The members of the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery County-Blacksburg are busier than ever this Christmas season.
During 24 shifts of 1 to 3.5 hours, 17 Kiwanians volunteered more than 85 hours at the Montgomery County Christmas Store, and the club donated $500. On Fridays and Saturdays since Thanksgiving and until Christmas, 15 members will serve 40 two-hour shifts ringing the Salvation Army bell at the Christiansburg Walmart, and the club contributed $500 to the Salvation Army. In addition, club members purchased gifts for 40 Salvation Army Christmas Angels that were delivered at a dinner on Thursday, Dec. 9, for club members and guests at Warm Hearth Village’s Huckleberry Café.
Kiwanian Amy Slone was recently honored by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce for outstanding community service. On Dec. 9, the club honored Paul Mele as the 2021 recipient of the Gunnar Teilmann Youth Services Award. Mele coordinates the local Sleep in Heavenly Peace youth beds program. In conjunction with the award, the club presented a $270 check that was donated by Kiwanian spouse Dori Marriott. The award was presented by Evalin Trice, Gunnar Teilmann’s daughter.
The Kiwanis Club of Montgomery County-Blacksburg has presented the Teilmann Award for 30 years, given in memory of Gunnar Teilmann, a former member. This award aligns perfectly with the Kiwanis mission of “serving the children of the world.”
Gunnar Teilmann was an Eagle Scout, a Methodist minister, an Army Chaplain, a D-Day veteran, a Silver Star recipient, a Prisoner-of-War survivor,a missionary, a mental health care worker, a Kiwanian, and family man.
Teilmann spent more than 30 years as a missionary in Malaysia and Singapore. The Teilmanns came to Blacksburg where he served as Associate Pastor of the Blacksburg United Methodist Church until 1987 when he passed away. His daughter, Evalin, told the club how appropriate the presentation to Mele was since when she was six years old her father had made her a bed, and she claimed that her father was a better carpenter than a preacher.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, Mele founded the New River Valley Virginia Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nationwide non-profit organization that provides hand-built, sleep-ready twin beds to kids in need.
Recipients of Teilmann Award over the past 10 years for their service to children in the community were Cindy Minnick, George “Bo” Newcomb, John Wentz, Stephan and Ashlee Wildish, Dollie Cottrill, Ben Crawford, Amy Ruppert, Jeanne Roper, Jennie Hodge, and