Union residents Rich and Earline Sandoval, center, were presented with the Long Haul Service Award during the Union Area Chamber of Commerce Long Haul Barbecue Thursday, Sept. 19. The event was held at city park. The award honors individuals or couples over the age of 65 who have served the community throughout their lives. Pictured with them are Aimee Frey, left, Chamber executive director, and Stacy Rio, Chamber president. Missourian Photo.

Rich and Earlaine Sandoval of Union were awarded the 2013 Long Haul Service Award Thursday evening at the city park.

This is the second year in a row a couple have been honored.

The 2012 recipients, Armin and Norma Klemme, presented the award during the Union Area Chamber of Commerce Long Haul Barbecue.

“It’s really an honor to be recognized by the community, but more than anything, I think it’s an honor for everybody to, every year, take the time out to recognize all the great people in our community,” Rich Sandoval said.

Sandoval added that he and his wife are humbled to join the others who have already earned the award.

He also thanked Kiwanis and other service organizations for the work they do in the community.

“We always think that the great people are somewhere else,” he said. “We really seldom take the time to realize that greatness is around us every day. People are doing great things every day.

“In the end we’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” he said.

Earline Sandoval thanked the community and said she was accepting the award “for the schools, for the Chamber of Commerce, for the businesses, for all the service organizations, all of those groups that do things for this community.

“We accept this in your name, because you provide us the opportunities to do what we get to do in service,” Earlaine Sandoval said.

About the Sandovals

Both Rich and Earlaine Sandoval had long careers in education. The couple have lived in Union for the past 40 years.

Rich Sandoval was named Union’s outstanding educator in 1993. Earline Sandoval followed with the honor in 1998.

Rich has served as a board member for Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocates and was a mediator between the Union R-XI School District and the Franklin County juvenile office.

He helped form Union High School’s drug awareness program, mentor program and multiple clubs during his time as assistant principal there.

He also was named Kiwanian of the Year.

Earlaine Sandoval won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998 and has been a board member for the Jefferson-Franklin Community Action Corporation. She is a member of East Central College’s coaches hall of fame for serving 19 years as a volleyball coach.

Both Sandovals are avid participants in Operation Clean Stream.

The couple also are active in the Union Kiwanis Club.

Rich Sandoval is a two-time Kiwanis president, as is Earlaine. Rich was the first Union Kiwanis president to receive the Outstanding President Award from Kiwanis International.

He also was the recipient of the Tablet of Honor Award — Kiwanis International’s highest award, and the Hixson Award for outstanding achievement.

In addition to serving as a two-time president, Earlaine Sandoval served as a two-time secretary.

Like her husband, she received the Tablet of Honor award and was named an outstanding president by Kiwanis International.

Earlaine Sandoval served as lieutenant governor/club education chair and operations training chair for Missouri-Arkansas District 10, which included coordinating and supervising 10 clubs in the mid-Missouri Area.

Long Haul Award

The Sandovals were nominated for the Long Haul award by the Union Kiwanis Club.

The award is presented for direct, outstanding service and has no relation to Chamber membership.

The Long Haul Award is given to a citizen, or a couple, of the Union area, over the age of 65, who has served the community throughout his or her life.

Nominees are recognized for past contributions to the betterment of the community through church, service organizations and general service.

Past recipients of the award include Albert Schulte, Inza Conley, Kenneth Wehmueller, Leo J. Peirick, Hamilton Brightwell, Elvis Winchester, L.J. Williams;

Helen Thomas, Clifton Schuenemeyer, Ray Arand, Paul Schoene; Mel Goers, Allen Peters, Jack Fraser, Robert McDonald, Richard Hoemann, Louella Hoemeyer;

Robert Hansen, Lucy Lomax, Sid Richman, Wayne Rathgeber, Eldo Strubberg, Glenn Van Leer; Bill Martindill, Gerald Borgmann, Ralph Smith, Leroy Strubberg, John Devos and Dixie VanLeer, Larry Davis, Sam Stausing, John Devine, and Armin and Norma Klemme.