Retiree Marvin Borgmeyer knows quite a few past recipients of the Golden Deeds award — he even nominated one of them.
On Wednesday, the civic-minded 64-year-old learned he's going to be the 2016 recipient of the honor, which celebrates a Baton Rouge area resident who gives back to the community. It's an announcement he called "humbling."
"I know this is going to sound cliché, but I feel like I have gotten so much more out of volunteer activities than anything I contributed," he said. "The people I've met through volunteer activities are amazing. They are who have made all of this so fun."
The Golden Deeds award is voted on by the Inter-Civic Council of Baton Rouge, which is made up of members from various civic organizations throughout the area, such as the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Cortana Kiwanis Club, and East Baton Rouge Lions Club. The Advocate, along with the council, has presented this award since 1942.
Borgmeyer and his wife, Susan, moved from St. Louis to Baton Rouge in 1975 after he accepted a job at ExxonMobil's chemical plant. He worked there for 37 years, serving in various engineering, supervisor and managerial positions before retiring in October 2012.
A passion for civic duty sparked during his adolescence grew exponentially in Baton Rouge, in part because of his job's encouragement, Borgmeyer said.
"It would have been easy to stay in my Exxon cocoon," he said. "But Exxon encouraged me to do some of the volunteer work."
Over the course of his 41 years in Baton Rouge, the Missouri University of Science and Technology graduate has chaired a variety of fundraising efforts, including for St. Joseph's Academy, St. Jude The Apostle School, Woman's Hospital, and the Baton Rouge Zoo.
Borgmeyer also held membership or volunteered with more than 30 local organizations, including the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, the YMCA's Endowment Committee, and LSU's Department of Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Council.
"He is so marvelous in helping out anyone in need. He never says no. That's why I call him 'Marvelous Marvin,' " said Donna Saurage, who is one of several people that nominated Borgmeyer for this year's award.
Saurage was the recipient of the 2015 Golden Deeds' award. Borgmeyer submitted her name for consideration.
Saurage, whose late husband for many years ran the family business of Community Coffee, said she has served on more than dozen community boards with Borgmeyer, sparking a friendship that has lasted about 30 years.
"He feels it is his responsibility to give back to the wonderful community that has been so good to him," she said. "That's kind of the attitude I have. I bond with him on that."
Borgmeyer was selected for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Class in 1991 and that same year was named one of Citation's Who's Who of Rising Young Americans. His laundry list of accolades includes the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising Award and the Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Community Leadership Award.
Barbara Ann Eaton, who first met Borgmeyer through community work with the Capital Area United Way, said she knew of him before she even met him thanks to constant bragging about him by her mother.
"I knew he was someone special. When you have someone come in from outside the community who puts time and energy into making this a wonderful place, that speaks volumes of his character," Eaton said Wednesday.
Borgmeyer takes pride in his work as a Eucharistic minister at St. George Catholic Church, a role he has served in since 1976.
"For a number of years, I took communion to folks too sick to come to church," he said. "Doing something like that is really very moving."
And his infectious inclination to help others has spread to his five children, who he said also volunteer their time in various organizations here in Baton Rouge and in the cities where they live.
"Through doing things at church and at their schools, my family really had a chance to be involved with what I did as well," he said. "Everyone needs people to volunteer and be willing to make phone calls and ask for money."
The banquet to honor Borgmeyer will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Baton Rouge Marriott.
Tickets are $50 each and available by contacting Richard Flicker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 931-1626.