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Rotary names top Rotarian, installs officers

By CHUCK BALLARO - | May 26, 2021

William Barnes with his Rotarian of the Year plaque at the Rotary’s installation dinner on May 15.


William Barnes has done so much to give back to the community and it dates back to long before he became a Rotarian.

However, his and the Rotarians’ giving nature seemed a perfect fit, so Barnes joined two years ago and made an immediate impact.

It didn’t take long for Barnes to be recognized for his dedication to service, and, on May 15, at the Rotary’s installation dinner, he was named as the 2021 Rotarian of the Year.

“It was a shock to me and a high honor. There are a lot of great people in that organization and for them to name me is an honor,” said Barnes, who was sergeant-at-arms with the Rotary the past two years. “I enjoy the group and what it stands for, service before self, and the things they have done around the world is awesome. It’s a great organization to be part of.”

Barnes is known for his Christmas in July campaign where he, through Ellsworth Heating & Cooling, give away central air and heating units to needy and deserving residents in the area.

Barnes and Ellsworth has also sponsored many golf tournaments and other events, and has been main sponsor for the Bayshore Shuffleboard League for nearly 30 years.

Dwight Sedgwick, a long-time Rotarian, said despite his short time at Rotary, Barnes has been ready whenever needed.

“He’s been involved with things. When we need help, he’s there to help. We recognize the things he does in the community like the air conditioners,” Sedgwick said.

The installation dinner also served to swear in the new executive branch. Wendy Murray will be the new president; Christina Schwinn is the president-elect, which means she will take over next year, and Lenny Cannova is vice president.

David Rice, who served as president before Murray took over, will be sergeant-at-arms, and Sedgwick will serve as both the secretary and treasurer.

Sedgwick said the Rotary remains strong in spite the challenges COVID has caused.

“We were quite successful last year and we’re still in a position to give out our scholarships and helping community efforts,” Sedgwick said.