By Sue Moore
Tina Forsyth of Vicksburg was one of six people in Rotary’s District 6360 to be awarded the Golden Trowel for community service. She began volunteering in the local Rotary Club’s Showboat performances while in high school, playing her clarinet in the pit band for Showboat. She has performed on stage many times. For the past 20 years, Tina has been a backstage manager, in charge of sound, lighting and curtains. She has given many hours every year between the multiple rehearsals and three performances.
Her skill, efforts and time have raised thousands of dollars allowing the Vicksburg club to support local projects and high school scholarships, according to the nomination. Although the award was given because of her participation in Showboat, she actually followed her father Dr. Arle Schneider on stage for many years. He performed feats of derring-do for the enjoyment of the audience in the early years of Showboat. Forsyth followed her father’s devotion to the Vicksburg school system, serving on the board for over 14 years.
The Golden Trowel Award came into being 26 years ago when the 45 clubs in District 6360 formed a foundation. It is presented to non-Rotarians who significantly impact the success of a club’s project or event. It is a way of saying thanks to members of the community who give Service Above Self – Rotary’s motto – in support of this club’s activities. Judges look at weighted criteria such as how essential the nominee was to the success of the project or event, why the person’s help was so necessary, the nominee’s relationship to the Rotary club. Each is part of the decision to award the Golden Trowel. Past Vicksburg residents who have received it include Karla Stubblefield, Chris Garrett and Ken Franklin. All have all been affiliated with the Showboat for many years.