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Rotary honors Harrell

April 25, 2014

BY MARY GARRISON
editor@dailytimesleader.com

The West Point Rotary Club is working to make certain the memory of selfless spirits does not go unnoticed. During a special program Thursday at the Ritz Theater and Conference Center in West Point, the club bestowed its highest honor — a Paul Harris fellowship — to the family of James Harrell.
Harrell, 22-year-old son of Clay County Circuit Clerk and Rotarian Bob Harrell, was killed in a car accident Dec. 4 on Old West Point Road. Among his accomplishments, Harrell was an Eagle Scout, student at Mississippi State University and involved in several volunteer efforts throughout the West Point community.
More importantly, however, Harrell was good person, according to Rotary Club President Keith Mooney.
“He was just one of the sweetest kids,” Mooney said. “He always had a smile on his face, and he was one of those who was everybody’s friend. … We always knew that someday, he would make a great Rotarian. We just felt like he exemplified the true values of Rotary, and it was something we wanted to do to honor his family and all they’ve done for West Point.”
Those values have been rooted within the organization since its inception in 1905.
Some 100 years ago, a Chicago lawyer named Paul Harris envisioned a world in which citizens took an active role to better the lives of those around them through community service. From that dream, Rotary Club was born.
Now, in 2014, that service organization has spread well beyond its borders, with more than 1 million members in 167 countries across the globe. The humanitarian organization, composed of chapters of Rotary clubs and supported by Rotary International — a network of clubs worldwide which coordinate global programs, campaigns and initiatives — is driven by members who work to build on the core values best embodied by the club’s motto: Service above self. One profits most who serves best.
The organization’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellow, seeks to further that cause. In addition to recognizing the efforts of both outstanding members of the community and Rotarians who best demonstrate the principles on which Rotary was founded, the award serves as a $1,000 contribution given in the recipient’s name to the Rotary Foundation. That foundation funds the group’s efforts worldwide, such as the ongoing mission to eradicate polio, disaster relief and promotion of world peace.

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