|Flanked by President Don Broyles and Past President Mary Keely, Bill Ellis receives Paul Harris medal and certificate.|
July 17, 2007
The affable, avuncular, quiet fellow in the back of the room might never be taken for a mover and shaker.
Until he begins to speak, that is.
And then you begin to realize why he is syndicated in newspapers around the world. And why he is in heavy demand as a motivational speaker and organizer.
You will recognize that this is Dr. William C. Ellis, retired to Scott Depot after a ministry of 25 years with Peoples Church of God in Decatur, Illinois, and a willing leader in every good and noble cause in the valley.
Today, the tables turned, and Bill Ellis was receiving instead of giving.
He was a chief organizer and community liaison for two visits in Teays Valley by the Clyde Dupin Ministries Crusade. He was named "lifestyle columnist" in 2003 by the West Virginia Press Association. He was named West Virginia Rotarian of the Year for 1999-2000. He serves on the Board of Directors for Florida's Warner Southern College. He was the prime mover in bringing a chapter of Rotary International to Putnam County. (It began with a casual conversation at a funeral home visitation on December 30, 1994.) He had his wife Kitty have published audio tapes and CDs of his talks and her music.
Today Bill Ellis was recognized by Putnam Rotarians as a "Paul Harris Fellow," the highest honor awarded by Rotary International.
But the award today came as a complete surprise to Ellis. "It was totally unexpected," he said.
The PHF recognition goes to persons who have contributed at least $1,000 to the charitable Rotary Foundation. The donation for Ellis' award was anonymous.
But it might have come from any of those for whom the name of Bill Ellis means "service above self," both inside the local club and throughout the Putnam community.
(Ellis may be contacted at PO Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; by phone at 304-757-6089; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)