Rotary’s highest honor recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award nominations are reviewed by a committee of the Board of Directors and no more than 150 may be selected per year. During this Rotary year, only 117 were selected from 1.2 million Rotarians.
To deserve consideration for the award, the Rotarian must have performed continuing humanitarian service. The award is intended to recognize especially those who actively help others through Rotary. Financial contributions to the Rotary Foundation and performance in an elected or appointed Rotary assignment are not considered in selecting the recipient.
Rick Carnagua is a charter member of the Cary-Page Rotary Club that recently celebrated its 27th anniversary. He was club president in 1998-1999 and named Rotarian of the year twice by his club. He is currently the club’s Treasurer. He participates in many club service projects including Habitat for Humanity Salvation Army Holiday Bell Ringing, Ronald McDonald House, a Million Meals, Alzheimer family support, and Read & Feed.
Rick has served as District Secretary, Treasurer, and Governor in 2012-13. He has also served for many years as the District 7710 Chair of Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART). In 2013, he developed a relationship with the Monumental Rotary Club in Santiago, Dominican Republic and led a service project building latrines to improve the sanitation of the countryside outside Santiago and teaching proper hand washing and sanitation. As part of his Dominican Republic Service Project, Rick has established a community fund where Rotary Clubs and individuals donate money to provide equipment and programs for local schools, books, sporting equipment for children, and basic necessities such tooth brushes and tooth paste, toilet paper, mosquito nets, sheets and towels, and shoes. This partnership has continued every year expanding its scope with the aid of global and district grants to include building children’s playgrounds and repairing homes in some of the poorest, rural areas near Santiago. Another Dominican Republic service trip will take place in February, 2017.
He created a very successful hands-on service project for his 2014 District Conference that focused on helping eradicate illiteracy in our local communities. The District 7710 Rotarians collected over 55,000 children’s books and donated them to agencies such as Communities in Schools, Book Harvest, Read & Feed, and YMCA’s of the Triangle.
Rick’s community involvement began with his service on the Town of Cary Parks and Recreation Commission – a group that helps develop strategic goals for the numerous parks and recreational programs offered in Cary, NC. Later, Rick chaired the Cary Comprehensive Growth Plan Committee that developed and reviewed plans for the long-term growth of Cary. He serves on the board of Read & Feed and volunteers weekly tutoring children, reading and providing books, and feeding them a nutritious meal. Rick works with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving. This program coordinates and provides volunteer services in the community to improve the lives of seniors, caregivers, and adults with disabilities. Rick has his own consulting company through which he provides both paid and volunteer services. He donates his time and financial expertise to a number of small non-profit organizations.
He and his wife Gail have one daughter and four grandchildren.