Houlton Rotary Annual Meeting 2012

Posted By Fgrant

In the photo: Don Collins, Paul Adams, and Jonathan French

Houlton Rotary celebrated an exceptional year of service during its annual dinner on June 18th. The club has covered lots of ground in the past twelve months, having hosted a district conference for 200 Rotarians from across the region, donated more than $30,000 to causes both local and across the globe, and added nearly a dozen new members to the organization.

As part of the annual dinner, Houlton Rotary celebrated the work and commitment to service of two individuals in our community who make a positive impact wherever they go. Both Paul Adams and Don Collins were recognized by the club as Paul Harris fellows, which is the highest recognition within Rotary.

Paul Adams, having been a Rotarian for several years, is no stranger to the motto of “service above self.” Even in high school while on student council, working on fundraisers, and serving as class president, Paul knew the importance of reaching out beyond one’s own interests for the greater good. Whether its supporting Aroostook County, Houlton Regional Hospital, the chamber of commerce, or Houlton High School, he never waivers in his willingness to help. And perhaps his most significant avenue of service comes in being a friend to many people, always cordial, polite, and willing to listen.

Paul Harris Fellow, Don Collins, is certainly a friend to many people. His innate warmth toward others separates him as someone who appreciates every person as a neighbor. He has the ability to capture and intensify the goodness of people and situations and move beyond the unimportant details or hindrances that many often focus on. Don has worked hard for our community by cleaning up the Meduxnekeag River through Vital Pathways, volunteering to judge science fairs, helping children learn to ski, and serving as an example of what a community leader and role model should be. His unwavering positive attitude gives many people a handhold on reality. Don reminds us all that life is meant to be lived, not planned and never lamented.

For the first time in the history of Houlton Rotary, the club applauded the service contributions of a business by awarding Ward Log Homes with a Paul Harris Recognition. In 1999, Ward Cabin Company was purchased by Jonathan French and renamed Ward Log Homes. For well over a decade, Ward Log Homes has been an exceptional corporate citizen, supporting many local projects with free or discounted materials. In addition since 2004, the company has donated a log camp package each year to the Houlton Rotary auction, resulting in a total donation to the club in excess of $100,000.

Many people believe the times in which we live are filled with fear and uncertainty. The accomplishments of Houlton Rotary and people such as Paul Adams, Don Collins, and Jonathan French offer proof that kindness and hope are eternal. When it comes down to the bedrock reality of life in Northern Maine, the personal willingness to support neighbors and communities is as fundamental as survival itself.


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