The Transylvania Times -

Castro Receives Rotary's Highest Honor


June 4, 2018

Jack Christfield

Joe Castro, Rotary Club of Pisgah Forest member, recently received Rotary International's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award. This honor recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others.

The award was given in recognition of Castro's work in the Philippines, helping children with heart defects. He has been managing a multi-year global grant to provide open-heart surgery and training for local medical teams to perform the surgeries themselves. This on-going project is in partnership with the Rotary Club of Makati West in the Philippines, Duke Medical Center and Philippines Children's Hospital.

Castro's work on the medical missions continues. The current global grant, which is in effect through April 2019, allows for medical treatment of 114 children born with congenital heart conditions. They will be treated for their life-threatening ailments and provided with pre- and post-operative care by Filipino health care professionals.

Rotary District 7670 Governor Bill Biddle, Club President Jim Cruickshank, District Governor Nominee Tiffany Ervin and Past District Governor Raymond Ciriaco of District 3810 in the Philippines were all present at the May 2 breakfast meeting to award and congratulate Castro as he received this honor.

The award is internationally competitive and is granted each year to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide, and no more than one from each district.

Castro was surprised and honored by the award.

"It came as a complete surprise that my part in the efforts to save children's lives would be deserving of this award from Rotary International," he said. "I feel deeply honored, and I thank our club for giving me the opportunity to serve."

Rotary International, the world's first service club organization, consists of more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international projects characterize Rotary worldwide. Rotary Club of Pisgah Forest meets on Wednesday at 8 a.m. at Pisgah Fish Camp.


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