Rotary Club of Abbotsford Sumas

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Service Above Self

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Phoenix Lounge
33780 King Road
Abbotsford, BC  V2S 7P2
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Rotary Clubs present Don Funk Memorial Award

November 27, 2016 · Updated 11:35 AM 

Pictured are (from left) Thomas McMillan, Ralph Payne, Raj Patara, Mike Welte, Ron Kelly, and Sara Lawson. / SUBMITTED PHOTO

The three local Rotary Clubs have presented to three individuals the annual Don Funk Memorial Award, given to members who have demonstrated exceptional “service above self.”

The award was presented to Ron Kelly of the Abbotsford Rotary Club, Ralph Payne of the Abbotsford-Sumas club, and Raj Patara of Abbotsford-Matsqui.

A member since 1992, Kelly has been president, consistently supports club activities and programs, is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and serves as the long-standing Rotary Foundation chair.

“Ron Kelly is one of the steadiest, quietest and most conscientious leaders of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford,” said president Sara Lawson.

Payne is a past president charter member of the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and has helped the club to be a top achiever in donating to the Rotary Foundation.

“Ralph was always the go-to person when our club had a difficult decision to make, either financially or projects-based, and is definitely a committed Rotarian,” said president Thomas McMillan.

Patara is the current director of guest speakers and field trip planning for the Abbotsford-Matsqui club. “Raj continues to show a contagious enthusiasm for Rotary and goes out of her way to continually share the spirit of Rotary,” said president Mike Welte.

The award is named in memory of Don Funk, who was a member for many years of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford.

He was recognized for his dedication to the community and to overseas projects for Rotary International with the Service Above Self Award, the highest honour given to a Rotarian.

Funk was also instrumental in chartering the other two local Rotary Clubs.

The award to the three individuals was presented by Abbotsford Rotarian Ken Funk – brother of Don – and assistant governor Brad Whittaker of the Chilliwack Rotary Club.

On November 12, 2016, Past President Michael Adkins, President Thomas McMillan and Past Assistant Governor Wendy Neufeld with her husband Terry went to Mt. Vernon Washington to celebrate the great success by the clubs in providing funds to District 5050’s Foundation for 2015-2016 to continue on with financial assistance in community and global projects.
Past President Michael Adkins was very honoured and proud to be called up to accept on behalf of the Rotary Abbotsford-Sumas club members the following three awards:
  • One of only 1,564 clubs out of 35,399 Rotary Clubs worldwide, to achieve Top Three Highest in Per Capita Annual Giving honours in their district.
  • One of only 2,253 clubs worldwide to attain status as an 100% Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member Club (Every Rotarian, Every Year/Sustaining Club)
  • One of only 4,609 clubs worldwide to become 100% Foundation Giving Club.
From the Rotary Foundation: “Our sincere gratitude to every member of your club for their generous gifts to our Rotary Foundation. Your support enables Rotarians to tackle the world’s toughest challenges, in your community and across the globe.”


Photo Credit: Rotary International/Alyce Henson

The Association of Fundraising Professionals has recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation.

The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the AFP, which gives us even more reason to celebrate during our Foundation’s centennial year,” says Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Kalyan Banerjee. “The continued strong support of Rotary members will help us keep our promise of a polio-free world for all children and enable the Foundation to carry out its mission of advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. We look forward to another 100 years of Rotary members taking action to make communities better around the world.”

The announcement came on 15 November, known to industry professionals since the 1980s as National Philanthropy Day. The award will be presented in early 2017 at the AFP’s annual conference in San Francisco.

Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul Netzel is set to accept the award on Rotary’s behalf, and Eric Schmelling, director of fund development at Rotary, will speak at the conference. The event is expected to draw more than 3,400 senior-level fundraising professionals from 33 countries.

