Gatzke named as Rotarian of the Year

By Beacon Staff

At an awards ceremony in Kalispell on July 2nd, David G. Handy, Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Kalispell (Kalispell Daybreak) recognized Donald A. Gatzke as the 2008-2009 “Rotarian of the Year” .

Dr. Gatzke was presented the Club’s highest award for “upholding and furthering the principles and ideals of the Rotary way of life.” President Handy noted that Gatzke’s contributions to Rotary and humanity went far beyond Kalispell, specifically recognizing his work helping to obtain grants for not only people and projects in Montana but world-wide.

Gatzke is known world-wide for workshops and presentations, now numbering over 1000. His grant work has helped generate over 100 grants in the past five years, while his fund raising efforts (both within and outside of Rotary) have generated millions of dollars for humanitarian, educational, and cultural endeavors. His efforts were instrumental in obtaining the grants that made possible the Rotary Club of Kalispell’s new Miracle Field at the Kidsports Complex as well as the remodeling of the Conrad Sports Complex.

Although Dr. Gatzke has received major recognitions, both in the United States and internationally, he said that receiving this award from his own Club was the highlight in his “Rotary life”. “Being recognized by one’s peers is probably the highest achievement one can attain.”

The Flathead has seven Rotary Clubs: Kalispell (two), Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Evergreen, Polson and Whitefish.

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