CANTON Don and Dorothy Murray have spent most of their lives giving back to the Stark County community through organizations such as the Belden Village Kiwanis Club. To show appreciation for their hard work, a newly endowed scholarship fund has been created in their names.
Murrays were honored as a newly endowed scholarship fund in their names was announced during a ceremony held March 30 at Malone University's Johnson Center.
The Don and Dorothy Murray Scholarship, an annual $1,000 scholarship, was established by the Belden Village Kiwanis Club to be presented to a deserving student, showing need and seeking a major or minor in music at Malone University. A ceremony was held March 30 at Malone University's Johnson Center to announce the endowment.
Don Murray is a member of Kiwanis, serving in multiple capacities from club president to international trustee. He was also chairman of the Malone University Fine Arts Department, director of the Malone Chorale and dean of Adult Studies. He also founded the Malone Management Program.
Dorothy Murray, a graduate of Malone University, has served as Kiwanis Division 17 lieutenant governor and secretary of the Canton Kiwanis Club. Both Don and Dorothy are members of the Belden Village Kiwanis.
The Murrays were also instrumental in establishing the Kiwanis Aktion Club for adults with disabilities. Akron Kiwanis President Debbie Bueger and Advisor Sandy Arnold attended the ceremony and thanked the Murrays for their vision and all they have done to establish the Aktion Club.
The Murray's son, Dave, and daughter, Deborah Robinson, spoke about their parents, life as a member of the Murray family and the dedication their parents have for the community and Malone.
Both Dave and Deborah were Malone graduates and Deb is the school's director of alumni and parent relations at Malone.
"Our family is so blessed," Robinson said. "Mom and Dad are amazing parents who have always been devoted to us but they have done so much more."
Robinson added that her parents have touched countless lives through their careers, their musical talents and time serving people in the community and around the world through Kiwanis International.
"They are true Pioneers who exemplify Malone’s mission to develop men and women in intellectual maturity, wisdom and Christian faith who are committed to serving the church, community and world," she said.
During the evening, others spoke in praise of all the work that the Murrays have done throughout the years. Interim Executive Director of Stark County Hunger Task Force and President of the Belden Village Kiwanis Club, Ralph Norton said, "We are blessed to have Don and Dorothy as members of the Belden Village Kiwanis Club. Their example of service for over 40 years is an inspiration to all of us."
Kiwanis Ohio Governor Bill Flinta presented Don and Dorothy with a proclamation from Kiwanis Ohio and thanked them for their years of service to the local, state and international communities.
Aktion Club members gathered at the podium to congratulate the Murrays, which Dorothy said was one of the best parts of the evening.
Don said he was surprised at the attendance and, particularly, the appearance from past Kiwanis International President Dr. Will Blechman, who Don served under.
"My family was there and it was a very enjoyable evening," Don said. "As I have said often, I stand on the shoulders of a lot of great people."
During the evening, the Aktion Club awarded three Amtryke bikes to disabled students Camren Offenberger, 7, Sam Preiss, 15, and Ryan Indorf, 6.
"Tonight, we see the fulfillment of a seed planted seven years ago when Don and Dorothy started the Aktion club," said Lyndon Thomas, a past president of the Belden Village Kiwanis. "And, this is just one example of the many acts of service that they have had in Kiwanis. Thanks Don and Dorothy; you have been an example to all of us."
The bikes are individually fitted to provide people with disabilities with mobility, exercise and strength building. The purchase of the Amtryke bikes was jointly funded by Aktion and Belden Village Kiwanis clubs.
Kiwanis International President Alan Penn sent a letter of congratulations to the Murrays and Ohio Kiwanis Division 17 Lt. Gov. Wanda Young praised the Murrays’ contributions to Kiwanis clubs in the area.
Contributions to the scholarship fund may be made to the Belden Village Kiwanis Club, PO Box 36723, Canton Ohio 44735-6723 (make check out to Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation) or directly to Malone University with a note in the memo line – Belden Village Club Advised Fund.
The Malone University Chamber Choir, which Don once directed, sang selections to conclude the event.
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. The organization is working globally to eliminate Neo Natal Tetanus through its Eliminate Project in conjunction with UNICEF USA.