The Rotary Club of Dawson County recently started a new tradition by honoring two members that went above and beyond in their service to the club and community this year.
Longtime Rotarians Ken Grosch and Ed Holton were presented with the club's top awards during an annual Christmas celebration Dec. 4 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
Grosch received the prestigious Robert S. Stubbs Guardian of Ethics Award, while Holton was presented with Rotary's W. Lee Arrendale Award for Vocational Service.
"I could not think of anyone else that exemplifies ethics and vocational service more than these two," said President Brooke Anderson.
Surprised by the recognition, Grosch would only say he was "flabbergasted" to receive the award.
Also found speechless during the award's ceremony was the club's special guest, Gordon Pirkle, who received an honorary Rotary membership for his commitment to the club.
Pirkle is president of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, where the club meets each Thursday. He also owns the Dawsonville Poolroom, which caters the weekly breakfast.
"I get here each Thursday, sometimes as early as 6:30 a.m.," Anderson said. "And I've never beat him here."
The club also carried on a longstanding tradition of honoring top employees in local government.
Special recognitions included Davida Simpson, purchasing director for Dawson County; Kathy Stover, longtime administrative assistant for sheriff; firefighter/EMT Tim Pastore; and Sarah Beacham, accounts payable clerk for the city of Dawsonville.
Each received a plaque and a monetary gift from the club.
Rotarian Kevin Tanner presented the awards.
"They serve behind the scenes many times and are unselfish with the service to the community," he said. "I'm honored to recognize these individuals that are doing such a good job."