Every Monday at noon, a group of 125 people gather in a Holidome ballroom to listen to speakers and receive updates on local service programs.
However, the next Lawrence Rotary Club meeting will be a little different, as the focus will shift momentarily to seven club members who will be recognized for their contributions.
The seven members will receive Paul Harris Follow Awards, which are given to members who donate $1,000 or more over time.
The awards can be given at any time of the year, but seven awards in one day is unique, said club member Jeff Novorr. This year’s winners are Tim VanLeer, Jane Bateman, Evelyn Senecal, Tom Mulinazzi, Tom Groene, Bob Georgeson and Bill Penny. This will be the second Paul Harris Award for Mulinazzi, Groene, Georgeson and Penny.
Senecal, a member of the club for more than 10 years, said club members donate money out of their professional commitment to community service and altruism.
“We donate so that we can make a difference and so that we can leave this world better than we found it,” she said.
Senecal recently retired from Amerprise Financial Services, where she worked for 30 years.
The Lawrence Rotary Club was founded in 1915 and has expanded to 200 members in three clubs: Lawrence, Jayhawk and Lawrence Central.
The club has been part of a number of service programs during the past 94 years, such as funding polio vaccines for children and providing 240 pairs of new shoes for Lawrence children.
This year, the club will focus on clean water wells in India and the Philippines, school books for children in Mongolia, and medical supplies for a Rotary medical mission to Panama.
“It’s a good way to give back to the community and to support causes that may not otherwise get some attention,” Novorr said.