The Paul Harris award, the highest award given by a Rotary Club, was presented to several Aliceans Friday. Pictured (l-r) with their awards are Rosie Villarreal, Cliff Wright and Dr. Gary Cloud. Not pictured are John Bedgood and Steven Daniels. OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Dr. Cloud, Wright, Villarreal, Daniels, Bedgood honored

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Miguel Aleman, Mexico - Several Aliceans were recognized in Miguel Aleman, Mexico, Friday with the highest honor in the Rotary Club that acknowledges "service above self."

Those honored with the Paul Harris Fellow Award included Dr. Gary Cloud, Cliff Wright, Rosie Villarreal, Steven Daniels and John Bedgood.

These individuals were singled out because of the large role they played to help open a Women's Clinic in Miguel Aleman, Mexico, to provide medical services such as mammograms, cervical and breast cancer screenings and other gynecology services to a poor community.

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice officials donated equipment to the hospital and Bedgood was instrumental in donating gasoline for the hundreds of trips made to the Mexican community to bring health care to the indigent population.

Besides the opening of the clinic on Friday, the fellow recipients also assisted with bringing eye care to hundreds of children of Miguel Aleman, thanks to Cloud's initiative three years ago.

According to the Rotary Web site, the Paul Harris Fellow Award is the highest honor a club can bestow on a person, either inside or outside the Rotary Club.

The award, therefore, recognizes individuals that have given back to their community, their nation or to the world. Harris was the founder of Rotary and this award program was created to fund many Rotary Foundation programs.

Members of the club must have collectively contributed $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation for the privilege of recognizing a person in this way.

Anyone who contributes - or in whose name is contributed - a gift of $1,000 or more to the Annual Programs Fund may become a Paul Harris Fellow. Each new Paul Harris Fellow receives a commemorative certificate, a Paul Harris Fellow pin and a medallion. Donors are eligible for Paul Harris Fellow recognition when their cumulative giving reaches $1,000.

Harris worked as a newspaper reporter, a business college teacher, a stock company actor and as a cowboy. He traveled extensively as a salesman for a marble and granite concern in the U.S.A. and Europe.

These varied experiences broadened his vision and were of assistance in the early expansion of Rotary.