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Fundraising award may be a Rotary Club first
9:40am Sunday 27th May 2012 in Local news
The extraordinary fundraising efforts of a schoolgirl from Horsforth have again been recognised.
Twelve-year-old Bethany Hare is believed to be the youngest person ever to receive Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
Bethany, from Horsforth, has so far raised almost £19,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice, near Wetherby, and has set up her own charity.
She received the award on Saturday from Rotary’s district governor Willie Clark.
He said: “The award is named after Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, and is given on rare occasions to non-Rotarians for services above and beyond the call of duty.
“We believe Bethany may be the youngest recipient ever but her fantastic efforts deserve this special recognition. She is a true inspiration and epitomises the Rotary ethos of Service Above Self.
“Just a few weeks ago, Bethany, who was sponsored by the Leeds Rotary Club, was one of the six Young Citizen of the Year winners in this year’s National Rotary competition.”
Bethany was just 10 years old when she began fundraising with a short video in the style of Charlie Chaplin. The video was uploaded on the Just Giving site to raise funds for Martin House. The Chaplin family was so inspired by her ingenuity, they granted permission for her to use the Charlie Chaplin image on her charity logo.
Bethany’s next project was the Walk of Smiles, a 10km walk that attracted hundreds of school children. It was so successful she aims to have Walk of Smiles events all over the UK – with two planned for this year: the first was in Harrogate on Sunday and the second is in Leeds on Sunday, September 8.
Bethany’s parents, Yvonne and Simon, attended the award ceremony and said: “What an amazing morning and very emotional. We can never thank Rotary enough for the amazing support they are showing Bethany which I know is inspiring her more than ever.”