Bruce Blasingame, a longtime educator/coach with the McDuffie County Board of Education, was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow recipient by members of the Thomson Rotary Club during a special luncheon ceremony at the Thomson Depot last Thursday.
The 81-year-old Mr. Blasingame was the 13th head football coach for Thomson High School. During his two-year stint from 1957 through 1958, he compiled a record of 9-10-1.
Mr. Blasingame left the coaching ranks to pursue an administration role that lasted for several years. The last five years of his distinguished career in education were spent heading up the Adult Education Program in McDuffie County. He retired in 1986.
"I was a little dumbfounded," said the humble Mr. Blasingame after learning that he was being honored for his many years of giving back to his fellow man.
"I never dreamt that I would ever be honored this way. This is real special to me. And I shall always be grateful to the members of the Thomson Rotary Club for thinking of me."
Mr. Blasingame, former principal of Laura Jones Junior High School in Thomson, as well as Thomson High School, served as a member of the Thomson Rotary Club for many years. He left the club following his retirement from the McDuffie County Board of Education.
George Lokey, president of First Bank in Thomson and a longtime member of Thomson Rotary Club, said Mr. Blasingame was honored for having touched the lives of thousands of students during his many years as an educator.
"I suggested that Bruce be honored with the Paul Harris Fellow Award because he is most deserving," said Mr. Lokey during a telephone interview with The McDuffie Mirror on Monday.
"He's a very humble man. He's done his job in this community so well and has affected the lives of so many people when they were younger. He's just one of those mainstays in our community who deserves this honor and recognition."
Mr. Blasingame, who still makes his home in Thomson, received a commemorative certificate and pin. And a monetary donation will be made to Rotary International's PolioPlus Fund.