Roswell SERTOMA Club president Billy Carlyle, center, presents the Service to Mankind Award 2013 to Michael Puckett, left, and the SERTOMAN of the Year Award 2013 to D. William ‘Bill’ Wolf during a luncheon at the Elks Lodge 969, Friday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
“Ding!” A bell resounded through the room of the Elks Club and the scraping of metal-legged chairs against a tiled floor signified that everybody was standing. The Roswell SERTOMA Club meeting commenced Friday in a traditional way with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. But this wasn’t a normal club meeting. The men, women and families were gathered to honor two men for their commitment to the Roswell community and for going above and beyond the average volunteer.
The annual awards are given to people who are nominated by their peers. The first, the “SERTOMAN of the Year” Award went to member D. William “Bill” Wolf. After 20 years as a SERTOMAN, Wolf has held multiple leadership positions, including president.
The award recognizes his involvement within the community, from basketball coaching and teaching Sunday school, to membership with KRB and a volunteer with Friends of the Roswell Library. He is currently on the governing council for Sidney Gutierrez Middle School.
“Most of my service has to do with kids, and that’s pretty much been my whole life,” Wolf said. And his work with children crossed over into his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a program he is not only the chief executive officer for, but also one that has opened his eyes to the needs of the Roswell community, he said.
His work with youth continues to be seen in his management of the club’s Scholarship committee since 1997. By tracking grade point averages, the club gives out 25 scholarships each semester, each worth $500 and solely based on academics. Wolf’s guidance has allowed SERTOMA Club to help 75 students from Chaves County earn college degrees.
Not only did SERTOMA grant one of its members an award, but they also acknowledged the work of Roswell citizen Michael Puckett with the “Service to Mankind” Award. Puckett has helped in many programs around Roswell, from serving food at the Community Kitchen at St. Peter’s Church, to building homes with Habitat for Humanity Roswell, to visiting prisons with Crossing Prison Ministry where inmates are admitted into an educational and spiritual program. And all of it is very rewarding, he said.
“Now you don’t go out to serve in order to get for yourself but it happens that way,” Puckett said. “I guess that’s part of God’s plan. That’s how it works.”
Both men were humbled by the attention they received, but as active members in the community their peers deemed them incredibly worthy. They both encourage younger generations to get involved in volunteer work, as they will also continue to give back to others.
“There are two ways you can give to the community,” Wolf said. “You can volunteer your time or you can volunteer your money, and both are needed in just about everything that goes on here.”