As announced earlier this week, TownSquareBuzz.com is proud to present its first class of TSB's Heroes Hall of Fame, which we'll be introducing over the next week. The honorees are in no order, they are simply deserving of recognition for their good works in the community.
Whether toting a shovel planting trees in conjunction with Crape Myrtle Trails, or wearing a suit to lead a meeting of the McKinney Community Development Corp., long-time resident Tracy Rath is the consummate example of a community volunteer and community crusader. Tireless, loyal, hardworking, leader, passionate, outspoken, organized, communicator and caring, are just some of the adjectives that friends and acquaintances frequently use to describe Rath.
Rath's former boss, Cindy Smith, has said, "Her passion, dedication, devotion, and inspiration are unmatched. I have watched her build consensus when no one thought it could be done."
Being so involved, and doing so much for the people of McKinney, may make her more visible than some volunteers, but praise and accolades are not what drive Rath to do what she does everyday.
What drives her? Rath says, "There's so much to do. I have this need, because I believe that life is so short, to just do everything you can do in a day."
And "do" is exactly what Rath does, as she serves on numerous committees and volunteers tirelessly throughout the city. She is involved with the Community Lifeline Center, Rotary Club's Believe run, the Samaritan Inn, Crape Myrtle Trails, and the McKinney Ladies Association, just to name a few.
A driving force in the renovation of the McKinney Performing Arts Center in downtown McKinney, Rath's desire to transform the formerly abandoned courthouse into a shining star for our city came to fruition.
At times outspoken, Rath is not afraid to share her opinion, fight for the underdog or roll up her sleeves and dig in to help where there is a need. She speaks often about the need for transparency within city organizations. As the former chair of the MCDC board, Rath worked with staff to implement policies and procedures to clarify grant guidelines, streamline grant cycles and created a more transparent sub-committee process.
"Tracy Rath is one of the most loyal, hardworking, and generous people I have ever known," said Sherry Tucker, a friend of Rath's. "McKinney is a special place because Tracy has helped make it so."
"If you look up the word volunteer in a dictionary, there would be a picture of Tracy, said former President of McKinney Ladies Association Wendy Shelley. "Volunteer - a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service, one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest. That's her! Always the first to jump in, rally a group, and accomplish a task, quietly, without asking for recognition or anything in return. She is an inspiration in all she does and her commitment to, and love of her community is astounding.
"I was once told that Katherine Heard Craig would say, 'To those whom much is given, much is required.' This is how Tracy lives each and every day. She is a gift to our community and to all who are blessed to call her friend."
We salute you Tracy. You truly are another unsung TSB hero who sets an example of selfless serving within our community.
Announced Inductees (Look for more beginning Monday):
More to Come!
Photo (courtesy of Tracy Rath): Tracy Rath with her husband Curtis and children, Trenton and Taryn.