GraVoc vice president Cathy Gravel knew going into last week’s Rotary banquet that she would be named the club’s president for 2009-2010. What she did not know is that she would be named the club’s Rotarian of the Year, as well as awarded the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow distinction.

Cathy received this award undoubtedly as a result of her tremendous efforts on several of the Peabody Rotary’s project committees.  Cathy served as the chairperson of the scholarship committee, which awarded $11,000 of scholarships to Peabody students.  She also served as chairperson and grant writer of the Safe 2 Pedal Day program, which organized an event encouraging health and bicycle safety.  During her one-year term as president, she will now oversee all of the club’s community involvement projects.

Rotary International’s slogan is “Service Above Self,” and they are recognized worldwide as an organization that undertakes local projects as well as international efforts, such as funding surgery for children with facial deformities in the third world and eradicating polio worldwide.  Locally, the Peabody Rotary Club has received recognition for programs such as the Y It Matters program, which provides extended-day school activities for elementary school students.

The Paul Harris Fellow distinction is perhaps the highest distinction awarded to a Rotary member, as it rewards the recipient for “outstanding contributions to the ideals of Rotary.”  The award also typically involves a contribution to the international Rotary Foundation in honor of the award recipient.

The entire GraVoc organization is proud of Cathy and her contributions to the community and her embodiment of Service Above Self.

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