A longtime Rossville resident is this year's recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, an honor bestowed by the city of Fort Oglethorpe's Kiwanis Club for the first time.
Doris White was awarded the club's 2012 Distinguished Service Award and a commendation by Gov. Nathan Deal. The award is presented in recognition of leadership and service to the community, and was presented to White at The Colonnade at an April 18 luncheon.
"It's always a team effort," White said. "Not just one person can do all the things I've done without teamwork."
White began her community service efforts in 1962 when she joined the Rossville Business and Professional Women's Club, served as a member of the board of directors on numerous organizations, and was even appointed by then Gov. Joe Frank Harris to the state board of directors of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs - she was the first female from Walker County to be named to the state board. She also chaired Rossville's John Ross Festival and Walker County Gala for several years.
"My community service, including leadership roles and fundraising efforts, has always been to benefit others," White said.
She has worked with the American Red Cross, United Way, MS, YMCA, March of Dimes, Hutcheson Health Foundation, Friends of the Park and Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation. White was the president of the Rossville Chamber of Commerce and Walker County Chamber of Commerce, in which she said efforts were made to make Rossville and Walker County better places to live, work and play.
One of her favorite fundraising events was hosting the Womanless Wedding at The Colonnade, which has raised money for the American Cancer Society, Girls Club of Rossville, Kiwanis of Fort Oglethorpe and the Walker County Chamber of Commerce, she said.
"I never neglected my job to do civic work, I just combined the two," White said.
In conjunction with her community services, White was a secretary to the president of Rossville Federal Savings and Loan Association and worked her way to vice president of marketing and public relations.
White accredits her late husband Hoyt as being supportive and a fundamental part of her success.
"When I would discuss with him whether or not I should accept an appointment, his answer was always in the form of a question: 'Will you be happy with yourself if you don't accept?' I always ended up accepting and he was always there for me. He was my best friend and adviser," she recalled.
She has been a Kiwanis member since May 29, 1998.
"A Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce slogan has been 'Working Together Works,' and I have found that to be true in both my career and community service," White said. "Teamwork is essential for the success of any program or project, and I feel blessed to have been surrounded by kind, generous and knowledgeable business leaders, community volunteers, friends and relatives to assist in my various endeavors."