Colby Eagles Alumni Association
Don and Kay Linville, 1966, Contribution to humanity
Nominated by The Family of Don and Kay Cox Linville
There are many reasons why they deserve this distinction, among them their service to the people of Garden City, Kansas , where they have lived since 1978. They are known there as community leaders, Don as a certified public accountant and partner in the firm of Lewis, Hooper and Dick, and Kay as a teacher of the first grade at Pierceville-Plymell Elementary School. Kay has been an important part of the music ministry of their church, the Nazarene Church of Garden City, and Don most recently has been involved in a variety of aspects of a building campaign for their church, as it has constructed a new facility.
All of this work would be sufficient reason for nominating them to the Wall of Honor. However, it is their extensive commitment to helping the people of Aceituno , Guatemala , that leads us to believe they deserve this nomination. The people of Aceituno must agree that Don and Kay Linville deserve to be honored because they have, in their own way, remembered Don and Kay's name on their own wall of honor. There, on a community center building that Don and Kay Linville helped renovate, these people have posted a sign that reads, "Hogar Linville," which is Spanish for "Linville House."
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Since the fall of 2001, first Don and then Don and Kay together, began a series of trips to this village to work at improving the lives of the people who live there. Don once wrote, "On my first visit to Aceituno, I realized I was in over my head as soon as we turned off the highway and drove down a dirt path into the village. As I stepped out of the air-conditioned van, I felt heat and humidity. I smelled the smoke of burning trash and sugar cane fields. I heard a cacophony of kids yelling, dogs barking, buses honking their horns. I tasted the dust from rocky, garbage strewn dirt streets. I felt the stares of the villagers and then experienced the hugs of the children. I saw a culture I had only previously imagined. These were real people. People with a sense of humor, people who experience pain, joy and sadness in their lives. Intelligent, caring people."
On that first trip and the several trips that have followed, Don and Kay Linville have worked side by side with the people of Aceituno to create the Nueva Esperanza Center , under the sponsorship of New Hope Compassionate Ministries of Dodge City , Kansas . The center provides day care for 36 pre-school children, emergency food and clothing distribution, vocational training, family crisis counseling, a worship center and a medical clinic. In addition, the community has used the facility for a temporary public elementary school, a community center and also to house a small store with a few staple items.
Following her first trip to Aceituno, Kay described how the volunteers dug a large hole and laid blocks to make a septic tank, dug trenches for pipes from the new toilets, replaced a roof on a house, put down a cement floor and cut down trees. She said, "While I shoveled the sand, I watched the sweat drip onto the ground. I will no longer complain about state workers standing and leaning on their shovels. When you get too hot and tired, you have to stop and lean on your shovel."
Kay has worked with children in the local elementary school and in the day care. She has read Bible stories to children as they waited outside the clinic to see a doctor, and she has mixed concrete by hand in the tropical heat and humidity. In addition to doing physical work at the Nueva Esperanza Center , Don has led work teams of volunteers and medical professionals from as far away as North Dakota and Minnesota to Aceituno.
What began as a one-time chance to experience another culture has evolved for Don and Kay into a commitment. As Don told his family after his sixth trip: "After my first visit to Guatemala , I was frequently asked if I would ever go back - I responded that perhaps someday. Now I am frequently asked when the next trip will be - my response is that I don't know, but Kay and I would like to return when we can." In addition to their work in Aceituno, in 2002 Don and Kay participated in a mission work trip to Yefimovsky , Russia , five hours east of St. Petersburg , where they worked on classrooms for an orphanage and a home for a local pastor.
We are pleased on nominate Don and Kay Cox Linville to the Wall of Honor as people who have gone beyond their comfort level to serve others.