Three people were recognized Thursday by the Lawrence Kiwanis Club for outstanding community service.
The main mission of the Kiwanis is to encourage volunteerism. Every year since 1960 public servants have been selected for their service to the community outside their professions.
On Thursday, state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, and Tom and Vicki Wilkerson were presented with the Substantial Citizen Award at the Lawrence Country Club.
"Our committee was unanimous in the decision to have those three people recognized today," said Rusty Thomas, member of the Substantial Citizen Committee.
The Wilkersons are retired, but they provide ongoing service throughout the community, Thomas said. Together they volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Tom Wilkerson, former Lawrence Parks and Recreation assistant director, and Vicki Wilkerson, former longtime employee at Hallmark, both serve on the boards of several local organizations, including the American Heart Association and Boys and Girls Club. Vicki is also the president of the United Way of Douglas County board.
Rusty Thomas, of the nomination committee, said Ballard "just doesn't stop when it comes to service." Ballard, associate director of outreach for the Dole Institute of Politics, has served on several boards, including the Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center and the board of trustees for Leadership Lawrence.
"I hope in some small way, it's making a difference," Ballard said when presented with her award.
Thomas said she hoped that this kind of recognition would help people - especially youths - see the importance of giving back.