The Ballinger Rotary Club held their annual Christmas party on Tuesday, December 13. The party help a special meaning this year with the induction of two new members and the induction of 10 new Paul Harris Fellowship members. Sandra Clack and Brian Hicks were both inducted as new members of the club. Assistant District Governor John Parsons attend the party to help with the induction of the Paul Harris Fellows.

The Rotary Foundation is a registered charity that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share in its vision of a better world.

The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition was established in 1957. It is named for Rotary's founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started our organization with three business associates in 1905. The founding principle of Rotary was rooted in Harris' belief that one's occupation could provide opportunities for service - not just to provide for himself, but to place "Service Above Self", words that have become the enduring motto of this organization. PHF recognition is the Rotary Foundation's way of expressing its appreciation for substantial contributions to its humanitarian and educational programs.

Programs that the Rotary Foundation supports include Polio Plus, a program designed to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth. A program that was begun by a Rotarian in the Philippines and then adopted worldwide in 1986, and which has been funded through donations to the Foundation ever since. A program that, as the advertising campaign celebrates is this close to the successful and complete eradication of a virus that has plagued the world. A program that was underwritten by a challenge grant from Bill and Melinda Gates for $355 million provided we Rotarians donate $200 million by June 30, 2012, a challenge we are proud to say is nearly met in part by the donations of Ballinger Rotarians honored with the Paul Harris Fellowship award.

The Foundation supports humanitarian programs, including grants to provide funds for club and district service projects, and matching grants for international projects. As an example, last year, this club partnered with our sister club in Sabinas, Mexico and received in excess of $28,000 in grants from and through the Foundation. Those funds were used to purchase computer equipment and restore a computer lab destroyed by severe weather, thereby returning educational opportunities and hope to middle school children in Mexico.

The Foundation also supports educational programs, like ambassadorial scholarships, Group Study Exchange, and Rotary World Peace Scholarships.

While it is an honor to receive a Paul Harris Fellow, it's not about the recognition; it's about what we do in the world as Rotarians. You see, Paul Harris Fellows make a difference. Their donations have helped to fund projects and programs to improve and invigorate the lives of people around the world and to enhance international friendship and understanding.

The Ballinger Rotary Club has the honor and pleasure of announcing this fellowship to no fewer than 10 Ballinger, TX Rotarians whose lives' in this club have demonstrated a shared purpose with the objects of the Rotary Foundation. A club founded in 1928, 83 years in existence which has heretofore claimed a total of 6 Paul Harris Fellows, inducts 10 new recipients. Besides several current and former members of your club, you stand with notables such as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Anann, Prince Charles, Indira Gandhi, Luciano Pavarotti, King Hussein of Jordan and Pope John Paul II.

The Ballinger Rotary Club is proud and honored to announce the following as new Paul Harris Fellows: David Cowart, James Rose, Jim Woodruff, Gene Clack, Sandra Clack, Ben Clayton, Bob Brown, Ken Kvapil, Saam Geistmann, Jill Davis.

Their contributions to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is improving the living conditions and providing educational opportunities for people somewhere in the world. Their contributions have, and will continue to, pay for programs that achieve beneficial changes in our world. Changes like 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.