The Rotary Club of Peterborough has recognized five people for their community contributions.
During Monday night’s Paul Harris Rotary Dinner — named after Rotary’s founder — the club donated $1,000 in the name of each recipient to Rotary International and presented each person with a Paul Harris Fellow certificate and a Paul Harris pin.
The fellowship is the highest honour Rotarians can give to individuals recognized for their sustained contributions in the areas of vocational, youth, community, international and club service.
According to a press release, the fellowship recipients included:
- Paul Bennett, vocational service: Bennett was recognized for his professional and volunteer roles in the community, particularly with Peterborough Regional Health Centre, the Downtown Business Improvement Area, the 100 Men Club, Economic Development, Community Futures and Junior Achievement. In various capacities, he has supported and contributed to Five Counties Children’s Centre, Youth Unlimited, The United Way and The Warming Room as well as various sports and the arts.
- Vince Abrahamse, youth service: Since 1987, Abrahamse has been widely recognized for his award-winning teaching career as head of the music program at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School (TASS). Over his 32-year career, bands at TASS have won 30 gold and 28 silver standards at the national level and over 50 gold at the provincial level. Through a partnership with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Abrahamse has sponsored emerging world-class operatic talent. When not teaching, he is organist and choir director with the Lakefield United Church.
- Carolyn Mills, community service: Mills had a 35-year career with the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors, and following her retirement, she began volunteering with organizations such as the YWCA, Children’s Aid, the Youth Emergency Shelter (YES), Crossroads Shelter, Bras Around the Building Peterborough, Five Counties Children’s Centre, Brock Mission and Peterborough Family Counselling Services.
- Leigh Ramsay, international service: From sponsoring international foster children to Cuban projects supported by her church and, more recently, efforts in Tanzania and Honduras, Ramsay has contributed to activities aimed at improving everyday life for girls and women. Combined with fundraising activities, she has supported the purchase of supplies and equipment for schools and backpacks for the homeless, collected eyeglasses for international distribution, helped establish health clinics and joined others to make reusable sanitary pads in her basement.
- Rick Storey, club service: Over his tenure with Rotary, Storey has served in many leadership roles, most recently as assistant governor for the southern part of District 7010, including Peterborough, Lindsay and Fenelon Falls as well as emerging Rotaract and Interact clubs. Storey has played key roles in the club’s annual spelling bee, the Carl Oake Swimathon, the Polio Now campaign, the Easter Seals/Five Counties Christmas party and other events. He and partner Helene have hosted many Rotary events, from youth exchange barbecues to district conference pub nights and many club socials. He has been an ambassador for the Youth Exchange Program, international service activities and assessing local programs for Rotary funding.
The Rotary Club of Peterborough was established in 1921 and currently has just under 80 members. It’s one of four clubs in the immediate area and one of over 12,000 clubs worldwide, with 1.22 million members in over 160 countries.