Rotary Club of Juneau presents annual Vocational Service Awards

Rotary Club of Juneau recently announced its Vocational Service Awards for 2015. Nominated both by club members and the community at large, the following five businesses, organizations and individuals have been recognized for exemplifying Rotary’s motto, “Service above Self.”  

BUSINESS: Allen Marine. Allen Marine was recognized for “its business ethics and for the extension of its resources in service to others.” The award cited its ongoing donations of wildlife excursions to nonprofit organizations for fund-raising opportunities, and the use of its vessels in cases of national and international disaster, such as the 2011 Japanese tsunami cleanup and the 2009 rescue on the Hudson River after the crash of Flight 1549. 

NON-PROFIT: Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous. A program of Perseverance Theatre, this five week experience is geared to youth 10 to 18 years of age.  Offered in the summer, it provides an opportunity for specialized training in teamwork, discipline, and creative thinking, along with  voice, movement and acting techniques. At the end of the camp, students present a fully realized theatrical production.  The program’s effectiveness was recognized in 2002, by the National Endowment for the Arts, as one of 16 “outstanding American arts programs for young people.”

PUBLIC SECTOR: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Coinciding with National Disability and Employment Awareness Month, this award was presented to the Alaska DVR to recognize the work of its staff and “the commitment, dedication, and patience required to serve clients and those who employ them.” In presenting the award, it was noted that “…DVR’s personal investment in others demonstrates that we all can make a difference.” 

INDIVIDUAL: Dr. Bob Urata. Dr. Urata, a family practice physician at Valley Medical Care, was recognized as “an advocate for change, volunteering his time to serve on boards and commissions as well as educate and work with legislative leaders to effect improvements in health care delivery.”  Rotary also cited Dr. Urata’s commitment to Hospice and Home care an his support of his family and community by serving as a manager for the Gastineau Channel Little League and currently, as chair of the Perseverance Theatre Board. 

YOUTH: Justin Sleppy.  Justin Sleppy, a Thunder Mountain junior, was honored as a “…young person who makes a difference.”  Justin Sleppy is a Thunder Mountain junior. A student athlete and musician, he is also a national honors student, active in student government and a student representative to the school board. A Sources of Strength program peer leader at TMHS, Justin is also active in “Lead on! For Peace and Equality in Alaska,” — a statewide student program sponsored by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  In this role he helped to produce an award-winning video to promote healthy lifestyles and relationships. This was the first year Juneau Rotary made an award for youth service. According to President John Blasco, “This  recognition is long overdue.  Our youth are our future leaders. By recognizing them now, we acknowledge that the future in their hands is bright.  Justin Sleppy is an outstanding example of the hope we all have for tomorrow’s leaders.” 

The Rotary Club of Juneau meets each Tuesday at noon at the Baranof Hotel. For more information, visit

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