Gail Donus Receives 7th & 8th Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Awards

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Left to right: Greg Jones, Club Foundation Chair, Gail Donus, Club Past President Joni Blackman and Rotary Club’s present president Kevin Sixby as they honor Gail’s contributions to The Rotary Foundation.

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Rotary Club of Jamestown

Due to Covid restrictions, Gail Donus received both her 7th and 8th Paul Harris Fellow Awards at the recent Monday noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Jamestown at the Doubletree Hotel. Gail and her late husband Dan Maginnis, also a Rotarian, are long-time supporters of The Rotary Foundation.

In the late 1970’s Gail’s husband Dan joined the Rotary Club of Jamestown. It was only after he joined, that they became aware of the Polio Plus Campaign and the world impact that Rotary has. They have been recognized as Major Donors to the Rotary Foundation and a Level 4 members of the Rotary Bequest Society.

Gail spoke of the significance of Rotary in her life. The couple’s 1st Rotary Convention was in Toronto where they were amazed to find 30,000 people who shared their values. She and her husband realized they could make a bigger impact through gifts to the Rotary Foundation and became benefactors. They were confident the funds would be used wisely and found the process transparent. The Daniel Maginnis Endowed Fund provides support between the World fund and the District 7090 Designated fund. Gail said, “We felt this way we could make the biggest difference in the world.”

Gail Donus, Rotarian and multiple Paul Harris Award recipient explains what The Rotary Foundation means to her and her late husband.

Greg Jones, the local Club’s Foundation Chairman spoke of the relevance of Rotary in the world.

He started with an interesting history of vaccinations. There have been 5 important vaccinations in history.

  1. Small Pox in 1796. (This is the only disease that has been eradicated.)
  2. Measles, mumps and rubella.
  3. T-dap vaccine. Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis
  4. HPV. Papillomavirus
  5. Polio vaccine. Since 1979 there has been no new case of polio in the US. In 2018, there were only 33 cases worldwide. Thanks to the international focus Rotary has placed on this disease that strikes the young and is transmitted person to person, through contaminated food and water.

In addition to providing the vaccinations, the “plus” in the Rotary Plus campaign represents funding that supports equipment, water, food and supplies including soap. A 2010 study showed that the vitamin A given at the same time as the vaccine prevented 1.2 million deaths from a range of diseases.

A Paul Harris Award is given to a member in honor of their $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation. The member receives a pin with a sapphire or ruby to designate the number of contributions as well as a certificate and a ribboned medal.