As far as he knew, Mark Crane was invited to the Pal-Mac Rotary luncheon last week to be the "program" — in other words to discuss his business and how he got to where he is today.
In her invitation, Margaret Brooks left out the detail that he was about to receive Rotary's highest honor, a Paul Harris Fellowship, which recognizes an individual's personification of the ideals of world peace and understanding.
Margaret's co-host (cohort), Kim Clement, traced Crane's long record of community support in 12 counties where some 47 stores (Mark's Pizzerias) bring something other than pizza to their communities. They bring an example of citizenship and a spirit of giving through an attitude of action. Mark, who began his impressive business career at the old Garlock House in Palmyra, demonstrates his personal philosophy every time he contributes to local scholarship funds, cancer research drives, the installation of gymnasium floors, football field lights and many other substantial contributions and projects in area communities.
One such recent benevolence is in the form of a new food booth at the Wayne County Fairgrounds, a project that would have been nearly impossible for the Rotary and Lions clubs to finance on their own. When he learned from Mark and Kim Clement about the need, Crane said, "Let's do it right,” and committed $20,000 plus grill hardware so that the resulting new building might be put to fuller use by three entities — Rotary, Lions and Mark's. Additional fundraising will be forthcoming from the service clubs, but through his foresight and generosity, Mark made it possible, as Clement said, for "many people to continue working to help others."
And it doesn't stop there. Through the Paul Harris Fellowship, an additional substantial amount of money is given to the Rotary Foundation, which will find even more people to help in Mark Crane's name. Rotary thinks that's a winning situation all around.