ImageThe prestigious ‘Service Above Self’ award was bestowed upon Shelly Duben this past weekend at Rotary’s District Conference in Lafayette County, Pennsylvania. The award recognizes Rotarians who have rendered exemplary humanitarian service with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts, and of 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide, a maximum of only 150 Rotarians receive this honour each year.

“We are extremely proud of Shelly and her many accomplishments,” explains Chris Woodrow, President of the Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair. “She is a most deserving recipient of this award.”

A Rotarian since 2004, she served as the club’s President in 2007 through to 2009. A teacher by vocation, Shelly has taught a broad range of subjects including math, physics, science, art, English and history. She served as the Head of Guidance at Forster Secondary School for several years, and is now a Teacher Consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board.


Together with her husband Michael, Shelly co-founded RELAY, Rotarians Enhancing Learning of African Youth, and together, they have led numerous teams on missions to African countries including Ghana and Kenya to build and renovate schools, provide teaching resources and advice, as well and medical, water and sanitation facilities.

"Both Michael and I agree that although we know we are helping people in very poor areas of the world and that they are benefiting from our efforts in their communities, we get more reward from our volunteer work than anyone else. We learn so much from the children and others in these poor areas about what is really important in life - family, friends, and being thankful for what you have." She notes that although the intrinsic rewards of volunteerism are enough, she greatly appreciates and is humbled by this award.