2017-12-06, Paul Harris Fellow Presentations

President Lya Jordan opened the meeting at 12:07 PM. John Pickett offered the invocation, a heart-warming prayer for a brisk day. After the Pledge of Allegiance. Earl Phillips led the group in a rousing rendition of “White Christmas” followed by “Jingle Bells.” President Lya recognized December birthdays, wedding anniversaries and club anniversaries. Special kudos to Charles and Linda Tharp for 59 years of marriage and Earl Phillips for 29 years of membership.

Guests were introduced before collecting Happy $. Gary Brockway got things rolling with happy dollars for his and Charlotte’s wedding anniversary. Lya was happy that up until today the weather had been more tropical than wintery. Mel was happy that he finally got his wife’s bridge club going and everyone showed up. Patty was happy and thankful to be living in a small town where when you have a medical procedure the doctor’s wife escorts you from the waiting room and takes care of you. Although not a happy thought, Andy shared with the club that Julie Weber, a former NMSU employee, passed away this morning after a short battle with cancer. Daniel was happy that his wife was a guest today and that the Aggies were winning! Ana was happy for our Paul Harris Fellows. Greg was extremely happy that the Aggies were going to a bowl game! All NMSU alumni contributed in their honor. Even Jim Scott put aside his orange long enough to support this achievement. Staying with the Aggie Spirit, Steve did a quick auction for two tickets to tonight’s Aggie Basketball game. Bobby’s guest and son-in-law, John Davis, won with the opening bid.

John Pickett reminded the club to help with the “Dress a Kid” event on Thursday, December 7, 4:45 pm at Kohls on North Main. They expect to dress 110 kids at the event. Sunday’s version went very well. President Lya announced that any program ideas for January should be sent to her or Bill Harty. She also reminded the club that instead of a regular club meeting on December 13, we are having a holiday party on Thursday, December 14 at La Posta. Dinner is at 6:00 PM, cost is $25 per person and our special guests as well as entertainment will be the LCHS choir.

The Program – Paul Harris Fellow Awards

President Lya turned the program over to Bill Harty, chair of the Paul Harris/ Rotary Foundation Committee. Bill first acknowledged that yesterday was the club’s birthday; we were chartered on December 5, 1923. Six years earlier marked the beginning of the Rotary Foundation. It was formally named in 1927 and made the first gift in 1930. Its early years were a bit rough. In an effort to promote the foundation and recognize Rotary’s founder, the Paul Harris Fellowship program was started in 1957. This catalyzed the growth of the foundation. During 2015-2016 total contributions exceeded $265 million dollars. The foundation has four primary programs; PolioPlus, Rotary Peace Centers, District grants, and Global grants. Partnering with us in polio eradication, the Gates Foundation matches $2 to every $1 raised by the foundation in support of PolioPlus. All members are encouraged to participate in “Every Rotarian Every Year.” One way you can do this is through the cruise raffle ticket fundraiser. Look for more information after the new year.

Bill shared a list of all Paul Harris Fellows (PHF) that have been recognized by our club. Over the years we have honored 307 people; 83 of these are multiple fellows and 24 have received the honor more than twice. The fall PHF ceremony is unique in that the club recognizes awardees and makes a $1,000 donation to the foundation on their behalf. Two of the four awardees were unable to attend today, Wendy Clarke and Diana Davidson, who is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. They will be recognized at another meeting.

Ana Mangino introduced Rynni Henderson, President of the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Silver City Sun-News, and the Deming Headlight. Her media leadership experience is transforming these publications and she has demonstrated a strong desire to make a difference in our community.

Les Smith introduced Daniel Payne, a wealth advisor at First American Bank, who is passionate about spreading financial education regularly conducting free seminars in the area. In addition to his Rotary service, he is a member of the state’s retirement income security task force.

Both honorees serve on our Rotary board and both expressed being humbled by this recognition. Bill concluded the program by recognizing the members of the Paul Harris Rotary Foundation Committee. Serving with Bill are: Dinus Briggs, Paul Comeau, Alex Keatts, Jim Scott, Les Smith, and Charles Tharp. Over the years, our club has raised over $400,000 for the foundation.

After the Program

President Lya announced that she and Jay hosted the youth exchange students last weekend. Twenty teenagers from all over the world attended. Although there were no leftovers, the evening was a great joy.

Patty reported that $90 was raised today, bringing the total for the LCHS choir to $183. The pot was up to $458. Since Bill presented most of the program, he drew ticket 409 – which happened to be his ticket! He then drew the joker, winning the pot. In order to distract those who were calculating the odds of this happening, a second ticket was drawn and Charlotte won a gift card for future raffle tickets.

President Lya closed the meeting at 12:52 with the four-way test.

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Guests of Rotarians



June Briggs

Dinus Briggs

Sarah Payne

Daniel Payne

John Davis

Bobby Rankin

Terry Burrow

Earl Phillips

Visiting Rotarians


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Student Guests












Submitted by Greg FantGreg Fant Pictures by Caroline ZamoraCaroline Zamora