Lyons honored with Book of Golden Deeds award
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove honored Charles Lyons on Thursday evening for his volunteer work and dedication to the community with the Book of Golden Deeds Award banquet at the Holy Family Catholic Church Social Hall.
This year marked the fourth year of the Noon Exchange Club awarding the Book of Golden Deeds Award to a recipient, with previous recipients including Dr. Joyce Wilson, Billy F. Minton and Michael J. Blount.
Members of the Morning Exchange Club were present as were the mayor and some city council and CCISD board of trustees members and all previous recipients of the award.
The Book of Golden Deeds Award is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon someone, according to Noon Exchange Club President Ira Brand.
Lyons was recommended by Wendy Sledd, the public information officer for the Copperas Cove Independent School District.
Noon Exchange Club President-elect Brian Hawkins explained that the process for selecting the Golden Deeds award winner involves a committee reviewing applications and recommendation letters.
When the committee looked at Lyons’ application, they thought back to their own personal experiences with him and the years of service he has put into the community, and it didn’t take long to decide, Hawkins said.
Sledd shared her reasons for nominating Lyons, the most important one being his dedication to children. Lyons retired from the military but even after leaving active duty, he continued to serve his community through civil service, Sledd said.
Lyons was named a 2017 Texas Hero for Children by the Texas Association of School Boards because of his dedication to children, Sledd said.
Sledd shared that adult volunteer contribute more than 100,000 hours to kids in CCISD.
“And we are grateful to every one of those, but what sets Mr. Lyons apart is he has selfless service,” Sledd said. “We appreciate all parents that come into help with their children’s classrooms and lead a PTA and head up booster clubs, for we could not function without them. But Mr. Lyons helps in our school without his kids even being in that school- they have long graduated.”
Lyons and his wife, Dorothy, stepped up when the CCHS Project Graduation had failed to raise enough money in 2017, raising $10,000, and continued to lead for 2018 this past Spring. Lyons also helps with the high school EXCEL and HUTS Clubs.
“He does that because he wants children to be productive contributing citizens to our community when they’re adults,” Sledd said.
Sledd called Lyons a hero and said she could think of no one more worthy of the Golden Deeds award than Lyons.
Lyons brought his wife Dorothy on stage with him to accept his award and share a few words of gratitude.
“Dorothy and I are overwhelmed at receiving this great recognition from such an outstanding organization, the Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove, an organization that we can proudly say we are members of,” Lyons said. “Dorothy and I are humbled, knowing there are so many other individuals and organizations within our community, also deserving of this award.”
Lyons shared that since 1919, Exchange Clubs throughout America have presented the Book of Golden Deeds award and recognized dedicated volunteers who have worked towards making their community a better place to live.
“We hope that every hour we spent volunteering in the community whether it’s for youth programs, Exchange Excel Clubs, Project Graduation, Quarterback Club, or our own organization Team J. Lyons Lupus Organization, or just working with other individuals and organizations, the focus has always been to continue to make Copperas Cove a better community,” Lyons said.
Lyons finished his speech by sharing a quote that said, ‘Volunteerism is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections every year, once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.’
Lyons and Dorothy were accompanied by their children and granddaughter, who took turns sharing words of gratitude and love for their father. Their youngest daughter, Jasmin, who is a student at Sam Houston State University, said she hoped to one day make Lyons as proud of her as she is of him.