Santa Paula Times

Rotary: Richard and Patricia Fritch honored with Paul Harris Award

April 12, 2013
Santa Paula News

Sometimes people are just generous, especially when they are sure about how their money will be spent.

A Santa Paula couple was recently honored by the Rotary Club for generosity that, in turn, helps local students attend a university. 

Such generosity to the community as displayed by Richard and Patricia Fritch must be recognized, said Dr. Mike Tushla, who announced the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

A retired aerospace engineer, “Richard Fritch is a benefactor for the Rotary Scholarship Program” that each year provides funds to more than a dozen scholars to help offset the costs of higher education. Said Tushla, “Without the support of Richard and Patricia there would be no way we’d be near the dollar amount” of the scholarships awarded each year to graduating Santa Paula High School seniors.

Rotary Foundation Chair Pamela Lindsay said the Paul Harris Fellowship Award is named for the founder of Rotary. An attorney, in 1905 Harris joined with three clients in Chicago to form a club “in fellowship and friendship,” as well as to fulfill an early goal of Rotary, to help humanity.

Lindsay said the award founded in Harris’ honor is the Rotary Foundation’s “special expression of appreciation” to those who not only help others but also show a strong commitment to humanitarian causes. The award, said Lindsay, recognizes the donation made in honor of the couple and their generosity and “will bring gifts of humanitarian programs” to those in need, whether around the world or around the corner.

Such ideals come closer to reality each time a Paul Harris Fellowship Award recipient is honored through programs that provide improved living conditions, increased food production, better education, wider availability of treatment and rehabilitation for the sick and disabled, new channels for the flow of international understanding, and brighter hopes for peace throughout the world.

A contribution to The Rotary Foundation, said Lindsay, “is an investment in the ideal of goodwill, peace and understanding, an ideal held high by Rotarians the world over” and one that Richard and Patricia Fritch clearly share. “As Rotary works with such individuals of good will,” Lindsay added, “we believe the ideal will become a reality.”

Richard Fritch received the PHF certificate, medallion and Paul Harris pin on his own behalf as well as for his wife, who was unable to attend the meeting. “The most important thing to us,” Fritch noted, is that the couple’s donations go to Santa Paula High School students.

Fritch thanked Rotarians for “giving us this opportunity to contribute,” especially as “It makes us happy” that 100 percent of their contributions are used to provide scholarship funds for local students. 

The Santa Paula Rotary Club meets Mondays at noon at the historic Glen Tavern Inn located at 134 N. Mill Street. The public is invited to attend a meeting and see how they can become involved in fun but meaningful activities that benefit the community. For more information visit