An international commitment theme of Rotarians around the world is Service Above Self. These three simple words guide Rotary International members everywhere to serving others. Since 1911 members of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg (RCH) have taken the service commitment to heart. Starting in 1977 particularly active members have been recognized by their fellow club members with the Community Service Award.
While there is no financial award for these community spirited individuals, the recognition from fellow members is a, “celebration of Rotary service and its transformative impact on my life,” says the 2020 and 43 recipient Susan L. Anthony. Nominations are made from the potential recipient’s service and performance with organizations not related to the person’s work within the Rotary Club of Harrisburg.
Nominated from the vast majority of her approximately 200 Rotarian colleagues, Anthony was recognized for her years of working with numerous boards of non-profits and human service organizations in the region. Among those most recent board positions are the HANNA Foundation (HANNA’s Pantry), the Susquehanna Art Museum and the Dauphin County Library System. Her contributions to such organizations often include leadership direction, project development and coordination and have been known to last years and often decades.
According to Anthony, “While I may have helped organizations I believe in by providing food for hungry bodies through the HANNA’s Pantry or food for the soul and spirit through the Susquehanna Art Museum; I’m the one receiving the blessings of personal enrichment and a sense of satisfaction.” A select list of other organizations Anthony has counseled include the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, president of the Council for Public Education, president of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society and the Pennsylvania News Media Association.
Even her work world was centered in community enhancement. For 30 years, Anthony worked for the Patriot-News organization in the community service department then serving as the director for 20 of those years. The organization’s premier community-focused events were the internationally recognized Newspaper in Education (NIE) program saluting student achievements including the Central PA Spelling Bee, Central PA Scholastic Art and Writing and the Capital Area Science and Engineering Fair.
“I am particularly proud that one of our NIE Projects in collaboration with the Harrisburg School District raised the reading comprehension of elementary aged children by 30 percent and was awarded the acclaimed Young Reader Prize by the World Association of Newspapers,” adds Anthony.
Rotary International is the world’s first service organization with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 local clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio worldwide under the universal motto Service Above Self.
Since its founding in 1911 as the 23rd club organized in the world, the Rotary Club of Harrisburg continues to be dedicated to doing good locally and internationally. The RCH is comprised of some of the region’s most prominent community leaders with diverse backgrounds in business, professions, religions, civic and non-profit organizations.