Jul 15, 2021
SHEPHERDSTOWN ROTARY CLUB HONORS CAROL ASAM, MIKE AUSTIN
The Shepherdstown Rotary Club has given its highest award, the Paul Harris Award, to longtime Shepherdstown residents Carol Asam and Mike Austin.
The awards were presented at the club's weekly breakfast meeting at Shepherdstown's Bavarian Inn on July 13.
During the same breakfast, the Club also presented Paul Harris awards to three of its members: Walter Eifert, Michele Maiden, and Jimmy Sutch.
The accompanying photo shows, from left to right: Club President Steve Campbell; Eifert; Asam; Maiden; Austin; Sutch; and Club member Gary Heichel, who coordinates the Club's Paul Harris Award process.
The Paul Harris Award is named for the individual who founded Rotary International in 1905, Paul Percy Harris (1868-1947).
The Shepherdstown Club periodically gives this award to individuals who have served their community exceptionally well and who therefore exemplify the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self." The Club makes a $1,000 contribution from its own funds to the International Rotary organization's charitable foundation on each awardee's behalf.
Carol Asam, who founded Shepherdstown's Bavarian Inn in 1977 with her husband, Erwin, has been deeply engaged in the community for many years. She has been very active philanthropically and has played a leadership role in a variety of local nonprofit organizations, including the Shepherdstown Visitors Center and CASA of the Eastern Panhandle. Along with other members of the Asam family, she received the Shepherd University President's Award for Exemplary Service to the University in 2009. At the state level, she has served on the board West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association.
Born in England, Carol served in the Women's Royal Naval Service as a communicator with tours in Gibraltar, the Admiralty in London, and various other locations. After her naval service, she joined the Foreign Office in London as a cipher officer, serving in Malta during the negotiations for that country's independence. In 1970 she was posted to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. She met Erwin there, and they were married in 1972.
Mike Austin has lived in Shepherdstown since 1990. He has twice been president of the Community Club and continues to be active in that organization. He has also served on the board of Historic Shepherdstown. For many years, he has led weekly, current-affairs discussion groups for Shepherd University's Lifelong Learning program. He also volunteers at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Martinsburg, leading discussion groups there for long-term patients. He is a beekeeper, and an active member of the Eastern Panhandle Beekeepers Association. Also an artist, he organizes drawing and painting trips for other artists, as well as art shows.
A Native of Yakima, Washington, Mike is a retired US Navy Commander with more than 23 years of commissioned service. After leaving he Navy in 1985, he worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency until he retired for good in 2005.
Among the Club members who received Paul Harris Awards, Walt Eifert was honored for his philanthropy and involvement in many activities, and his management of a special effort this year to build desks for local students that need them.
Michele Maiden was recognized for her leadership as Club President under difficult circumstances during the 2019-2020 year.
Jimmy Sutch was cited for the leadership he provided to the Club's Satellite Evening Club as its first chair.