“While almost everyone is familiar with Rotary, not everyone may realize just how much of an impact Rotary and The Rotary Foundation have had on countless people and communities across the globe,” says Jason Lee, AFP president and CEO. “On behalf of the entire charitable sector and people around the world, all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize The Rotary Foundation as our 2016 Outstanding Foundation.”

AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection. They also mentioned that Rotary applies a methodical, purposeful approach to support a wide variety of causes, from providing clean water to educating the next generation of peace professionals.

ROTARY CLUB OF ABBOTSFORD-SUMAS Announces Return Trip to Guatemala
By Michael (Mike) Adkins Past President 2015-2016 | Director: Foundation | Chair: Public Relations 2016-2017 | Chair: Literacy 2016-2017
The object of Rotary is to promote and support the idea of service as the foundation for worthy enterprise. The Rotary Club of AbbotsfordSumas pursues that goal by engaging in on-going campaigns to support special projects within the local community and the international community. On February 2015, with six members of the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club and with the wheelchairs purchased by the Rotary Chilliwack and Rotary Club Abbotsford plus our club‘s partner Inspired by Vision (Grand Prairie) a container of 280 new wheelchairs were delivered to Guatemala City & Antigua, Guatemala. The hard work on the ―ground‖ in Guatemala was done by our club partnering with Rotary Club‘s of Guatemala City and Rotary Club of Antigua for the needs assessments and arrangements for the wheelchair delivery prior to the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas arrival.
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas is currently in the process of delivering another 280 new wheelchairs to Guatemala to be distributed February 2017, to individuals and hospitals that are in dire need of them. Once again a number of Rotary Club members along with our partner Inspired By Vision, will travel to Guatemala City and Antigua in February 2017 to assemble the wheelchairs and personally deliver them to 280 recipients. This delivery however has additional partners. The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas is honored and proud to announce the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui and Inspired by Vision (Grand Prairie) are partners in this financial and hands on project. These are no ordinary wheelchairs. They are crafted to be extra durable and to endure the harsh terrain of rural roads and the tests of time.
Thanks to the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, these special wheelchairs can be delivered anywhere in the world at this incredibly low cost of $195.00 per chair (they retail for over $600.00). If you wish to donate to the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, please contact Rotary Abbotsford-Sumas c/o Dr. Ron Lewis at or Michael (Mike) Adkins at
On Wednesday Oct. 12, 2016 Assistant District Governor Brad Whitaker came to our breakfast meeting to present the Rotary Foundation 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club Banner to President Thomas McMillan and Foundation Director Mike Adkins. The Executive Board of Directors had approved the request to honor President Thomas for his seven years of dedication as Foundation Director and the great job he did to make us one of the highest Foundation giving clubs in District 5050. This distinction as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club is only recognized once in a club's history.
On Sept 21, 2016 some of our club members particpated in Literacy Matters Trivia contest at the Phoenix restaurant.  We had 2 teams entered and one of our teams tied for 1st place!  In the tiebreaker it was close but the other team came out on top.  A great time was had by all while supporting the programs and initiatives of Literacy Matters Abbotsford.  Check them out at this link:
Kelly Kelemen
Dec 07, 2016
Abbotsford Community School after school programs
Business Meeting
Dec 14, 2016
Report from the Board
Christmas Social Meeting
Dec 21, 2016
Christmas cheer
No Meeting - Christmas Break
Dec 28, 2016
Enjoy the Christmas holiday season
Josh Bach
Jan 04, 2017
Japan Adventures
Business Meeting
Jan 11, 2017
Report from the Board
Jason Epp
Jan 18, 2017
Vocational Talk
Karina Chow - Canuck Place site visit
Jan 25, 2017
Library tour
Andy Bird
Feb 01, 2017
The Bird's Nest
Jim Reith
Feb 08, 2017
Abbosford Airshow Volunteer Opportunity
Business Meeting
Feb 15, 2017
Update from the Board
Brenna Hay
Feb 22, 2017
Rotaractor Abroad - Croatia experience 2016
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