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.