Hooker named Lay Person of the Year
Rita Hooker (left) receives the Lay Person of the Year award from Gale Godwin, Kiwanis Board member.
By Woody Morgan
DeKalb News Reporter Rita Hooker has received a major award from the Kiwanis Club of DeKalb.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, July 21, Hooker was named the 2009 Lay Person of the Year by the Kiwanis Club.
Hooker said while she knew of the award in advance, she was proud to have been selected by the members of the Kiwanis Club.
“I am pleased,” Hooker said. “I am pleased to be affiliated with an organization that works for children because I love children. They do everything they can do for the children.”
Hooker has only been a member of the Kiwanis for a couple of years but choosing this service organization was because of the work they do with children in the community.
Hooker was born and reared in Dallas where following her attendance at North Texas state University, she became a police officer and worked as a detective on the Dallas and Carrolton Police Forces from 1975-95. Following here retirement, she and husband B.J. who was also a police officer moved to DeKalb where he is now Pastor for the Big Woods Congregational Methodist Church.
In her unanimous nomination for the award, Kiwanis Board Member Gale Godwin said, “After all she does for our community and our children, whether it be in work or in play, she feels that she falls short of this recognition. We beg to differ as Rita is a vital and necessary part of our town, our club and our workforce.”
Kiwanis Club Treasurer Robbie Hawkins also said in her nomination letter, “Rita always has a smile and a cheerful greeting for anyone she meets. Giving of her time baking for a bake sale, helping with an auction or a chili cook off are some of the ways she commits to raising money for our local youth.”
Hooker said that her greatest reward, which she feels she doesn’t deserve, is when she meets Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior, face-to-face in heaven.
Godwin concluded her remarks by saying, “Rita’s accomplishments is not were she came from; not what her bank account states; nor where she lives, the success of her life is making a difference in the life of a child.”