As he presented the Exchange Club’s highest honor Thursday night, ECLH President Gale Lewis posed a trivia question to members: Name the only Lake Highlands resident who has both been named Youth of the Month and presented Youth of the Month accolades to LHHS seniors? Answer: Only Robert Walne – third generation member of the Club and recipient of their Book of Golden Deeds Award along with Herb’s Paint and Body, father Alan Walne and the entire Walne family.
In the nearly six decades that Lake Highlands Exchangites have been toiling away to improve our neighborhood, only two others have earned the 100-year-old national award – Bob Potts and Don Lee.
“Over the years, Herb’s Paint & Body has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Down Syndrome Guild, and they’ve supported schools, first responders and other nonprofits throughout this community,” said Lewis. “Herb and Frances Walne were involved in many things, including the Exchange Club and Lake Highlands Women’s League, and Alan and Joan picked up the torch to serve as presidents of both those organizations. They also served the Dallas Parks Board, the State Fair of Texas, the Dallas Arboretum, Young Life, Parkland Hospital, the Salesmanship Club, the Down Syndrome Guild and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, not to mention the years Alan served as our District 10 councilman. In addition to that, Robert and Stephani have picked up the torch and are involved in many of the same organizations.”
“In the 58 years of this club, there’s always been a Walne as a member, and they’ve always been leaders,” continued Lewis. “You’ve contributed greatly to this community, and we all thank you. This award is long overdue.”
Recognizing the Walnes in some way has been discussed before, Lewis explained, but each time, board member Robert changed the subject or deflected to another worthy honoree. The recent sale of Herb’s Paint and Body caused Robert to miss a board meeting, and during that window of opportunity the decision was made.
“Herb had a philosophy that he drilled into me and I drilled into Robert – you give back,” said Alan, accepting the award for the family. “God didn’t created bleachers. He wants you in the game.”
After the sale of the family business, Alan said, they will continue to support the community through Walne Family Holdings. “We want to continue that legacy.”