Congratulations to McKinley Middle School's Molly Lamb for receiving the "Who's My Neighbor" award from St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids.
The award is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Percy Harris and his wife Lileah. It recognizes special people in the neighborhood that go above and beyond in what they do.
Lu Wherry, of St. Paul's United Methodist Church's M.L.K. Day Committee shares why Molly was chosen for the award.
"On Monday night, we celebrated Molly Lamb and what she has done for her students at McKinley. The extensive amount of her own personal time she spends individually with her students. To increase their chances of success, to listen to their concerns, their hopes, their fears. Molly teaches at-risk students in all academic areas. We are also very excited about her development of EGOS (Education, Goals, Opportunities, and Sports), an after school program for kiddos 5th grade through 9th grade. Molly does all of this work as a volunteer. She is offering at-risk students an opportunity to succeed, to break away from their social norms, and show them a pathway of structured goals and success. To educate is to empower. So the award reaches out into our community, and selects those that are leading much in the same way as Dr. Harris, by example. He worked hard to establish what is right in the community...so has Molly, Our award gives recognition to those who are not often recognized..but are very worthy."
The award was presented to Molly during the church's M.L.K. Day celebration, Monday evening.
More information about Dr. Percy Harris provided by St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
"Dr. Harris was an iconic community leader. Dr. Harris was Cedar Rapids' first black physician.
Dr. Harris started with an internship at St. Luke's in 1957. At the time, the family lived in a house owned by the hospital, due to racial restrictions on where they could live.
In 1961 the C.R. businessman, Robert Armstrong advocated for the family and asked St. Paul's U.M.C. to sell one of its lots in the 3600 block of Bever Ave SE to the Harris family. It was a controversy that split the church. Out of 751 church members, 460 agreed to sell the lot to the Harris. From that day forward, Dr. Harris was the bridge between the social divide. He was active in several leadership positions...President of the C.R. chapter of the NAACP, the Black Culture Advisory Board at Coe College, medical staff president at St. Luke's hospital, first black member of the Iowa Board of Regents. Dr. Harris became Linn County's first Medical Examiner, a position he held for nearly 40 years. In 1976 he led the team responsible for bringing open heart surgery to St. Lukes."