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Bob Hansen receives highest Rotary International honor

by Anakin Bush | March 25, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Submitted photo Bob Hansen poses with 2022-23 Service Above Self Award, which is the highest honor awarded by Rotary International. From left to right: John Horton, Rotary District 6080 Governor; Bob Hansen, recipient of the 2022-23 Service Above Self Award; Elizabeth Usovicz, Rotary International Director; and Larry Lunsford, Rotary Foundation vice-chair.

Fulton Rotary Club member Bob Hansen was selected to receive the highest honor awarded by Rotary International.

Hansen was selected to receive the 2022-23 Service Above Self Award by the Rotary International Board of Directors.

He was nominated for the award by John Horton, Rotary District 6080 Governor.

Hansen was presented the award on Friday as part of the Show Me Rotary Leadership institute at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Larry Lunsford, Rotary Foundation Vice Chair, presented the award to Hansen.

The Service Above Self Award is only given to a maximum of 150 Rotarians worldwide each year.

"The award recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others," a Rotary release states.

Missouri's District 6080 has over 2,300 Rotarians. There are over 1.4 million Rotary members in over 200 countries across the world.

Only one Rotary Club member from each district each year can earn the award.

On Friday, Hansen received a pin and a personalized crystal. He was also invited to be honored at an exclusive recognition event at the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia.

Hansen will be featured in Rotary publications as well.

"Bob sets an example for all other Rotarians around the world," Horton said in a release. "Our district and your club are extremely proud of all the good service work Bob has done in his years in the Rotary Club of Fulton. On behalf of District 6080, we are proud to honor Bob Hansen with this small token for all the people throughout the world whose lives he has improved."

Hansen has been a member of Fulton Rotary since 2010.

In 2018, Hansen and fellow Rotarian Amanda Gowin secured a $94,000 Rotary Global Grant to lower maternal and infant mortality rate among Maasai in Northern Tanzania, a release states.

"That project has expanded to include two mobile health clinics, a menstrual hygiene education and pad-production enterprise, modernizing remote health clinics, building a birthing center, training and equipping traditional midwives, establishing a clean-stove/no smoke initiative, constructing latrines and rainwater-catchment systems, building preschools, creating a technology learning center, and developing anti-malnutrition, female genital mutilation and human rights initiatives," a release states.

For the past 15 years, Hansen has served as the president of Humanity for Children's Board of Directors. As president, he has worked in East Africa to provide access to health care and build partnerships.

He has also been visiting East Africa for humanitarian work at his own expense since 2007, according to a release.

Hansen has recently helped with the Afghan Resettlement Project. With this project, he has helped settle 42 refugees into Callaway county by securing housing, furnishings, and food, among other things.

With Fulton Rotary, he serves as International Service Chair and a member of the Community Service, Administrative, Membership, Peace and Rotarian of the Year Selection committees.

Hansen has also served on other advisory boards, including Central Missouri Community Action, Fulton State Hospital, and Habitat for Humanity, a release states.

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