Whenever Sandra Studley goes to lunch with Bob Georgeson, the interruptions come early and often.
Lawrence residents from every walk of life stop to talk with Georgeson, a longtime banker and community advocate, Studley said in late March. People from the banking community, from charities, people whose lives Georgeson has touched - they all stop to thank the man who has done so much.
For decades, Georgeson has "helped make Lawrence a better community for all of us," Studley said.
So on March 21, Studley's organization, the Lawrence Sertoma Club, presented Georgeson with the Service To Mankind Award, the organization's highest honor.
The Lawrence Sertoma Club is a branch of an international organization benefiting people with communicative disorders. The name is an acronym, meaning "Service To Mankind."
Besides being a pioneer in banking in Lawrence, Georgeson has assisted a number of civic and charitable organizations, Studley said.
"Bob serves in more community roles than anyone I've ever known," she told an audience of family and friends at the Lawrence Country Club.
Since moving to Lawrence after stints in the U.S. Army in Korea and Washburn University, Georgeson served in high roles in dozens of organizations, including the Lawrence Schools Foundation, Cottonwood Inc., American Cancer Society and United Way. He also co-founded and served as president of DCCCA.
For quite some time, Georgeson thought that some other deserving Lawrence resident had won the award, being led on by his friends and family.
When Georgeson got to the podium, he told the room that all day long, he didn't plan to give an acceptance speech.
"I thought I would be talking about another recipient," he said.
But when his family members didn't answer their phones all day, he knew something was up.
Before Georgeson accepted the Sertoma plaque, he told the crowd that he appreciated the recognition for so many years of service.
"It's a wonderful thing," he said. "It's a great reward for being a part of the community."