Rotary Club of Summit County receives 4 district awards
The Rotary Club of Summit County was recently recognized for its hard work when it took home four of the annual District 5450 awards at a local ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 17. Jim Brook received the Governors Discretionary Award, Stu Dearnley took home the Significant Contribution to Those in Need Award, Gloria Quintero won the Volunteer in Community Service Award and the club as a whole was honored by the Smoky Hill Rotary Club with the Youth Service Award.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the recipients have known about the honors since June, but past District Gov. Bob Kemp visited to hand out the plaques Tuesday at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco. The district is made up of 60 clubs across the state with roughly 3,000 members total.
Dearnley and the club both received the awards for their work with the Adopt an Angel program, which provides coats and toys to children for the winter. The group raised about $74,000 and, once the program ended, donated more than $40,000 in leftover funds to the Family & Intercultural Resource Center and Smart Bellies to help provide food to those in need. In all, the program served 259 families and 567 children.
With the Youth Service Award comes $500 that goes toward this year’s Adopt an Angel program.
“It’s a big pat on the back for the club and all of the different agencies that came together to make it happen,” Dearnley said about the award. “The Adopt an Angel program brought together the whole community in a way that I’ve not seen before.”
While Dearnley’s name happens to be on the plaque, he said the award isn’t solely about him. He said there were about 20 businesses — including Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea, Alpine Bank and Stork & Bear Co. — that chipped in. Dearnley has been with the club for five years and said the support from the other members gave him confidence to take on the endeavor.
“The whole community came together to make this thing work,” Dearnley said. “… We did it, but ‘we’ is not the Rotary club. ‘We’ is Summit County, and we’re going to do it again.”
Quintero, who is engaged to Dearnley, was also recognized for assisting with Adopt an Angel. The award is given to non-Rotarians who volunteer their time to help out in Rotary projects.
In addition to helping the club with translations and community dinners, Quintero is a school board member and has been with the Summit County Family Youth Services department for three years. When the Rotary club took over the program from the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, she was tapped to be a point of contact and translator for members of the Latino community who were benefiting from the program.
“I see how much Rotary really wants to get involved with the Latino community,” Quintero said about wanting to help. “It’s kind of difficult when you really don’t have someone to represent you, that looks like you, speaks the language and knows the culture.”
The award Brook’s won isn’t directly tied to a singular program, rather it was given to him for his years of dedication to Rotary. A retired financial executive, he has been with the international service organization for 36 years, 15 of which have been in Summit County. His first club was in southern British Columbia; then Kansas City, Missouri; before two others on the Kansas side of Kansas City.
He was one of 12 assistant governors for District 5450 for three years and recently completed another three years as the lieutenant governor. Brook is also the co-chair of the club’s annual car raffle.
“I’m a committed Rotarian,” Brook said. “I really believe in the organization and all that it does. It’s a very effective and powerful organization.”
The club hopes this year’s Adopt an Angel program is even more successful, aiming to help 1,000 kids. Fundraising is slated to begin in mid-October with items being distributed Dec. 14. More information can be found at SummitAngels.com.
“There were so many people donating money and gifts for the children in the community last October, November and December,” Brook said. “Hopefully, that will happen again.”
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