Greater Wilson Rotary presents awards, installs officers

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The Greater Wilson Rotary Club recently presented six Wilson men with the Paul Harris Fellow awards and a contribution to the Rotary International Foundation of $1,000 each.

Receiving the awards were Mark Hooper, a non-Rotarian who earned a community award given jointly with the Rotary Club of Wilson every other year; Greater Wilson Rotary Club members Shaun Lucas, Eric Smith and Brad Cox; Ryan Brown, a guest speaker and bone marrow donor whose donation saved a young girl’s life; and Billy Hemby, a Rotary Club of Kinston member who’s moved to Wilson and donated his first $1,000 to become a Paul Harris fellow.

The Greater Wilson club also recognized Cox as its 2019 Rotarian of the Year.

The Paul Harris Fellow award is made to Rotarians whose contributions demonstrate a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of the Rotary Foundation, a commitment to helping people in need locally and throughout the world and in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations between peoples of the world.

The Harris award also expresses appreciation for contributions to Rotary International’s humanitarian and educational programs. Among many other things, those programs provide food, potable water, health care, immunizations and shelter to people in need.

These Rotarians have also made many local contributions through civic and charitable volunteering, and fundraising activities of the Greater Wilson Rotary’s donations to many local charities.

The Paul Harris Fellowship is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905. Each new Paul Harris fellow receives a commemorative certificate and a pin.


The Greater Wilson Rotary Club recently held its 2019-20 installation banquet at the Wilson Country Club.

Members celebrated a fundraising total of $90,102.99 given back to the Wilson community along with the Rotary International Foundation’s “$100 Every Rotarian Every Year” program.

Club leaders recognized and thanked everyone who purchased paper products from the Greater Wilson Rotary in its annual paper sale fundraiser.

Newly installed officers are David Pitts, president; Gabe Farris, president-elect and treasurer; Justin Keene, past president; Buzz Wilkinson, secretary; Josh Howell, sergeant-at-arms; Trip Vaughan, Rotary Foundation chairman; Connor Bedgood, president’s council; Charlie Bedgood, program service; Omar Gonzalez, international service; Adam Chesson, community service; Lou Craig, new member orientation, Charlie Bedgood IV, vocational service; William Shreve, club service; Wayne Johnson, public image; and Brad Cox, advisory service.