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Bartholomew honored by Columbus Sertoma Club

November 16, 2018

A life spent giving back to a community day-in and day-out isn’t a top priority for most people, and that’s OK.

Most are content with devoting themselves to their everyday jobs, spending time with their families and getting a few well-deserved minutes of relaxation every now and again.

Then you have outliers like Cecilia ‘Cec’ Bartholomew, who manage to tackle their everyday tasks with a true sense of fervor and still have the will and energy to devote an inordinate amount of time and effort to better the lives of the people and organizations they serve.

On Wednesday evening, Bartholomew was presented the 2019 Sertoma Service to Mankind award during the club’s annual Service to Mankind Award Banquet held at the VFW Post 3704 in Columbus. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon anybody in the community not affiliated with Sertoma Club, member and emcee Don Mroczek said.

A wide range of criteria must be met for somebody to be eligible for the Service to Mankind Award. The services provided must be completed outside of the nominee’s normal job responsibilities. In addition, there must be a definitive need for the service being provided by the nominee and it must directly impact people for their overall betterment. The amount of time spent providing a service(s) was also assessed as part of the overall selection process.

Looking at a list provided that highlighted all of Bartholomew’s contributions to the Columbus community, it was readily apparent that she soared well above the high-set bar of stringent requirements set forth for potential award recipients.

Some of her service work includes and has included: Serving the Federated Church through Meals on Wheels, serving as a Circle Leader and Moderator, serving as chair and co-chair of numerous fundraisers and serving on the church’s funeral committee for more than 30 years.

Other philanthropic ventures include volunteering for the Platte County Food Pantry for 14 years, serving as a United Way Campaign volunteer for 25 years, Working the Columbus Community Hospital Golf Outing Fundraiser for four years benefiting the CCH Foundation, serving as a Master Gardener Service Project volunteer for nine years and as a Columbus Tree Board member for six years.

Prior to accepting the surprise award, dozens of Bartholomew’s friends and families funneled into the room to celebrate with the unknowing guest of honor. Several community representatives who’ve worked directly with Bartholomew took a couple of minutes to step up to a podium and share a few thoughts, stories and memories of Cec.

They all involved her passion, selflessness and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. A woman with a truly altruistic spirit.

Recently, one of Bartholomew’s friends, Marilyn Murray, underwent knee surgery.

“She said, ’well, I’ll come and get you and take you to the hospital, I’ll come and get you and take you home and then I will stay with you,” Murray said. “So she just pretty much moved in. She cooked and took care of me and encouraged me to do my exercises … She was a wonderful nurse and a wonderful companion.”

After receiving her award, Bartholomew acknowledged the large group of people who took time out of their evening to come and recognize her service and accomplishments. Although, she would be the first to tell you she never expected any sort of recognition for doing the work she’s felt so compelled to immerse herself in for so many years.

“I thank you all. You’ve been the people I’ve had the opportunity to work for and work with, and you have no idea how honored I feel,” Bartholomew said.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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