Rotary Club of West Roxbury-Roslindale Holds Paul Harris Awards Dinner

    On November 8, the West Roxbury-Roslindale Rotary Club presented Paul Harris Fellowship Awards to longtime Rotarian, Thomas Aguiar, and Boston's mayor, Thomas M. Menino. The function was held at the Elks Hall in West Roxbury. The Paul Harris Fellowship Award, named after the founder of Rotary International, is one of the highest awards bestowed by Rotary. It is given to men and women who have made significant contributions to the betterment of humanity through promotion of international understanding toward all people.
    This year's recipients certainly have made such contributions. Through his leadership, the Mayor has transformed Boston into a city for the 21st century. His program, New Bostonians, helps to integrate people of different ethnicities, cultures and religions into society. Thomas Aguiar is Assistant Vice President / Regional Manager of the West Roxbury Office of Brookline Bank. Through his many years of service to the Rotary Club, and as a past president, Tom Aguiar has contributed immensely to the Rotary Foundation and Rotary International.
    Rotary president, Uchenna Onyeachom, opened the evening with a little history lesson, stating, "The West Roxbury-Roslindale Rotary Club has been serving the local community since 1971. As a service organization, we support various community projects and organizations that benefit the community as a whole. Our Rotarians are dedicated to serving the local interests of our community, as well as national and international programs in affiliation with Rotary International. Our members are men and women who have businesses or professional practices in West Roxbury-Roslindale and/or who reside in the community and contribute their time, talent and treasure."
He then turned the microphone over to the master of ceremonies for the evening, John LaRosa, who introduced "Singing Trooper" Beginning his repertoire with the National Anthem, Dan continued with a medley of patriotic songs that had everyone clapping and singing along. A great buffet was served, and as usual, the catering by MJ's Subs & Pizza was superb.
    Rotary District Governor Julia Phelps presented the awards. She remarked that one of the most satisfying aspects of Rotary is coming into the communities served by Rotary and honoring those who uphold the Four Way Test of things Rotarians must think, say or do: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
    After the presentation, dancers from the Heavy School of Irish Dance performed several numbers. Their performance featured the youngest first and then proceeded through several groups of dancers, ending with the oldest girls in a "River Dance" type number which met with thunderous applause. Trooper Dan Clark again entertained with another medley of patriotic songs. The evening was a great success.
    Now if you've gotten this far and are saying, "What's Rotary?" here is the answer. Founded in Chicago in 1905 as the world's first volunteer service organization, Rotary quickly expanded around the globe. Rotary clubs are free of religious affiliation, nongovernmental, and open to every race, culture, and creed. Members meet weekly for fellowship and to discuss local and global topics. Rotary Club members are business and professional leaders who volunteer in their communities and promote world understanding and peace. Rotary's 31,000 clubs in more than 165 countries and regions encourage high ethical standards and carry out humanitarian projects to address issues such as poverty, health, hunger, education, and the environment.
Through more than $95 million in Rotary Foundation grants each year, Rotary clubs support community projects at home and abroad. The world's largest private provider of international education scholarships, the Rotary Foundation provides funds for more than 1,000 students annually to study overseas where they act as cultural ambassadors. Rotary also partners with eight prestigious universities around the globe to educate midcareer professionals in peace and conflict resolution.
    PolioPlus is Rotary's flagship program. Rotary club members contributed $600 million and countless volunteer hours to help immunize over two-billion children against polio by Rotary's centennial in 2005. The spearheading partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative include the World Health Organization, Rotary International, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. Rotary Inter-national has just announced a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will inject a much-needed $200 million into the global effort to eradicate polio. The Rotary Foundation recently received a $100 million Gates Foundation challenge grant. Over the next three years, Rotary will raise funds to match this grant, dollar-for-dollar.
The West Roxbury-Roslindale Rotary Club appreciates your generous support, which helps them to continue to provide scholarships to Parkway area high school students and to offer financial assistance to local causes such as the YMCA, Parkway Little League, Roslindale Food Pantry, and the Jason Roberts Challenger Program. Currently the Rotary "Christmas Tree" donation program can be found at local businesses throughout Roslindale and West Roxbury. Look for the one-dollar green and five-dollar red trees when you shop locally and add your name to those helping Rotary make a difference in our community.

Above article copied from "Heart Beats" Vol. 19 No. 1 with permission.