Melissa Gauntt was recently awarded the Frank McLemore Rotarian of the Year award. Gauntt has been part of the Phenix City Rotary Club for years and enjoys serving the community.
“Melissa exemplifies what it means be to a Rotarian,” Phenix City Rotary Club President Chandra Wright said. “She believes giving back to the community is necessary but also she finds joy in it. She truly embodies Service Above Self. She willingly served as Club Treasurer for two years, so we could have continuity in that position. She earned the title Rotarian of the Year because of her willingness to serve in the club as well as in the community. She lives by the Rotary Four Way Test.”
The Rotarian Four Way Test Chandra referenced is what Rotarians hope to live by: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
“We quote that at every single meeting,” Gauntt said. “You can’t quote it and not do it.”
Gauntt nominated someone else for the award and was very surprised when she began to realize that she was the one being recognized.
“When I got up to accept the award, I couldn’t even speak. This meant a lot to me because it was for Mr. Frank,” she said.
The award was named for the late Frank McLemore, a man Gauntt has known for decades. “His son and my son were best friends —even still,” she said. Gauntt added that having McLemore’s family there meant so much to her.
Rotary’s belief in service above self is what drew her to the organization and why she continues to volunteer and be part of it. She credits that willingness to serve from her mother, LaFaye Dellinger.
“That’s what we’re charged to do, and it’s biblical,” she added.
Reading to school children is one of her favorite parts of volunteering through Rotary. She volunteers every time. She also enjoys that the organization raises money for various charities.
Gauntt has been working with Beam for seven years. She is married to Danny Gauntt. They have three sons: Zach, Josh, and Jake, and four grandchildren: Ezra, Peter, Darcee, and Remi.