Exchange Club of Copperas Cove celebrates 50 years of service, honors lifetime achievements
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special dinner and the awarding of a lifetime achievement award last week at Giovanni’s.
The Exchange Club was chartered on March 25, 1972, in Copperas Cove, with 36 members. The founding officers were Wayne Turner as President, Melvin E. Cunningham as Vice-President, Elmer L. Hamm as Treasurer, and William M. Patrick as Secretary.
Mary Derrick, of the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove, read a resolution from the National Exchange Club during the celebration.
“It’s just an honor to be able to participate in helping to keep the legacy that those 36 people who started this club 50 years ago, and what an honor it is to continue their legacy of service,” said Ronnie Viss, current president of the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove.
The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to the family of Earnest Remedies. Remedies was unable to attend, but two of his daughters, his grandson and grandson’s girlfriend, and youngest granddaughter were in attendance.
Remedies has been a member of the Exchange Club for 45 years, according to Viss.
The club’s board of directors voted unanimously to award Remedies with this award a couple of months ago, and then the District Board assisted in helping pay for the award, according to Viss.
The Lifetime Member Certificate is presented to members who have been a member of the Exchange Club for a period of years, which Viss estimated was at least 20 years. The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove and the Texas District Exchange Clubs joined together to cover the cost of the award ($1,000), which includes paying the membership dues for the remainder of Remedies’ life.
Remedies has been “a faithful member for many, many, many years, and so we knew that this was something that would mean a lot to Ernie and Ernie’s family for his dedication to us,” Viss said. “Ernie served many roles in Exchange Club, and not just here in Copperas Cove but also on our District.”
Viss shared that Remedies had been the Volunteer Field Representative (VFR) for the Texas District for many years.
“I’ve been in the Exchange Club for almost 20 years and in the Copperas Cove Club for about 10 years,” Viss said. “I remember 20 years ago, Ernie and Bob Goodwin coming over to Gatesville and doing our board training, and [Remedies] always had the best training. He was always so thorough and did such a good job of training all of us, and Jim Rudd, all of those guys would come over and just do great. The three of them were quite a team together.”
Viss added that Remedies never missed a District meeting and was at everything the Exchange Club did.
“When he was active, he and Laura White were probably the only ones that really knew the core of what Exchange Club is,” Viss said. “I think they knew more about Exchange Club than National did sometimes. They were really good, so we appreciate him.”
Viss shared that Remedies’ grandson, Andy Remedies, had shared a story of being out with Earnest, and Earnest was concerned about making it back home in time to be able to do Meals on Wheels the following day.
Earnest Remedies had volunteered for Meals on Wheels from 1982 until just a few years ago, according to Viss.
“If you’re surprised, I was 30 when I found out he was doing that. That’s just kind of what my grandfather was all about,” Andy said. “He didn’t want any recognition, but man did he give.”
Andy said that he and his family members cleaned out Earnest’s office in the house to make room for a family member and ended up pulling out plaque after plaque after plaque from the Exchange Club.
“He is one of a kind, so we really appreciate this,” Andy said.
Andy added that he felt like he was an honorary member of the Exchange Club from how often he tagged along with his grandfather to do Exchange Club business over the years.
“He would definitely want us to know just how much he loved being- like he loves the Exchange Club,” Andy said. “After he retired from the military, I really think that Exchange Club really gave him a purpose besides taking care of all of us knuckleheads in his family, and he’s just a one-of-a-kind example, so we really appreciate it. There’s never going to be another Ernie Remedies in Copperas Cove.”
Andy said that his grandfather was going to adore and “be over the moon” at receiving this award.
“The world needs more Ernies,” Viss said.
The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove meets every Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. at Li’l Tex Restaurant.