Leaders in Service: Service Above Self

Leaders in Service  
  awards for 2023


The awards | Honorees | SponsorshipsTicketsOur projects | Media |

An awards program and fundraiser

Sponsorships and tickets to our second annual award banquet on May 4, 2023 will benefit our club's local non-profit arm, the RCDW Foundation. At the banquet, we will honor three local leaders who have changed our community for the better.

About the awards

The Leaders in Service Awards will recognize top executives of enterprises in three categories -- business, non-profit and government -- who have helped their organizations contribute to improving our community and the world. We are asking for nominations from the public.

Criteria for these awards are that nominees 1) have held the top executive position in their organization, or its local branch, for three years or more; 2) have made outstanding contributions to the community in one or more of the Rotary Areas of Focus; 3) have led a life and business governed by the Rotary Four-Way Test; and 4) have demonstrated strong leadership skills including a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, personnel development and collaboration with other community leaders.

Elected officials are not eligible.

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Our 2023 honorees

Capt. Terry Bragg, director of the Battleship North Carolina, honored in the government category Dr. Thomas Dalton of Eden Village, honored in the non-profit category.Amy Wright, founder of Bitty & Beau's Coffee Shop, honored in the private-sector category

From left: honorees Capt. Terry Bragg, Dr. Thomas Dalton, and Amy Wright.

The second year's honorees, who will be recognized on May 4, 2023, are Capt. Terry Bragg, director of the Battleship North Carolina, in the government category; Dr. Thomas Dalton of Eden Village, in the non-profit category; and Amy Wright, founder of Bitty & Beau's Coffee Shops, in the private-sector category.

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About the fundraiser

Sponsors make tax-deductible contributions to the Wilmington Rotary Club's RCDW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable institution. That foundation makes grants to support charitable projects in the Wilmington area, as well as contributing to global projects through our International Projects Committee. In return for their support for our foundation, sponsors get recognition, both at the awards banquet and in public media advertising, and tickets to the banquet.

Details of the May 4, 2023 awards banquet are being finalized, but we plan to present the awards during an event that includes a reception, dinner, excellent wines, background music, and other entertainment. Guests will receive a colorful commemorative program and we will show video interviews with each of the award recipients.

A keynote speaker will introduce the winners, each of whom will give a short acceptance speech.

Sponsorship levels are:

  • Platinum: $10,000 (two tables + brand exposure and other event marketing)
  • Gold: $5,000 (one table + brand exposure and event marketing)
  • Silver: $2,500 (one table + brand exposure and event marketing)
  • Friends of Rotary: $1,000 (four seats)
  • Individual tickets: $150

See our sponsors.

To become a Leaders in Service sponsor, please complete the form below.

Go to Sponsorship form

Buy tickets

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Where the money goes

Funds raised through the 2023 Leaders in Service awards will be allocated during the 2023-24 Rotary year, which begins July 1. To give an idea of how we use our financial resources, what follows is a partial list of projects and grant recipients the RCDW Foundation has supported during the past three years (2019-22).

  • Long-term support for education and literacy in New Hanover County schools that serve high-poverty student bodies.
  • Our club's long-term "Legacy Project" at Williston Middle School, supporting such needs as science, math and reading competitions; fitness programs for students; a clothing closet to help low-income students meet school uniform and "dress for success" goals; a school store; and other needed supplies and equipment.
  • Nutrition assistance and a dental clinic for the families of low-income public school students.
  • Cash awards each year for five outstanding rookie public-school teachers.
  • Research to combat Alzheimer's disease.
  • Training assistance dogs for people with disabilities
  • Construction of a Habitat for Humanity house.
  • International health, water supply, and economic development projects in Sierra Leone, Honduras, Guyana, Moldova and Ukraine.

For more on causes Wilmington Rotary Club supports, see Our Projects page.

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Media coverage of Leaders in Service

Rotary Club President Dale Smith talks about Leaders in Service and the club in a Nov. 16, 2022 interview on Wilmington's WECT-TV6. Watch that interview now.

Before the first Leaders in Service awards, Dale Smith discussed the project in an interview on Wilmington radio stations WAAV-980 AM and WNCT-107.9 FM on Jan. 31, 2022. Listen to that interview, which begins shortly after the 1-hour, 18-minute mark.

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Become a sponsor for 2023

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Buy individual tickets for 2023

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Our 2023 sponsors

2023 Leaders in Service sponsors

2023 Friends of Rotary

  • Anonymous
  • Bob King Buick
  • Boney Decor Solutions LLC
  • David Brown
  • Butler & Butler, LLP — Algernon L. Butler, III
  • Calvary Memorial Cemetery
  • Capital Nissan
  • Century 21 Vanguard — Jeff Leslie
  • Albert and Paula Corbett
  • The Cotton Exchange
  • Terri Everett
  • First National Bank
  • Gates Psychological Services
  • Gwathmey Residential Group
  • Highland Roofing Company
  • Bob and Tiffany Kitchen
  • Paul and Patricia Lawler
  • Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Co.
  • Dick and Barbara McGraw
  • John and Peggy Meehl
  • Reid Murchison
  • National Coatings & Supplies
  • Novant Health
  • Pawn USA
  • Erin and Joe Payne
  • RBC — Sean Frelke Team
  • RB and Lynn Richey
  • Sawmill Catering Company
  • Donna and Brian Shiro
  • SouthState Bank
  • Decision Point Wealth Consulting at UBS
  • Bert and Melanie Williams
  • City of Wilmington
  • Wilmington Machinery — Russ Labelle
  • Margaret Zahn

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