Platte City, MO Rotarian Receives Service Above Self Award

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Baltazara (Balty) G. Lotuaco, a charter member of the Rotary Club of South Platte, Mo., recently received the Service Above Self Award - the highest honor bestowed upon individual Rotarians from around the world - at the Rotary Missouri District 6040 annual conference held in St. Joseph, MO.

Baltazara (Balty) G. Lotuaco, a charter member of the Rotary Club of South Platte, recently received the Service Above Self Award - the highest honor bestowed upon individual Rotarians from around the world - at the Rotary Missouri District 6040 annual conference held in St. Joseph, MO. The award was presented by Rotary International Treasurer, Bernard Rosen of Brussels, Belgium, and Rotary International President Nominee, Ray Klinginsmith, of Kirksville Mo.

Lotuaco is the fifth Rotarian in the Rotary Missouri District 6040 - and the first woman in northern Missouri - to receive this honor. Lotuaco's husband, Denys Collins, received this award in 2005, making them the first couple in Rotary's history to be given this honor.

The Service Above Self Award recognizes up to 150 Rotarians annually who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.

Previous Missouri Rotary District 6040 award recipients are:

  • Gavin Doughty, Tarkio Rotary (1996-97)
  • Fred Hahn, Independence Rotary (1996-97)
  • Jesse Watson, Kansas City Plaza Rotary (1997-98)
  • Denys Collins, South Platte Rotary (2005-2006)

Lotuaco grew up in the Philippines and became an obstetrician-gynecologist when she was 25. She launched her first medical mission in 1993 and is currently working on her 17th medical mission.

During the medical missions to the northern Philippines, she performs an average of eight surgeries a day, using three operating rooms and a support staff of 12. She has improved the lives of countless indigent patients and claims that the medical missions are a "labor of love." She oversees the volunteers; makes arrangements for busses, hotels and meals; and gathers all of the necessary medications and medical supplies needed by nine different surgical specialties.

Lotuaco also is a mother of four and is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Her husband, Denys Collins, earned the Service Above Self Award in 2005. They are the first Rotarian couple in Rotary history to have both received the award.

For more information on Rotary District 6040, visit http://www.rotary6040.org.

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Beth Paulsen
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