Rotary Club honors Skwirz of Cumberland


As seen in the Valley Breeze

Ed Skwirz, of Cumberland, a Rotarian for 42 years, was honored with the annual Vocational Service Award from the Woonsocket Rotary Club. He began his Rotary "career" as a founding member of the Cumberland-Lincoln Rotary Club in 1975.

Skwirz, who serves as the Electrical Inspector for the Town of Cumberland, is instrumental each year in saving thousands of dollars for the Woonsocket Rotary as he works to coordinate the installation of temporary electrical services and inspections for the city's Autumnfest celebration each fall. Those savings are able to be donated back to the community by the club for other pressing needs. He was nominated for the award by Club President Kevin Greenough. Rena DiMuccio planned the dinner at River Falls Restaurant.

Skwirz was also honored for his years of work in the Rotary's Youth Exchange Program, where he has shepherded hundreds of youth through the planning and execution of trips by American students abroad, as well as bringing international students to the United States. He works with students from age 15 1/2 to 18 1/2, between Georgia and Quebec, Canada, and this work gives him the greatest pleasure.

"I love Rotary for what they do for the world and I'm honored to be part of it," said Skwirz at his dinner. "I love to be able to send students from family to family on the other side of the world. Our work promotes world understanding."

He relates a recent story about a Pennsylvania girl sent to Italy. "She sent me a card thanking me for 'the experience of a lifetime' as she was enjoying a beach in Italy and spending months with a wonderful exchange family."

"When you get a card like that, all your problems go away," said Skwirz, whose wife, Sandy, passed away last December.

Skwirz has been given multiple Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow awards, and has been presented with the prestigious Rotary International Percy Hodgsen Award in the past.