Posted by Elizabeth Cohoe on Nov 26, 2019
John Farrow and Bernie led the event.  John began, noting that today is one of our most amazing days, when we award community members for their contributions.  He pointed out that as we confer this award on people in our community it is really fitting with the theme for this Rotary year.  “Rotary Connects the World”.  John felt that having this week back to back with awarding grants to some local community organizations was fitting.  Today we recognize a number of people who have done great work in our community.  The Paul Harris recognition comes as a result of our club’s donations to The Rotary Foundation.
Arch Klumph’s idea for an endowment fund dedicated to “doing good in the world” planted the seed of The Rotary Foundation in 1917 with an initial donation of $26.50. Thanks to his vision and staunch advocacy, and the extraordinary generosity of Rotary members worldwide, that fund has become one of the world’s leading humanitarian foundations. Just over 100 years later, in 2018, the Foundation handed out over $86 million US to various projects.  The Rotary Foundation is one of the highest rated charities, with about 92% of donations going to programs. 
In 1957 the Paul Harris recognition was developed.  Rotary established the recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships. 
In 1965 TRF started the matching grants program and we have applied for a global grant for our Pathways project.  The Foundation also funds the fight against polio.  It is said that this has been the largest non military effort in world history.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.
At the International Assembly in 1979, incoming RI President James Bomar challenged each Rotary club to make one non-Rotarian a Paul Harris Fellow. The Rotary Club of Pikesville, Maryland, USA, responded by making a donation in the name of Mother Teresa in 1980. The entertainer Pearl Bailey also became a Paul Harris Fellow through a joint effort of the Rotary clubs in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 
Many other notable figures have been named Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk.
Our Club's contributions allow us to name worthy individuals as Paul Harris Fellow, so not only is the award an honour, but also helps with Rotary programs around the world. Locally, people like Vicki Keith, Jayna Hefford, and the members of The Tragically Hip are notable Paul Harris Fellows.
 
 
The Recipients:
Sydney-Jane McCarson was introduced by Bill Egnatoff. 
Bill met sixteen year old Sydney when she applied to Adventures in History, and as she participated in the program, Bill felt that she is a leader in the making.  She is heavily involved in serving her school community and in advocating for the rights of individuals who are subject to discrimination and disrespect.  She is also very interested in the proper care of animals, as seen through her work with the SPCA.  Her participation in Adventures in History was exemplary.  Her questions and comments were always thoughtful and thought-provoking.  She was great at welcoming other participants to Kingston, and at two free-time opportunities, she offered tours around City Hall and Macdonald Park.
In her own feedback about attending Adventures in History, she wrote about what needs to be fixed in the Canadian youth justice system.  At the program she took over hospitality to others.  Welcoming others who had never been to Kingston before.  She is active in school life and the Student Council.  She started a petition on Change.org due to her concern about gender violence. 
 
 
 
Rick Frasso nominated Brad Revell.
Brad grew up in Kingston and attended Frontenac Secondary School, then North Carolina State University on a golf scholarship.  After that he played golf professionally for four years and was a member of the PGA tour for two years.  Of note is how he donated a portion of his golf winnings to cancer research in memory of his brother.  Brad currently works in sales at his family’s Ford/Lincoln dealership in Verona.
Brad has been co-chair of 100 Men Who Care, Kingston since 2015 and has helped raise close to $200,000 for local charities.  Members of this organization meet four times a year, and each donates $100 at those meetings.  The result is that they raise $40,000.00 every year that goes to worthy causes in Kingston.
In April of 2018, Brad along with Jeff Stafford rallied our community to attend the first ever Lionhearts Gala.  Lionhearts Inc., is a charity that is fully local to Kingston.
Lionhearts Inc. works to support the Kingston community in three specific ways: reclaiming surplus food from stores and restaurants that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to assist people facing food scarcity; hosting The Embassy, Live Music Cafe Kingston, a dry music venue for anyone who wants to hear great live music, including those who struggle with addictions; and leading F.A.S.T. Fight Against Sex Trafficking.  Funds raised at the gala event allowed for the purchase of a van to be used in food redistribution in the Kingston area. 
 
