Five people were honored with Walter Zeller Fellowship awards — one posthumously — by the Zachary Kiwanis Club Oct. 1.
The Walter Zeller Fellows, each presented a medallion, certificate and commemorative lapel pin, include three active members of Kiwanis: Zachary Schools Superintendent Scott Devillier, volunteer Audrey Nabors-Jackson and businessman Al Phillips.
Both Devillier and the school district have given generously to Kiwanis International’s global effort, the Eliminate Project, which provides immunization for maternal and neonatal tetanus, saving the lives of millions of mothers and their babies around the world, a news release said.
“I’m very honored, but contributing to this effort, it’s what we should be doing. When we can provide and assist, we do,” Devillier said.
Fire Chief Danny Kimble, who welcomes Kiwanians each Wednesday at the department where they conduct their monthly meeting, received the honor for his generosity toward Eliminate and his volunteer efforts on behalf of Kiwanis.
Nabors-Jackson and Phillips, both longtime Kiwanians, give of their time as volunteers and contribute significantly toward Kiwanis projects and events.
Receiving the Zeller award posthumously was the late Jesse Spears, a longtime Zachary Kiwanian, charter member and fourth president of the club. Spears’ wife, Virginia, the couple’s family, and the Rev. Errol Domingue, pastor at New Pilgrim Baptist Church where Spears attended regularly, accepted on his behalf.
Kiwanian Bruce Langley said the service organization went into the community and asked for donations in Spears’ memory.
“A total of $1,350 was collected and donated to Eliminate in his name, and we dedicated the entire banquet to Mr. Jesse, since he meant so much to us, to so many people and to this community,” said Langley.
According to Kiwanis International, when anyone gives $1,250 to the Eliminate Project, they can become a Walter Zeller Fellow, which saves or protects more than 690 women and their future babies.
Maternal and neonatal tetanus, or MNT, is on the brink of elimination thanks to the Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International and UNICEF, which have joined forces to eradicate the disease.
Locally, the Zachary club continues to raise money for MNT through fundraisers, such as a recent fish fry involving Zachary Mayor David Amrhein, who helped fry the fish, and city employees and leaders.
To donate or learn more about the Eliminate Project or MNT, visit kiwanis.org.