The Neosho Exchange Club, after a several year hiatus, has selected two long-time members as the recipients of the Book of Golden Deeds Award.
Kevin Wilson and Rick Holden, both of Neosho, have been chosen by the Exchange Club for the recognition.
Wilson is a 1976 graduate of Neosho High School and a 1980 graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia. As a former commander of the Neosho Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) he received an Air Force Scholarship. Wilson spent 4 and 1/2 years in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain. He's spent the last 30 plus years working in Human Resources positions for a number of companies in the area. Currently, Wilson provides management consultation through his own company, Legacy Consulting Group.
Wilson spent eight years representing the 160th district in the Missouri General Assembly.
"I am very humbled," Wilson said about receiving the Book of Golden Deeds Award. "A lot of great people have been honored in past years and I'm really humbled to be in their company."
Wilson has been a member of Exchange Club since 1991. He is an elder at the First Baptist Church of Neosho, a past member and president of the Neosho Board of Education, past member of the Crowder Foundation and a current member of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wilson and his wife, Melody, recently marked their 40th anniversary. The couple has two sons, Sean, who is a teacher at Benton Elementary and Patrick, who works in management for Scholastic. Both sons are married, respectively to Hope and Crystal. The Wilsons have six grandchildren.
Rick Holden is a 1973 graduate of Wheaton High School and a 1975 graduate of Crowder College in Neosho. He's a lifelong auto technician, working in both Neosho and Joplin over the years. He is a self-dubbed "avid car nut."
Holden is also a member of the Exchange Club, the Knights of Columbus and St. Canera Catholic Church in Neosho. At church, Holden is a song leader, reader, and eucharistic minister. In the past, he's also been a youth group leader at St. Canera and a past member, as well as past president of the parish council. He currently serves as treasurer for the Knights of Columbus for the fourth year.
He's a past president of Exchange Club as well as a board member and president election.
Holden has also worked with the annual Food Basket Brigade since it's inception.
He and his wife, Judy, have been married for 43 years and have two daughters, Kristi Valentine and Erin Bellm who each have two children for a total of four grandchildren.
"I'm surprised at the nomination and honored that the club was willing to do that," Holden said. Of his priorities, Holden said, "Church, family and Exchange is pretty much what drives me."
According to the Exchange Club, volunteer efforts are very important to our society and should not go unnoticed. The National Exchange Club’s longest running project, the Book of Golden Deeds Award, recognizes dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live. Ever since the Exchange Club of Huntington, Ind., sponsored the first award in 1919, thousands of unsung heroes and heroines have been recognized.
Honoring a fellow citizen with the Book of Golden Deeds Award is a heartwarming and inspiring act not only for the honoree, but for any Exchange Club. The Book of Golden Deeds Award exemplifies The National Exchange Club’s beliefs. The Book of Golden Deeds Award benefits the honorees and the community by promoting and rewarding community service efforts.
The Book of Golden Deeds banquet is scheduled September 20 at 6 p.m. at the Civic in downtown Neosho. For information about purchasing tickets, call 417-850-8318.