Five honored with Paul Harris Fellow awards

PLATTSBURGH Five community members were recently honored by the Rotary Club of Plattsburgh and the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club for their service to the community. The Paul Harris Fellow Award, named for the founder of Rotary, was given to Amber Bach-Gorman, Carmen Carpentier, Dr. Robert Golden, Clarence Joseph Soper, and the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce. The award is the highest honor a Rotary Club can bestow on a person, either inside or outside the club. The award acknowledges "service above self, which that individual or organization has offered to their community, their nation or to the world. Amber Bach-Gorman, who until recently worked as a local psychologist, joined the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club in 2004. During her time in Plattsburgh, she worked for Catholic Charities, the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, as well as the Mental Health Unit at CVPH Medical Center. A native of North Dakota, Bach-Gorman became president in July 2007 and was the youngest president in the history of the Sunrise Rotary Club. She is also the youngest Paul Harris Fellow ever nominated by the club. During her time with the Sunrise Rotary Club, she was a very active member, taking particular interest in the various local literacy programs. Additionally, she was a prime member of the Mayors Cup Committee, managing the race day activities from the sign-up desk to the shuttle service to the race crews. She recently returned to North Dakota due to career and family commitments. Carmen Carpentier, executive director of Lake Forest Senior Living Community in Plattsburgh, has been a member of the Plattsburgh Rotary Club since 1997. Carpentier has been actively involved in all facets of the club including the board of directors, Centennial Park Committee, Youth Exchange and Holiday Programs. Carpentier can be found participating at club fundraisers including the annual Rotary Fishing Classic, the RoDucky Derby and Rotary Radio Day. An active participant in the community as well with SUNY Plattsburgh international students and several cancer events, Carpentier currently serves as chair of the Rotary Clubs Gifts Committee and has helped for many years to plan the Paul Harris Fellows dinner. Clarence C.J. Soper has been a member of the Plattsburgh Rotary Club since 1992. Long remembered as an impressive fundraiser for the club, Soper has always been extremely active in Rotary Radio Day, being one of the top sellers for many years. His commitments also include the RoDucky Derby and annual Rotary Fishing Classic. He also served for several years on the board of directors. Dr. Robert Golden was named a Paul Harris Fellow by another Rotary Club he was a member of while employed at another college prior to coming to SUNY Plattsburgh in 2002. The Rotary Club of Plattsburgh recognized him for his service to the local Rotary club and community. Golden recently left his position after six years as provost and vice president for academic affairs at SUNY Plattsburgh to assume a less active role as an adjunct instructor at SUNY Plattsburghs Branch Campus at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury. He is credited for having served the Rotary Club of Plattsburgh with a distinguished style, incredible effort and solid passion. In addition to participating in fundraisers, he was honored for establishing a Rotaract chapter at SUNY Plattsburgh and chairing the program committee responsible for outstanding lunch presentations during the Rotary clubs most recent history. For the first time in the history of Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow was awarded to an organization rather than an individual. The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce was named a Paul Harris Fellow for the impact the chamber has on the lives of North Country residents. Chamber president Garry F. Douglas, chamber executive committee chairman Gene Chauvin, and chamber executive committee vice chairman John VanNatten accepted the award on behalf of the chamber. The chamber was recognized for attracting new businesses to the area, such as Bombardier or Laurentian; its lobbying efforts in both Albany and Washington, which have paid massive dividends for the region; and focusing attention on the importance of the U.S.-Canada border crossing at Champlain to our region and the nations economy. The Paul Harris Fellow program was created to fund many Rotary Foundation programs, and Rotary clubs must collectively contribute $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation for the privilege of recognizing a person.

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