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Slippery Rock Rotary presents community service award

Ian Grady, president of the Rotary Club of Slippery Rock, right, presents Sandy Wakefield a certificate which denotes her Paul Harris Fellow honor during at a luncheon Monday at North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock. Wakefield is the organization’s 2021 recipient of the Ted Walwik Community Service Awards. Submitted Photo

Sandy Wakefield received the 2021 Ted Walwik Community Service Award on Monday from the Rotary Club of Slippery Rock. She was also recognized as the club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow.

Twenty-five people, including eight former recipients of the Walwik award, attended the noon luncheon at the North Country Brewery in Slippery Rock, where the club’s president, Ian Grady, presented Wakefield with her award. Receiving it makes Wakefield an honorary Rotarian.

The Ted Walwik Award recognizes non-Rotarians for their service to the community. The club donated $1,000 to Rotary International in Wakefield’s name.

The award was originally called the Community Service Award, but was renamed for Ted Walwik, who died in 2010. Walwik had been a Slippery Rock University professor, ordained minister and had a long affiliation with Rotary International, including serving as governor of District 7282.

“Ted was a very charitable man,” said Regina Greenwald, a member of the Rotary Club of Slippery Rock and coordinator of Slippery Rock in Bloom. “He really believed in community service.”

She said the club changed the name of the award as a way to honor his years of service.

Greenwald said Wakefield was the perfect choice for the Walwik award.

“She’s been involved with helping her community her whole life, even as a child,” Greenwald said. “When Sandy was a little girl, she and her mother would walk all over town to deliver meals to neighbors who couldn’t cook for themselves or afford food. Sandy good-naturedly said she and her mother did ‘meals on foot.’”

Each year the Rotary Club of Slippery Rock solicits the community for nominees for the award. Club members as well as the Slippery Rock community nominate those they feel have served the community. For the 2021 award, the Rev. Keith McIlwaine of Slippery Rock United Methodist Church nominated Wakefield.

McIlwaine said Wakefield is a longtime member of Slippery Rock United Methodist and is active in a number of ministries at the church, as well as causes and organizations in the community.

“What made me want to lift her up is that Sandy is just about the kindest person you would ever hope to meet,” McIlwaine said. ”She really tries to love as Jesus loves and help everyone in need; she works hard at that.“

McIlwaine called Wakefield “very inspiring.”