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Evelyn Whelton & Peter Pelletier
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2018 Paul Harris Recipient Jim Terry

PAUL HARRIS AWARD

At the International Assembly in 1979, then-RI President-elect James Bomar challenged each Rotary club to make one non-Rotarian a Paul Harris Fellow. The Rotary Club of Pikesville, Maryland responded by making a donation in the name of Mother Teresa in 1980.

 

Every year for many years, the Rotary Club of North Conway has made 2 Non-Rotarians in the Mount Washington area Paul Harris Fellows.  We ask our club members to nominate individuals in the Valley who:

 

1.  Have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make our community a better place to live

2.  And have made a significant and positive impact in the lives of people.

 

Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Jonas Salk and Pearl Bailey. 

Who was Paul Harris?

In the fall of 1900, Paul P. Harris met fellow attorney Bob Frank for dinner on the north side of Chicago. They walked around the area, stopping at shops along the way. Harris was impressed that Frank was friendly with many of the shopkeepers.

 

Harris had not seen this kind of camaraderie among businessmen since moving to Chicago in 1896. He wondered if there was a way to channel it because it reminded him of growing up in Wallingford, Vermont. Harris eventually persuaded local businessmen to join him in a club for community and fellowship. His vision laid the foundation for Rotary.

 

After setting up his law practice in Chicago, Harris gathered several business associates to discuss the idea of forming an organization for local professionals. On February 23, 1905 Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey gathered at Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago. This was the first Rotary club meeting.

 

In February 1907, Harris was elected the third president of the Rotary Club of Chicago, a position he held until the fall of 1908. Toward the end of his club presidency, Harris worked to expand Rotary beyond Chicago and, by 1910, Rotary had expanded to several other major U.S. cities.

 

Harris recognized the need to form an executive board of directors and a national association. In August, 1910, Rotarians held their first national convention in Chicago, where the 16 existing clubs unified as the National Association of Rotary Clubs. The new association unanimously elected Harris as its president.

The Rotary Club of North Conway is committed to awarding two Paul Harris awards to individuals we feel have made a significant impact in our community.  Along with the Non-Rotarians that receive this award, members of the clubs receive this award by donating at least one-thousand dollars to the foundation.  Over the years countless members are Paul Harris Fellows.  This year is no exception.

Our 2022 Paul Harris Recipients

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Gail Payne

Gail served as supervisor of the Bartlett checklist, a former member of the NH State Board of Education & NH Juvenile Parole Board. She is a Trustee of the Goldberg Foundation & serves on the Board  of Visiting Nurses & Home Care of Hospice for Carroll County.  She is an Emeritus Member of the Mt. Washington Observatory.  When she worked, she was the program coordinator for Granite State College.

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John D. Colbath

John is on the Board of Directors for the Arts Jubilee, Conway ZBA & ACS Carroll North Unit, He is also on the Vaughn Community Health Services Advisory Board, Mt. Washington Valley Community Health Center, The Memorial Development Foundation, NH Nurses’ Foundation & NH Center for

Nursing Workforce.  These are over and above his professional career.

Other Paul Harris Recipients

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Carolyn Brown (Right), a current North Conway Rotarian gave her Paul Harris Fellow to her son, Darian Guyer, who lives outside our area but has given selfishly to his own own community.

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Kelly Drew (center) continues to contribute to the Rotary Foundation on a yearly bases.  She is our past president and is slated to be our District Governor in 2024-2025.  Enough can't be said about her involvement in our community.

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Dave Dyson (right) is receiving his first Paul Harris Fellow Award.  He is presented his citation by Peter Pelletier (current club president on the left and Evelyn Whelton (center).  David is a past president of the Rockland-Hanson Rotary in Massachusetts and joined our club when he retired and moved to Conway.  It didn't take long for him to get involved in the community by joining our Rotary, volunteer at the Way Station, be a member of the Gibson Center and with other are non-profit organizations.

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Our current president, Peter Pellitier, has received another Paul Harris Fellow Award.  Peter has devoted much of his time to further our Rotary Clubs impact in our community.  

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2018 Paul Harris Recipient Mark Butterfield
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Nanci Hayes & Peter Pelletier