BALLSTON SPA – The Rotary Club of Ballston Spa held its annual Installation Dinner on Thursday, Jun. 26 and plenty of supporters were on hand to witness the installation of new officers for the coming year.
Over 50 members and guests gathered at the Christ Episcopal Church Hall to say goodbye to outgoing District Governor Sue Austin and to witness the installation of officers for the 2014-2015 year.
The Officers for this coming year are President – Pete Champagne; President Elect – Ray Otten; Secretary – Cyndi Pastore; Treasurer – Linda Doyle; and Sargent of Arms – Frank Townley. The Board of Directors for the coming year will include Jason Armer, Dan Barner, Jere Blackwelder, and Kathi Leigh.
The Rotary Club also bid farewell to its current foreign exchange student from Thailand, Sirapat Konkham, known as “Noon” and wished good luck to two outgoing exchange students Alison Block and Hope Danison. Block will be studying in Ecuador and Danison will be studying in South Korea.
Awards were presented for the Citizen of the Year to Ron Surdyka, as well as Rotarian of the Year to Ray Otten.
Ron Surdyka grew up in and around the Village of Ballston Spa. He works with Meals on Wheels, works on projects for his church and at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds as Dan Dan the Mountain Man, teaching fairgoers about pioneering life, and is a 4-H and DEC Master instructor involving firearms and archery equipment.
Ron runs a Winter Instructor workshop for 4-H for nearly 100 instructor candidates and is involved in the Sportsman Education Program in both Hunter and Bow Hunter Certification. His instructional expertise is not only utilized locally but statewide also.He gives of his time and energy to others while balancing it with his family life which includes his wife, Sue, and his adult children.
Ray Otten has lived in Ballston Spa and Milton for over 40 years. He was involved as a volunteer with Community Emergency Corps until 2006 when he was hired as the agency’s Executive Director.
Ray is involved in the community in numerous roles concerning emergency planning, training new EMTs, and trying to make the community a safe place to raise our families. He is a member of the Ballston Spa Rotary where he has become involved with the food Banks, fundraising, and Community Outreach programs, including weekly interaction with the Saratoga Bridges Day Hab at the Factory. Ray also provides ongoing EMS enlightenment programs geared towards school children and the elderly alike. He is married to Millie with 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren.
Earning Paul Harris Awards for their contributions to the Rotary Foundation Fund were Pete Champagne, Cyndi Pastore, and Linda Doyle.
Monetary gifts were presented to both the BACC and Christ Episcopal Church Pre-school Program.