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May 09, 2008

Retiree Rogister receives Rotary's highest award

Bill Rogister, left, of Northampton County receives the Service Above Self Award from Barry Rassin, director of Rotary International. (Photo courtesy of Bill Rogister)

Bill Rogister, retired Northampton County Extension director and a member of Rotary Club of Northampton County, has earned Rotary International's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award. The award was presented recently by Barry Rassin, director of Rotary International, at the annual conference of Rotary District 7720 in Kitty Hawk. The award recognizes exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others on a continuing basis.

Among Rogister's Rotary service activities, he initiated and led eight area membership development workshops for two years, served as a group Study Exchange (GSE) Team Leader to Philippines, coordinated GSE to Philippines, Mexico and England, and hosted GSE Team Members. He helped start the Family to Family Project, matching Rotarian families with disadvantaged families for mentoring and encouragement.

He presented three papers at Rotary World Community Service Summit on Sustainable Development in Cairo and served as Zone 33 Coordinator for the Rotary Action Group on Population and Development. Rogister initiated the Rotary Club Award of Excellence to recognize local citizens for community service and started the Rotary Club Career Intern Program for local students to learn about trades and professions. As Governor of District 7720, he led 46 clubs to conduct special Rotary Centennial community service projects.

Among Rogister's non-Rotary service activities, he served as a volunteer in Paraguay, 2005, developing cooperatives and policies for 10 technicians to teach 6,000 small-scale farmers. In 2003, he was a volunteer to Yardimli Farmers Union, Azerbaijan, consulting on conservation tillage. He also was a volunteer consultant on cotton production and marketing, Uganda, 2001; Fergana Valley of Kyrgyzstan, 2003; and Akshola-Sarai Farmers Association, Kyrgyzstan, 2000. To enhance peanut production and marketing, he partnered with Peace Corps in Suriname, 2001; served as ACDI/VOCA volunteer in Bolivia both in 2000 and 1999, increasing yields by 30 percent. In Azerbaijan, he helped internally displaced persons from war with Armenia start small-scale peanut production for family income.

At home, he served on North Carolina Agro-Medicine Board, Woodland Planning Board, helped initiated Woodland Family Celebration, Christmas for Kids, raised funds for 4-H Youth Camp, helped start a 4-H Club and established a 4-H entrepreneur project for youth. He also volunteered for the Hurricane Mitch recovery effort in Honduras.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world.

Posted by Natalie at May 9, 2008 07:57 AM