The Selma Exchange Club named Howard Tinsley the 45th Book of Golden Deeds recipient Wednesday. --Sarah Cook
The Selma Exchange Club named Howard Tinsley the 45th Book of Golden Deeds recipient Wednesday. -- Sarah Cook

Howard Tinsley honored for good deeds

Published 11:10pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Selma Exchange Club honored Howard R. Tinsley Sr. Wednesday as the 45th Book of Golden Deeds recipient for his lifetime of community service.

Exchange club member Cecil Williamson explained to a room filled with Tinsley’s friends and colleagues that the Book of Golden Deeds is the Exchange Club’s oldest, continuous service project.

“Volunteer efforts are very important in our communities and they should not go unnoticed,” Williamson said. “Many people do good in their community to which they receive public recognition, but the Book of Golden Deeds is designed to recognize dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talent to make our communities better places to live and do not seek public recognition for the good deeds that they do for the community and for others.”

The Book of Golden Deeds is in fact an actual book — a book that features a photo and biographical sketch of each of the 45 recipients — and is on permanent display at the Selma-Dallas County Library so the good deeds and the volunteer efforts will not be forgotten.

Tinsley was selected for the award by a special committee within the Exchange Club. He boasts a military career of 22 years — 10 years active and 12 years as a reservist — and joined the American Red Cross during his military service. Howard joined the Selma Exchange Club in June 1976 and has since served in multiple leadership positions.

Keynote speaker Helen Carroll of the American Red Cross had the crowd laughing with stories of how she met Tinsley while working with the Red Cross, and the audience was visibly moved as she told of his years of selfless volunteer efforts.

“Before coming to serve this community with the American Red Cross, Howard already served his whole nation,” Carroll said, noting that he’s always been a “behind the scenes man” and deserves all the recognition he is receiving.

“The award that he’s getting today is an award that a lot of people won’t know about unless they go to a library and look it up. It’s an award for his heart — for his compassion for others and his willingness to do for others with a glad heart. That is the Howard that we all know and we all love, and I’m just so thrilled to be able to come here and say these things and to call him my friend.”

The audience cheered as Selma Exchange Club President Elizabeth Rutledge presented Tinsely with the Book of Golden Deeds plaque.

“I’ve been a member since 1976 — that puts me at an old man,” Tinsely said with a laugh. “I’m really humbled for y’all to select me as the 2013 recipient. I thank you for the selection, and I appreciate all the efforts that have been made.”

Past Book of Golden Deeds award winners in the audience to share in honoring Tinsley included: Jamie Wallace, 2002 recipient; Charles Pollack, 2006 recipient; John W. Jones Jr., 2007 recipient; Candi Duncan, 2008 recipient; Mallieve Breeding, 2010 recipient; Sheryl Smedley, 2011 recipient; and Evelyn Fluker-Cox, 2012 recipient.

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