The Paul Harris Fellow Award is named after Rotary's founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905.  The Rotary Club of Belleville started shortly after in 1920.  There are ways that Rotarians can earn PHF recognition and there are a number of members who carry that recognition.  Rotarians can designate a Community Paul Harris Fellow recognition as a tribute to a person who is a non-Rotarian and whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the core values of Rotary and who share a spirit of "Service Above Self".  President Peter Malone was pleased to have the honour and pleasure of recognizing three amazing individuals from within our community who do exactly that.  In alphabetic order.
 
Inspector Sheri Meeks, Belleville Police Service was nominated by Executive Director of The Children's Foundation and Rotarian, Melanie Cressman.  Melanie came to know Inspector Meeks through her volunteer work in the Belleville community.  She is well respected by anyone who has had the pleasure of working with her.  Melanie had the opportunity to witness Sheri's leadership in her former role at United Way.  Inspector Meeks was Campaign Chair for two years during the height of the pandemic, a time when most of the world was shutting down.  Sheri led her team of campaign volunteers to exceed goal, two years in a row.  The Belleville Community is a better place because of the work that Inspector Meeks does.  The list of volunteer/community Board involvement is a long one and includes the responsibility of Board Member for Big Sisters, Mental Health Support Network, Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee, United Way HPE Campaign Cabinet, Special Olympics Polar Plunge Chair, Pedal for Hope participant, 100 Women Who Care Quinte, Kids Got Talent judge, Victim Services, Children's Safety Village, Enrichment Centre for Mental Health.  Inspector Meeks' role at the Belleville Police Service also sees her very involved in associations and committees, locally and provincially, including areas of health and wellness, peer support, education, training and professional development, executive education, psychological resiliency, police response to persons in crisis and leadership planning. 
 
Rotarian Hazzem Koudsi was very pleased to introduce his nominated award winner Sarah Rozema-Seaton, the founder and CEO of Big Red Bow Digital Marketing.  Sarah's values are strongly aligned with all Rotarians and she holds true to Rotary's motto of Service Above Self.  Her involvement as a volunteer with many local charities is truly impressive.  Sarah has been involved with Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Hastings with respect to fundraising events as well as with their website development.  Her expertise and support of their e-commerce platform improved Habitat's online and community presence.  Her efforts provided much needed resources for their build fund.  Sarah also assists as a board member with The Children's Foundation.  Her help in promoting various events such as the Guardian Angel Gala or the annual Radio-a-Thon results in increased community awareness and additional much needed funds for The Children's Foundation.  Sarah's help with the United Way HPE's annual giving campaign including the kickoff event and the close out party results in them reaching their goals.  The Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation also receives the benefit of Sarah's contributions at all their events.  Recently Sarah joined the Strong Communities Campaign with the YMCA that focuses on raising much needed resources to improve and enrich the lives of thousands of children, adults, seniors and families.  Simply put Sarah meets all aspects of the four-way test of Rotary with the main focus on "will it be beneficial to all concerned?"  A resounding yes!
 
Heather Smith has been nominated by Steve Cooke, Executive Director of the Belleville General Hospital Foundation and it is interesting to note that Heather was a Paul Harris Community Award recipient in June 2013 from her father, a long time member of the Rotary Club of Belleville, Mac (Macdonald) Smith when he turned 90 and wanted to recognize his children on his special milestone birthday.  Fast forward ten years and Heather continues her illustrious career in fundraising for the Lung Association, University Hospitals Kingston, YMCA Central East Ontario and the Belleville General Hospital Foundation.  Heather held her CFRE, professional fundraising designation until her retirement in 2018 and has been an active life-long volunteer in Sudbury, Kingston, Ottawa and Belleville including the YMCA, RKY Camp, Ride for Dad and Inn from the Cold.  She has a vast experience in community endeavours, managing volunteers as a servant to the community.  In addition to what has been mentioned, Heather serves on the Belleville Police Services Board and is also on the provincial Executive Committee for Zone 2 of which Belleville is part.  She is is now the President of the Belleville General Hospital Auxiliary, having been a member for a number of years as well as a member of the Belleville General Hospital Foundation Board.  Heather has also held leadership positions in professional associations related to fundraising such as the Canadian Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Giving back to the community certainly runs deep in Heather's family and has done so for many, many years.  Heather's response to this award honour "Community service has always been important to our family.  Giving back means so much and we are grateful to be part of this loving community.  To be recognized is a real honour".
 
President Peter Malone rounded out the evening with a request for a final round of applause for the three Community Paul Harris Fellow recipients.  For all they do.  Very impressive indeed.  Peter also acknowledged three previous recipients in attendance -- June Rickard, Leah Johnson and Pat Guernsey.