A soprano, songwriter, musician, vocal technician and voice teacher — Tracy Fehr can now add Penticton-Okanagan Rotary Club Unsung Citizen Award to her accolades.
The Penticton-Okanagan Rotary Club presented Fehr with its ‘Unsung Citizen’ Award, and the accompanying recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow, named after the legendary founder of the international Rotary movement.
“As the name implies, the Rotary award honours citizens who selflessly volunteer their time and effort to causes that strengthen the social fabric of our city and beyond. Tracy’s selection is a no-brainer, given her tireless support of numerous humanitarian causes, here at home and in North Africa in particular,” said Sandra Henderson, Rotary Club Penticton Okanagan.
Through her music Fehr generously supports numerous charities. Her semi-annual Voices in Song concert series provides a performing platform for amateur singers. This opportunity to showcase and develop their talents is also used to raise funds for worthy projects, both locally and in third world countries. At a personal level, the concert series has assisted specific women Fehr has met in North Africa: for example, finances to purchase a moped for a single mom to deliver her carpets to market, a sewing machine and supplies for a young woman to set up a business and three sheep for a woman living in a rural area.
Past projects have raised funds for HIV/AIDS orphans in Mozambique, Child Care Ministries in Uganda, Asia Emergency Fund through the Mennonite Central Committee, Penticton and Area Women’s Centre, and local Habitat for Humanity projects.
For almost a decade she has partnered with the Association for Cooperation in Tunisia Development (ACT), a NGO charity in North Africa, Tunisia and Libya, which works with the rural poor; people with disabilities; and those who are at high risk. This partnership has spawned a new Livelihood Project, which enables unwed mothers and marginalized women to receive training and funds to set up small home-based businesses. ACT also teaches these young moms life skills and provides ongoing educational and financial support.
In June 2016, Fehr organized and performed in an Early Music Okanagan Concert Series to raise funds for the UN Refugee Agency earmarked for Syrian refugees.
The Rotary club said Fehr generously exhibits Rotary International’s motto ‘service above self; and in so doing, makes a real difference in the lives of many others, both locally and globally. Ironically, her many selfless, humanitarian acts through the medium of song eminently qualifies her for Rotary’s Unsung Citizen’s Award.