Ron Michaelis honored for Service Above Self

Ron Michaelis was feted for his extraordinary community service and was named the Club’s annual Rotarian of the Year with the Club’s Service Above Self recognition at the awards banquet at Fairview tonight. In presenting the award, Joann Miller (incoming President – Elect) heralded Ron’s volunteerism, not only through Rotary, but via the Chamber, the Council for the Performing Arts, area schools and all aspects of the community. Standing O all ‘round for the well-deserved tribute.

Another standing ovation was showered on Pam (aka Lois Lane) Chickering-Wilson, our frequent luncheon guest and beat reporter for the Daily Jefferson County Union.   Presenting Pam with the Outstanding Achievement Award for a non-Rotarian, incoming Prez Steve Lewis noted that Pam not only displays all the characteristics of a quality Rotarian, but tirelessly serves the entire community with her ubiquitous camera, an ever-sharp pencil and a notepad that never seems to get full.

“Life isn’t about what you get, but what you give back,” said Past Prez Pat VandenBerg, who passed along this appreciation for all who helped him through his year with the bell and gavel. His thank you list included Bon Ton (food), FCCU (facilities) and the many members who worked to make his year at the helm a success. Past Prez Pat recounted the innovative 5th Wednesday social concept and expressed the expectation that that would become a long-standing Jefferson Rotary tradition. He was most proud of the club’s commitment to raise $80,000 to complete the Rotary Waterfront Park Pavilion.

Who’s perfect? Not many of us, but at least Past Prez Pat, Judge Joann, The Chamber Maid and Canoeist Lewis had perfect attendance last year.

Also recognized at last night’s banquet were Rotary Scholarship winners: Stephanie Redmond, Alyssa Infait, Marcie Garity, Alexa Wegner, and Celia Bisbach. All, except Alyssa, were able to attend with their parents. Good luck in college, ladies. Keep us posted on how you’re doing. Spoke Ed notes that there are no young men on this list and recalls that women have outnumbered men in college enrollment for more than a decade.

Steve Canoeist Lewis, our new prez, was on a roll tonight. He reported that the Family Fun Float (held last weekend) was enjoyed by nearly 130 floaters and grossed just short of $1000 – in fact, Steve contributed $42 Happy Bucks to round up the total to hit the magic mark.  The Canoeist, who is obviously expecting help from Judge Joann, has aggressive plans for the coming Rotary Year. In fact, he handed out program assignment calendars for every Club member. He challenged members to move forward on the pavilion funding, Breakfast with Santa, more scholarships and RYLA. He also challenged every member to become an annual supporter of the RI Foundation. The Canoeist closed with his now familiar refrain that “Rotary has the resources of a country and the heart of a mother.”

See you on July 11th. No meeting on July 4th.  Tickets for the Brat and Burger will be distributed.

Very unRotary-like thought of the week: Some people are like slinkies; not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs!

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