Larry Saunders Service Award Winner for 2020 is.....

Gayle, Rick and Sharon, accepting the 2020 award virtually.

The Selden Family. 


At the beginning of the virtual Lakewood City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7 pm, the Selden Family became the fourth recipient of the Larry Saunders Service Award. This award is a cooperation between the City of Lakewood and the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund. The award was presented by Sally Saunders. The inspiration for this community service award is Larry Saunders, who served our country and our city with distinction After he retired from the Army he helped organize Lakewood's initial Police Department, and served as our first chief. Returning from Iraq, where he re-joined the Army to establish a police college in Baghdad, Larry embraced Lakewood with tireless community service: our Boys & Girls Club, Lions, Rotary Clubs, neighborhood associations, and the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund (LCFF). Larry was a ray of light. We were stunned when he died one morning in January of 2016.  Previous recipients include Diane Formosa, Lakewood Rotary, and Alan Billingsley.


The Selden family service to Lakewood goes back to 1958, when Ed Selden became a Rotarian. He later served as president of the Lakewood Chamber. Son Rick came on board right away, serving at the first Rotary Pancake Breakfast (1961) as a teenager, eventually joining Rotary (President, Rotarian of the Year) and being a spearhead for every project that club produced, while also participating in numerous other local organizations. Rick’s wife Sharon has not only been an active part of the Rotary projects, but also was WWEE President in 1991, LASA Volunteer of the Year in 2019, and recipient of the Junior League’s Ruth Wheeler Award in 2019. Not be outdone by her elders, Rick and Sharon’s daughter Gayle is a past president of the Junior League, serves on the City of Lakewood Police Oral Board, and is herself a Rotary past president and Rotarian of the Year.


Serving the community can be a family affair, and the Seldens are living proof. The Seldens believe in service above self, and they live it.


Rick said, “We are extremely humbled and honored to receive the Larry Saunders Community Service Award. I think it is fair that we are the worker bees—being involved and trying to help others to be involved. I think Larry was that same kind of person. Leading by example, getting others involved and not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get to work.”


The Larry Saunders Award comes with a $1000 grant to a 501c3 in Lakewood, courtesy of the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund. The Seldens have chosen West Pierce Cares, and specifically their AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) program, challenged with expanding the number of the machines in Lakewood. In further recognition of the Seldens, the Rotary Club of Lakewood members donated another $2300 to this cause.

Thank you, Selden Family.