Morey Mechlin is 2014 Humanitarian of Year

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Morey Mechlin 2014

Morey Mechlin, 2014 Humanitarian of the Year

On the 25th anniversary of the Humanitarian Award, longtime advocate for children and community volunteer Morey Mechlin has been selected as the 2014 Humanitarian Award recipient.

Mechlin, currently the executive director of Care to Learn, will be honored at a luncheon at Noon, Monday, Dec. 15, at the Doubletree Hotel in Springfield. The award recognizes Ozarkers who make service to others a primary motivating factor in their lives.

She was nominated by Care to Learn Founder Doug Pitt for her previous work building the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools in its early days as well as for her participation on a large number of civic committees and activities. Calling her a “Champion for Springfield,” Pitt, also a previous Humanitarian winner, cited her work mentoring local nonprofits and noted that Care to Learn has now filled more than 350,000 health, hunger and hygiene needs for students in the communities it serves.

Mechlin’s volunteer activities have included serving as president of the Junior League of Springfield, the Greene County Medical Alliance, the Springfield-Greene County Library Board of Trustees, and the Rotary Club of Springfield. She also served as co-chair of the Citizens Keeping Our Commitment campaign committee for the City of Springfield’s referendums to support the Police-Fire Pension Fund. And, lest anyone forget, she played varsity golf at Ohio State University.

“Morey is the poster child for a humanitarian and humanitarian causes!” wrote Jim Anderson, CoxHealth Vice President for Marketing & Public Affairs and former Chamber CEO, in a letter supporting her nomination. “It is who she is. It is how she thinks, and acts her life. It is how she models her behavior and her living.”

The Humanitarian Award was founded in 1990 by Springfield donor Jewell Thompson Schweitzer to honor individuals in our region who excel at serving others in a humanitarian capacity. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce organizes a committee annually to review nominations and select the annual recipient.

This year’s selection committee was comprised of the Chamber’s Chair-Elect Tom Hilmes, Debi Meeds, Rev. Fergus Monaghan, Tom Rankin, Dr. Robert Spence, and Rev. Mark Struckhoff.

The winner receives a $3,000 cash award, which has traditionally been donated to a charity of the winner’s choice.

Tickets for the luncheon are available by contacting Winter Skelton, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, (417) 864-6199; or wskelton@cfozarks.org. More information about the award and a link to purchase tickets online for $20 each is at: www.cfozarks.org/humanitarian.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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