The Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach — Sunrise, set out to recognize Walter Hoogland for his contributions to bettering the community, and it quickly became a recognition of the partnership between Walter and his wife, Marilynn.
The couple, Walter points out, have been working hard for years in a variety of fields and events — from the annual Fire and Ice and Family Day parties in Qualicum Beach, to the Hooglands’ work behind the scenes. That has taken the shape of Walter’s involvement on the town’s design advisory committee, their involvement with the Beaufort squadron of air cadets, the Kiwanis Housing Society and more.
Much more. Such as Qualicum Beach’s 2009 volunteer of the year award.
To honour their commitment to the community, the Rotary Club awarded Walter (and Marilynn, Walter insisted) the 2012 Paul Harris Award. It’s given out each year to a non-Rotarian, explained Allan Gannon, who has made a positive contribution to the community.
“We have a very appropriate candidate for the award,” Gannon said, noting they base the award on service, fellowship and high ethical standards.
“I’m extremely honoured by what you are doing here,” Walter said at a ceremony at Giovanni’s Lounge recently. “There are, however, so many unsung heroes.
“There are the givers and the takers,” he continued, “and the people here are part of the givers, and the givers are what make our community so positive, contributing to its health and wellness.”
Walter was quick to credit his wife (and his extended family) for the support.
“I’m pleased we can do these things together,” he said.
The Paul Harris Award, said Gannon, goes back to the Rotary Foundation, which responds to local and international issues — from ongoing efforts to eliminate polio worldwide, to local efforts and grants.