It was a pleasant surprise and left the man who always has something to say speechless. On Nov. 12 at the Legion, active Cochranite Dan Kroffat was presented the Paul Harris Fellow recognition by Christine Rendell, District Governor of the Rotary Club. It was an honour to have Rendell present the award to Kroffat seeing as she is a rather busy lady covering areas from Lethbridge to Banff all the way to Red Deer and south.
Before calling up Rendell to present Kroffat with his recognition, President of the Rotary Club of Cochrane, Alex Baum expressed many thanks for all of the contributions Kroffat has done and continues to do for the community.
"The gentlemen that we want to honour today, I've known for over 30 years. He has literally raised millions of dollars for communities with no ask of return. I've never once given him a cheque, never once given him anything that suggests he got paid for helping but he continues to do it, one thing after another. It goes on and on and on and I don't know when it will end, I hope it never ends. He continues to make people's lives better," said Baum.
Before presenting the award to Kroffat, Rendell also had a few words to share.
"A Paul Harris Fellow is a certificate recognizing the commitment to community. Paul Harris was a founder of Rotary some 115 years ago, so anyone awarded with this, it's a very recognizable award. When you wear a pin, you'll have Rotarians recognizing that you have been recognized in your community work that you have done, so thank you very much," said Rendell.
Dan Kroffat was certainly caught off guard, mirroring the mannerisms of Airdrie's Mayor, Peter Brown. Nonetheless Kroffat had a few comments to share about volunteerism saying his one selfish motivation is purpose.
"The most rewarding memories I have and in all my careers, other than seeing my children born or relationships with the best person I'm going to spend my life with is the reward of seeing other people succeed because of the efforts that you can make. But know this in closing no one person can make that difference, it talks about community, it talks about teamwork, it talks about committees. I've had the luxury over the last 40 years of volunteerism to have the best committees, the best people committed and dedicated to the success of whatever initiative we've taken on. So this award today as much as it's appreciated, in my mind I'm thinking of the hundreds of people that have been a part of the success that I've enjoyed. This award is just a representation of all people coming together, so thank you very much," said appreciative Kroffat.
Before everyone parted ways Alex Baum ended the gathering with one final statement. "Laughter cleanses you, you work better, you work closer and it's the best relationship builder in the world."