Many athletes and volunteers know Chief Cormier for his tireless efforts on behalf of Special Olympics New Hampshire and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Hampshire. The following is posted with permission of Winnisquam Echo/Salmon Press.
by Donna Rhodes
TILTON – Since shutdowns of businesses and other public venues due to the Coronavirus were enacted in mid-March, Tilton-Northfield Rotary has been holding online meetings via Zoom. Last week, though, a small group of them gathered at the Greenside Restaurant for a special presentation of the Paul Harris Fellows Award to Tilton Police Chief and longtime Rotary member Bob Cormier.
Each year, Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or whom have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 or more towards the Rotary Foundation goals and programs.
The recognition, established in 1957, was first given to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study. It was the precursor to their later Ambassadorial Scholarships.
Since that time, Rotarians across the world have established a tradition of honoring those who give back to their communities in recognition of their motto of “Service Above Self.”
Chuck Drew, outgoing president of the Tilton-Northfield Rotary, had the honor of presenting Cormier with the distinguished recognition last Wednesday. Drew said that due to the virus precautions, the presentation was delayed but he was pleased to finally present the official pin and certificate to Cormier.
“This is a big deal,” Drew said. “It reflects on someone who has been involved in Rotary (for a long time) and is involved in the community.”
As chief of the Tilton Police Department, a former two-time Rotary president, and someone committed outside his job responsibilities to organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, New Hampshire Special Olympics and more, Cormier exceeded that criteria.
“I never saw this coming. It was really nice,” Cormier said. “As a Rotarian, we do it all not for the recognition, but because it’s the right thing to do. This award is a big deal though and I really appreciate them for nominating me.”
Other notable honorees of the Paul Harris Fellows award include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk.