Marshall and McComas
Chet Marshall and Christina McComas
Paul Harris Fellow

Chet Marshall -- 'Another step toward the diamond'

June 10, 2012

Chet R. Marshall, Putnam's resident business consultant, author and motivational speaker took another step today toward membership in the exclusive diamond ranks of Rotary's Paul Harris Fellows.

A Paul Harris medal is awarded to anyone whose makes a gift of $1,000 or more to the Rotary International Annual Programs Fund. The gift may be designated by others in honor of an individual.

With some surprise today, Marshall was awarded his sixth Paul Harris medal by club president Christina McComas. This recognition places Marshall in the fore of Putnam Rotarians in contributions and gifts designated for the Rotary Foundation, and only four steps away from becoming the first "diamond" Paul Harris Fellow in the local club.

Thirty-five people have been honored as Paul Harris Fellows by Putnam Rotary, but only five other active members have been named multiple times -- Don Broyles, Dianna Casto, Dr. Bill Ellis, Bob Keely and Mary Keely.

Ochi/Sentelle
Guest Marshall Ochi chats with Rotarian Sam Sentelle.

"Papa Chet," as Marshall is affectionately known, served as president of Putnam Rotary in 2009-10, a year in which he was also undergoing intensive stem-cell replacements for multiple myeloma at Houston's MD Anderson Center. Never one to quietly give up on any challenge, Marshall gave his initial pep talk as president of the local club from the Rotary House in Houston.

In his retirement from the top job, he challenged club members to work harder than he would in years to come.

"I have Rotary blocked out on my personal calendar for at least the next three years," he said.

As the economic recession came on and charitable income declined, "Papa Chet" organized new efforts to raise funding for service projects. These included an annual pancake breakfast, a raffle and a 5K Walk/Run event.

During his presidential year, he had given a "pledge of service" card to every club member.

A year later, he offered a $100 bill to anyone who might be carrying that pledge card. Amid a chorus of groans and pleas to make the same offer at the next meeting, Marshall himself pulled out his own copy of the pledge card. In his final act as club president he claimed the prize for himself and promptly donated it to the club's "happy dollar" fund.


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