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Kingsport Rotary member honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Contributed • Jun 27, 2018 at 5:45 PM

KINGSPORT — George “Wirt” Taylor is making history — again. Taylor was recently given the Rotary Club of Kingsport’s first-ever award for 50 years of perfect attendance. This time he is making history by being chosen as a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by Rotary.

The honor is based on the criteria outlined in Rotary’s Four Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Taylor exemplifies the qualities embedded in Rotary’s Four Way Test by the way he lives his life and serves his community. It all began when Taylor joined the club on July 1, 1967. He has faithfully served as the Rotary Club of Kingsport’s sergeant-at-arms, setting up the room before club meetings and then putting everything away afterward. This means he must arrive early and stay late. This act of service has been part of Taylor’s life for 50 years.

What makes Taylor even more amazing is his determination to serve despite physical limitations that likely would stop others from giving back to their communities. Taylor began having vision problems in his early 30s and is legally blind, with only limited peripheral vision. He still often walks from his home to various downtown properties for work and gladly does small tasks like picking up litter along the way or bringing fresh coffee to his staff in the morning. He also walks several miles to attend Dobyns-Bennett home football games.

Even with his vision problem, his service only grew for his community. In addition to Rotary, Taylor helped found the board of directors for the Downtown Kingsport Association and has volunteered on a regular basis to deliver Meals on Wheels. Taylor has also been an avid supporter of D-B football for decades, receiving recognition from the D-B Quarterback Club.

A lifetime member of First Broad Street United Methodist Church, he has also served on the Kingsport Citizens Advisory Committee, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Holston Valley Medical Center board of directors and the United Way of Greater Kingsport board of directors, and he helped found the regional Junior Achievement chapter, located in Kingsport.

Taylor’s family founded Dobyns-Taylor Hardware in Kingsport in 1919, and he has been involved in the business for more than 50 years. He has a long history of serving others while never seeking recognition for himself.

The Rotary Club of Kingsport is grateful for Taylor’s dedication to service and the character that shines through each week at the club meeting. He was recently featured in the official centennial publication of the city of Kingsport, published by The Business Journal, for his selfless dedication and years of service.

Contributed to the Times News

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