Exchange Club member Betty Clyde Jones, left, presents the club’s annual Book of Golden Deeds Award to Brenda Laws Comer, center, while club president Gail S. Thompson-Swentkofske looks on during the club’s weekly luncheon at Lion Hills Thursday. The Book of Golden Deeds Award is presented each year to a volunteer in the community. Photo by: Isabelle Altman/Dispatch Staff
February 1, 2019 10:36:36 AM
In 1980, Brenda Laws Comer's grandfather, John Laws, was one of the first people to receive the Book of Golden Deeds Award from Columbus Exchange Club.
On Thursday, during a special program at the club's weekly luncheon at Lion Hills Center, Comer received the same award.
The Book of Golden Deeds is an award the Exchange Club gives every year to an individual in the community who has frequently served as a volunteer, usually without much recognition. Comer, whose community service resume includes summers at Camp Rising Sun and serving on the board of directors for the Columbus Lowndes Humane Society, said it was "an honor" to be chosen to receive this year's award.
Betty Clyde Jones, an Exchange member who presented Comer with the award, called Comer "the strength one needs when feeling overwhelmed in a situation."
In 1988, Comer was a member of Junior Auxiliary when the organization helped form Camp Rising Sun, a weeklong summer camp for children who have been diagnosed cancer, as well as their siblings. Since the early 1990s, Comer has volunteered every year at the camp.
"Any time one hears Brenda's name, they immediately think of Camp Rising Sun in the kitchen," Jones said, adding Comer has meal preparation and scheduling down to a "fine art."
Comer also helped raise money to build the Humane Society's animal shelter on Airline Road and has been known to cook at church functions and for any friends or neighbors going through grief or illness. She and her husband also lend their riverfront property to friends and organizations for events and let the Columbus Exchange Club use their cooler to store cheese and sausage for two months during their annual cheese-selling fundraiser - causing Comer to joke that was the reason she received the Book of Golden Deeds Award.
"She helps people all over this town in a quiet, get-it-done way," Jones said. "She is pretty much irreplaceable in time of loss for people and animals."
Comer told the Exchange Club during the ceremony that the only reason she has the award and the only reason she's able to help people is because of the people who help her.
"I've always heard that the best way to accomplish a goal was to get started," she said. "But I feel that as important or more importantly, the way to accomplish a goal or anything is to have people that support you and encourage you and I certainly have that. I have my family, my friends, so many of you that I've known forever."
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