 
Ana Sutherland nominated Dr. Joe Reid. 
Joe completed a pre-medical honors degree from Queen’s University, a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in California, and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s.  He also completed Firefighter levels 1 and 2 from the southwest Fire Academy.  He currently uses all of his earned degrees.  He operates his own chiropractic clinic, New Vision Chiropractic, and is a substitute science teacher with the Limestone District School Board.  He is a volunteer firefighter with the Napanee Fire Department and now Kingston Fire and Rescue.
Joe’s notable accomplishments are raising money through running “crazy” marathons.  He ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in full firefighter gear, raising money for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Kingston General Hospital.  This was a cause near and dear to his heart, because four years prior to that, his wife gave birth to twin girls who were 16 weeks premature.  They spent three and a half months receiving care in the NICU.
In 2017, Joe has raised more than $5,000 for the Downie Wenjack Fund which aims to build cultural understanding and create paths toward reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people.  He did this by running the same marathon dressed as the late Tragically Hip frontman, Gord Downie, complete with a Jaws T-shirt, tinfoil pants, and a top hat adorned with a black feather, and an acoustic guitar strapped on his back. 
Not just your average Joe. 
 
 
John Farrow introduced Steve and Katie Koopman, nominated by Amanda Stolk.
When we publicized our looking for Paul Harris recognitions on our Facebook page, Amanda Stolk responded that she would like to nominate Steve and Katie Koopman.  Steve and Katie are a team.  Steve is communications officer for the Kingston Police.  The Coopmans also own a wedding photo business.  They have been honored with the YMCA peace medal for the work that they do.
Katie and Steve Koopman’s journey of reconciliation began when they fell in love with the story of the Rez Girls 64 Wolves hockey team. 
The Rez Girls are from Eabametoong First Nation – also known as Fort Hope, a fly-in community 360 kms north of Thunder Bay. In 2016 the girls were at a disadvantage with no equipment and a lack of facilities to practice; nevertheless, with a committed coach, the team overcame these obstacles and pressed on. A Markham high school student collected and shipped equipment north to Fort Hope allowing the team to dream of attending their first tournament Thunder Bay.
It was at this tournament that the team and coaches experienced overt racism. This story was first aired on CBC's The Doc Project in 2017. The radio program ended by sharing with the listening audience that the team hoped to attend a tournament in Ottawa in 2018, but it was going to take $100K to get there.
Inspired by Gord Downie’s call to reconciliaction, Katie and Steve reached out to the coaching staff and offered to photograph the team’s adventure in Ottawa. And this is where their relationship with Fort Hope began. In addition to photography, Katie and Steve invited the Kingston community to help alleviate the team’s costs by fundraising for the team to attend a Senators’ hockey game. In addition to monetary gifts, people donated muffins, gift cards and snacks.
Knowing that the majority of Canadians have never visited a northern Indigenous community, two months after the Ottawa tournament Katie and Steve brought their slideshow of photos and tangible gifts to the girls and parents, and spent a week visiting with the community and volunteering.
Since that trip a year and a half ago, Katie and Steve raised $90,000 to help the community purchase cement for a proper pad in Fort Hope’s arena. This attracted the attention and support of David Sharpe, a Queen’s Law alumni and businessman from Tyendinaga, MP Charlie Angus and the Toronto Maple Leaf’s Mitch Marner.
Just last March Katie and Steve rallied the Kingston community again to help fund the Rez Girls travel costs to attend the Kids For Kids hockey tournament.
In May 2019, Katie and Steve returned to Fort Hope with cameras to teach photography skills to grade nine students, in an effort to help student celebrate their community through the lens. Two gallery showings of the students’ photographic art work were achieved – one up north and one at the Tett Centre here in Kingston. The Koopmans hosted a Reconciliation Walk at the Little Cataraqui Conservation Area at the end of September and continue to walk in a spirit of good ally-ship, having created The Good Ally Project, an initiative of True North Aid, a non-indigenous non-profit charitable organization that offers humanitarian aid to Indigenous communities across Canada.
Friends and kind strangers continue to inquire as to how they can help and what is next.
This husband and wife team can only hope that the momentum that started with a little hockey team from northern Ontario continues.
Both use social media to help advance the cause while also promoting other projects such as The Special Olympics.
John closed by acknowledging Amanda Stolk for all the things she makes possible through her association with True North Aid.
 
 
Left to right; Katie Koopman, Sydney-Jane McCarson, Steve Koopman, Dr. Joe Reid, Brad Revell
 
 
 
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