During a recent meeting of the West Winfield Rotary Club, the members unanimously voted to award Irving L. Burkert with the distinguished Paul Harris Fellow Award.
The Paul Harris Fellow is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905. The Fellowship was established in his honor in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution of $1,000 to the humanitarian and educational programs of the The Rotary Foundation.
Since then Rotarians and clubs have used the Paul Harris Fellowship to recognize persons whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of the Rotary Foundation to build a world of understanding and Peace.
Larry was very civic minded and gave countless hours to volunteering. He was a member of the Federated Church serving on various committees over the years and donating many hours to the Food Bank.
As a 32nd degree Mason, he was a member of Winfield Masonic Lodge. He served as Master in 1967 and has continually held the office of Tiller since 1973.
He was a member of the Shriners, Scottish Rite and recently attained Life Membership in the Order of the Eastern Star where he served as Worthy Patron twice.
In 2000 he was awarded the “Roses for the Living” honor by the Winfield Rotary Club for his help with many community programs such as the Rotary Auction, the Community Christmas Basket program, Food Bank, and various Masonic fund raisers.
In 2015, he was awarded the Outstanding Service Award by the Winfield Masonic Temple. Additionally, he was a long-time board member of the West Winfield Medical Center.
Throughout his life, Larry exemplified all the qualities of Paul Harris and lived by the simple Rotary Motto "Service above Self".
Although never an official member of Rotary, for many years he was as integral a part of the West Winfield club as any dues paying member and for that the club honored him.
Giz Will, president of the club, said, "Larry was always there to help our club. We never had to ask him to help; he just did and truly was a great friend of Rotary. For that we recognize him."