Rotary’s highest honour awarded to an Adventist

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Dennis Perry (third from left) is presented with his award by Rotary officials.

Operation Food For Life (OFFL) co-founder Dennis Perry has been awarded the Rotary Foundation’s highest honour for individuals who have performed exceptional community service.

Mr Perry received the Paul Harris Fellow award during a special ceremony at Penrith RSL Club (NSW) on Saturday night, attended by community leaders, past presidents and members of Rotary.

The award is the highest recognition that Rotary bestows on individuals who exemplify the organisation’s motto “Service above self”. Rotary honours individuals who have made a positive, lasting change in the quality of life in communities at home and abroad, and have shown leadership in volunteer service.

Mr Perry said he was shocked and humbled to receive the award, which consists of a gold lapel pin, medal and certificate, plus $A2000 for the OFFL ministry.

He said he proudly took the opportunity during the award ceremony to mention that he is a Seventh-day Adventist. “In everything all our Operation Food for Life volunteers and I do, we must always be a walking advertisement for Jesus,” he said.

Earlier this year Mr Perry was awarded the NSW Government Community Service Award in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding contribution to the community.

OFFL, a charity he co-founded with former business associate David Woolley, supports a number of projects in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), including feeding and clothing hundreds of people living on rubbish dumps; providing food and spiritual support to patients dying of HIV/AIDS, and regularly supplying breakfast to more than 1000 men and women in prison.