Jun 25, 2023
SHEPHERDSTOWN ROTARY HONORS JEN WABNITZ
The Shepherdstown Rotary Club has given its highest award, the Paul Harris Award, to Jennifer Wabnitz, for the leadership she has provided as president of the Shepherdstown Community Club.
The award was presented at the club's weekly breakfast at Shepherdstown's Bavarian Inn on June 20.
An accompanying photo shows Wabnitz left, with club President Sean Murtagh.
The Paul Harris Award is named for the man who founded Rotary International in 1905, Paul Percy Harris (1868-1947).
The Shepherdstown Club periodically gives this award to nonmembers and members 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.
Wabnitz has served as president of the Community Club since the autumn of 2019. Her Paul Harris award was presented by Rotarian Karen Kinnett, who is also the Community Club's treasurer. In her remarks, Kinnett noted that the Community Club was facing difficult challenges when Wabnitz became its president, and those challenges were soon compounded greatly by the onset of the Covid pandemic. Through all that, Kinnett said, Wabnitz provided wise, careful leadership and the Community Club is now a much stronger organization as a result. Its memberships and donations have both increased by 50 percent, she said.
Born in Wolverhampton, England and raised in Montreal, Canada, Wabnitz attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and earned a Bachelor of Science studying the biology of brain disorders. She also earned a degree in business management from Mohawk College in Hamilton
After graduation, she worked for several years at Goodwill Industries, assisting adults with severe brain injuries in reentering the workplace.
She has also taught elementary school, worked in real estate, and raised a family. She and her husband Steve moved to Shepherdstown in 2008. They worship at Shepherdstown's New Street United Methodist Church, where she serves on the outreach committee. She is also a member of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club.
Also receiving Paul Harris Awards this year for their service to Rotary were Shepherdstown Rotary Club members Ann Baronner, Steve Campbell, and Teri Biebel.
Baronner's and Campbell's awards were also presented at the club's June 20 breakfast meeting. Baronner was recognized for chairing the club's Club Service Committee over the past two years, and Campbell was recognized for the leadership he provided as the club's president last year and vice president the year before that.
Biebel received her award at the June 21 meeting of the club's evening group, which also meets at the Bavarian Inn. She was recognized for her leadership of that evening group over the past two years.