Sally Poston was just named this year’s Sunrise Rotarian of the Year 2010-2011.
“It is the highest honor” given by the Sunrise Rotary, said Bob Anderson, president of the club.
Every year a Sunrise Rotary panel takes a look at the past activities of its members and chooses one deserving member for this recognition based on this person’s achievements, dedication, hard work and involvement.
“Secrecy is also a part of the tradition and history,” Anderson said.
So Poston didn’t know until Anderson started revealing the background of this year’s recipient that Poston was the one chosen for this year.
With Anderson’s first sentence in his introduction of this year’s award winner, Poston knew it was her when it was revealed the winner was born to the parents of two British physicists in New Orleans.
Poston, a normally easy-going, speak-your-mind kinda gal, was actually lost for words.
“I was definitely surprised,” she said. “It’s an honor. I feel proud.”
Anderson continued on describing Poston’s contributions to the Sunrise Rotary and why she earned the prestigious award.
“Sally gives tirelessly of her financial resources to Rotary. She is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and has given many fellowships to and in the name of family members,” Anderson said. “Sally loves a good project and works relentlessly behind the scenes to bring it to fruition. Whether it’s a golf marathon or a Sunset Gala, Sally never hesitates to roll up her sleeves, contribute ideas and energy, and raise money ... This year, Sally played an instrumental role in the club’s membership drive when she recruited and sponsored three new members into the club.”
Poston moved with her parents to the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, area in 1965 as a toddler. Growing up, Poston was a good swimmer, but not so fond of running, even though Poston and her mom did take second place overall in the Honolulu Marathon years later.
After graduating from Oak Ridge High School in 1980, Poston attended the University of Tennessee in 1984 with a bachelor’s in biology. While there, she also joined ROTC, graduated at the top of her class, and earned a scholarship to the Army’s Officer Candidate School.
Starting off her Army career at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., she was eventually stationed in Hawaii as an intelligence officer. Known as a daredevil, Poston also learned how to parahute and repel.
She married her husband, Bryan, a helicopoter pilot, in 1990.
In 1995, Poston graduated from the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Poston is a well-known area veterinarian with her own clinic, the Animal Medical Center at 3350 Henderson Ave. N.W., where she has worked since 1995.
She has been a member of the local Sunrise Rotary since it first started 15 years ago.
“She’s wonderful,” said Wendy Williams, Poston’s mom, who joined her Thursday to celebrate the event.
“It’s exciting,” said Bryan Poston, the newly honored veterinarian’s husband. “She puts a lot of effort into Rotary.”
But Poston has earned another prestigious Rotary award, in fact, she has earned seven and is fast approaching earning her eighth Paul Harris award. She has also been the Sunrise Rotary secretary for the past 10 years.
That the Sunrise Rotary was able to keep the fact that Poston won this award this year a secret is doubly amazing because, as the secretary of the club, she’s usually the one in charge of arranging these events.
“Sally is that rare individual who cares deeply about all the right things and doesn’t give a flip about the superficial ones,” said past Sunrise Rotary president Beirne Beaty. “... She is dedicated to the essence of Rotary ... she goes beyond the expected, but works very quietly and efficiently.”