Rotary honors Citizen of the Year at tree lighting ceremony

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

The Uptown Singers sing Christmas carols during the Upper Township Tree Lighting Ceremony at Township Hall Monday. The Uptown Singers sing Christmas carols during the Upper Township Tree Lighting Ceremony at Township Hall Monday.

 

PETERSBURG – The Upper Township Noon Rotary Club held its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony Monday, Nov. 26 at Township Hall.

Club members threw the proverbial switch to light up Township Hall’s Christmas tree and other decorations. Members of the Uptown Singers sang Christmas carols for the crowd.

  Loretta Musso, left, accepts a Citizen of the Year plaque from Rotary district governor John Andrews on behalf of her daughter, Joanne McGuire. Loretta Musso, left, accepts a Citizen of the Year plaque from Rotary district governor John Andrews on behalf of her daughter, Joanne McGuire.

The Rotary Club also announced its Citizen of the Year, naming Joanne McGuire as the 2012 award recipient. McGuire is currently in India, volunteering at the Happy Home Orphanage, which was set up by Father John Kennedy after a tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004. Her mother, Loretta Musso, accepted the award on McGuire’s behalf.

“The basis of Rotary is to help our fellow man,” said Rotary district governor John Andrews. “When we say ‘service above self,’ we really mean it. This year’s Citizen of the Year exemplifies that motto.”

“It’s 5:30 tomorrow morning in India,” said Musso. “Joanne is still in bed but I’m sure she appreciates this honor.”

Father Kennedy, of Tamil Nadu in India, was serving at the Church of the Resurrection in Marmora when the tsunami hit. He founded the Happy Home Orphanage to help young girls there who lost their families in the disaster. He returned to India in 2007 to serve as the orphanage’s director.

McGuire, a parishioner at the Church of the Resurrection, has served as chair of the Happy Home Foundation. She has helped raise funds for the orphanage, including two school buses that transport more than 30 girls to the orphanage each day.

She is now in India for the second time, teaching the girls English, said her mother.

“She works with the girls, they call her Aunti,” said Musso.

Musso said her daughter did not know she was nominated for the Rotary’s Citizen of the Year award. She said she was happy and honored to receive it.

Andrews said Rotary is collecting donations from around the world to help victims of Superstorm Sandy. In Ocean City, donations are going to families that have lost homes, jobs and businesses as a result of the storm.

“Things are starting to open up again,” he said. “By Easter, we hope Ocean City will be most of the way there.”


blog comments powered by Disqus