Rogers Rotary Club to honor Crafton, Kelleys

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 309 views 

The Rogers Rotary Club will honor three longtime business and civic leaders this year with the Dick Daniel Distinguished Citizen Award.

Bob Crafton and Gene and Joye Kelley will be recognized at the Sixth Annual Dick Daniel Distinguished Citizen Award Luncheon on Tuesday (Aug. 3) at the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Event proceeds will benefit the Railyard Park and Rogers Public Schools.

The club gives the award to individuals, families or businesses who have contributed to Rogers over a long period of time. It is named for the former president of Daisy Manufacturing Co., which relocated a plant — and 500 jobs — from Plymouth, Mich., to Rogers in 1958. Daniel died in March 2020 at the age of 93.

Bob Crafton co-founded Rogers-based architecture and engineering firm Crafton Tull in 1963. He retired in 2000, and his civic involvement is lengthy including previous service to the Rogers School Board, Rogers Airport Commission, Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, NorthWest Arkansas Community College board of trustees and Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce board chairman.

Joye and Gene Kelley’s 60-year partnership left a lasting legacy for Arkansas families. Gene Kelley is a sought-after adoption lawyer who has placed more than 1,000 children into homes, many in Northwest Arkansas.

Joye Kelley, who died in July 2019, was one of the first two women elected to the Rogers School Board in 1983. She served until 2012 and was board president for 20 years. She oversaw the construction of 14 schools — including a second high school — during her time on the board.

Kelley was inducted into the Rogers Educators Hall of Fame and is a member of the Rogers Public Education Foundation’s Wall of Distinction. Following her retirement from the board, the district administration building was named the Joye R. Kelley Building.

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