Rotarians honored for contributions to Rotary philanthropy

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer September 07, 2011 08:43 pm

Seven  La Grande Rotarians, including Robert Carter, Clare Espinola, Dr. Lynn Harris, Dr. Michael Jaeger, Beth Stewart, Dale Basso and Michael Moeller, listen as Al Jubitz, well-known philanthropist and Rotarian from Portland, cites them for their   generosity and commitment to Rotary programs. Jubitz presented the seven with prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship awards. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Seven La Grande Rotarians, including Robert Carter, Clare Espinola, Dr. Lynn Harris, Dr. Michael Jaeger, Beth Stewart, Dale Basso and Michael Moeller, listen as Al Jubitz, well-known philanthropist and Rotarian from Portland, cites them for their generosity and commitment to Rotary programs. Jubitz presented the seven with prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship awards. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer

Seven local Rotarians were singled out for high praise recently as they were recognized with Paul Harris Fellowship awards for contributions to Rotary philanthropy.

In a ceremony Aug. 30 at the Union County Transit Center,

La Grande Rotary members Robert Carter, Clare Espinola, Dr. Lynn Harris, Dr. Michael Jaeger and Beth Stewart received their first Paul Harris certificates and pins.

Two other members, Dale Basso and Michael Moeller, received their third Harris awards.

Presenting was Al Jubitz, a well-known philanthropist and member of Portland’s Downtown Rotary.

“Your contributions are alleviating suffering and providing education opportunities around the world,” Jubitz told the honorees.

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of more than a million business, professional and community leaders.

Members in more than 33,000 clubs in 200 countries  and geographical areas provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help build peace and good will.

Paul Harris Fellows are members who contribute $1,000 or more — or have had that amount contributed in their name — to Rotary Foundation programs including the Annual Programs Fund, the PolioPlus program, or the Humanitarian Grants Program.

The award is named for Paul harris, who founded Rotary in 1905.

Jubitz, a retired trucking company executive, is a major supporter of the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program that promotes world peace and helps aspiring peacemakers obtain masters degrees. He has donated $300,000 to fund five Rotary peace fellowships.

He was the keynote speaker at the La Grande Rotary meeting and luncheon, giving a talk on nuclear weapons and their threat to mankind.

Jubitz said that because of terrorism in the world, there’s a good chance someone, sometime, will unleash a nuclear weapon.

But he added it’s not inevitable.

“Scientists say that within 20 years a city will be annihilated by a nuclear weapon. Others say it is possible to rid the world of these weapons,” he said.

He said his heart goes out to American service members and their families, and that he has deep respect for people who serve their country. At the same time, he wants to see war end, and believes it can.

“My own self, I hate war. I think it’s the dumbest thing we could ever do,” he said.

He said his objective is to get Rotary to adopt world peace as a corporate objective, much like the organization did with its PolioPlus program.