Rotarians Earn the Bill Steele Annual Service Award

Bill Payne (left) and Chris Datwyler
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Bill Payne (left) and Chris Datwyler share this year’s Bill Steele Annual Service Award, which is awarded by Rotary Club of San Marino to members for “outstanding and sustained service.”

Longtime San Marino Rotarians Chris Datwyler and Bill Payne were named last week as this year’s Bill Steele Annual Service Award recipients by the club, giving them a share of the fifth year for the award.
The club made the surprise announcement at its luncheon last week, the penultimate of the service year. The award, so named for late San Marino resident and Rotarian Bill Steele, is given to club members for “outstanding and sustained service to the club by demonstrating the very best ideals of Rotary International,” according to the club’s website.
Datwyler is the man to thank for that website, with Rotarian Denise Wadsworth hailing him as one of the club’s “godfathers” thanks to his creation and maintenance of the website. When the club’s new service year begins on July 1, Datwyler will have been with the San Marino organization for 35 years.
“My years with San Marino Rotary have been outstanding, one of the best decisions I ever made,” he said.
Payne, a 37-year member of the club, was recognized for his efforts behind the club’s ambassadorial scholarships and global grants, with Wadsworth calling him the “godfather of scholarships.” Illustrating this, he spent his acceptance speech simply updating the club on its most recent grant recipient from San Marino High School.
Steele, who served as a pilot in the Pacific theater during World War II, had lived in San Marino since 1965 when he died in 2006. A dedicated Rotarian since he joined in 1973, he served as the club’s president in the 1979-80 service year and was awarded as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Previous recipients of the Bill Steele Award include Andy Barth, Lucille Norberg and John Harris.

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