Presque Isle Rotarians recently held a celebration to designate Mary Smith as a Paul Harris Fellow for the contributions she has made to the community.

Presque Isle Rotary Club
Presque Isle Rotary Club

A native of Presque Isle, Smith now lives in the Silicon Valley, but over the past several years has made significant contributions in the Star City.

"A Paul Harris Recognition is Rotary's way of honoring someone for their support of and commitment to their community. Mary's has substantially impacted local literacy, health and educational opportunities,” says Mandy Pooler-Hall, Rotary President.  “We are so appreciative of all she has done for the area."

During the celebratory luncheon at Northern Maine Community College, Librarian of the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library, Sonja Plummer Eyler spoke of Smith’s tremendous and selfless donation for the addition and renovations to the library.

“Mary was clear that the honor regarding the gift to enhance the library is given to her mom and dad, Robert & Hope Akeley and that they, along with her husband Rodney Smith, be given the credit. Our library and cultural center is a more beautiful place both inside and out and is accessible and relevant to all.”

The Chair of the Northern Maine Community College Foundation, Gregg Collins explained the vital role Mrs. Smith has made to the College beginning with a $1.2 million gift to establish alternative energy training.

“Mrs. Smith’s largest gift was for the building of the Rodney Smith Wellness Center and the Akeley Student Center to help students physically prepare to enter the workforce.  The facility is also open to the public.  She has financed the upgrade of the College courtyard and supported the creation of the new Water Treatment Technology program,” said Collins. “Mary Smith has been instrumental in improving and transforming the County’s College, the lives of its students, and therefore our workforce.”

“Seeing these gifts utilized for important projects brought me happiness and joy, and I hope to do more,” Mrs. Smith responded.

The local club will make a $1000 donation in Smith’s name to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, which supports thousands of service projects around the world including the eradication of polio and clean water projects.

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