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LOVELAND -- A photograph of Dorothy "Dot" Cada holding a Burmese orphan with her cheek on the child's head is a picture that tells a personality.

Cada considers the photograph — taken during her volunteer work overseas as a member of the Thompson Valley Rotary Club — to be one of her favorites.

"It's the expression that is so me," said the Loveland resident.

Cada, who travels two to three times a year to improve living conditions in developing countries, is one of 14 finalists worldwide for Rotary International's humanitarian award, the Golden Alumni Service to Humanity. Rotary Clubs worldwide have 2.25 million members.

The winner of the award, an annual recognition of a lifetime effort of humanitarian work, will be announced later this month and presented in June at a Rotary International conference in Brazil. The award fits with Rotary's motto of service above self and has 18 past recipients who were honored for their work around the world on long-term or sustainable projects.

"It's humbling, and it's also a validation that the work I do is in the right direction," Cada said.

Cada, who became a charter member of the Thompson Valley Rotary Club in 1989, works on projects through and alongside Rotary to strengthen existing in-country charities and to build new non-governmental organizations in Africa, Nicaragua, Russia and Myanmar/Burma by partnering with Friendship Force International, the Global Chest Initiatives and many other organizations.

She is involved in projects such as setting up asthma clinics, providing water purifiers for schools and families, establishing loans and teaching at Aung San Suu Kyi's Education Network schools.

At least twice a year, Cada visits Russia, so far making about 40 trips during her time with the Rotary Club, to make sure the clubs there remain active and to check in on their projects, serving as a type of consultant on anything from recruiting members to fundraising.

"We work through problems," Cada said. "It's the consistency and follow-through. I make them accountable."

Cada, who has had careers in nursing, financial planning and property management, serves as chairwoman of international efforts for the Thompson Valley Rotary Club.

"I see myself as a recruiter, so I try to get people involved in helping in foreign countries, getting them to (see) the need and how they can help, showing people that even though cultures are different, they have the same basic desires we have, which is shelter, food and a better life for their children," Cada said.

Loveland's Dot Cada Nominated for International Rotary Award Reporter-Herald 2014-11-14 00:00:00Z 0