Two local citizens have been selected to receive the National Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award. Sue Markley and Michael Melvin will receive the awards at a special community program on Saturday, March 18 at 1:30 P.M. in the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary in Urbana.
The Urbana Chapter NSDAR recommended Markley and Melvin for the awards and has planned for the recognition ceremony on that date.
Among other requirements for the award, the NSDAR states that the service may include no remuneration for the work. The “recipient must have contributed to the community in an outstanding manner through cultural, educational, humanitarian, patriotic, historical or environmental conservation endeavors or by organizing or participating in community activities.” Both recipients seem to fit almost all of those categories.
Sue Markley has initiated many charitable groups, and has served them faithfully for many years. She has been a leader of the Emmaus organization for over forty years. For about the same amount of time she has presided over a Kairos ministry to women prisoners.
This ministry requires a strict adherence to prison policy, while bringing hope and grace to the imprisoned.
In both of the above-mentioned groups, she has noted life changes in many of those participants.
Her work at the Urbana United Methodist Church is legendary throughout the community. She has chaired the kitchen responsibilities for all events, sings in the choir, supervises a gym program, works with the Thursday night Sunday School program, coordinates the prayer chain, and volunteers for anything where she can help.
She sings and plays at a nursing home regularly, and volunteers at the local Family Y. She also tap dances with a group at the Senior Center. She has participated with the Guys and Dolls choral group since its beginning.
Her nominators have called her the “unseen angel” in our midst, and have high praise for the energy and intelligence that she brings to every community effort. She is retired from the Urbana City Schools as a school nurse.
Michael Melvin is known to many in the community as President and Director of Perpetual Federal Savings Bank. Often customers are surprised to receive a friendly greeting from Michael, waving from his office.
Few would guess at the humanitarian efforts made by him in the community. Melvin, like Markley, serves “under the radar,” benefiting the community with his skills. One sees him at Rotary events, such as preparing the Fourth of July chicken dinner, or serving up ice cream at the County Fair, but may be unaware of his efforts as Director and Secretary-Treasurer of the Rotary Manor Senior Citizen Housing.
A graduate of Urbana High School, “Mike” maintains an interest in the Urbana Schools and participates many ways in supporting local education. This year he has been elected to receive the Friend of Athletics Award from the OHSAA Southwest District Athletic Board.
He is active in Messiah Lutheran Church, and is a Trustee of the Champaign County Library. He also has been a Board member in many community efforts, notably the Champaign County Community Improvement Corporation, McAuley Center Nursing Home, Champaign County Senior Citizens and Community Mercy Hospital Endowment Foundation.
He continues to be very much involved in work to support the local Mercy Memorial Hospital.
Melvin states that he derives great satisfaction in his work, but like so many community benefactors, credits other persons with the achievements of the various groups. His nominators would disagree with his assumptions in that regard.
Urbana Chapter NSDAR will also honor the memory of the late Elmo Layman at this local recognition ceremony. His contributions to natural conservation are well-known locally and in other states.
A reception in the church Fellowship Hall will follow the ceremony. Those attending may greet Markley and Melvin at that time.