Rotary Kingston recognizes outstanding contributions of community members

The recipients of the 2023 Paul Harris Fellow Awards: (L-R) Ruth Shannon, Elsabé Falkson, Judy Borovskis, Tracey MacGorman, Helen Cooper, and Marci McMullen. Photo via the Rotary Club of Kingston.

The Rotary Club of Kingston has announced the recipients of the 2023 Paul Harris Fellow Awards, the highest honour a Rotary Club can bestow upon a person.

Helen Cooper, Ruth Shannon, Elsabé Falkson, Tracey MacGorman, Judy Borovskis and Marci McMullen were recognized during a special awards presentation on Thursday, April 27, 2023, according to a release from the Rotary Club of Kingston, dated Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

The Paul Harris Fellow Award acknowledges ‘Service Above Self’ and an appreciation for a substantial contribution toward humanitarian causes, which that individual has offered to his or her community, nation, or the world. According to the release, the Rotary Club of Kingston contributes $1,000 (USD) to the Rotary Foundation for the privilege of recognizing each person in this way. The money is collected through annual member donations.

The award is named after Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who, with three business associates, created Rotary in 1905. Following Harris’s death in 1947, the Rotary Foundation received significant donations in his name, according to the release. Today, the fund has become one of the world’s leading humanitarian foundations, the local organization stated. Over the past 100 years, the Rotary Foundation has allocated $ 3 billion to life-changing, sustainable projects that support their six primary causes of promoting peace, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies, and fighting disease.

The Rotary Club provided the following details on each winner:

Ruth Shannon

Ruth is very well known in the agricultural community and beyond. Ruth has been a volunteer with Frontenac 4H as a leader and volunteer for 50 years, teaching the motto “Learn to do by doing.” Ruth has mentored countless youth to learn important life skills with emphasis on cooking, sewing, and crafts, and led vet and sheep clubs. Ruth has run and organized for 25 years the major fundraiser for the local 4H. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ruth and a team of quilters started making PPE for our local health care workers.

Elsabé Falkson

Elsabé is a long-time volunteer for many organizations since arriving to Canada from South Africa. Elsabé has served on many of The Rotary Club committees, and she became a Board Director for Youth Services in 2019. A year later, she became Director of Community Services and worked on all five of their committees, including as chair of the Easter Seals Committee. She currently sits as past President of the Rotary Club of Kingston, and Chair of the Rotary District 7040 Environmental committee, and is a member and volunteer of Little Forests.

Helen Cooper

Helen is well known for her time as a city councillor and, in 1988, as Kingston’s first female mayor. She has been a Distinguished Fellow at the Queen’s School of Policy Studies. In 2014, she took on the role of president of OASIS Senior Supportive Living Inc., a project supported by The Rotary Club of Kingston. She has been a tireless promoter of this model for seniors: to encourage them to stay in their own apartment, where social, exercise, learning, and health programs are available.

Tracey MacGorman

Tracy embraces the idea of giving back to her community. She has become the “go-to person” within the BMO’s Kingston branches for their volunteer involvement with the United Way and the Kids Help Phone. Tracy has been a key person in The Rotary and Queen’s annual Go Nuts-Nut Drive fundraiser for over 30 years. Her support for her community is decades long.

Judy Borovskis

Judy’s story features decades of tremendous support for the Rotary Club and her community. Judy has hosted Rotary exchange students from all over the world and is always first in line to volunteer for fundraisers. Judy has many areas she supports, including being the Treasurer of the Inverary Youth Activities
Group Ball Park, and has led major improvement projects for the park.

Marci McMullen

Marci has been supporting her community for many years, starting with Maker’s Haven, which she began to support local artisans and causes in her showroom at Haven Home ClimateCare, until she and her husband sold the store in July 2021. A few but not all examples of Marci’s community commitments include funds raised for Almost Home, Multiple Sclerosis, Change for Fin, the Kingston Humane Society, Dress for Success, 4Paws Service Dogs, and Easter Seals. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for The Art of Courage and The Rotary Club of Kingston.

The Rotary Club of Kingston asks the community to join them in recognizing the incredible achievements of these community leaders.

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