Rotarians receive club’s highest recognition

Three Rockford Rotarians were applauded by their fellow members in the local service club Tuesday, Nov. 2, as they received the Paul Harris Fellowship award, the club’s highest recognition. The honor was made even more special, because it was given by a visiting distinguished guest, Tim Knaggs, governor of District 6290, the international district of which Rockford Rotary is a part.

Rotary District 6290 Governor Tim Knaggs awards three Rockford Rotarians, Al Kracker, Dave Speese and Tom Visser, with Rotary Club’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellowship.

“I was proud to hear you recognize our international status by singing ‘Oh Canada,’” said Knaggs, pointing out that District 6290 extends up into Ontario, Canada.

The district is currently comprised of 61 clubs and 3,000 Rotarians. Knaggs said of all his visits to Rotary groups, this was the first time he’d heard the song sung outside of Canada.

Knaggs also praised the Rockford group for their success in so many of the projects Rotary takes on. He pointed out that a visitor who had found the club through the group’s website showed that Rockford Rotary finds many ways to invite future members to the Tuesday noon meetings at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe in Rockford.

Rotarians Al Kracker, Dave Speese (who was recently chair of the annual Chicken Dinner sale and did a fantastic job) and Tom Visser were all awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship certificate and pin. The award, named after Rotary founder Paul Harris, comes when a Rotarian has donated over $1,000 for worldwide and local causes that Rotary supports.

“This award is a pinnacle in the life of a Rotarian,” Knaggs noted. He also pointed out that several of those receiving the award were multiple Paul Harris recipients, meaning they have passed the $1,000 gift threshold before, in some cases more than once.

Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago by Paul Harris with other businessmen and is now a worldwide service organization.

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