The Rotary Club of Andover gave a big thank-you to a dozen volunteers and one special educator at its annual gala last week at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover.
Mark Spencer, outgoing president of the Rotary Club, said the 16th annual event was the largest to date, drawing more than 200 people who succeeded in giving the night’s honorees their well-deserved due.
“These are unsung heroes. They don’t do it for recognition. It’s in their heart,” incoming Rotary President Bob Lavoie said. “American society cannot function without volunteers.”
Recognized as this year’s 12 Citizens Who Care were Kathleen Bates, Don Borenstein, Bud Crowninshield, Carolyn Fantini, Stephen Janavicus, Dr. Richard Lindsay, Ellen Marcus, Nancy Mulvey, Mary Beth Nason, Susie Novick, Aileen Peters and Fred Snell.
They were introduced by Elaine Clements and Amy LaMarche of the Andover Historical Society, who had the opportunity to interview all the honorees and share a capsule overview of their contributions to the community.
The Rotary Club has applauded 167 Citizens Who Care since launching the award 16 years ago.
Ken Matteuci, a teacher at Doherty Middle School, was singled out as Educator of the Year by Ray Cannon. Matteuci’s wife and daughter accepted the award on his behalf because he was away in Knoxville, Tenn., with a Destination Imagination team from town that was competing in the global finals.
Tina Girdwood, a past Citizen Who Care, was recognized for serving as a judge for the Educator of the Year award since it was established five years ago.
Dr. John Palfrey, head of school at Phillips Academy in Andover, gave the keynote address, highlighting the explosion of the online classroom and how it fits within the framework of traditional education.
Palfrey also credited Rotary with allowing him to pursue his graduate studies, explaining how he received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship that allowed him to attend graduate school abroad at the University of Cambridge.