Karen Thompson was recognized on Tuesday, October 2 as a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of her outstanding contribution to our community.  Joining her after the presentation are Club President Nelson Snow, husband/Rotarian Ralph Thompson and Rotarian Derek Key.


In presenting Karen with her PHF, Rotarian Derek Key gave the following introduction:

Fellow Rotarians and Guests:


It is my pleasure today to have been asked to make a Paul Harris Fellow presentation, being a recognition of tangible support for the furtherance of peace and understanding as a result of a One thousand ($1,000.00) dollar U.S. financial contribution to The Rotary Foundation.


The Rotary Foundation makes possible the many international good works that are undertaken by Rotarians throughout the world.  With 1.2 million members in 184 countries, we have been able to effect substantive and material change.


In providing education to the developing world, building schools, providing clean water, making prosthetics available, literacy efforts, or in hundreds of other ways, The Rotary Foundation is what makes Rotary dreams become reality. 


Probably the task, most identifiable to all of us, is the phenomenal undertaking commenced in 1985 when The Rotary Foundation set out to eradicate polio from the world. 


All of these things only happen because Rotarians and others make contributions to The Rotary Foundation.  There are many of us who take the view that we have an obligation as Rotarians to financially support our Foundation.  Generally, those contributions take place because we join the Every Rotarian – Every Year Program which allows us to contribute by automatic withdrawal, as little as One hundred ($100.00) dollars per year. 


Others make a contribution by joining the ranks of Paul Harris sustaining members, indicating that they have made a commitment to become a Paul Harris fellow over time.  Still others make a One Thousand ($1,000.00) dollar U.S. contribution for the privilege of naming someone else a Paul Harris Fellow. 


A trivia question sometimes asked is “What do Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Yitzhak Rabin, Luciano Pavarotti, Bono, Mother Teresa and Indira Ghandi have in common?”  They were all Paul Harris Fellows.  So are thousands of others who have been recognized for their tangible contribution to the Rotary Foundation, or who have taken the opportunity to recognize another for the work that he or she has done, thus entitling them to such an honour.


Today I have the opportunity to present a Paul Harris Fellowship on behalf of the Rotary Foundation.  This Paul Harris Fellowship is being given to recognize the tremendous contribution and good works to Community, Province and family, by the recipient.


The Paul Harris recipient is the daughter of a long-term Rotarian who took great pride in his perfect attendance record for many years.  He too was a Paul Harris Fellow.  Her husband is a Paul Harris Fellow.  Before moving to Summerside with her husband and three children, she was a volunteer with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Auxiliary, a District Commissioner of the Girl Guides of PEI.  Upon her arrival in Summerside in 1985, she quickly became engaged in the Community, being elected as a member of the Unit 2 School Board, and serving as a member of the Community Connections Board for many, many years.  She has been a Hospice Volunteer and continues to commit her time to this worth-while organization.  More recently, as a lover of horses and of children she has become a Joyriders’ volunteer for the disabled. 


Her efforts remind us of the famous quote of Arch Klumph, the Founder of the Rotary Foundation – “The Rotary Foundation is not to build monuments of brick and stone.  If we work upon marble, it will perish;  if we work on brass, time will efface it, if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust, but if we work upon young minds, if we imbue them with the full meaning of the spirit of Rotary, we are engraving upon those tablets something that will last for all eternity.”


            During her years of employment with East Prince Youth, she has assisted young people in acquiring their first job.  As an extension, she has assisted unemployed youth re-enter the work force either through the resources of EI or Social Assistance.  In many cases her compassion and her commitment have led her to spend many hours with troubled, mis-guided youth as they try to learn basic life skills and adjust to the requirements of the workplace. 


            Perhaps, however, her most challenging task has been over the past many months as she has served as the principal care-giver and best friend of fellow Rotarian, Ralph.


            Fellow Rotarians, please join me in honouring Karen Thompson as the most recent recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Foundation.