PDT Staff Writer
The character, ethics, and heritage of long-time Scioto County resident Roy Rogers took center stage at the first annual Roy Rogers Character Award breakfast at the Scioto County Welcome Center Wednesday morning.
“It (the award) was born about four years ago in the heart of former Assistant Secretary of State Monty Lobb and myself,” Tim Throckmorton, pastor of Crossroads Church in Circleville, said. “We wanted to do something to promote values and character in young lives.”
The event honored three people with Roy Rogers Character Awards - Reagan Elizabeth Lewis, K-6; Wade Martin, 7-12 and Stacia Akers, a student at Shawnee State University, the adult award recipient.
“They’ve submitted reports about what Roy’s character has meant to their life and what they admired in him,” Throckmorton said. “And we’re just doing it to promote good character values in our world.”
Lobb said the award is recognizing the future.
“We want to start a whole new generation on why it’s important to lift these people up,” Lobb said.
State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) talked about having lived on the same road as Roy Rogers, Duck Run, and about other well-known people from that same area, such as Branch Rickey, who signed the first black player, Jackie Robinson, to a Major League contract, and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.
“Roy Rogers is a perfect example of what we have to offer in not only our state, but the rest of the country,” Johnson said. “When Roy was on TV, at the time that Gene Autry was on TV, it was a time when Sky King, and I was a little shaver watching that stuff, and when someone was cheating, someone was lying, someone was stealing, they were the bad guy. We know who the bad guy was, and we knew we weren’t supposed to be that way. Turn on the TV today and try to find something for kids to watch, that shows them who the bad guy is.”
Dodie Rogers, daughter of Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans were at the event to hand out the awards.
“He (Roy Rogers) was raised where hard work was necessary, and honesty was an integral part of doing business with others,” Rogers said. “He believed in neighbors helping neighbors. He never forgot that.”
Rogers said when her father spoke of family values, there was always a positive reaction.
“He would get a standing ovation,” Rogers said. “It was because he said what he believed. I think that when you talk to many people today, especially young people, they’re starting to lose hope and faith in the way the country is being run.”
State Senator Joe Uecker (R-14) told the crowd, “Loyalty and virtue, I think is something that is sorely missing in general in our society, and we need to get back to those days of the western show, where kids were learning something. But that makes today’s award winners, in my eyes, all that more special.”
The Roy Rogers Festival is going on this week in Portsmouth with several celebrity guests.
“Roy Rogers is a Scioto County Treasure; he’s an Ohio treasure; he’s an American treasure, and I’m delighted to be here and be a part of this program,” Johnson said.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.