Majors Harry and Marina Lacey, Phoenix, Ariz.
When Majors Harry and Marina Lacey arrived at the Phoenix Citadel, Ariz., corps in 1998, it was known as the “sleeping giant”—the church had little outreach into the community. There existed the potential for significant growth.
The Laceys contacted the local elementary school principal and together they formulated a plan for an after-school mentoring program. They then contacted Arizona State University (ASU) and secured students as mentors and teachers. Their plan included an English as a second language class for all ages.
Soon the program outgrew the facility, so the Laceys moved the administration offices off site—and the entire building was devoted to the after-school program.
After they also exceeded the bounds of that space, they arranged for construction of a new building. The new facilities provided classrooms, a lab with 30 computers and a gymnasium that once was the old chapel. The added space enabled them to expand their program to include 7th and 8th graders.
Marina reinstated the disbanded Phoenix Women’s Auxiliary, which generated funding for the mentoring project. With their positive results and successful record, ASU incorporated additional funding into their own budget.
The Phoenix Citadel Corps is no longer sleeping. Rather, it now reaches into the community and academic worlds.
For their relentless dedication and hard work, the Laceys are indeed trailblazers.
Craig Arnold, Concord, Calif.
Craig Arnold is a lifelong Salvationist having served as a bandsman, youth group leader, Sunday school teacher and Advisory Board member. He also coaches a local youth football league.
Arnold traveled to Haiti after the Jan.12 earthquake to utilize his skills as a United Parcel Service (UPS) executive. He helped secure landing slots on the airport schedule for planes carrying Salvation Army supplies, and arranged for UPS to land their cargo planes with large quantities of food, tents and water. He assisted in persuading the US Army 82nd Airborne to provide The Salvation Army with security while they distributed thousands of meal packets—handing out more than a quarter million meals in a single day.
While living in Atlanta, Arnold took senior leaders from UPS on a Salvation Army canteen run to serve meals to the homeless. In Malaysia he organized a trip for orphans to accompany UPS personnel to see Disney on Ice. He secured funds through a UPS foundation to supply 25 computers for the Salem Kroc Center and five information technology professionals from UPS to set them up on their own time.
For his commitment to help those in need and his passion to serve others in the name of Christ, Craig Arnold is a true trailblazer.
Frank and Mary Lawson, Compton, Calif.
The Lawsons have served at the Compton Corps since 1980, operating their Love (soup) Kitchen weekly, coordinating Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and assuming Red Kettle duties.
Frank has dedicated numerous hours to the Compton Corps’ sports leagues. Mary mentors children, teens and young adults, helping them stay out of trouble and remain in school. Frank leads a community-based indoor soccer team; each player must attend a Salvation Army worship service at least once a month.
Mary has received certificates of appreciation from The Salvation Army, City of Compton, Our Lady of Victory Church, Compton Commission for Women, and the American Red Cross. She also received the City of Compton’s Outstanding Community Development and Top Ladies of Distinction awards. Frank has received certificates of appreciation and recognition from the Compton Unified School District and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
Both received the Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature Assembly, the Certificate of Appreciation from the Sheriff’s Department, and the character and ethics award from the County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Glendale Unified School District and The Salvation Army.
For their unselfish commitment to the welfare of others and their unfailing work for the community and The Salvation Army, the Lawsons are well deserving of the Trailblazer award.
Majors Benton and Pearl Markham, Riverside, Calif.
In April 1978 Western Territorial Commissioner Richard Holz received a request from a native in the Marshall Islands to “start the Salvation Army” on his island. Majors Benton and Pearl Markham—at that time corps officers in Great Falls, Mont.—volunteered to meet with island government officials to assess the viability of the request.
They returned from their meeting with a favorable report. In June 1987 they were appointed to organize the Marshall Islands work on Majuro.
About 12 people attended their first Sunday meeting. On their seventh Sunday, they relocated to a larger room that held about 125. It was soon full every week.
By September 1987 they were holding three Sunday school meetings, one adult meeting, two Junior Legions, one Home League, two Home League Circles and one Young People’s Legion. They conducted two band practices weekly and a senior and junior timbrel brigade. They held a weekly Bible study and a League of Mercy Brigade that visited the hospital and jail weekly.
In March 1989 the Majuro Central Corps became the 194th corps in the territory.
The Markham’s leadership provided what the people most wanted: religious services, Home League, Sunbeams, Girl Guards, band, timbrels, men’s groups and games and activities for children and adults. In one year the Home League grew from 12 women to 169.
For their successful against-all-odds commitment to plant a new work in the Marshall Islands, the Markhams are true trailblazers.