Four area residents honoured as Paul Harris Fellows
London Community News
Four people were honoured as Paul Harris Fellows earlier this month.
On June 15, the Rotary Club of London South presented Dr. Annette Richard, Gerry Sunstrum and Stewart McCutcheon with the Paul Harris Fellowship award, while Robin Swanton was presented one on behalf of an anonymous donor.
The Paul Harris Fellowship is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing their appreciation for substantial contributions to its humanitarian and educational programs. The foundation was established in 1917 by Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who also started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905.
Rotary clubs or individual Rotarians will designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”
Dr. Annette Richard
Richard became a fellow, after co-founding FACE IT (Focused, Anxiety, Reducing, Community-based Empowering Individualized Teaching) in 2007. The program was established to help newly diagnosed cancer patients maneuver the medical system.
After the FACE IT team receives referrals from various sources, Richard calls all new patients and meets with them one-on-one to help answer questions. There is no cost for FACE IT services and it’s solely funded with private donations.
Before relocating to London in 1995, Sunstrum volunteered at Lighthouse Niagara, a drop-in centre that helped at-risk youth and served as a board member. Now as a volunteer in London, he coaches track and field for individuals with development disabilities, special Olympics bowling and he is a hockey coach for the George Bray Hockey, an organization that brings the sport of hockey to kids of all abilities. He also volunteers at the Arc Mission to feed the hungry and sits on the board of the Alice Saddy Assocation, an organization that supports individuals with developmental disabilities.
For the past two years McCutcheon — a large farm operator in Thorndale — has spent three months in South Sudan as part of Canadian Economic Development for Southern Sudan (CEDASS), which is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based, charitable organization based in London. Its goal is to establish a self-sustaining economy in southern Sudan through Canadian agriculture and business training.
Under McCutcheon’s direction, 50 acres of soy beans, 50 acres of corn and 16 acres of sorghum were planted in 2011. Stewart is currently in South Sudan overseeing the planting of the 2012 crop.
For the past eight years, Swanton has donated up to 10 days contributing to the success of Operation Walk in Guatemala. Operation Walk Canada Inc. is a not-for-profit volunteer medical service organization.
Swanton has worked before and after surgeries to ensure the cleanliness and preparation for the next operation. As can be expected, less than ideal working conditions presents many unique challenges.
In the absence of autoclaves and sterilizers Swanton devised a process to clean instrumentation. She also created and organized a warehousing depot for all the instrumentation for the surgeries so that the operation rooms were prepared and ready for the next surgeries.