Gwen Knight, left, is presented the National Exchange Club Unity of Service Book of Golden Deeds Award by Exchange Club of Albany member Chuck Knight on Friday night.
ALBANY — A long-standing tradition at the Exchange Club of Albany is to honor the quiet and the kind.
The club bestowed Gwen Knight with its 64th “Book of Golden Deeds” at a Friday night banquet held at the club’s fairground hall on South Westover Boulevard.
“The award goes to a man or woman whose works might go unnoticed by the public,” said Chuck Knight, a distant relation to Gwen and chairman of the award committee. “It goes to someone who shows kindness and helpfulness in a quiet way.”
Gwen Knight accepted the award with a bright smile and brief words befitting a woman described as someone who just wants to help others.
“What can I say? I spend a lot of time volunteering in missions in Southwest Georgia,” Knight said. “I love helping caregivers. When you’ve been there and done that — you know you need all the help you can get.”
Knight was referring to the experiences she had with her husband Mack’s Alzheimer’s disease that lasted for 10 years until his death in 2007. By joining Alzheimer’s Caregivers Time Out, she found support.
The experience changed into one in which she found she had become “the one to go to” for others in the group. No wonder. She read, attended seminars and learned all she could about Alzheimer’s.
Knight taught a class at Byne Memorial Baptist Church and was appointed to the State Board for Council on Aging by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue. She joined and became a board member of SOWEGA Care-Net, an arm of the Rosalynn Carter Institute. The list of her efforts in behalf of others goes on.
Knight’s grandson, Brian Knight of Decatur, said he was proud of his grandmother and her values.
“She is an example of a good Christian woman,” Knight said. “She quietly goes about taking care of those who need her.”