Posted by David Ebner on Aug 14, 2018
On Tuesday, August 14, the 9 La Crosse area Rotary Clubs gathered together to celebrate the past year, and to raise funds for the Rotary Works Foundation.  This annual event is coordinated by a planning committee of members from all clubs, and is chaired by the Assistant Governor, La Crescent's own Dave Ebner.  Awards are handed out in Rotary's 5 Avenue's of Service: Club Service, Community Service, Youth Service, International Service, Vocational Service.
 
The La Crescent Club had two of it's own recognized.  Bob Spencer was named La Crescent's Rotarian of the Year, and Leo Chaput recieved a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Read more below to learn more about these two amazing Rotarians.
On Tuesday, August 14, the 9 La Crosse area Rotary Clubs gathered together to celebrate the past year, and to raise funds for the Rotary Works Foundation.  This annual event is coordinated by a planning committee of members from all clubs, and is chaired by the Assistant Governor, La Crescent's own Dave Ebner.  Awards are handed out in Rotary's 5 Avenue's of Service: Club Service, Community Service, Youth Service, International Service, Vocational Service.
 
The La Crescent Club had two of it's own recognized.  Bob Spencer was named La Crescent's Rotarian of the Year, and Leo Chaput received a Lifetime Achievement Award.  
 
La Crescent Rotarian of the Year
Each Rotary Club selects a Rotarian of the year.  Bob Spencer from the La Crescent Club was raised in a Rotary family and he’s raising a Rotary family.
Bob and his wife Andrea, along with their sons, Andrew and Dane, can be found attending and volunteering at many local Rotary events. 
 
Bob’s earliest memory of Rotary is that of selling Kringles with Mike Klug at the Valley View Mall when    Bob was 5 years old. Bob joined Rotary in 2006, and he was a member of the Rotary Club of Winona  prior to moving to La Crescent.
 
Bob served an instrumental role as co-chair for registration of the TriCon District Conference this past year. In addition, he revived the club’s youth exchange program by accepting the role of Youth Exchange Officer, he revamped the club website and he rolled out ClubCunner for the club to use. Most recently, Bob spearheaded the local Rotary effort to assist with the fundraising and construction of the new playground equipment at the elementary school and he designed the PowerPoint presentation for tonight’s event.  Simply put, Bob gets things done!
 
Please join me in recognizing La Crescent’s Rotarian of the Year, Bob Spencer!
 
Lifetime Achievement Award
Service Above Self and caring for others is how Leo Chaput leads his life.  Many of you know of Leo’s handiwork and welding skills thru the figures and displays he’s created for the annual Rotary Lights event.  Leo has enjoyed his involvement with Rotary Lights for years and it’s a passion that he has been able to share with his family and friends.
 
In the La Crescent community, Leo is known for his generous spirit and willingness to help others who are less fortunate.  In his retirement, Leo repairs and refurbishments bicycles…some of which he gives away to children that are served at the Bluff Country Family Resources.  He’s also been known to repair bicycles for others at little or no cost.
 
Other examples of his community spirit were evident a few years ago when he noted that an elderly neighbor who did not have the resources to repair or  paint her garage.  Leo organized a team of volunteers from the La Crescent Rotary Club and the garage was repaired and painted over the course of a couple of evenings at no charge to the homeowner.
 
Leo has also served others outside of the local area by helping to rebuild homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  He also participated in the La Crescent Rotary Well Project and he represented the club by traveling to Nicaragua to observe the results of this effort.
 
When it comes down to it, people don’t need to ask Leo for help.  He typically recognizes the problem and steps forward to help in the true spirit of Rotary.
 
Congratulations to Leo Chaput for your Lifetime Achievement Award!
 
In his acceptance, Leo wanted to acknowledge his wife Sandy with a special award of her own.  When Leo was first informed of his selection for the Liftetime Achievement Award, he immediately asked if it would be possible to recognize Sandy as she, too, has the spirit of Rotary and she shares in Leo’s practice of serving others.
 
Sandy volunteers her time and talents at church and at area nursing homes, and she is a friend to her neighbors, young and old.  Sandy takes a genuine interest in helping others and people are naturally drawn to her because she takes the time to actively listen to them.
 
Leo has said that he would not be able to volunteer his time to Rotary projects and other community causes without Sandy’s understanding, love and support.  It is for these reasons and more that Leo has chosen this evening to present Sandy with a Paul Harris Fellow Award.  Sandy, please come forward to accept your award and our appreciation for your efforts!
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