MOUNT VERNON — The Exchange Club of Mount Vernon and
Knox County held its 53rd Book of Golden Deeds Award dinner Wednesday night at
The Alcove Restaurant. The event has been held annually since 1957, and honors
the quiet good deeds of the community’s unsung heroes.
In a break with the past, the award was given to two people this year. The only other time that happened was when Pat and William Mossholder were given the award in 1982. The work of this year’s winners was impossible to separate, so the double award was given.
Jeanette Updike, last year’s recipient, made the presentation to the 2010 winners, whose identity was unknown to all except a very few in the club. By the time Updike was halfway through reading a long list of the recipients’ accomplishments, however, everyone knew it was Francis and Cora Durbin.
The list of their deeds was almost endless. They are very active in Interchurch Social Services and The Sanctuary in Danville. For 15 years they have assisted Interchurch with procuring items needed by families in the county. In addition to the usual items one thinks of, such as food and clothing, the Durbins would round up furniture and appliances large and small for those who were in need. They would clean and repair the appliances if needed, and deliver them to the families themselves.
The Durbins also assist widows and widowers in the often painful task of sorting through a loved one’s belongings, adding their trademark warmth and support to the task.
They held yard sales to raise money for Interchurch and drove to Columbus to pick up food from the Ohio Food Bank and deliver them to the county food banks.
And if that wasn’t enough, they have delivered meals for the Eastern Knox County Meals on Wheels for the last nine years.
The Durbins’ only comment on winning the award was Francis’ “I’m embarrassed.”
The award gives credit to worthy citizens whose deeds are honored while they are living rather than as a memorial to their work.