South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer was honored Wednesday (April 5) with a Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park, WA.

The award was presented at the Rotary group’s luncheon in Des Moines:

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The award is named after Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney who formed the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1905, “so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.”

“What an honor and surprise,” Schaefer said to himself as he wrote this post. “Our mission since beginning in 2007 has been to basically do what Rotarians do – serve our community and try to make it a better place to live by doing effective, local journalism – and to be given this prestigious award by a great group of people who work hard to make our communities a better place to live, work and play is awesome.”

Schaefer was awarded a beautiful certificate and pin, but the biggest honor to him is something else.

“To be given such a high honor by the pillars of our communities is amazing,” Schaefer added.

Rotarian Blake Messer presented the award with this speech:

The Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park is pleased to today honor Scott Schaefer of South King Media with our most notable distinction, the Paul Harris Fellow.

Scott is not a member, but has contributed greatly to the Rotary Club’s mission to take action in making our communities a better place.

In addition to this award, if you are new to the club or the area and don’t know Scott, here is just a bit about him; he’s been awarded:

  • 6 Northwest Emmy Awards for his work on “Almost Live!”
  • 3 National Emmy Awards as Senior Writer on “Bill Nye the Science Guy”
  • An Environmental Media Award for “Bill Nye the Science Guy”
  • Nominated for a Directors Guild of America award for his Directing work on “Penn & Teller:Bullsh*t!”
  • “Best Hyperlocal Website” two years in a row for The B-Town Blog by the Society of Professional Journalists
  • Founder/Publisher/Editor for South King Media’s six local blogs
  • Director/Producer of “The Maury Island Incident” film

In addition, he and his wife Theresa have donated tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind advertising, coverage, and copious time devoted to the promotion of our fundraising events including the Poverty Bay Wine Festival, Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Festival, the Food & Fund Drive for Hunger, Haunted House, Rotary Membership Drive video and many others.

Beyond helping with our Rotary Events, Scott serves on many local boards and the Blogs of South King Media work to foster and promote conscientious coverage and content of every important local event.

His dedication and long hours devoted to helping others is exemplary of our club’s motion of Service Above Self, and it’s in that spirit today that we are pleased to give our club’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellow award to Scott Schaefer.

According the the Rotary website:

The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships.

Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk.

For more information, visit