ROZ Thompson not only has a heart of gold, but she's given her life to helping others in all kinds of ways.
Ms Thompson, a long-time Leeton resident, was recently awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Leeton, which she is a member of.
The honour coincided with Ms Thompson's farewell from Leeton after deciding to move to Townsville to help out her family, with her son currently not well.
As Ms Thompson calls it, "it's an extended leave from Leeton", but she promises to be back for visits on a regular basis.
She was aware a farewell had been planned for her, but the Paul Harris Fellow honour came as a huge shock.
"I just had no idea … they actually handed me a certificate and told me to read it out," Ms Thompson said.
"Once I worked out what it was I just burst into tears.
"I'm honestly so humbled by it all.
"That on top of saying goodbye to everyone and I just couldn't stop the tears."
The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs.
It can also be awarded to a community member who isn't a Rotary member.
Ms Thompson said she was missing Leeton, but with many family and friends still in town she said she'll be back and forth whenever it's possible.
It hasn't been an easy time since moving to Townsville for Ms Thompson and her family thanks to the torrential flooding and rain the city has experienced.
"On Australia Day we went to one of the functions and it just sort of started to rain lightly just as it was finishing … I thought 'that's pretty good timing', but then it didn't stop raining for two weeks," Ms Thompson said.
"Luckily we're okay and the house we've bought is fine.
"We did have to spend time bucketing out water from under the house, but we're fine.
"Driving around and looking at the worst-hit areas, it's just heartbreaking.
"It's going to be a long road for a lot of people."
Ms Thompson is still a member of the Rotary Club of Leeton, but she will also be joining the organisation in Townsville as well.
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