Many persons in the South County area put the Rotary Club pledge of “service above self” into action without ever becoming a Rotary Club member. In part, that is why the Vicksburg Rotary Club created its annual Mercer Munn Fellow award. The award is designed to honor the legacy of service by a longtime member, said Laura Howard, chair of the selection committee.
In the sixty-two years that Munn spent in the Vicksburg Rotary Club, he exemplified all that is the best in Rotary, Howard said. She added that to him “service above self” was a way of life. It was impossible to separate Mercer’s Christian humility and compassion from his Rotary determination. If there was something in the community to be fixed, helped or healed, you would usually find that Mercer Munn was a part of the solution, Howard said.
For those who know Lorna Landrum, this year’s Mercer Munn Fellow recipient, there is no doubt that she demonstrates qualities similar to Munn’s—in her own modest and unique way. For well over 30 years, she has served South County in diverse ways.
As she and her husband David, began raising their young family in Fulton, she served on the Wakeshma Township Fire Department and the Wakeshma Township Board. She was part of a team which worked diligently to secure funding for a new fire truck. She trained and served on the fire vehicles; she drove the truck, wrestled with the hoses and, in general, did whatever was needed to save lives and property during emergency situations.
It was her service on the board of a local church that brought her to South County Community Services (SCCS) about 25 years ago when her granddaughter, Amanda, was just a baby. She often brought Amanda with her to the many meetings she attended as a holiday volunteer. Amanda also served at SCCS until she moved away. They were a team.
During her long tenure at the agency, Landrum has typically volunteered over 400 hours a year on a regular basis. Her contributions at the front desk and in providing emergency assistance services have made her an icon of sorts at SCCS. When Lorna is on duty, everyone knows they are working with someone who is trustworthy, who believes in the importance of integrity and fairness, and who will not quit until the task is complete, according to Danna Downing, executive director.
Lorna has also provided stalwart leadership for SCCS as board president. She is not a president in name only. She has served as the temporary director of the agency during difficult transitions. She was also instrumental in creating Wednesday Winners, a signature program at SCCS to serve the needs of adults with disabilities. In addition, Lorna and Dave raised two of their grandchildren when circumstances warranted their stepping up to a challenge.
Lorna was honored at the 2015 Rotary Charter Night and a check in Lorna’s name will be sent by the club to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Vicksburg Rotary Endowment Fund where it will continue the Munn legacy and come back to the community as the fund grows.