The Lawrence Kiwanis Club has honored two longtime community volunteers with its 2012 Substantial Citizen of the Year award.
Alice Ann Johnston and Chuck Fisher were recognized with the award at an event on Thursday at the Lawrence Country Club.
The award honors citizens who have made a large contribution to the community or their profession — and usually both, said Guy Dresser, the chair of the committee that distributed the awards.
“They’ve done quite a bit in Lawrence to make it a better place than it would be otherwise,” Dresser said.
Johnston, who grew up in Council Grove before coming to Lawrence, has served on a number of community boards and helped promote many efforts in the community, including the recent initiative in support of an expansion at Lawrence Public Library.
“We were very pleased to see the affirmation that, yes, libraries are here to stay,” she said.
She has been a docent at the Spencer Museum of Art for 29 years, and has devoted special attention to the arts and the Hall Center for the Humanities on the Kansas University campus.
Johnston has also served on the board for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, and on its endowment board.
“I grew up in a household where my parents both volunteered,” Johnston said. “I knew that was just something you did. I know no other life.”
She said she was humbled to receive the recognition from the Kiwanis Club, particularly given the people who have received the award in the past.
Fisher, who worked for many years as a loan officer at First National Bank, has served on the Lawrence City Commission from 1971 to 1973 and the Lawrence Douglas County Planning Commission.
“I don’t look at it as an award that I’m getting,” Fisher said. “I look at as an award that my wife (Erma) and I are getting. ... No one does anything by themselves.”
He has also served as a longtime newspaper reader for Audio-Reader, and on the original fundraising group that supported the remodeling of the Watkins Community Museum of History. Fisher is also frequently called upon to serve as a treasurer in many local political campaigns. He sang for many years in the Plymouth Congregational Church Chancel Choir, and served on the church’s board of directors.
“The award is nice, but I think that with most good deeds, the self-satisfaction is more important,” Fisher said.