It was a packed house on Friday evening at the Dresden Arena hall, as the Dresden Rotary Club held their 30th annual banquet.
Taking home the top prize of the evening was Rotarian Karen Melton, who was recognized as this year’s Paul Harris Fellow recipient.
“Tonight as I was walking down the silent auction tables and checking out what I wanted… Walt (Debicki) came along and said ‘come here, I need to talk you’ and I thought, what did I forget to do?. Walt said ‘now in a few minutes your kids are going to walk through that door and don’t be surprised but they are here because you’re being awarded tonight the Paul Harris award.’ He really caught me off guard. I know what an honour to get this award is.”
Melton said Rotary has been a huge part of her family.
“We have hosted exchange kids,” Melton said.
“Every Monday night we have had that great meal because Murray wasn’t home. He was going to Rotary. Our daughter travelled to Japan for Rotary for a year. Murray and I went for a few weeks to visit her. We have had exchange kids come back because they have had such a great time at our house over the years. Rotary has been a very, very big part of our family.”
Melton added: “I truly appreciate this and thank you very much.”
Dresden Rotarian Lynda Weese had many kind words to say about Melton.
“This individual is a person that you seldom see without a smile,” Weese said.
“She is the most caring individual I think I have ever met. She has many friends because she truly likes people. It doesn’t matter what the age, she is comfortable with everyone. This character trait has led her to be involved in many community activities.”
Dr. Steven McCabe was the guest speaker at the event.
Dr. McCabe, a former Dresden resident, was in the news recently as he led a multi-disciplinary team to the successful completion of the country’s first transplant of the upper limb.
He talked about the historic surgery during his speech, along with offering some advice to those in attendance.
“Some simple observations for success and this in one that my Dad told me… go out there, you are not a 60-minute man, go out there and do as well as you can. You are only going to get on the ice a few times every game,” he said.
“The other lessons learned… try to be early for things. Don’t always be late. Be prepared to reinvent yourself. It takes a village, so get a lot of support.”
The event was sold-out on Friday night and was the their largest banquet to date.
– Photo: Dr. Steven McCabe speaking during the banquet.