of Titusville and Brevard County. She is a passionate leader and a serial volunteer, concerned about the future of our community and economy, and is willing to roll up her sleeves and work for the betterment of Brevard.