Rotary Club names Paul Harris Fellows

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The Rotary Club of Old Town has honored four people as Paul Harris Fellows.

On August 2, the club presented Paul Harris medallions to Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, Old Town High School graduate Isabel Larsen, and Old Town Rotary Club President-Elect D. J. Whitmore.

On August 9, a Paul Harris medallion was presented to Keri Denis, who has served as club secretary for the past two years.

Both presentations were made at the Rotary Club’s regular Thursday night meeting at the Elks Lodge in Old Town

Designation as a Paul Harris Fellow is one of the highest honors a Rotary Club can bestow. It is usually intended as a tribute to a person whose career or activities demonstrate a shared purpose with the objectives of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation.

Dunlap and Larsen are the first two people to be honored by the Old Town Rotary Club as Paul Harris Fellows who weren’t already members of the club.

Donations were made in their honor to the Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International.

The awards were presented by Past President Dave Wollstadt, who said all four recipients had exemplified the Rotary ideal of “Service Above Self.”

He said Whitmore had “stepped up to the plate” by organizing the club’s annual auction this spring and by participating in numerous club projects, while Denis had been very dedicated and active as the club secretary.

Dunlap has served as a volunteer auctioneer at several recent Old Town Rotary Club auctions and has performed similar volunteer services for other clubs and organizations. He has also served as the moderator for the RSU 34 annual budget meeting in recent years.

Larsen was active in the “Purple Pinkie Project,” a Bangor-area Rotary project to raise funds for Rotary International’s “Polio Plus” campaign, which is trying to eradicate polio worldwide. Last fall, she took the lead in organizing the Purple Pinkie Project at Old Town High School. This coming fall, she will be a freshman at the University of Vermont.

Paul Harris was an attorney in Chicago in 1905 when he organized the first Rotary Club with three clients. His goal was to create a club of professional and business men for friendship and fellowship. As president Harris led the club to initiate public service projects which resulted in Rotary becoming the world’s first service club.

The mission of the non-profit Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through improvement of health, support of education and alleviation of poverty.