Townsend resident Dawn McDowell was recently recognized for her contributions to the community when she received the Southern New Castle County Rotary Club’s second annual Service Above Self Award July 6.


    On a daily basis, Townsend resident Dawn McDowell can be found in the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area selling concessions at her son’s baseball games, assisting local veterans through the Veterans of Foreign Wars or handing out checks to non-profit organizations on behalf of the Middletown Walmart Supercenter.
    McDowell was recently recognized for her contributions to the community when she received the Southern New Castle County Rotary Club’s second annual Service Above Self Award July 6.
    Rotary Club President David Rich said the club saw a need to recognize people that exhibit unselfish volunteer service and go above and beyond their duties for the M.O.T. community.
    “We feel as a service organization that reaches out to assist those in need in the world and our community, there are unsung heroes that may not necessarily be in the [Rotary] club, but are doing the things that so many people take for granted,” he said. “These people would do what they do whether they were acknowledged or not.”
    Rich said McDowell was the perfect person for the award this year because she is genuine, passionate and committed to serving her community.
    “Dawn has her own challenges and family circumstances just like everyone else, but she doesn’t use that as an excuse not to do,” he said. “She uses it as reason to do.”
    McDowell said she had no idea she was being considered for the award and was honored when she learned she would be this year’s recipient.
    “I was overwhelmed,” she said. “I was speechless. I don’t even know how to put it into words.”
    McDowell, who is the community involvement coordinator at the Middletown Wal-Mart Supercenter, said community service has been a part of her life since she was a child. She is an active volunteer at her church, has assisted veterans at the Elsmere Veterans Hospital and has helped out at     Townsend Elementary School, where her son, Troy, attended school.
    “I think you have to be an active part of your community to teach your children to be active,” she said. “It teaches your children to give back to society, and that not everything is a given to them in life.”
    Rich said the Rotary Club plans to continue awarding community members for making a difference in their area and setting positive examples for others.
    “Sometimes you need the feedback to know you’re doing the right thing,” he said. “Even if you believe you are, it always makes a difference when it’s echoed out there by someone else.”