Submitted by Mae Radford, Rotary Club of Burlington Central
In past years, the Rotary Club of Burlington Central recognized two new Paul Harris Fellows at an annual Community Service Awards breakfast meeting at the Burlington Golf and Country Club.  Members of the other three Burlington Rotary Clubs, and friends and family of the recipients, joined us at an exciting formal event.
But it is pandemic time and can we cope with the vagaries of change and consider cancelling?
No, a Community Services sub-committee, chaired by President-elect Rene Papin, was assigned to lead us to a new way of recognizing Paul Harris Fellows. Two recent club members, Roshan Basnet and Graham Line, both with advanced social media and technical skills, volunteered to serve on the committee. The committee carefully thought through objectives that would bring us more outreach than in the past:
  • To recognize deserving people as Paul Harris Fellows for their community service
  • To create community outreach through event attendance
  • To create clear and seamless interactions with all four Burlington Rotary Clubs
  • To increase awareness of Rotary 
  • To collect relevant data for multi-purpose use.
Yes, this year we would use technology to make the event different and more far-reaching.  

A detailed work plan got us underway and with the four clubs helping out, it just had to be a success.  Each club could select one recipient and communicate and collect the needed support material for the appropriate presentations. The Club Presidents could prepare to introduce their club’s chosen recipient.  
Now we were underway with the essential task of gathering the photos, videos, setting up interviews, presentations of the pins, and verbal remarks so that there would be an exciting Zoom meeting for the four Clubs.  We reached out to Burlington Mayor Maryanne Meed Ward to give opening greetings and to Brother Richard, Good Shepherd Centres, Hamilton to be a keynote speaker.  Online advertising material was prepared for Rotarians to post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the four Clubs’ websites. All Burlington Rotarians were encouraged to forward the invitation to their contacts, family, friends, and colleagues. People were able to register by clicking on a Register Button and we were able to gauge attendance, which turned out to be more than 150 on the day!  
The Paul Harris Fellowship Recognition is The Rotary Foundation's way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to the community. On February 25, 2021, the four Rotary Clubs of Burlington recognized: 
     David Vandenberg – Operations Manager, Wellington Square Meal Bag Program
     Mary Dilly - Founder, Season of Giving, Christmas Dinner
     Beth Martin - Managing Director, Grow a Row
     Roger Boyd - Founder, Men’s Street Ministry
Now that the event and celebration have ended, our next task is to make good use of the material for Rotary awareness and marketing purposes.