SALT LAKE CITY — The service-oriented lives of six Salt Lake City area community leaders were honored and celebrated by the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City during the 100-year-old organization's Centennial Gala at the Salt Palace Grand Ballroom Tuesday night.
The honorees who were cited for a lifetime of "Service Above Self" included:
President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;
Jon M. Huntsman Sr., founder and chairman of the Huntsman Corporation;
Kem C. Gardner, chairman of the KC Gardner Company;
Beverly Taylor Sorenson, co-founder of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation;
Maj. Gen. Brian L. Tarbet, Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard.
And Ezekiel Dumke Jr., co-founder of the Katherine W. and Ezekiel Dumke Jr. Foundation.
Charles W. Dahlquist, chairman of the Rotary Club's gala committee, said the six honorees were selected "based on their lives of selfless service."
"These individuals exemplify what it means to live lives of service above self," Dahlquist said. "As I have looked at the backgrounds of each of these individuals over the years, I believe that we see only a tip of the iceberg when we look at what is publicly known about their service."
President Monson, for example, was recognized for the depth and breadth of his personal ministry, beyond his official ministry as president of the LDS Church.
"It is not uncommon for him to attend the funeral of a longtime friend, or visit a former ward member in a hospital, or drop in on the sick and bereaved in care centers and homes," Dahlquist said during the gala event. "Caring for the widow and the orphan, the sick and the afflicted, the poor and the needy are not just statements in a book or elements of a philosophy — it is how he has spent his entire life."
Huntsman, it was noted, is widely recognized as one of America's foremost concerned citizens and philanthropists. His lifetime of humanitarian giving, including contributions to the homeless, the ill and the underprivileged, exceeds $1.2 billion and has assisted thousands, both domestically and internationally, Dahlquist said.
Gardner was honored not only for his professional accomplishments in shaping much of the Utah's built landscape, but also for his charitable contributions to a wide variety of important causes. Dahlquist noted his involvement with the Salt Lake Chamber, the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the United Way, the Utah Symphony and Pioneer Theatre Company, along with his work on the state Board of Regents as examples of his "Service Above Self."
Sorenson was honored as "a tireless champion of education and the arts" through the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and other philanthropic efforts. She has been an especially influential advocate for high-quality arts education, encouraging legislators to bring innovative arts curricula to all elementary school classrooms.
Gen. Tarbet told Dahlquist that the award was coming to him "because of my soldiers and my airmen." The general assumed his duties as Adjutant General just 11 months before 9/11, and he directed security efforts in Utah during the 2002 Winter Olympics five months after. He spent last Christmas flying injured soldiers from Afghanistan to Germany. "He is beloved by all who serve with him," Dahlquist said.
Dumke is known for his "pleasant demeanor and caring smile," Dahlquist observed. In addition to his business career, Dumke has been involved in public service through the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber, Red Butte Gardens, the Museum of Natural History, Ballet West and the Utah Symphony. He has also been a "tireless promoter of Utah tourism," Dahlquist said.
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert was also on hand to congratulate the recipients for their efforts. "These six people have set a remarkable example to help all of us become better people," he said, "and to serve each other better."
Also honored during the Rotary Club's Centennial Gala were Eugene Banks, Vicky Jackson-Davison and Ardean Watts as "Rotary Heroes" and the Creer, Daynes, Pembroke and Young families as families whose Rotary membership spans multiple generations.