Each year since 2008, the Club has been nominating and presenting Paul Harris Fellowships to community members.  Each recipient is nominated by a Rotarian for their outstanding contribution to the community and their demonstration of Rotary's motto of Service Above Self.  A Paul Harris Fellowship is one of the highest honours a Club can bestow on a member or on an individual in the community.  This evening's recipients are joining a rather exclusive circle which includes such world figures as Mother Teresa, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, UN Secretary General Javier Perex de Cuellar and so on.  They are also joining 80 members of the Rotary Club of Belleville and 47 past recipients in our community who are Paul Harris Fellows.  Honoured recipients were Elizabeth Ewashkiw (nominated by Dr. Ruth Mathieson), Catharine and Lanny Huff (nominated by Rotarian Dianne Spencer), Rick Watt (nominated by President Elect Cory MacKay) presented by Past President Tim McKinney, Master of Ceremonies and Rotary President, Darrell Smith.
 
Elizabeth Ewashkiw arrived in Belleville in the Fall of 1967 and has been actively involved in the community ever since.  While completing her degree from Queen's University, she became a volunteer teacher of English for new Canadians, eventually coordinating their children's class and thus began many decades of association with early childhood education.  Nova Children's Centre grew from concept to incorporation with Elizabeth leading the way as founding president.  It is still thriving on Montrose Road to this day.  She joined the Board of the Eastern Ontario Concert Orchestra and quickly rose to President and later General Manager of the Board.  Elizabeth is a member of the Canadian Federation of the University Women, Belleville Branch, is also on the executive of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario and the Board of Bridge Street United Church foundation.  In 2008 while she was serving meals for "Inn from the Cold" at Bridge Street United Church, she was introduced to two other guests who were knitters, forming Knitters United, an inspiring community group which now has 56 members.  They use donated yarn to knit hats and mittens to donate to those near and far who are in need.  By the end of 2021 they had donated 18,637 items!  They have donated to many groups over the years who are in need, including Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation, the Scott Mission, Three Oaks and far flung places like Iqaluit to Kenya.  Elizabeth is a born leader and fully exemplifies the motto of Rotarians, Service Above Self.
 
Catharine and Lanny Huff have a history of generous support of their community.  Supporters of hospitals, Loyalist College, arts groups, sports and community organizations, when they see a need, they help where they can.  In April 2021, when presented with an Honorary Lifetime Membership by the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce, Lanny commented that "education and health care" are the causes most important to him and Catharine.  The Prince Edward County Community Foundation was formed in 2009 and Catharine was a founding member.  In 2018 the Foundation announced the establishment of The Huff Family Fund to support area organizations and institutions through grants.  In May 2020, the Huff Family Fund made a significant donation to be used for critical equipment and supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19 across each of the four hospitals in the Quinte Health Care system.  The previous year, the BGH Foundation received a gift of $500,000 from Catharine and Lanny to support nuclear medicine to provide lifesaving advanced cancer diagnostics for the region.  Catharine has a history of volunteer work with Loyalist College and as a Director on the College Foundation, the family has made financial donations for over 25 years including the purchase of a chair in honour of their daughter, a graduate of the College's Nursing Program.  They also established an Endowment Fund in memory of their son, Peter, supporting countless individuals and making a profound impact on the College and future students.  The family supported the building of the Skills Centre at Loyalist, named the Peter F. Huff Automotive Centre in 2013.  Also major donations were made for the development of the Health and Wellness Complex and in recognition of their cumulative support in excess of two million dollars, Catharine and Lanny were named to the prestigious Visionaries level on the Donor Wall.  The Huffs do not seek recognition, accepting it only to encourage others to step up to support a cause.  They seek to promote the welfare of others, especially by donating money to good causes.  They are generous and benevolent and have been recognized as "outstanding philanthropists" by the Association of Fundraising professions in Southeastern Ontario on more than one occasion.
 
Rick Watt has been volunteering for over 20 years in our community, a familiar face in the Track and Field Student programs and volleyball, making significant contributions to the lives of young students.  Rick has also been the face of Operation Red Nose locally since 2003, first as a driver in 1996, but then re-joining at the invitation of Inspector Merle Foster of the Belleville Police Service in 2003.  The program runs on weekends between late November and the end of the year.  There are teams of three -- an escort driver, a driver and a navigator.  The teams pick up passengers, the driver and navigator then get into your car with you and the escort driver follows to make sure the passenger arrives at their destination safely.  Volunteers, combined with Rick's leadership are the main reasons Operation Red Nose has been so successful.  Rick was named to the Operational Red Nose Hall of Fame for his contributions and the program has been a model for other communities.  In addition to Red Nose, Rick has also been a long-time volunteer at Inn from the Cold at Bridge Street United Church, working closely with the community and other volunteers.  He was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, quite an honour.  Described by Dave Allen as the master of managing volunteers, Rick has and continues to give his time, leadership skills and knowledge to the community, an example of Service Above Self.
 
 
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