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Lexington Sunrise Rotary Names Ruscio Paul Harris Fellow

The Lexington Sunrise Rotary Club has named W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary’s highest honor and a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation — world understanding and peace.

The club presented Ruscio with the 2015 Anne Conklin and Ken Newman Memorial Paul Harris Fellow at its annual Charter Night Dinner Oct. 29. The award recognizes a person who has had a significant impact on the Rockbridge area community, and the club makes a substantial contribution to The Rotary Foundation’s humanitarian and educational programs in the recipient’s name.

Bestowing a Paul Harris Fellow supports The Rotary Foundation’s array of programs that achieve beneficial changes in the world, including improved living conditions, increased food production, better education, wider availability of treatment and rehabilitation for the sick and disabled, new channels for the flow of international understanding and brighter hopes for peace.

Lexington Sunrise Rotary president Matt Hayden said that Ruscio and Washington and Lee University under his leadership have directly reflected and supported Rotary’s overall goals, as well as the local club’s many local community service projects in Lexington and Rockbridge County.

In accepting the honor, Ruscio noted Rotary’s exceptional worldwide accomplishments, such as End Polio Now, in which Rotarians have worked more than 25 years and raised the funds to eradicate the disease. But he also praised Lexington Sunrise Rotary for supporting local community service organizations and its own projects, such as the annual July 4th Balloon Rally, the area’s only Independence Day celebration, for the past 20 years. He quoted Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation that associations like Rotary bring communities together to improve life.

“Associations help people to realize their dependence on their fellow man,” Ruscio said. “By working toward the common good, rather than personal gain, people are forced to work together, similar to what you do in this wonderful organization.”