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Pacific Rim Rotary Club continues to shine

Elsie Koulelis earns Paul Harris Fellow recognition
Pacific Rim Rotary Club president Laurie Gehrke presents Elsie Koulelis with a Paul Harris Fellow award for her passionate commitment to bettering her community on Wednesday, May 17. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Fueled by contagious enthusiasm, the Pacific Rim Rotary Club is never short on triumphs to cheer during their monthly socials.

Last week’s get together at Ucluelet’s ANAF Hall however brought an extra special celebration as local Rotarian Elsie Koulelis received a Paul Harris Fellow recognition for her commitment to the club and community.

“In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations amongst people of the world,” the certificate reads.

Club president Laurie Gehrke told the Westerly News at the gathering that Koulelis was a well-deserved recipient of the honour.

“Elsie’s contribution to Rotary has been very significant. She always keeps Rotary in her mind and always promotes us and has fun doing it,” Gehrke said.

Koulelis said she enjoys giving back to her community through Rotary.

“Rotary is an extended family that does a lot of good in the world. Here in Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim, we really try to help our community. That is so huge to me because I had a special needs daughter and the extended family I felt outside of my tiny world through organizations such as Rotary was amazing and I just want to give back,” she said. “The friendships, the comradery, the passion, it’s amazing.”

She added the local club provides opportunities for people to support and better their communities through fun and connecting initiatives.

“You want to give back to your community? We’ll help you do that,” she said.

Gehrke added that Pacific Rim Rotary offers a variety of initiatives to fulfill a diverse range of community interests.

“We don’t do everything for everybody all the time. We do a ton of things. Some people like disc golf, some people like to participate at the soap box derby, some people like pancake breakfasts, some people like Pumpkins in the Mist and we organize all of those things. There’s a core of Rotarians who are dedicated to our community and helping it grow.”

She added the club itself has grown to 27 members and is branching into Tofino.

Anybody interested in finding more information about Pacific Rim Rotary can visit or show up to one of the club’s social gatherings, which are held on the third Wednesday of every month at the ANAF—1708 Peninsula Road.

“We’re happy to see you,” Gehrke said. “Anybody can come. You don’t have to be a member. If you want to learn about what we’re doing, come on down. Have a bite of food from the food trucks, have a beer from the bar if you wish and come and enjoy some comradery and some friendship and some fellowship because that’s what we do.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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