TERRE HAUTE —
Business leaders Bob Baesler and Sally Stewart received community service awards Tuesday from the Terre Haute Rotary Club, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013.
Baesler was presented the Paul Harris Community Service Award, presented annually to a non-Rotarian for volunteer activities and as a business leader. The award is named in memory of Paul Harris, who founded Rotary International in 1905 in Chicago.
Stewart received the Four Avenues of Service Award, presented to a Rotary member for achievements in vocational, international, community and club service. Those are the four areas of service that compose Rotary International’s mission of service above self, said Santana Naidu, club president.
Baesler told Rotary members that his first Rotary meeting was 38 years ago, attending with Rotarian and Terre Haute attorney Tom Newlin. It was 1974 and Baesler had just opened a grocery store in Sullivan.
“Tom was definitely the youngest person in the room and is still the youngest-looking person in the room,” Baesler said of Newlin.
Baesler said because of an attendance commitment, he could not join Rotary. “At that time you actually needed a doctor’s excuse to miss a meeting. It was pretty strict,” he joked.
“I do thank you for your friendship, your business and this award,” Baesler said.
After the meeting, Baesler said the “attendance requirement when we bought the store in Sullivan was not going to be practical. It is ironic that in my second Rotary meeting, we just recently bought a store in Sullivan again. The award is an honor, but I am not sure how deserving, as Rotary members do so much in the community,” Baesler said.
The club has presented the Paul Harris award for the past 10 years. Previous award recipients include Bob Fisher, John Moore, Don Smith, Michael Kennedy, Dee Walters, David Patterson, Sister Marie Kevin Tighe, Dr. Randy Stevens and David Doerr.
Baesler is a 1972 graduate of Indiana State University, who in 2009 was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to ISU’s board of trustees. He also serves as a board member for the Swope Art Museum, Wabash Valley Crime Stoppers and Terre Haute Savings Bank.
Bart Colwell, president of Terre Haute Savings Bank, presented this year’s Four Avenues of Service Award to Stewart. Colwell was last year’s award recipient.
Stewart, along with husband, Bill, own BS Plumbing and Heating Inc. Stewart was recognized for success in developing the company into a mulit-million dollar business, which has supported numerous local and nonprofit organizations.
Stewart is a certified public accountant, serves on the United Way of the Wabash Valley’s board of directors and campaign cabinet and is its vanguard chair. She is a recipient of the Richard Newport Award for her service to the United Way. She has also served as vice president of Catholic Charities Agency Advisory Council. She is also a eucharistic minister at Union Hospital on behalf of St. Joseph University Parish.
Stewart is a member of the Terre Haute Rotary Club board of directors, has served as attendance secretary and fellowship chair, and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
Stewart, a Rotarian for eight years, said she was surprised to get the award. “We had a board meeting [Monday] and they said they would give out this award, but I had no idea that I qualified,” Stewart said.
Among her community work, Stewart is active in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. “I head that up at the [Vigo County Public] library. We do free taxes for the elderly and the indigent,” she said.
Stewart was also the first female member of the Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club when it converted to a male and female club. Stewart also served as president of that club. She also volunteers with her mother at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
The Terre Haute Rotary Club is the 84th oldest Rotary club among the 32,000 Rotary clubs in 200 countries. Club president Naidu, who ended his term Tuesday, said the club met a goal this year to increase its active membership to 150 from 143, and the club made donations of about $15,000.
Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@
Article source : http://tribstar.com/news/x1395117155/Rotary-honors-business-leaders
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