Peninsula Clarion honored with Paul Harris Fellowship

Posted: Wednesday, July 04, 2007


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  Tom Janz and Evy Gebhardt receive a Paul Harris Fellowship on behalf of the Peninsula Clarion from Rotary District Governor Gayle Knepper and Governor-elect Maynard Gross.

Rotary District 5010 Governor Gayle Knepper presents members of the new Kenai River Rotary Club with their official Rotary International Charter.

New Soldotna Rotary Club receives Charter and donates $1,000 to the Roatary Foundation in the name of the Clarion

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Founded in 1905 by Paul Harris, an attorney in Chicago, today approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world joining together under the motto of “Service Above Self.” In 1917 the Rotary Foundation was established to fund projects that would enhance world peace through understanding. Upon the death of Paul Harris in 1947, an outpouring of Rotarian donations made in his honor, totaling $2 million dollars, launched the Foundation's first program and began what is known to Rotarians as a Paul Harris Fellowship. Rotarians earn a Paul Harris Fellowship when they complete a $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation.


Tom Janz and Evy Gebhardt receive a Paul Harris Fellowship on behalf of the Peninsula Clarion from Rotary District Governor Gayle Knepper and Governor-elect Maynard Gross.

Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 billion dollars in humanitarian and educational grants, which are initiated and administered by local Rotary clubs and districts. In 1985 Rotary International announced its Polio Plus program to immunize all the children of the world against Polio, since that time the incidence of polio in the world has declined by more than 99 percent.

Last week Rotary International chartered a new club on the Kenai Peninsula called the Kenai River Rotary Club. The Soldotna Rotary Club, the first Rotary Club to be chartered on the Peninsula and one of the sponsors of the new club took advantage of the occasion to present the Peninsula Clarion with a Paul Harris Fellowship. In recognizing the Clarion’s contribution to Service Above Self over the years the award represents a $1,000 dollar contribution to the Rotary Foundation in the name of the Peninsula Clarion, “Things have changed since Fred Chambers brought Rotary to the Kenai Peninsula in 1979. Back then hardly anyone that Fred approached had ever heard of Rotary or its programs, but over the last 28 years the efforts of that original club has sponsored 5 other clubs on the Peninsula from Seward to Homer and was responsible for sponsoring the first club in eastern Russia after the fall of the U.S.S.R. Today it’s hard to find anyone who lives on the Peninsula who hasn’t been touched in one way or another by local Rotary programs and projects, and that is largely due to the continual coverage of local Rotary programs and events provided by the Peninsula Clarion. This is the Soldotna Rotary Club’s way of expressing its appreciation to the Clarion for helping the principals and work of Rotary grow in our community,” said Merrill Sikorski, Foundation Chairmen for the Soldotna Club.

In accepting the award on behalf of the Clarion, Advertising Director, Evy Gebhardt said, “This is truly an honor for each of the Clarion’s nearly 80 employees who dedicate themselves to serving our local community every day of the week and represents what each of us feel about the work we do here.”

Rotary District 5010 Governor Gayle Knepper was on hand to present the new Kenai River Club with their official charter, “One of my favorite things to do in Rotary is to bring in new members and especially the occasion of chartering a new club into the Rotary family. Our district includes some 2,700 members spread over 11 time zones from Canada to Russia and it’s truly impressive what these Rotarians are doing to help people and bring world peace through understanding,” said Knepper. The new Kenai River Rotary Club meets Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm at the Nikko Garden restaurant in Ridgeway, for more information call club president Sandra Ghormley at 262-2654.

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