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There is far more to Dolly Parton than meets the eye

Dolly Parton is a Paul Harris Fellow and an Honorary Rotarian

Dolly Parton is a Paul Harris Fellow and an Honorary Rotarian in the Cleethorpes Rotary Club

Dolly Parton, born 70 years ago today, is mostly thought of as a widely successful  American singer-songwriter, which is true,  but there is far more to her than just that.

She’s also an actress, businesswoman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, dedicated Wife, Doctor of Letters, Paul Harris Fellow and a Rotarian.

Dolly came from very humble beginnings in Tennessee where she was 1 of 12 children who’s family was so poor that it’s rumored her father had to pay for her birth with a bag of grain.

She is perhaps one of the most decorated musical talents in history with 25 certified Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum Records, 26 songs reaching No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, 42 career top-10 country albums and over 100 million recordings recording sold world-wide.

But don’t think for a moment that Dolly is a one-dimensional Gal…..as she’s never forgot her roots in poverty or the early struggles that her family endured as a result of her father being unable to read and write.

Dolly is a hands-on philanthropist who leverages her talents, her resources and her entrepreneurial skills to improve the lives of many others. A brief highlight of a seemingly endless list of Dolly’s good deeds include:

  • Being a longtime supporter of charities, especially those relating to literacy.
  • She established the Imagination Library in 1995, which sends one book per month to children from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten. Many Rotary Clubs partner in this program.
  • Giving $500,000 to Fort Sanders Medical Center to help launch a new Cancer Hospital
  • Leading significant efforts to preserve the bald eagle through the American Eagle Foundation’s sanctuary at Dollywood.
  • Giving out countless scholarships through her foundation.

She’s very aware of her public persona and isn’t above poking a little fun at herself.

When asked in a recent interview if she’s had work done, she replied “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap”.

John Germ & Dolly Parton

John Germ & Dolly Parton

Dolly received an honorary doctorate of humane and musical letters from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 2009, so she’s really Dr. Dolly – or Double D as she referred to herself to RIPE John Germ on the stage of the Rotary International Convention in Montreal in 2011. Dolly was a keynote speaker at that conference and closed it with a performance of 9 to 5.

At 70 years old Dolly is still an energetic beauty with an amazing voice that shows no signs of slowing down as she’s still a significant presence in the music industry, works actively on her foundation to make the world place and generously gives of her time and talents to her family.

Dolly epitomizes Service Above Self by giving of herself day in and day out, she is the ultimate model of what a Rotarian is all about.

Dolly is also Paul Harris fellow – presented by RIPE John Germ in Montreal and she’s a Rotarian – a member of the Cleethorpes (Grimsby, UK) Rotary Club.

I wish that the North Haven Rotary Club thought of inviting her first.

Rick B

AT&T Donates $10,000 to Devon Rotary Club’s Trust

Left to Right: CT State Representative James Maroney, Kelly Wade Bettuchi of AT&T, Dr. Jason Jenkins, Rotary President, and CT Senator Gayle Slossberg – Photo by Greyson Schwing

The Devon Rotary Club‘s Trust received a generous donation of $10,000 from Kelly Wade Bettuchi of AT&T last week.

The Devon Rotary Trust  is a 501 (c) (3) recognized charitable foundation trust of the Devon Rotary Club that makes community grants and scholarships annually.

The club just passed the $1 million mark in gifts to the community (read more here) as they generously support; Literacy Center of Milford, Beth El Shelter, Boys and Girls Club and Bridges Mentoring program to name just a few. They also award about $20,000 per year in scholarships to Milford students from their club foundation.

Milford Rotary awards $25,000 in Scholarships

Immediate Past President Gina Delucca of the Milford Rotary club celebrated the successes of her year on Aug 8th by awarding 16 scholarships to an impressive group of recently graduated Milford seniors  totaling $25,000. Dr. Phil Caparuso did a great job running the program, keeping it interesting, moving things on track, which is not an easy thing to do with 15 students giving thank you talks. 

Milford is a large and extremely active club with a long list of accomplishments that are supported by their Lobster Bake, the Oyster Festival and Blues Brews and BBQ fundraisers. Check out their interesting ‘Brag Board’ above which lists their many accomplishments.

Gina was honored with a Paul Harris award (actually PH+2 for those of you keeping track)  by Past President Tracy O’Brien and President Sam Bergami.

Student photo by: SM Cooper Photography