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Exchange Club’s contest is golden

A service organization in Brookhaven wants to add another page to its Book of Golden Deeds.

The Exchange Club is accepting nominations from the public through April 17 for the award. Organizers hope to find someone who gives endless hours of their time and talents to make their community a better place to live. It’s important to choose a person who is sincere about helping the community, has an exceptional track record of continued, unselfish giving and enjoys volunteering to help others, said Exchange Club President Greg Hoff.

They’re looking for someone like Larry Fisher, who was surprised with the award at last year’s banquet.

Fisher only expected a free meal for him and his wife, Terry, when his pastor, Rev. Greg Warnock of First Baptist Church Brookhaven, invited him to dinner at an Exchange Club event.

“They caught me off guard,” he said. “My preacher pulled a good one on me.”

Fisher, 64, retired from International Paper Co. after 38 years and has much more time for missions work. He has built churches and rebuilt houses all over the world. His most recent work has been helping rebuild flooded houses in the small town of Crosby in Amite and Wilkinson counties. He’s been on mission trips to several different states including Minnesota, Tennessee, Illinois, Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa and Georgia and various countries including Honduras, Mexico and Ecuador. After Hurricane Katrina came through, Fisher visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast every weekend for almost a year and a half to help rebuild homes.

Fisher said he’s been blessed to have the opportunities to help people.

“I didn’t do it for an award,” he said. “I love doing this kind of stuff. I love helping people. It’s not about me, it’s about what the Lord called us to do. I’m out here to serve others and that’s what I try to do. “

The person chosen will be honored at the club’s 70th annual banquet to be held April 28 at the Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Billy B. Thames Conference Center.

Besides the Golden Deeds award winner, Exchange Club members will be honored with attendance and service awards and one outstanding member will receive the John L. Leary award.

Send nominations to The Exchange Club of Brookhaven, P.O. Box 486, Brookhaven, MS 39602.

“We get a good number of nominations,” Hoff said. “There are plenty of people who do a lot that most people don’t know about.”

He said the Golden Deeds award allows the club to “recognize someone who is not looking for recognition.”

A committee picks the winner from the new nominations as well as nominations received in years past.

The winner will receive a plaque and be included in the club’s Book of Golden Deeds. The 2017 winner will be in good company. Dozens of extraordinary people who have exemplified the spirit of giving without the expectation of something in return — like Mamie L. Martin who was the club’s first winner in 1953. The book which will be on display at the banquet.

“We have every one of them in there,” he said.