Pilot Club of Andalusia recognizes Betty Davis as 2023-2024’s Pilot of the Year

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, June 1, 2024

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The Pilot Club of Andalusia announced Betty Davis as its 2023-2024 Pilot of the Year recipient during a monthly meeting held at The Lake Cottage on Monday, May 20.

Betty Davis is pictured with her daughter, Amanda Wardle. (PHOTO BY ZACK MAIO)

The Pilot of the Year is an award that is voted on by the club for outstanding service throughout the year.

“I’m at a loss for words and have had a hard time placing all of my emotions. I am honored and humbled to be the Pilot of the Year, and the feeling is surreal. I had never been in a civic club before and was not expecting anything like this. My concentrations have always been family and church. This award means a lot to me, which is why this is so difficult for me,” Davis said.

Davis became a member of the Pilot Club on August 27, 2022.

Pilot Club President Meredith Harlos, left, presents Betty Davis with the Pilot of the Year award. (PHOTO BY ZACK MAIO)

“When I joined, I told Mellisa King I wanted to be a worker bee and not to put me up front and center. Nancy Robbins asked me to join and took me to a few meetings. I take pride in serving others and giving back to my community,” she said.

Members of the Pilot Club surprised her with the announcement at the May meeting.

“I was shocked and didn’t think much about it. I don’t remember everything Meredith said until she got to the Tour of Homes part. When Meredith was speaking, I gasped and said to myself, ‘Oh, Lord!’ When I saw my daughter Amanda and hugged her, I had tears in my eyes. It was a thrill, and I feel very honored. There are a lot of Pilots who deserve recognition for their hard work, and I’m just one of them,” Davis said.

Davis added that she has learned more about herself since she joined the organization nearly two years ago.

“I have always been shy and introverted. I still tend to be that way, but this has brought me out of my shell. I have enjoyed meeting new people who have brought enrichment to my life. I’m proud to be a member of the Pilot Club and a citizen of Andalusia. I love this town and the people here,” she said.

She lived in other areas of the country before calling Andalusia home.

“I have been welcomed with open arms since I moved to Andalusia as a senior in high school. I lived in Washington, Oregon, and North Carolina before I came to Andalusia. When my father went to Cantonment in Florida, I did a quarter at Pensacola Junior College but was not happy and missed Andalusia. I got a job with Bill Baldwin, found a place to live, and came back,” Davis said.

Pilot Club President Meredith Harlos said she could not think of a more deserving person for the award.

“The recipient of this award is the perfect example of the Pilot Club’s principles of friendship and service. This lady has always been a phone call away whenever I have needed something this year. The biggest attribute this person possesses is that she does all of these things with no intention of being recognized. She does these things for the sole purpose of serving others,” Harlos said.

Harlos added that Davis has contributed to numerous service projects for the club.

“Betty has made fidget blankets and delivered pick-me-ups. She has made cakes for families who have lost loved ones. We had a record-breaking turnout for the Tour of Homes under her direction last year,” she said.

Betty and Richard Davis will celebrate their 52nd anniversary in August. They are the parents of three children: Amanda Wardle, Merrill Davis, and Baker Davis and grandparents of seven.