During the first part of our awards program, President Roger Kozak presented certificates of thanks to those members of the club that have provided the brains and brawn to carry out Rotary's local service programs. Recipients were Renae O' Connor for social services, Dr. Chuck Yelverton for the bike helmet program, Doug Tuve for effective publicity work, Rev. Mercy Hobbs for service above self for donating a kidney to a friend, Barry Vickery for providing great weekly programs for the club, Ralph Brown for leading Rotary's part in the Meals on Wheels program, Sergeant at Arms Al Pravacek for separating Rotarians from many dollars of charity money, and Kathy Chandler for devoted work as club secretary for many years. President Kozak noted that these folks are leaders in making Rotary work for Vermillion.
During the second part of our awards program, District Governor Roger Witz of Wagner began by awarding Paul Harris Fellowships to eight of our local members. Paul Harris, a Chicago businessman, was founder of Rotary and our international activities are supported largely by direct gifts from Rotary members all over the world to the Paul Harris Foundation. Rotary's goal for this past year was $120 million for the foundation, an equivalent of $100 per club member worldwide.
Paul Harris Fellows are members who have contributed $1,000 to the foundation in any one year, or over a 10-year span of planned giving. The members honored as paul Harris Fellows at our meeting were Ross Dickenson, Rev. Mercy Hobbs, Randy Houska, Renae O' Connor, Debbie Reeves, Kent Scribner, Dan Van Peursem and Roger Kozak.
Gov. Witz then addressed the club concerning his year as district leader, discussing the goals, challenges and satisfactions of serving in this demanding job. The district convention was held at Wagner and for the first time in several years had a majority of the local clubs in attendance. Indeed, 75 percent of the 41 clubs in District 5310 were represented. His main goal has been to raise the $100-per-member Paul Harris Foundation gifts. This goal has been partially reached with $150,000 being raised to date, the highest amount ever raised in our district. Our Vermillion club has so far raised $5,970 of the $6,900 goal set for it.
Our meeting was closed with the usual singing of the first stanza of My County 'Tis of Thee.