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paul harris recipients

From left, Jonna Ebel, Jim Lavery, Diane Thorne, Bruce Waechter, Rob Hughes, Henry Weickert and Ed Braun. Absent was recipient Martha Bennett who will receive her award later this month. Photo submitted.

Celebration was the theme at the Rotary Club of Southampton May 30 Paul Harris awards dinner. Four community volunteers and four Rotary Club leaders were honoured with Paul Harris Fellowships at a dinner catered by Harrigan’s 100 Mile Market.

In a Rotary Club of Southampton media release, named community recipients of this year’s award are: Jim Lavery for his many years of participation and leadership in the former Southampton Optimist Club as well as his other community contributions; Diane Thorne for her many years of service with Salvation Army, notably the Christmas Kettle project; Jonna Ebel for her leadership of the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation in its recent fundraising efforts; and Martha Bennett, a long serving member of the Chambettes who has recently retired and has added additional community projects to her list of accomplishments. Bennett was not in attendance and will receive her award later this month.

Within the Rotary Club itself, Ed Braun was honoured for his leadership as President of the club for 2017/2018; Henry Weickert for serving eight years as the Treasurer of the Rotary District 6330 and his valued abilities in decision making; Rob Hughes, whose fund raising ideas and management have contributed to several successful years for the Club; and Bruce Waechter for his leadership in membership development and retention.

The Paul Harris Fellowship program was initiated in 1957, several years after the death of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International, as a way to thank individuals who donated funds to the Rotary Foundation to enable the support of both international and local projects. Through the program, Rotary Clubs have honoured community leaders as well as Club members.

“The Southampton Rotary Club has honoured community members for over 20 years through the program,” said Tony Sheard, a past president of the Club and a future District Governor for 2019/2020. “Saugeen Shores has many wonderful volunteers and community leaders with whom our Club has worked over the years. It is such a pleasure to be able to recognize and thank them for their work and their demonstration of the Rotary motto of ‘Service Above Self,’” he added.

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