The Rotary District 7020 USVI North honored 28 people with the Paul Harris Awards Saturday night at Marriot’s Frenchman’s Reef during the 31st Annual Paul Harris and Rose Council Awards Gala.
According to Michael Toussaint, District 7020’s assistant district governor, the award is “the highlight of our Rotary year and recognizes contributions to our community.”
The Paul Harris Award was established to honor the memory of Rotary founder Paul Harris. Any individual who contributes at least $1,000 toward community outreach programs of a Rotary Foundation in any given year receives the award. It is also given to any individual in whose name the contribution is given to Rotary.
Individuals who pledge to donate at least $1,000 every year become members of the Paul Harris Society. Those who have donated $10,000, whether by gift amounts accumulated over the years or through a one-time donation, are considered major donors.
Six of Saturday’s 28 awards were given out by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas, five by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas II, three by the Rotary Charlotte Amalie, four by the Rotary East, and seven by Rotary Sunrise. The Inner Wheel Club of St. Thomas also gave out three Paul Harris Awards.
Presidents of each club presented the awards.
This year’s awardees include community members whose work in the community is well-known, from noted heart surgeon Alfred O. Heath to LaVelle Campbell, whose campaign to educate the public on gang activity in the territory also recently earned him the first Rotary Practice Peace STAR Award.
They also include individuals with no historical ties to the territory apart from the work they do in the community, including Aziz Abu Sarah, executive director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, who first came to St. Thomas to speak at Rotary’s 2014 “Practice Peace” summit.
Even though the number of awardees dropped slightly from last year’s 31, this is the second year that more than two local Rotary Clubs joined to give out the awards.
The 2015 Paul Harris fellows are:
Rotary Club of St. Thomas:
Jacqueline Jocelyn Brown
Sanford “Sandy” Grishman
Dr. Alfred O. Heath
Gloria L. Salas-Lindquist
Leal Van Beverhoudt
Rotary Club of St. Thomas II:
Edie Paljavcsik Johnson
Jean Paul Nel
Rotary Club of Charlotte Amalie:
LeRoy A. Claxton, Sr.
Donna M. Phillip
Rotary Club of St. Thomas East:
Hugh B. Arnold
Carla D. Sarauw
Hon. Karen Hastie Williams
Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise:
Patricia S. Bailey
Walter “Wally” Bostwick
Joseph M. Brugos
Majors Daniel and Valerie Hazeldine
Aziz Abu Sarah
Inner Wheel Club of St. Thomas:
Rita I. Coll
Corrine Sparks Lockhart