(L-r) Presenter Carol Toussaint, Dawn Crim, and Rotary Club President Ellsworth Brown

The Rotary Club of Madison honored Dawn Crim with the Madison Community Service Award at their Rotary Luncheon Nov. 18.

The Rotary Club of Madison is a diverse collection of civic-minded business and professional community leaders who meet each week for fellowship, professional enrichment, and the opportunity for service.

Carol Toussaint, a member of the Rotary Club’s Member Recognition Committee, presented Crim with the award. The Recognition Committee makes recommendations to recognize members for their efforts on behalf of our Rotary Club and is one of Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service which are club, community, international, new generations and vocational.

“Dawn is a well-organized and a busy, busy person,” Toussaint told the crowd. “In addition to her role at the UW, Dawn is involved in many projects and organizations within our community. In addition to her professional work, family and community service activities, Dawn has devoted a great deal of time to Rotary over her eight years of membership.”

Crim is an Associate Dean for External Relations for the UW School of Education and a Rotary Club member since 2007. “I was surprised when I learned that I would be getting this award but I was very pleased,” Crim tells Madison365. “I just kinda quietly go about doing the work so I don’t think about the recognition part.”

Crim has worked with the Rotaract Club on the UW campus and serves as a mentor to one of the Rotary scholars and has served on the Rotary’s Program Advisory Committee. In addition, she has been an active member on the Club’s Community Grants Committee for six years. “That’s the committee that determines which non-profits the donations from the Rotary members go to in the community,” Crim says.

That ends up being about $150,000 that gets distributed and typically between 55-65 organizations receive some level of funding. “I really enjoyed being on the Community Grants Committee because I have an opportunity to let these organizations know that these dollars are available and they should apply,” Crim says. “And, we get a chance to personally interview some of the applicants and share with the committee what you’ve learned about that organization.”

Over the years, Crim has been deeply involved with Rotary. “I really enjoy being a member of the Rotary Club. The information at each luncheon is amazing and the featured speaker always is interesting so you learn about a wide range of things going on in the community. It’s so information rich,” she says. “I also like the fact that part of the donation from the membership goes towards worthy causes in the community whether they are student scholarships at the high school level or community grants. I really like being able to extend the reach of support that the Club can provide to the community.”

With 500 members, the Rotary Club of Madison was founded in 1913 and is one of the 10 largest Rotary clubs in the world of over 34,000 Rotary Clubs. Rotary International is the oldest service club in the United States. There are over 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide in 166 countries.

The Club has definitely made efforts to become more diverse over the last 5-10 years.

“Diversity can be hard because it’s a big commitment in terms of weekly meetings that run about 2 hours. The membership dues are also expensive,” Crim says. “And, it’s traditionally a majority-white, older man’s club that’s over 100 years old. But it’s changing, though. And it’s changing because younger individuals are joining and are bringing new and fresh ideas.”