Feb 12, 2020 5:30 PM
Service Above Self Dinner
Honoring the Contributions of First Responders and Volunteers

The Rotary Club of Essex will be recognizing four members of our Public Safety departments (Essex Police, Town and Village Fire Departments and Essex Rescue) as well as a member of our community who exemplifies Service Above Self.  Please RSVP.  The dinner will cost approximately $35 per person.  All community members are welcome to join Essex Rotary to honor our first responders.  The Dinner will start with a reception at 5:30 PM with dinner beginning at 6 PM.  The Awards ceremony should be concluded by 8 PM. 

The following story from the Essex Reporter introduces the award winners from the four First Responder organizations in Essex:  Essex Town Fire Department, Essex Policy Department, Essex Junction Fire Department and Essex Rescue.  Also being recognized is the annual Service Above Self Award presented by Essex Rotary.  You can read the story here

The Essex Rotary Club has made the 2020 selections for its annual awards which honor individuals for community service and their dedication to living the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”

Four of the accolades go to representatives from public service organizations while the last goes to another model member of the community. All 5 will be recognized at the Rotary’s dinner--set to take place Feb. 12 at The Essex.

Receiving the club’s coveted Essex Rotary Service above Self award is Valerie Gabert, coordinator of the Heavenly Food Pantry at the First Congressional Church. Public service honorees are Lt. Ken Beaulieu (Essex Police Department, ret.), Assistant Chief Tim Wear (Essex Junction Fire Department), senior paramedic Mike O’Keefe (Essex Rescue), and Lt. James Marshall (Essex Town Fire Department).  

Gabert is being honored for her leadership and vision for the food pantry as a volunteer over the last 10 years. She works to help with food insecurities in Vermont--looking to expand the reach of services to include schools, senior centers, and other organizations. 

Beaulieu is recently-retired after serving 30 years in the community. During his career, he worked his way up through the ranks to become a lieutenant, and he was involved in many of the major cases in Essex during his tenure.

Wear is a fourth-generation firefighter--starting his fire service career in Canaan, N.Y. before moving to Richmond, Vt. where he spent 8.5 years. Wear rose to the rank of captain before joining Essex Junction Fire in 1998.

O’Keefe has spent 43 years as a provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care. During his extensive career, he climbed the ladder of EMS education and licensure to become a senior paramedic--serving as the EMS command officer during the 1984 Amtrak train derailment.