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The recipients of the 2023 Paul Harris Fellow Awards: (L-R) Ruth Shannon, Elsabé Falkson, Judy Borovskis,
Tracey MacGorman, Helen Cooper, and Marci McMullen. Photo by Linda C
Each Rotary year The Rotary Club of Kingston recognizes 3 club members and 3 community non-member citizens with Paul Harris Fellows for demonstrating exemplary models of Rotary’s motto: “Service Above Self”. This year, however, four PHFs went to community citizens and two to club members.
A Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) is a member who donates $1000 USD to the Rotary Foundation. In this case, as PHF honourees the Club contributes $1000.00 for each person honoured.

Four Community Members

Paul Harris Fellowship Honouree: Helen Cooper,

Our first 2023 Paul Harris Fellowship community honouree is Helen Cooper. In 1988 Helen became the city of Kingston’s first woman mayor.

Helen, a graduate of Queens and the London school of Economics raised their 2 children in Kingston.
As mayor, Helen initiated the Community Economic Advisory Committee, supported a Technology Transfer Centre for Queen’s researchers, served as president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, sat on the Premier’s Council on Health Strategy and the Ontario Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. In 1993 she resigned as mayor after being elected in ’91 to accept a three-year appointment as Chair of the Ontario Municipal Board.
In 1998, Helen joined the Ontario Public Service, served on the Advisory Council on Nuclear Waste Management and in 2006, served on the Board of Cancer Care Ontario, followed by the Early Years program as a community coordinator, and as a delivery manager of Adult Developmental Services. She retired in 2014.

At that point she took on the role of president of OASIS Senior Supportive Living Inc., a project which encourages seniors to stay in their own apartment where social, exercise, learning, and health programs, including affordable meals are available. The goal is to keep seniors out of long-term care for as long as possible.

Paul Harris Fellowship Honouree: Judy Borovskis

Inverary resident Judy Borovskis was the second community recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Judy's husband Bruno was a founding member and a Past President of the St. Catharines Lakeshore Rotary. As a result Judy became a regular host of Rotary Exchange students. She has housed students from Australia, South Africa, France, and Denmark and still stays in touch with each of them.

For the past 11 years Judy has been Treasurer for the Inverary Youth Activities Group Ball Park. Her volunteer work includes fundraising, running the canteen, recruiting volunteers, and maintenance.

She has also completed three major park upgrades:

  • the modernization and expansion of the Children's Playground,
  • demolition, and expansion of the washrooms with the addition of wheelchair accessibility.
  • installation of new LED lights ball diamond lights

Judy writes a weekly column for the Frontenac News and is the hall booking and rental coordinator for the Inverary United Church.

Paul Harris Fellowship Honouree: Ruth Shannon

Ruth and her Husband Dudley operate Shanlake farms in Sunbury. They have 3 children and several grandchildren.

Ruth is best known as a volunteer with Frontenac 4H as a leader and volunteer for 50 years teaching the motto " Learn to do by doing”.

She has mentored countless youth to learn important life skills with emphasis on cooking, sewing, crafts plus has led vet and sheep clubs.

As well she was the founder of Sunbury’s annual pork BBQ a fundraiser for the 4H awards night.

Ruth has helped organize several fundraisers for people in crisis such Cheryl Dickson where she wad paralyzed by a round bale and with MCkala’s dream to help University Hospital Foundation raise money to help families with kids with cancer for accommodations and fuel.

She has worked on local and International plowing matches, the Federation of Agriculture and her local church.

She received Volunteerism award for South Frontenac township a few years ago for dedication in her community.

Paul Harris Fellowship Honouree: Tracey MacGorman

Tracy MacGorman works for BMO, in the branch were our Rotary Club maintains our accounts and is the go to person when we have a problem.

In a similar fashion Tracy has become the "go to person" within the bank's Kingston branches for their volunteer involvement with the United Way and the Kids Help Phone which are two of the bank's favourite charities. In addition to organizing the bank's local campaigns charities, Tracy has been the key organizer for their work supporting the local foodbank.

However, what stands her apart from other volunteers is her support of our annual Nut Drive. This project is a tradition in Kingston that goes back more than 50 years. Tracy has been a key volunteer at our Nut Drive for about 30 of those years. Over time, she became the lead organizer in our cash counting room.

She even recruits a team of 4 or 5 volunteers to help count the cash. Each year for those 30 years we have sold about $20,000 worth of nuts, so Tracy and her crews have counted well over half a million dollars in coin and old bills. That's a lot of counting! But Tracy does the work with a warm smile and in a calm and confident manner.

Three Club Members

Paul Harris Fellowship Honouree: Elsabé Falkson

Our first of two club honourees, Elsabé Falkson, our current past-president, served in the capacity of president in 2021-22.

Her tenure was most notable for the quality of speakers from across the globe on Zoom; the pioneering of ‘Hybrid’ meetings, in conjunction with the Kingsbridge Retirement Home in their theatre room and the introduction of the ClubRunner content and club management system.

Elsabé’s journey with Rotary began in her native South Africa, when she joined the Rotary Ann, movement, formed during the period when only men were Rotarians.

In 2001, Elsabé, her husband Conrad, six children and four Great Danes immigrated to Thunder Bay, Ontario. In 2004, the family moved to Kingston.

Elsabé’s has a talent for volunteering. In South Africa, she helped illiterate black women acquire literacy skills and young mothers with breastfeeding. In Thunder Bay she was involved in the ‘Bachelor’s for Hope Charity Auction’, to support breast cancer patients. In Kingston she volunteered at the Kingston Yacht Club, been a CORK volunteer and board member, a past Chair of Kingston Easter Seals, where she resurrected a sailing fundraiser for Easter Seals. and facilitator of the Leahurst School Interact Club.

This brought her into contact with the club and she joined in 2017. In 2018 she became a Board Director for the Youth Services and a year later Director of Community Services on the path to her year as president.

Environment stewardship is a passion for Elsabé. She organized tree plantings and planted a pollinator garden, cofounded and maintains the Butterfly garden at Rotary Park, is driving the No Mow May campaign in the City, is involved with the Robinson Community Garden - Rotary Division and is chair of D7040 Environment Committee.
Outside of Rotary, Elsabe was a volunteer counselor at Bereaved Families of Ontario Kingston and also served as chair of their board. She served on the City’s DEI committee and is a member and volunteer of Little Forests  Kingston.

Paul Harris Fellowship Honouree: Marci McMullen


Marci has been supporting her community for many years starting with Maker’s Haven, which was to support local artisans and causes in her showroom at Haven Home ClimateCare, which her and her husband sold in July 2021.

A few community examples include funds raised for Almost Home, Multiple Sclerosis, Change for Fin, the Kingston Humane Society, Dress for Success, 4Paws Service Dogs and Easter Seals.

At Rotary Marci and Andre have been host parents for exchange students, helped lead our online auctions, produced a book during our Centennial, Behind the Mask, was a leaders of our recent Gala and created a new fundraiser, Oktoberfest. and worked closely with me on our annual Comedy Night.  

She currently sits on Board of Directors for The Art of Courage and The Rotary Club of Kingston.