On February 1, 2019, the three Gig Harbor Rotary Clubs gathered together to honor three Gig Harbor citizens for their dedication and contributions to the local community. The annual Rotary Star Awards honors non-Rotarians who exemplify Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” The 2018 Rotary Star Award honorees for 2018 are Guy Hoppen, Anne Nesbit and Danna Webster.
The event took place at the Canterwood Golf Club in Gig Harbor and raises money for charities chosen by the honorees. The Gig Harbor Rotary is honoring Danna Webster for her many contributions to the Key Peninsula Community, including starting the Farm Tour and serving for several years as the president of the Key Peninsula Community Council, her chosen charity. Gig Harbor Midday Rotary is recognizing Guy Hoppen for his work as president and founding director of the Gig Harbor BoatShop, Hoppen’s designated charity. Rotary Club of Gig Harbor North is honoring Anne Nesbit. She is the executive director of the Key Peninsula Free Clinic, volunteer firefighter and battalion chief, and actively involved in youth suicide prevention. Nesbit’s charity is the Suicide Prevention Coalition.
“We are excited to honor these unsung heroes,” said Julie Tappero, committee chair. “It’s hard to imagine the impact they have collectively made on our community. They’ve done it because they’ve cared so deeply, and not for any recognition. It’s our pleasure to celebrate their efforts and contributions.”
According to Ben Paganelli from the Gig Harbor Rotary Club who nominated Danna Webster, "Danna is an extraordinarily unassuming, warm individual; but don't let that fool you. When you see the list of organizations she has led and supported, and listen to her quiet wisdom, you know you are in the presence of a truly talented and wonderful lady."
Webster was honored to be nominated. “The 2018 Gig Harbor Rotary Star awards program was absolutely an evening to remember. I am certain that all three of the star recipients are filled with gratitude and appreciation for the tributes paid to their work. The magnificent video, grand awards and a room full of wonderful company filled our hearts and strengthened our resolve to carry on,” she said. “I am grateful to the three clubs for the work dedicated to producing this event and especially for turning your benevolent spotlight on the good services happening for the Key Peninsula community. And most of all, I appreciate the Rotary Star and Paul Harris awards, which recognize the blessings that come to us when we have the opportunity to do a bit of good work.”
Joe Urvina from the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor North nominated Anne Nesbit. “Anne is an inspiration to me. While Anne is not a Rotarian, she lives the Rotarian motto of ‘Service Above Self.’ It was a pleasure to recognize her and everything she does in the community to make it a better place,” he said.
“I am honored to have been recognized by Gig Harbor North's Rotary. I count myself very lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who are all doing what they can for their community,” said Nesbit. “I accepted this award with this is mind. If we all do our part to service others our world will be a better place. The acknowledgement and support of the Gig Harbor Rotary means a lot to me and has inspired me to keep pushing to see what I can do to brighten the day of someone else.”
Guy Hoppen was nominated by Julie Tappero as the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday’s honoree. "Guy Hoppen was recognized for his vision and dedication to the cultural heritage of Gig Harbor. Thanks to him, the residents can have a hands-on experience with the boat building history on which this community was built," she said.
"Truly gratifying that Midday Rotary nominated me for a Star award. That a club of volunteers with the motto of 'Service Above Self' recognizes other volunteers within our community is unique. In addition I feel the award reflects the hard work and selflessness of dozens of hardworking Gig Harbor BoatShop volunteers—the sum is greater than its parts," said Hoppen.
All three Gig Harbor Rotary Clubs and their members live the Rotarian motto. The three clubs are part of Rotary International, which was one of the world’s first service club organizations. There are more than 1.2 million members and 33,000 clubs throughout the world. Rotary International’s biggest focus is to eradicate polio. This mission began in 1979 in the Philippines when Rotarians helped support the immunization of 6 million children. In 1988 there were 125 countries that were polio endemic—that number has dropped to three.
On an interesting note, for every $1 the Rotary contributes to polio eradication, they receive $2 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Locally club members work on projects that benefit the Gig Harbor community to include combating hunger, support to education, job training programs and many more.
To find a Rotary Club near you, visit Rotary.org.