Ridgway Rotary club president Pat Brennan noted the Paul Harris fellowship is named for Paul Harris, founder of Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905.
The fellowship was established in his honor in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution of the humanitarian and education program of the Rotary International Foundation.
"Today we are privileged and honored to recognize not one but five of our membership as Paul Harris fellows," Brennan said.
Brennan introduced Rotarian Dale Lepovetsky, past district governor and Rotary member from the St. Marys club. Lepovetsky reported our small Rotary groups worldwide have grown over these 100 years to represent a membership of over 260 million in nearly every country in the world and has spearheaded the mission to eradicate polio in the world and works for projects such as clean water and emergency disaster assistance.
Rotary also sponsors local literacy programs as well as non-profit organizations such as the YMCA.
Lepovetsky awarded the esteemed Paul Harris certificates, medals and pins to the following Ridgway Rotarians:
Dr. Les A. Shull has been a Rotarian for 39 years and a son of a longtime Rotarian. He has filled the office as the Rotary president and PR/Foundation chairman. Les is a lifelong photographer, artist, retired school administrator, and a member of the Ridgway Rifle Club.
Gloria Almquist-Shull, the wife of Dr. Shull, is very active in Rotary leadership, holding the office of president for two years and serving as district assistant governor for multiple years. She is a retired music teacher that regularly sings with the Chautaugua Institute choir and the Zion Covenant Choir of Jamestown, N.Y. Mrs. Shull is director of the Concert Choir of Elk County, serves as the vice president of the Ridgway Area School District's Board of Directors, and is active in other community and educational organizations.
Gennaro Aiello is a prominent businessman and a proud Rotarian with a perfect attendance record spanning 14 years. He has held the office of president multiple times and is in the forefront organizing and supporting Rotary functions. He is currently membership chairman. He has a beautiful wife, Cyndi, and is best known as a "family man."
Gloria Udarbe has maintained the office of "Sergeant at Arms," and "Corresponding Secretary" of Ridgway Rotary. She is a retired nurse who has coordinated international medical trips helping thousands of people less fortunate. Mrs. Udarbe is active in many community organizations and exemplifies the spirit of Paul Harris in her dedication to Rotary.
Dr. Guillermo Udarbe, while maintaining his successful practice as a renowned physician, has traveled to underdeveloped nations donating his expertise to provide desperately needed medical treatment. He continues his passion to make the world a better place through his dedicated work with Rotary. As Ridgway's proactive mayor, Dr. Udarbe has his fingers on the pulse of the Ridgway community. Paul Harris would be proud.