First Hawaiian Bank’s Vicki Concepcion is the Rotary Club of Saipan’s Paul Harris Fellow for 2013 after her name was picked among Rotary members who donated upwards of $1,000 to the organization in the course of the year.
Paul Harris Foundation committee director Peter Schilling announced Concepcion’s selection during the Rotary Club of Saipan’s Christmas Party held Dec. 6 at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
The foundation is named after Rotary Club International founder Paul Harris and it has raised over $1 billion for the eradication of polio around the world.
“The foundation, when it focuses on something, it really gets serious and that’s what it’s done with regards to polio. We’re down to the last three countries around the globe where they have polio in an endemic rate and they are Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. World Health Organization, the Rotary, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are determined to get into those three countries and get this job done,” said Schilling.
The campaign also involves eradicating other diseases, Schilling said.
“It’s not only about eradicating polio. The project is called Polio Plus and the plus part of that is wherever we go to vaccinate for polio we also look at other diseases that are endemic in that location,” he said.
For instance, he said, India is now polio-free country thanks to Polio Plus, adding that Rotarians went to villages only accessible by oxcart to deliver vaccines to the community.
Aside from naming the Paul Harris fellow for 2013, the local Rotary Club also announced its 2013 slate of officers for 2014. They are: Richard Cody, incoming president; Curtis Dance; president-elect, Reina Camacho, secretary-elect, Glenn Perez, treasurer-elect, Ivan Ilimov, youth service; Marcia Ayuyu and Larry Phillip, community relations; and Tom Thornbourgh, vocational services.