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Chilliwack Rotary Awards 2019-2020 – Procee, O’Brien, Stanton, McAlpine, Berger

After postponing their awards ceremony for the 2019-20 Rotary year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chilliwack Rotary club gathered online to recognize and honour the winners of the awards.

Each year, the club awards two community members and two club members with Paul Harris Fellow awards. Paul Harris awards are named after the founder of Rotary International and are the highest honour the club has. They are awarded to people making outstanding contributions to our community or the Rotary club and who embody the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”. The winners for 2019-20 were:

Tim McAlpine, President of Currency Marketing and Cowork Chilliwack. McAlpine was recognized as a Community recipient for his success in business along with his long service to Chilliwack’s business community, having served as President of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, a long-time board member of Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation, former chair of the Chilliwack Creative Commission, co-organizer of TEDxChilliwack, chapter director for Startup Grind Chilliwack and former board chair for Mount Lehman Credit Union. McAlpine has also contributed to the success of the club’s Rotary Christmas show in 2020.

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Virginia O’Brien was recognized as the second Community recipient Paul Harris Fellow award winner for her work in Moshi, Tanzania with the Bahath Centre. For nearly a decade, she has raised funds in Chilliwack to provide housing, clothing, medication and education for 16 children through the Centre. Five of the now young adults are entering into post-secondary education, with the other eleven to follow. O’Brien travels to Tanzania annually to work with the Centre and to provide maintenance duties.

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Three club members were awarded the honourary Paul Harris Fellow as well.

Karen Stanton previously chaired the Rotary Youth Exchange program, hosting young people from other countries in her home. Stanton also chaired the club’s International Services committee and she combined her passions, as she was instrumental in coordinating a multi-year, multi-club international effort worth $230,000 USD to provide a dozen libraries in schools in northern Peru.

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Richard Procee has been an enthusiastic member of many club committees and projects since 2008 including the annual Rotary Christmas Parade, the Leaders of Tomorrow program which recognizes outstanding high school students, along with his work on the Youth Services, Membership, Programs, Public Relations and Fellowship committees.

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The final honourary Paul Harris Fellow award was given to Michael Berger, who served as President during the 2019-20 Rotary year. Berger guided the club through a year of change – first during the in-person meetings and then when the pandemic hit, he was instrumental in transitioning the club to online weekly meetings that allowed club members to stay connected and continue the work of the club.

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