2017-01-18, Paul Harris Fellow Presentations

Pres. Elect Lya Jordan called the meeting to order at 12:08. Ana Mangino gave the invocation. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. John Pickett led the members in singing “God Bless America.” Because of the program we did not take time to meet and greet each other. We had eleven guests of Rotarians and two visiting Rotarians. Two of our high school student guests were in attendance.

The Program: Paul Harris Fellows

Bill Harty served as the “MC” for the awards. He explained how the PH program works and noted that our club, over the years, has contributed $400,000.  We had four awardees today: 

Greg Fant, a multiple PH fellow, was recognized again for his service above self.  Greg was born and raised in Mississippi.  He developed a love for music in high school, which led to his majoring in music in college.  He completed his higher education at Delta State University, NMSU, and University of Arizona. After serving on the faculty in the Music Department for a number of years, Greg became the Associate Vice President and Deputy Provost at NMSU. His impact at NMSU and in our community promoting music education had led to numerous awards for his service above self.

Fran Kemp, our former club pianist, was our next awardee.  She is an accomplished piano and organ player.  She was a stay-at-home mom when her children were young.  During that time she played the organ at church and gave piano lessons. Later, when the NMSU Band Office needed someone as a secretary, Fran joined the paid workforce. She was the key person in the office, responsible for keeping everything in order. When Fran retired from NMSU, she landed a low-paying position of organist and church secretary. Regardless of whether she is raising children or working at the university or at her church, it was always service above self.

Our next recipient, Theresa Aschbacher, is also an accomplished musician (clarinet).  From El Paso, she worked for the IRS office as a corporate examiner. Ill health caused her leave the workforce, with medical disability retirement. She moved to Las Cruces, married her husband Gary, and assisted her husband at FastWave.Biz, an internet company.  She was able to work at home. As her medical condition worsened, Theresa has cut back on her work and enjoys reading and listening to music.  She retains her membership in our club even though it has been difficult for her to attend meetings regularly.

Tessa Kennedy, an NMSU graduate, earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2013, where she was a Crimson Scholar. She is currently working on her M.A. degree, serving as a graduate assistant. Tessa worked as an administrative assistant with CrossTown Ministries, a community development organization in Las Cruces. She volunteered as a middle school leader and coordinator for the Interact Club at Picacho Middle School. Earlier, while working in El Paso, she participated in numerous international services projects, in Africa, China, Mexico, and India. Her service has been around the world.

After the Program

Patty gave the “can report” noting that we gathered $8 for St. Luke’s Health Center. She also noted that the jackpot was up to $398. Mary Ellen McKay had the winning ticket, but failed to pull the joker from the deck of playing cards.  Thus, the pot grows. We ended the meeting with the 4-way test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Susan Pickett

John Pickett

Ben & Rachel Davis

Bobby Rankin

Tessa Kennedy


Rudy Valadez

Tessa Kennedy

Fran Kemp


Larry Kemp

Fran Kemp 

Jeff Kemp

Fran Kemp

Kathy Kemp

Fran Kemp

Beth Fant

Greg Fant

Leonor Soria

Paul Comeau

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Scott Russell

Ithaca, New York

Ken Van Winkle


Student Guests



Dominique (Nicky) GboGbo


Caleb Conaway




Date Club




Submitted by Blaine Goss Blaine Goss