OTTAWA — For some, selflessness and empowering others through conscious acts of generosity and kindness is as easy as breathing. Last Wednesday, the Ottawa-Glandorf Rotary honored just such a one.

In a back room at Henry’s Restaurant, Barney Beckman rose from a meal-laden table and stepped to a podium. Near at hand, to Beckman’s left, sat Ottawa native Ted Macke.

“Thank you all for attending this presentation of the Ottawa-Glandorf Rotary Community Service Award ceremony,” said, addressing Rotary members present. “This award is presented to Ted Macke. He consistently demonstrates ongoing dedication to community service, and improving the lives of others. He demonstrates all the characteristics of a community leader.”

Beckman then worked his way through a long list of services and causes to which Macke has, and continues to dedicate his time, energy, and expertise: Ottawa-Glandorf sports program volunteer, Ottawa-Glandorf Boy Scouts volunteer, Putnam County Thrift Store volunteer, Ottawa-Glandorf Athletics Booster president, trustee and Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and a maintenance volunteer at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, amongst others.

“Definitey, Ted exemplifies the Rotary model, ‘Service above Self,’” Beckman said.

Macke, who remained seated throughout Beckman’s oration, then stood to accept an honorarium in the form of a plaque before assuming the podium and expressing his gratitude.

“Recognition like this is something you don’t expect,” Macke said. “You don’t do the things that you do to be recognized. You do them because you love the community you live in.”

Then, in the manner of a truly civic-minded individual, he lauded the causes to which he has devoted a significant portion of his life: the Thrift Store, for easing the burdens of county residents faced with untold hardships; the Boy Scouts and Ottawa-Glandorf High School athletics for helping to shape a positive future; and Sts. Peter & Paul for nurturing the spiritual well-being of community members.

“These things don’t just happen,” Macke said, then closed his comments with a heartfelt thank you.