The Rotary Club of Salisbury, in its 103rd year of service to the community, has recognized JoAnn Blackmon of Hebron, Maryland as the recipient of its prestigious Four-Way Test Award. The award is presented annually to a non-Rotarian whose life exemplifies the tenants of the Rotary Four-Way Test that asks persons of the things they think, say, or do:
- Is it the Truth?
- Is it Fair to all concerned?
- Will it build Goodwill and better Friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
JoAnn Blackmon was the 2013 founder and is Executive Director of the Epoch Dream Center to help at-risk youngsters break out of the generational bonds of poverty, unemployment, and crime. While driving through her hometown of Hebron, she noticed young children out on the streets after school and after dark. She had two young children at home and wondered if the children she was seeing outdoors had the same benefits and privileges her own children had: help with homework, an attentive parent or two at home, adequate clothing and school supplies, and a warm dinner meal with family around the table.
As a former school teacher, she knew what children need to be motivated and ultimately, to be academically and socially successful. A typical day at the Epoch Dream Center consists of character-building exercises, physical activities, hobbies, creative experiences and academic development, including time for homework.
The nominating form read “JoAnn has developed with community support a program that embodies the tenants of the Four-Way Test. She values truth, fairness, and goodwill for all. She leads her organization with integrity to enhance friendships among the staff and students. The program is equally beneficial to the students it serves as well as their parents, families, and teachers at the partner schools. With Epoch, the community of Hebron has benefitted as well as the larger community that surrounds it.” More about the Epoch Dream Center can be found at https://www.epochdreamcenter.com.
A list of all recipients of the award since 1963 is at www.rotarysalisbury.org.