BESTOWS ROTARY’S HIGHEST HONOUR

                                ON ONE OF ITS CITIZENS AND

                                ON ONE OF THE CITY’S PUBS

                                FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING

                                SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY


OSHAWA, ONTARIO ---   The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood bestowed Rotary’s highest award, a Paul Harris Fellow on retiring Durham Regional Police Chief Mike Ewles and on The Waltzing Weasel Pub, at its first annual Paul Harris Awards Gala, held at the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club on June 12, 2014, it was announced today by Allan Finnigan, President of the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood.

“We were honoured and thrilled to have Wilf Wilkinson, the Past President of Rotary International (who is also the immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, on hand to bestow the honour on to Chief Ewles and the staff of The Waltzing Weasel’ Mr. Finnigan said.

Past District Governor Ted Morrison, a member of The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood  was the emcee for the Paul Harris Awards Gala. The current Rotary International District 7070 Governor Valarie Wafer was also on hand and presented Paul Harris Fellow Awards to Rotary Club Past Presidents Lennis Trotter, Dave Andrews, and Devon Biddle for their contributions to The Rotary Foundation.

“From time to time, Rotary Clubs recognize Rotarians, non-Rotarians, and organizations in their community for their excellence in service to their community and the promotion of peace and goodwill, and honour them with a Paul Harris Fellow Award, named after Rotary’s founder Paul Harris,  and a make a donation of $1,000 US Funds on their behalf, to The Rotary Foundation. This is the highest award a Rotary Club can bestow on Rotarians, non-Rotarians, and organizations,” added Past District Governor Ted Morrison.

The Rotary Foundation transforms our donations into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary, we tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Foundation grants empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact.

Ted Morrison, the Past District Governor welcomed and introduced the first non-Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow Awardee of the evening. Mike Ewles has proudly served 32 years with the Durham Regional Police Force: as a uniform patrol, in the Tactical Support unit, as Duty Officer providing “leadership After Dark”, as leader of the Whitby Community Police Office, and a s inspector of Employee Service (overseeing human resources and recruitment). In 2006, he became Deputy Chief, responsible for Operation Support, which includes all specialty units: Tactical, K9, Communications, major Crime, and Crime Administration. In 2007, he became Chief of Police. He has served as chair of the Governing Body Executive of the Criminal Intelligence Services of Ontario and as a Director at the Abilities Centre and the Ontario Shores Foundation Board. He has also supported Eastview Boys and Girls Club of Oshawa for many years. Mike championed and expanded the “Youth In Policing” program. During his term as chief, Mike has charted a path to embrace multiculturalism within our community and the Durham Regional Police Service. And for the last 2 days, Mike is now officially retired. Mike has been a strong supporter of peace and goodwill here in Durham Region and is a strong supporter of youth and seniors alike.

Jodi Hewett, the Past President of the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood welcomed and introduced the second non-Rotarian Paul Harris Awardee of the evening, The Waltzing Weasel Pub. The goal of The Weasel, as it is affectionately known, is to provide customers with the best genuine pub experience possible, this side of the Atlantic. There are many people in Durham Region who have no doubt that The Waltzing Weasel has succeeded with their goal. Many people, including many members of the Rotary Club frequent the Weasel for the camaraderie and friendly atmosphere of staff and regular patrons. However, they are so much more than just that.   The waltzing Weasel has many loyal customers, due to its strong belief in support of the community. Many charities in Durham Region have benefited from the fundraisers organized by manager Lori Whyte and her amazing staff. Owner Hitham (Tom) Al-Malouf is no stranger to participation in these events and often, he can be seen busily supporting his staff with food and drink orders. The Weasel’s kind and generous support has gone to many organizations: annual charity breakfasts to support Durham Children’s Aid Society and Luke’s Place, patio parties and bar-b-ques in support of The Cancer Society, Simcoe hall Settlement House Food Bank, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oshawa-Whitby’s Wingfest (which The weasel has won for the best sauce and the best wings). These are just a few of the many organizations supported by this family friendly pub, here in Oshawa. Lori Whyte accepted the Paul Harris Award on behalf of Owner Tom and the staff and thanked the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood for this tremendous honour and also thanked their customers, many of them regulars who have formed The Weasel Pack, who contribute greatly to many of the charities including presents and dinners for children at Christmas.

Wilf Wilkinson, Past President of Rotary International and Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Rotary Foundation presented Mike Ewles and the Waltzing Weasel with their  Paul Harris Fellow Awards.

Wilf Wilkinson, the keynote speaker for the evening gala, told the audience of Rotarians and non-Rotarians that the best job that he has ever had is talking to Rotarians about the good work of The Rotary Foundation. He talked about the mission of The Rotary Foundation: to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The Rotary Foundation helps fund our humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. Your club or district can apply for grants from the Foundation to invest in projects and provide scholarships. The Foundation also leads the charge on worldwide Rotary campaigns such as eradicating polio and promoting peace.

Mr. Wilkinson also told the audience how important it is to continue of work and funding for the PolioPlus campaign and the tremendous efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, now on our last mile, and in the most remote places, the hardest to reach. The eradication of Polio, the major project of every Rotarian world-wide is funded by the Rotary Foundation. When people say that eradicating polio from the world is a monumental task, Wilf Wilkinson begs to differ and tells everyone about India, now polio Free. Rotary has overcome barriers of culture, religion, politics, and wars, to immunize the children of the world. He and other Rotarians have convinced people to lay down their arms and immunize their children in Afghanistan and in the Sudan, just to name a few.

In closing, Wilf Wilkinson asked all Rotarians to tell the world about the good that is done because of The Rotary Foundation and that it is time to end polio now - the largest health initiative ever undertaken in the history of mankind.

In The photo:

The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood bestowed Rotary's highest award, A Paul Harris Fellow, on retiring Durham Regional Police Chief Mike Ewles and on The Waltzing Weasel Pub for their

outstanding community service in Oshawa, at the June 12, 2014 Paul Harris Awards Gala

at the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club.  Left to right: Marsha Doggett and Lori Whyte of The

Waltzing Weasel Pub; Wilf Wilkinson Past Rotary International President and immediate

Past Chair of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation; Rotary International District 7070

Governor Valarie Wafer; Durham Regional Police Chief Mike Ewles; and Rotary Club of

Oshawa-Parkwood President Allan Finnigan. Donations of $1,000 US Funds each, were made

 on their behalf to continue the humanitarian efforts of the world-wide Rotary Foundation

which includes the eradication of Polio world-wide.



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