Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids, has received notable recognition from Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.
Patricia was surprised with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award at the end of this year’s online Candlelit Christmas Concert on 2nd December 2020. This prestigious honour, named after Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, recognises those who have made substantial contributions to society, humanitarian efforts and charitable works.
The recognition has been championed by South Holland Rotary Club. Jon Martin, Immediate Past President of South Holland Rotary Club, interrupted the Candlelit Christmas Concert to present the award to Patricia over Zoom before the certificate and medal were magically handed over to Patricia’s son, Alastair King-Smith, to pass to Patricia Parker in person in Devon.
Jon Martin surprised Patricia by saying, “Four years ago, Patricia, you were made Rotary International Woman of the Year – and well-deserved. Tonight, members of South Holland Rotary Club would like to recognise your achievement to the children of Darfur. We would like to present to you a Paul Harris Fellowship award. These Awards are mainly given to Rotarians for outstanding work throughout the Rotary movement but on very special occasions, we are allowed to present them to people who we feel are very worthy of such an award.”
Jon later said, “In becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, Patricia joins a remarkable company of persons throughout the world. They are recognized for their devotion to the ideal of good will, peace and understanding…a goal of Rotarians the world over, and one that members of South Holland Rotary clearly share with Patricia.”
“The last individual to publically receive the Paul Harris Award,” Jon went on to explain, “was Captain Sir Tom Moore in July 2020 after walking laps of his garden in the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday. Rotary is a global community of 1.2 million members who share similar values and want to make the world a better place. The award is given to show appreciation and recognition for the service given both nationally and internationally as well. Every Paul Harris Fellow receives a pin, medallion and a certificate when he or she becomes a Fellow. This identifies the Paul Harris Fellow as an advocate of the Foundation’s goals of world peace and international understanding.”
Patricia Parker was unusually lost for words when presented with the award but later said “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award & be honoured in this way. I want to make it clear, however, that it is not me who deserves this award but all the Kids for Kids’ friends who have supported us over the years. With your help alone, Kids for Kids has been able to change the lives of over 550,000 people in Darfur and we are forever grateful.”
Read more about our beautiful Candlelit Christmas Concert here.