Slidell nurse Sharron Newton has won the 2023 Service Above Self Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the Rotary International service organization, which each year awards them to 130 of the group's 1.4 million members worldwide.
Among Newton's crowning achievements are more than 45 Rotaplast missions to countries around the world to assist in surgeries that corrected cleft lips and palates in children. For a number of years, she also served on the Rotaplast board.
She and her husband, Bill Newton, relocated to Slidell in 2004, where she transferred her Rotary membership from a California club to the Rotary Club of Slidell North Shore. She has subsequently served the group as a director, president-elect and twice as president.
Sharron Newton also helped her Slidell club begin a fundraiser/service project that would become incredibly successful — the club’s Flag Project. After hearing about the concept from a visiting Texas Rotarian, Newton and others from the club created this new effort, which involves raising flags in the days surrounding patriotic holidays. The effort now nets more than $10,000 annually, which the Slidell group uses to benefit local charities, areas affected by disaster, and humanitarian missions the world over.