A speech by Rotary District 7750 Governor Beth Padgett on Monday at Newberry Hall and the presentation of a banner made it official.
The Rotary Club of Aiken is one of the most generous organizations affiliated with Rotary International.
Padgett called the local group’s recent certification as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club “an extraordinary achievement.”
There are more than 30,000 clubs under Rotary International's umbrella, and “less than 20%” have earned 100% Paul Harris Fellow status, Padgett said.
In addition, she reported, the Rotary Club of Aiken is the largest club “by far in our district” to be recognized as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow organization.
The Rotary Club of Aiken has approximately 175 members.
Rotary International recognizes individual Rotary Club members as Paul Harris Fellows when they contribute $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.
An individual also can become a Paul Harris Fellow when a $1,000 contribution is made in his or her name to the The Rotary Foundation.
A club receives 100% Paul Harris Fellow recognition when all of its dues-paying members are Paul Harris fellows.
“Candy Hamilton is our Rotary Club of Aiken Foundation chair, and she made this a goal of hers,” said Rotary Club of Aiken President Ellen Priest.
The two women worked together to encourage their fellow Rotary Club of Aiken members to make the donations needed to achieve the objective.
“I’m so proud of our club members for stepping up and doing this,” Priest said.
The Rotary Foundation uses the money it receives for a variety of service projects internationally that are designed to prevent disease, provide clean water, support education, grow local economies, promote peace, and “save” mothers and children, according to Rotary International’s website.
“You have made a difference in the lives of so many people through your generosity and through your giving,” Padgett told the Rotary Club of Aiken. “You are changing lives every day in the world.”
Padgett said the name of the club would be engraved on a 100% Paul Harris Fellow plaque at Rotary International’s headquarters in Evanston, Illinois.