Salem Rotary Club surprises LewisGale Medical Center volunteers with highest honor

LewisGale employees recognized for service in Houston hurricane aftermath

SALEM, Va. – A group of employees from LewisGale Medical Center thought they were at the Salem Rotary Club luncheon to give a presentation. 

After all, they had just returned from a group trip to Houston in the aftermath of the hurricane disaster. 

“I just thought we were going to be giving a presentation about our experience and just answer questions about why we went,” Marlena Williams, a nurse at LewisGale Medical Center said.

But the presentation never happened, because the Rotary Club surprised them with a special award.

Clinical coordinator Jessica Allen at LewisGale Medical Center was surprised about the award.

“I'm speechless/ I was not expecting this whatsoever,” Allen said.

Dee King, who is a member of the rotary club says that they were so moved by these volunteers' will to serve.

“They left very quickly, because of the severity of the situation. When we heard about that, well, our motto of the Rotary is "service above self," King said.

The volunteers were awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, which is the Rotary Club's highest honor.

“It is a very big award for the Rotary Club, and it truly embodies the service above self,” King said.

Even without the award, most of the volunteers said, they would do it all over again.