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In October of 2011 the Peninsula Rotary Club's Martin Gracey Award for Extraordinary Service was awarded to James O. Shaw, Jr., MD, the founder of the Lackey Free Clinic.
The Lackey Free Clinic provides medical services to those who do not have health insurance and cannot afford to get medical help through normal channels. The Gracey Award was given not only for the depth and breadth of the services provided by the clinic--its value to the community--but also for Dr. Shaw's dedication and exceptional personal sacrifice, and the way he evolved the organization into a stable facility that will continue for a long time to come.
The Martin Gracey Award for Extraordinary Service is the highest award that the Peninsula Rotary Club gives, and is for an unusually high level of service to our community. It is awarded for a specific act or function that not only is extraordinary service, but also is of a lasting value to the community. Although conceived as an annual award, because of the high standards associated with the honor, the club recognizes that it will not necessarily be awarded every year.
Past honorees have been:
2002 Paul Trible, President, Christopher Newport University;
2004 Bobby Freeman, Port Warwick developer and president and founder, Newport News Public Art Foundation;
2006 Harry Wason, founding member and benefactor, Virginia Living Museum;
2009 John L. Johnson, a founder and long-time leader of Hampton Ecumenical Lodgings and Provisions, Inc. (H.E.L.P.); and
2011 James O. Shaw, Jr., MD, the founder of the Lackey Free Clinic.
The Martin Gracey Award for Extraordinary Service is named in honor of Martin Gracey, a longtime member of the Peninsula Rotary Club. Martin graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1939. He began his career as a flight instructor at air force bases in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas, and then held various executive positions. While in Texas he began his interest in Rotary and in 1966 was president of the Houston Rotary Club, which had over 500 members. He returned to the Peninsula in the mid-1970s to work for a NASA contractor called Klate-Holt Company; he was a partner in the company, and president of the local branch. In the Peninsula Rotary Club Martin was beloved for his humor, his abilities as a raconteur, his high ethical standards, and his generosity in giving both to the club and to the community.