Ambushed with honour

Mike Gray receives Rotary’s highest honour in surprise presentation at Horsethief pub anniversary

Radium’s Sunrise Rotary Club crashed Mike Gray’s party celebrating his five-year anniversary of owning the Horsethief Creek Pub and Eatery to present him with a special honour.

“We really wanted to make sure that it would be awarded to him in a venue that would be special to him in front of his friends and family, so this is a complete surprise to him. He knows nothing about it,” said Maria Kliavkoff, the club’s assistant district governor, when she invited the Pioneer to sneak a camera into the party.

“He donates to us so effortlessly and is always just a part of everything we do and supportive of everything we do,” she said. “It’s a function of what an incredible volunteer he is and how he’s always more than willing to step up and donate anything he can, whether it’s time, whether it’s his talents, whether it’s his resources. He’s always ready to step in and step up.”

For instance, she said Mr. Gray, who is a village councillor, offered to use the Horsethief shuttle to chauffeur not only those attending his pub’s New Year’s Eve event but to make sure guests at Rotary’s party also had a safe ride home.

The Rotary club reserved a table for Horsethief’s anniversary celebration and tried to contain their gigantic smiles before their president Cris Leonard borrowed the mic and asked for Mr. Gray’s attention.

Paul Harris awards are “granted to Rotarians that do exemplary things or business people or community members that do exemplary things that stand up for our motto which is ‘service before self,’” Mr. Leonard said, inviting the delighted Mr. Gray to the stage to receive the honour.

“Mike’s done great for a business, but he’s done better for the community,” Mr. Leonard said.

Accepting the award, Mr. Gray said: “I don’t have a speech prepared because you didn’t give me a warning that it was happening, but Rotary does a tremendous amount for our community as well, and it’s an absolute honour to be recognized by this.”

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