Rotary members Pat O’Neill and Bob Thacker were recently honored with the club’s 2023 Marston Headley Service Above Self Award for their leadership and dedicated work on a local housing rehab project.
The Service Above Self Award is considered one of the highest honors that Rotary bestows on its members. It recognizes exceptional acts of service that make a positive impact on the local community and beyond.
O’Neill, a retired optometrist, and Thacker, a retired marketing executive, played pivotal roles with a local house rehabilitation project called “Starfish House.” In an effort to address Northfield’s affordable housing shortage, Bob and his wife, Karen, purchased a neglected house on the west side of Northfield and proceeded to lead a community rehab effort. Pat became the lead construction person, working daily on all aspects of the rehab. The two Rotarians invited dozens of others to join the effort, facilitating the transformation of a compromised structure into a safe, attractive, livable home.
The award is given annually to club members who have had a major impact on the club and/or the community. When this award was first given in 1988, it was awarded to Les Gustafson, Keith Covey, Robert Reitz, and Marston Headley, for whom the award is now named.
O’Neill has been a Rotarian since 1984; Thacker joined in 2018.
Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. It’s service work involves youth exchange, polio eradication, literacy, and issues related to climate change.