Leaders in Service: Service Above Self

Leaders in Service  
  awards for 2024


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An awards program and fundraiser

Sponsorships and tickets to our second annual award banquet on May 1, 2024 will benefit our club's local non-profit arm, the RCDW Foundation. At the banquet, we will honor three local leaders who have changed our community for the better.

About the awards

The Leaders in Service Awards will recognize top executives of enterprises in three categories -- business, non-profit and government -- who have helped their organizations contribute to improving our community and the world. We are asking for nominations from the public.

Criteria for these awards are that nominees 1) have held a leadership position in their organization, or its local branch; 2) have made a significant impact on the community's needs in one or more of the Rotary Areas of Focus; 3) have led a life and managed their organization in harmony with the Rotary Four-Way Test; and 4) have demonstrated strong leadership skills including a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, personnel development and collaboration with other community leaders.

Elected officials are not eligible.

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Our 2024 honorees

Dr. Charles Hardy, founder of UNCW's College of Health & Human Services, honored in the government category Joanne Parker of Wilmington Health Access for Teens, honored in the non-profit category.Brian McMerty, founder of Men on a Mission at St. James Episcopal Church, honored in the private-sector category

From left: honorees Dr. Charles Hardy, Connie Parker, and Brian McMerty

The third year's honorees, who will be recognized on May 1, 2024, are Dr. Charles Hardy, founding dean of UNCW's College of Health & Human Services, in the government category; Connie Parker of Wilmington Health Access for Teens, in the non-profit category; and Brian McMerty of Arris Partners in the private-sector category.

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About the fundraiser

Sponsors make tax-deductible contributions to the Wilmington Rotary Club's RCDW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable institution. That foundation makes grants to support charitable projects in the Wilmington area, as well as contributing to global projects through our International Projects Committee. In return for their support for our foundation, sponsors get recognition, both at the awards banquet and in public media advertising, and tickets to the banquet.

Details of the May 1, 2024 awards banquet are yet to be finalized, but we plan to present the awards during an event that includes a reception, dinner, excellent wines, background music, and other entertainment. Guests will receive a colorful commemorative program and we will show video interviews with each of the award recipients. Speakers will introduce the honorees, each of whom will give a short acceptance speech.

Sponsorship levels are:

  • Platinum: $10,000 (two tables + brand exposure and other event marketing)
  • Gold: $5,000 (one table + brand exposure and event marketing)
  • Silver: $2,500 (one table + brand exposure and event marketing)
  • Friends of Rotary: $1,000 (four seats)
  • Individual tickets: $150

To become a Leaders in Service sponsor, please complete the form linked here.

Go to Sponsorship form

See our sponsors.

Buy tickets

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Where the money goes

Funds raised through the 2024 Leaders in Service awards will be allocated during the 2024-25 Rotary year, which begins July 1. To give an idea of how we use our financial resources, what follows is a partial list of projects and grant recipients the RCDW Foundation has supported in recent years.

  • Long-term support for education and literacy in New Hanover County schools that serve high-poverty student bodies.
  • Our club's long-term "Legacy Project" at Williston Middle School, supporting such needs as science, math and reading competitions; fitness programs for students; a clothing closet to help low-income students meet school uniform and "dress for success" goals; a school store; and other needed supplies and equipment.
  • Nutrition assistance and a dental clinic for the families of low-income public school students.
  • Cash awards each year for five outstanding rookie public-school teachers.
  • Research to combat Alzheimer's disease.
  • Training assistance dogs for people with disabilities
  • Construction of a Habitat for Humanity house.
  • International health, water supply, and economic development projects in Sierra Leone, Honduras, Guyana, Moldova and Ukraine.

For more on causes Wilmington Rotary Club supports, see Our Projects page.

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Our 2024 sponsors

2024 Leaders in Service sponsors

2024 Friends of Rotary

  • Cathy Barlow, CLB Consulting Partners
  • David Brown
  • Butler & Butler, LLP — Algernon L. Butler, III
  • City of Wilmington
  • Coastal Beverage
  • Coleman Burgess
  • Martin Conley
  • Albert Corbett
  • The Cotton Exchange
  • Terri Everett
  • First National Bank
  • Tom Hoggard
  • Bob and Tiffany Kitchen
  • Paul Lawler
  • John Meehl
  • National Coatings & Supplies
  • RBC Wealth Management
  • Gabe Rich
  • Julie Rehder
  • RBC — Sean Frelke Team
  • RB Richey
  • Sawmill Catering Company
  • Self Skin Studio
  • Southern Bank & Trust
  • SouthState Bank
  • Transworld Business Advisors
  • Bert Williams

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