Rotary Club of Springfield Recognizes Teresa Haley and Katie Spindell as 2022 Paul Harris Fellows

The Rotary Club of Springfield selected Teresa Haley (on left) and Katie Spindell (on right) as 2022 Community Paul Harris Fellows. The recognition is named for the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International in 1905. The Rotary Club of Springfield has a tradition of awarding Paul Harris Fellow Recognition each year to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the community.
The Club recognized Teresa Haley because of her outstanding contributions to the Springfield community as a passionate civil rights activist and leader and her strong advocacy for public policy that promotes social justice. She lives her motto of “keep it movin” through her service to her church, family, community, and the state.  In 2015, she became the first woman president of the Illinois NAACP State Conference and she is currently serving her sixth consecutive term as president of the Springfield Branch of the NAACP. She led the establishment of the first Springfield Branch NAACP Office and Education Center. She worked with local officials on the commemoration the 110th Anniversary of the 1908 Race Riots in Springfield. She serves on the Governors Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative Transition Committee and the Governor’s Commission for Environmental Justice. Her numerous honors include receipt of Springfield’s First Citizen Award (2019), the first NAACP Activist Image Award in 2020, the Community Service Award from the Frontiers International Club (Springfield Chapter) in 2020, and the Alumni Humanitarian Award from the University of Illinois Springfield in 2022.
The club selected Katie Spindell for outstanding leadership and service in the Springfield community. She started her career in Springfield as a City Ambassador for the International Visitors’ Commission. Throughout her career she has promoted Springfield’s favorite son, Abraham Lincoln. She has served as a Greeter at Union Station, and was responsible for the installation of the Lincoln monument at the AMTRAK station, which commemorates Lincoln’s return to Springfield after his assassination. She coordinated the 2015 events for the sesquicentennial of the Lincoln Funeral including the effort to re-create Lincoln’s Funeral Hearse.  Thousands of people came to Springfield to be part of this event and see re-enactors in full Civil War attire participate in the funeral procession from the Old State Capitol to Oak Ridge Cemetery Receiving Vault and the concluding ceremony. She actively works with veterans groups and has coordinated many events at the War Memorials Site in Oak Ridge Cemetery. She was also responsible for the renovation of the Third Street Gate, which served as the original entrance to the Cemetery.  She is an ardent supporter of veterans and VFW posts in Springfield.
To recognize the two Paul Harris Fellows, the Rotary Club of Springfield made donations of $1000 to Rotary International’s Rotary Foundation in the name of each recipient. The funds support Rotary International’s Annual Fund, the PolioPlus program to eradicate polio worldwide, and approved Foundation grants. The Club recognized the extraordinary achievements of these two community leaders and presented each with a Paul Harris Fellow certificate and pin at the club’s annual Rotary International Found Night gathering and dinner on Monday, March 21 at the Inn at 835. 
Rotarians across the country have a long tradition of supporting the Rotary Foundation by honoring others. Many notable individuals have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including Mother Teresa, entertainer Pearl Bailey, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk. Barry Tobias, President of the Rotary Club of Springfield, commented “We are honored to add Teresa and Katie’s names to this prestigious list.”