Sunrise Rotarians achieve Paul Harris Awards


The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise’s motto is “Service Above Self,” but from time-to-time Rotarians take time to recognize contributions from their fellow Rotarians. There is no greater Rotarian honor than to receive Paul Harris Fellow recognition.

Rotary established Paul Harris Fellow recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to the Rotary International Foundation. A minimum donation of $1000.00 is required for the recognition, with multiple or subsequent additional donations of $1000.00 recognized as additional levels of giving.

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Rotary International Foundation leads the world in the effort to eradicate polio. Polio is gone from all but two countries due largely to the Foundation’s efforts. In addition to the fight against polio, the Foundation provides funding for eradication of hunger, clean water and sanitation, protecting the environment and promoting peace. The Foundation is ever present helping after natural and man- made disasters and most recently has provided grants to help with refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. The Gates Foundation thinks so highly of the Rotary International Foundation that it provides matches for donations two to one.

Sunrise Rotarian Stef Stefanides was recently recognized by award of Paul Harris Plus 2. Stefanides is a longtime community activist and Rotarian.

Sunrise Rotarian Tom Mann was awarded Paul Harris Plus 3. Mann has been a Sunrise Rotarian since moving to the area a few years ago but is adding to his past years of service to his previous Rotary Club. Mann is past president of the club. He owns All Events Party Rentals and can frequently be seen at community events as both volunteer and supplier. Mann annually provides equipment for the Meals of Hope packaging event.

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Sunrise Rotarian Tom Wagor was honored with Paul Harris Plus 3. Wagor recently retired as a well-known local banker, but he has not retired from community service. Wagor is fundraising chair for the club. Wagor has been president of Sunrise Rotary, Marco Island Chamber of Commerce and Marco Island Historical Society. Tom is a virtual fixture at community events.

Sunrise Rotarian John Apolzan was awarded Paul Harris Plus 5. Apolzan is retired and is the Club’s Sergeant at Arms. Apolzan is a leading volunteer and there is rarely a Rotary event that you will not see John.

Sunrise Rotarian Neil Snyder was awarded Paul Harris Major Donor. Major Donor is awarded when a Rotarian has donated $10,000 in personal contributions. Snyder is past president of the club and incoming Rotary District Governor. Snyder has been an active Rotarian for 11 years and maintains an active law practice with his wife, Rebecca, on Marco Island.

Sunrise Rotary Foundation chair Robert Thomas noted “these five Rotarians are terrific, but they do not stand alone. They are not only leaders but are a part of the fabric of our great Rotary team. We are very proud of them.”

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise is a diverse group with focus on local businesses and community service. It is comprised of a cross-section of the Marco Island area community, and new members are welcome. It meets at Stonewall’s American Bistro on Tuesday mornings at 7 a.m. To become a Rotarian or for further information about the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise and its activities, contact Bill Morris at or visit the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise website at