Rotary Award


The Monticello Rotary Club recently presented its first Service Above Self Award to LeAnne Burch.

Rotary International’s motto, “Service above Self,” inspired the new local tradition. The award recognizes local citizens who dedicate their lives to service to others. The three award finalists were LeAnne Burch, Karen Connelley, and Keith Wallis. Finalists were nominated by and voted on by Rotary Club members.

Burch has served on numerous boards and is active in many volunteer groups, including the Monticello Schools Foundation board, the Monticello-Drew County Chamber of Commerce, PEO, Daughters of the American Revolution, Drew County Master Gardeners, The Call, CASA, SEARK Concert Association Board, Options, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Feed the Kids, and the Salvation Army. She is a retired US Army brigadier general and the current State Representative for Arkansas’ 9th District. Burch enjoys volunteering to support and bring awareness to the service organizations and causes she believes in. Currently, Burch also is involved in the AR Girls Lead initiative, started by the women serving in the Arkansas House of Representatives. The movement encourages girls to have a positive self image, and promotes leadership and involvement in their communities.

Karen Connelley has served with boards and advisory committees in all capacities, from adviser to officer to chairperson. She works with Drew County Soccer, Girls’ Softball, Monticello Riding Club, United Way, the City Pool and Parks. Connelley also has written and been awarded grants for our community worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, in addition to what she calls “just getting down and dirty with good old fashioned work.” Connelley currently serves as president of the Miracle League of Southeast Arkansas, where she has taken the lead and made it possible for the region to open an accessible baseball field in the near future.

Keith Wallis has volunteered and served on a number of boards and committees. He enjoys working with Special Olympics and Relay for Life and has helped raise money for the Miracle League, Monticello 2nd Chance Fur Dogs, Hope Place, Junior Auxiliary, Drew Central Schools, Salvation Army and Log-a-Load. He has provided free photography services to graduating seniors who could not otherwise afforded senior portraits and for veterans returning home to their loved ones after a tour of duty. Wallis sells barbecue, and his “BBQ for a Cause” initiative has raised over $1,500 for local charities and organizations.

The Monticello Rotary Club is one of over 34,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide with over 1 million men and women whose purpose is to join with people of integrity and whose main purpose is to serve humanity.


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