Rotarians present top award for resourceful fundraiser

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A Simcoe woman was recognized this weekend for finding a way to keep a local service club going despite pandemic constraints.

Members of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise converged on the home of Cathy Harrop on March 28 for the presentation of a prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship. Judging from her response, the surprise was complete and successful.

“When I was a girl, almost all of my report cards said I was a ‘Chatty Cathy’,” Harrop said in a news release. “Today, I was made speechless. Thank you so much to all my Rotary family that came to my house to present me with a Paul Harris Fellow.”

Harrop’s fellow Rotarians have been impressed with her ability to improvise during a pandemic. Despite social distancing and the suspension of public gatherings, Harrop has found a way to mount successful fundraisers on behalf of Norfolk Sunrise.

“During the pandemic especially, while service clubs have struggled to raise funds for community projects, Cathy took on significant responsibility for fundraising and has been key to the club’s success with Take a Bite Out of Norfolk, Trivia Night, and the Bargains, Bling and Blarney Auction for Rotary through Bid2Buy,” Rotarian Ross Gowan said in the release.

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“Cathy is a member who creates cohesion among the members of the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise and with the larger community.  Her energy and friendship have proven infectious.”

Harrop is a long-serving member of the Rotary Club, who also served a term as president of the Norfolk Sunrise chapter in 2011.

A Paul Harris Fellowship is bestowed on worthy Rotarians or community leaders who exemplify the Rotary ideal of “Service above self.” Recipients distinguish themselves by “going above and beyond to help others in the community and world-wide.”

Rotary chapters receive the right to award a Paul Harris Fellowship by donating US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.

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