BALLINGER – The Ballinger Rotary Club has earned a very special distinction – the club was recently recognized as a 100 percent Paul Harris Club. That means all of the members are now Paul Harris Fellows.

BALLINGER – The Ballinger Rotary Club has earned a very special distinction – the club was recently recognized as a 100 percent Paul Harris Club. That means all of the members are now Paul Harris Fellows.

The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or whom have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships.

On Tuesday, June 6, eight members of the Ballinger Rotary Club received medallions, pins and certificates and were officially named Paul Harris Fellows. District Governor Judy Hutcherson and Ballinger Rotary board member David Cowart presented the awards.

“This is a wonderful accomplishment,” said Hutcherson who traveled from Fredericksburg to make the presentations.

Members who were named Paul Harris Fellows at the meeting included Steve Smith, Alvin Dunn, Greg Schwertner, Robert Wrightt and Robert Webb. Members who were named who were not in attendance were Ken Slimp, Carl Vancil and Bryan Grimes.

There were only three clubs in Zone 7 who became 100 percent Paul Harris Clubs this year. Internationally, there are more than one million Rotary members who are Paul Harris Fellows.

“It speaks volumes about our club,” Cowart said.

Following the presentation, Hutcherson gave a brief update on global projects in India and South Africa and reminded members of the Rotary International Convention to be held this week in Atlanta, GA.

She will roll off as district governor on July 1.

She applauded the efforts of the Ballinger club in becoming a 100 percent Paul Harris Club.

“It is a bond that keeps you together,” she said.

The first Paul Harris Fellows include 1937-38 RI Director Allison G. Brush and longtime RI Treasurer Rufus F. Chapin, both for donations made in 1946. Mrs. Adan Vargas was the first woman to receive the recognition, for a gift made in 1953. Mrs. Harry L. Jones was the second, and one of only five people recognized for contributions made in 1957.

Early Paul Harris Fellows received a certificate of recognition. In 1969, the Foundation unveiled the first Paul Harris Fellow medallion at the RI Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Japanese metal artist Fiju Tsuda created the piece under the direction of then-past Foundation Trustee Kyozo Yuasa. Today, Paul Harris Fellows receive a certificate and pin. They are also eligible to purchase a Paul Harris Fellow medallion.

Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk.