The 2018 Belleville Rotary Community Paul Harris Fellows (left to right) Jack Miller, Fran and Ed Lehtinen, Fran Burroughs. (Photo/John Spitters/Quinte News)
Four well known Belleville residents were honoured by the Belleville Rotary Club Monday night.
Frances (Fran) Burroughs, Fran and Ed Lehtinen, and Jack Miller became Community Paul Harris Fellows.
Each year Belleville Rotary selects people from outside the club to receive the award from nominations made by its members.
A Community Paul Harris Fellow is awarded to those who’ve given back to their community over the years through donations, time,
Those chosen exemplify the Rotary motto of “Service above Self”. Paul Harris was a distinguished Chicago lawyer and
started the very first Rotary Club in that city back in 1905.
Those chosen to become Community Paul Harris Fellows join some august company, people such as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela,
and Prince Charles.
Former Belleville Police Chief Cory Mackay described retired teacher Fran Burroughs as a tireless volunteer and a generous, compassionate,
trustworthy, and dedicated woman. Burroughs gives of her time and energy to various organizations including the Salvation Army, Hospice Quinte,
Pathways to Independence, and Eastminster United Church.
For her part, Burroughs said she was overwhelmed by the honor saying her parents brought her up knowing a simple rule and that was to
treat others like you yourself would like to be treated and ask nothing in return.
Quinte Broadcasting and Quinte News’ own Jack Miller was described by nominator Karen Baker as another of those community contributors
who “just doesn’t know how to say no.”
Baker listed over a dozen committees that Miller had sat on during his 12 years on city council and his role in bettering the community through his
involvement not only on council, but with the United Way, the Field of Ability project, and the Rick Meagher/Medigas Charity Golf Tournament.
Miller said he was humbled with Rotary’s honour and described his family as one who stressed service above self. “My parents never tired of
telling us to be sure to give back to the community and remember how lucky you are.”
Miller said he’s travelled a lot over the years because of his involvement in hockey broadcasting, both locally and nationally. “Belleville is an incredibly
beautiful city. We have so much to offer and people are starting to catch on. Some people don’t know how good they have it here. If there’s a need,
people get together and find a way to help.”
Two Rotarians nominated Fran and Ed Lehtinen for the award, Drew Brown and John Smale. Smale described how Ed and Fran built their business,
Impacto Protective Products from scratch starting in 1985. The firm, which employs 50 people, is based out of Belleville but has a global reach.
The Lehtinens have donated and provided time and energy to such organizations as the Belleville General Hospital Foundation, the Children’s Foundation,
Hospice Quinte, Hospice Quinte, the United Way, and the Canadian Cancer Society.
They were described as an extraordinarily close couple and a “formidable team” that shuns the spotlight but always answer the call for support.
Speaking on behalf of the couple, Ed Lehtinen was true to form and made his comments brief. He thanked the Rotary Club for the honour, saying his
joining the club years ago helped him in business and helped spur his committment to giving back.
He then heaped praise on fellow Paul Harris Fellow Fran Burroughs.
“I can’t believe the volunteer hours Fran gives to the community. I couldn’t work if I volunteered as much as her”.