The Fitchburg-Verona Rotary Club presented seven of its 18 members one of the “highest (awards) a Rotarian can obtain at the international level” last month.
Verona resident Amanda Pun, a past treasurer of the club, was among the recipients of the Paul Harris award Tuesday, June 25.
Paul Harris was a Chicago attorney best known for founding Rotary International in 1905, according to the Rotary International website. The Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation or Rotary International.
The website states the honor was established in 1957 to show appreciation for the funds that help support the Rotary’s Annual Fund, PolioPlus or any approved Foundation grants.
Six members were already recognized as Paul Harris fellows prior to June 25, giving the club 13 of its 18 members recognized, past president Eric Gormanson told the Press.
Pun is among the pool of recipients recognized for their contributions to the club and for their services to the community. She and the six other members received their distinctions at the monthly Fitchburg-Verona Rotary Club meeting, held at Ten Pin Alley, 6285 Nesbitt Road in Fitchburg.
“It is extremely unusual for any club in the entire world to be able to recognize seven members at the same time, especially in a small club like ours,” Tom Marshall, past district governor for Rotary International, wrote to the Press in an email.
Pun said she decided to join the Fitchburg-Verona Rotary Club six years ago, when she became a Verona resident. She served as the club treasurer from 2014-2016. Pun also served as a co-adviser for the Verona Area High School Interact Club, a youth Rotary-esque club focused on serving the community.
Originally from Mount Horeb, Pun went to school in Stevens Point for business. After graduating from there, she joined the Peace Corps in Thailand.
“Even before I became a Rotarian, I already felt like it given my volunteerism,” she said.
She looked at her being treasurer and her involvement with the VAHS Interact Club as one of her biggest Rotarian accomplishments. As a co-adviser, Pun said she enjoyed watching the students gain leadership skills and grow into various community roles.
She also recalled being a part of a water cistern project in Kenya — she was part of the club initiative to donate the cistern and “help the community (there) gain easier access to water.”
Pun said for now, she’s decided to scale back her involvement with the club to focus on taking care of her son. She does remain an active Rotarian and considers it an “honor” to be a Paul Harris fellow.
“It’s an easy thing to do and it felt good to be recognized with my other members,” she said.