PORT ARTHUR — The Port Arthur Evening Sertoma Club will honor Port Arthur community service volunteer Ken Robert Burke with its “Service to Mankind” Award. It is the highest honor that Sertoma can bestow upon a non-member for outstanding service to the community. It recognizes people who make a significant contribution to the public welfare.

Burke was born and raised in Salem, Mass After a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy, he attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He was a police officer in Kansas City for 10 years before joining Sears where he did corporate work at various locations until his retirement.

Burke is a lay speaker at United Methodist Temple in Port Arthur, sings in the Chancel Choir each Sunday, and is a member of the Methodist Men. He is a church missions coordinator, which means that he coordinates food, lodging and transportation for visiting mission teams who arrive to help the needy in our community after hurricanes or other disasters. He volunteers once a week at the United Board of Missions in Port Arthur.

Burke plays in a blue grass gospel band called the “Maniacs” which plays at nursing homes and civic functions. Any money donated to the band is given to the Port Cities Rescue Missions in Port Arthur. The Maniacs meet weekly to practice and conduct eight to nine concerts each year.

Burke is active in many community projects, such as four prison ministries, Epiphany, Kairos, Welcome Back, and Operation Rebound. He is an education counselor through the Community Care Prayer Outreach which assists persons in obtaining their GED certificate. Burke is a long time member of the Rotary Club of Port Arthur, and held many offices, serving as President, Secretary and Treasurer of the club.

Burke and his wife, Bonnie, who he says has been God's gift to him, have been married for 25 years. They have four children, Russell Burke from Georgia, Bryan Burke from Missouri, Tanya from Florida, and Melissa from Missouri, and one granddaughter, Brittney. The Burkes live in Nederland. In their spare time, they enjoy traveling and visiting their friends and relatives.

The Port Arthur Evening Sertoma Club is celebrating its 51st Year of community service, having received its Charter from Sertoma International in 1959. Sertoma International is one of the oldest Service organizations with its Charter dating to April 1912. The mission of Sertoma International is to assist those who are challenged with hearing and speech deficiencies. The Port Arthur Evening Sertoma Club assists in this endeavor with its annual Fish Fry, with all the proceeds going to the Capland Hearing and Speech Center. The Club also sponsors a $2000 scholarship to a Lamar University student who is pursuing a graduate degree in Speech and Hearing. Other donations are made to local non-profit organizations through fund raisers sponsored by the Club. The President of the Port Arthur Evening Sertoma Club is Otis Ward.

The dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday ,March 15, at the Holiday Inn-Park Central, 2929 Jimmy Johnson Blvd. Tickets are $20 per person. Call 724-1388 or 962-2673 for tickets or additional information.

Description: Ken Burke