(5/3/12; Springfield, MA) The Rotary Club of Springfield awarded five Paul Harris Awards at its 98th Paul Harris Awards Celebration on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at The Student Prince Restaurant in Springfield. The 2012 recipients are Rotarian Michael P. Healy of Longmeadow; Rotarian Alfred J. Gay of E. Longmeadow; Ruby S. Maddox-Fisher, Co-founder of Gardening The Community in Springfield; Regina Packard, Kitchen Manager at Friends of the Homeless Shelter in Springfield and Rebuild Springfield. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno accepted the award on behalf of Rebuild Springfield.
A Paul Harris recognition is the highest honor a Rotary Club may bestow on an individual or group who may or may not be a Rotarian. It is awarded in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given and exemplifies the Rotary International Motto "Service Above Self". Both Rotarians Healy and Gay exemplify this motto with their dedication and service to Rotary.
Maddox-Fisher, a Springfield resident, was honored with the award for her involvement with Gardening The Community (GTC), which recruits and employs neighborhood youth to grow fruits and vegetables on abandoned and vacant lots in the city of Springfield. The food is sold at local markets and donated to food shelters. GTC continues to work with the City to expand the availability of urban garden space and promote urban agriculture in the city of Springfield.
Regina Packard of South Hadley, Kitchen Manager at Friends of the Homeless Shelter on Worthington Street, Springfield received the award for her selfless dedication to the people who come through the shelter every day. Friends of the Homeless serves more than 1,100 people and more than 12,000 meals each year. Packard serves all of them with a spirit of joy and dignity.
Rebuild Springfield was honored with the reward for their efforts to shape a community vision for the future of the tornado impacted neighborhoods of Springfield. Mayor Domenic J..Sarno accepted the award on their behalf.
The Rotary Club of Springfield has presented over 160 Paul Harris Fellowship Awards throughout the years. Each award represents a gift of at least $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. A recent Rotary Foundation project has been "Polio Plus" - helping to create programs throughout the world to eradicate polio.
The Springfield Rotary Club meets every Friday at 12:15 p.m. in the Mass Mutual Room at The Basketball Hall of Fame, West Columbus Avenue, Springfield, and is a proud member of Rotary International. The Rotary luncheon is $15 per person and is open to the public.
For more information on the Springfield Rotary or becoming a member, please contact
Springfield Club Membership Chair Mike Healy at 413-267-1217 or visit their Web site
at www.springfieldmarotary.org <http://www.springfieldmarotary.org/> .