He was the first recipient of the John Dykes Service Award, which represents his accomplishments in civic contributions in Buckhead, throughout Atlanta and internationally. The honor will be given to past presidents, or past or present board members, who have gone above and beyond the expectations of the organization.
“Rotary is a non-governmental organization. There is no extra drive than service,” he said last week at the club’s weekly lunch meeting at Maggiano’s in Buckhead. “It brings in leaders from the community.”
Dykes said the definition of the nonprofit Rotary Club to him is the “Bringing together of a group of people” to lead projects, which they otherwise could not undertake as individuals.
“I am both honored and grateful. Recognition by one’s peers is always gratifying,” Dykes said. “I’m being honored for doing something that I have enjoyed immensely over the past 40 years.”
Dykes helped found the Buckhead Rotary Foundation and has served as its treasurer since its inception in 1992.
He has been a member of the Rotarian Foundation for more than 40 years, serving in Utah and North Carolina before moving to Georgia.
“[The] Buckhead Rotary Club is the best Rotary Club I’ve ever encountered,” Dykes said.
He said the organization has grown immensely since the beginning, and described it as “much simpler” back then.
“It was still enjoyable. We just had fewer projects and they weren’t quite as expensive as they are now,” Dykes said “The community has permitted me to be successful and the Rotary organization has permitted me to give back to the community.”
He said he has traveled to visit and work with “sister” Rotary clubs in places like Costa Rica, Russia, Turkey and Ecuador.
“Almost every one of our projects started by an individual who had an idea or a goal or an objective,” Dykes said. “Every project we had started with an individual Rotarian.”
He has been married to his wife Lucy for 54 years and has three children, John III, Robert and Laura. He also has six grandsons, three of whom attended the award ceremony.
“John equally executes service on projects as well as related fundraising,” said Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell, also a Rotary member. “He sets the standard for others to emulate and in a soft-sell style.”