From the nominator:
“When I was a baby I had a virus that attacked my heart. It was determined over the next few months that I would need a heart transplant to survive. This put an overwhelming financial burden on my family. My mother has always been home to take care of me and my father has been a driver for the local garbage company for the past 20 years. Right away our community came together to help. A teammate on my dad's softball team came up with an idea for a softball tournament called "Swing for Lacey".
When Dewey heard about me he immediately jumped in to help in every way he could. Dewey began placing donation cans in businesses all over town with my picture on them. Along with help from the Mother Lode Lions Club members (of which he has been President) Dewey organized wood raffles and Soup and Salad fundraiser dinners to help generate more needed funds. As my family and I traveled a great deal between our home and Stanford Medical Center for testing and treatment, Dewey worked within the community soliciting businesses for donations for anything we needed.
My mom tells me of the time when our washing machine went out and the next thing she knew there he was knocking on your door with a new one he had found for us. We have definitely kept in touch over the years and my visits with Dewey and his wife Norma on special holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day are times I will always cherish.
The last few years Dewey's health has slowed him down a bit and as much as I would like to have been able to do something to help him for a change, I have been unable to as I started experiencing kidney failure and am in the final stages of recovering from a kidney transplant. He is still actively helping others like me as well as serving with the Mother Lode Lions Club; he just cannot do as much has he has in the past. When I read the criteria for this award, I immediately thought of Dewey and the difference has made in my life as well as the lives of many others in my community.
He has volunteered countless hours of his time for many years to make sure the special needs of those in our community are met. Dewey has set a great example for me of the importance of helping others. This has inspired me to use my own life to make a difference by sharing my story of organ donation with the world in an effort to help those who are waiting for transplants. I am leaving home for college soon and won't have as many opportunities to visit with Dewey over the next few years. He will be with me though as Dewey has a permanent spot in my heart and I will always see him as a hero that was there for me when I needed help the most. Please help me honor the caring spirit of the extraordinary man that is simply, Dewey.”