On January 7th, Malden Rotary recognized several heroes from the community at the 4th Annual Service Above Self Awards. The awards program honors people from our community that work selflessly to ensure our community is a safe and thriving city to live in. Malden Rotary honors members of the Malden Police and Fire Departments, the Emergency Management Center, Cataldo Ambulance, the Middlesex Sheriff's Office and a community service volunteer.
The event held at Anthony's of Malden, enjoyed great support from the community including sponsorships from Malden Taxi, The Malden YMCA and the East Boston Savings Bank. Political leaders such as Mayor Christenson, State Representative Paul Donato, newly elected Representative Steve Ultrino and Sheriff Peter Koutoujian all brought greetings from both the state and the city. 
Family, friends and grateful members of the community gathered to applaud the award recipients and ensure they knew that the sacrifices they make to complete their missions and work in their respective career fields do not go unnoticed and unappreciated. Pail Solano, from the Malden YMCA and a Rotarian, was the emcee and guided those in attendance through each recipient's journey and career accomplishments. Malden Rotary President Debbie Amaral, Past-President David Hart and Rotary Public Relations Chair Mark Lawhorne represented the Malden Rotary Club at the podium all paid homage to the awardees.
Sheriff Koutoujian has nominated a Deputy and his wife. The Officer is Kevin McWatters and his wife Karen Rand McWatters of Somerville.
One may ask, why these recipients and how does this apply to Malden? It is the big picture of Rotary International that is being highlighted here. There is a
story here of tragedy, survival, recovery, love, gratitude, and giving. Karen lost a leg at the Marathon Finish Line while waiting for Kevin to complete the Race.
Karen and Kevin’s subsequent acts of heroism and commitment to public safety truly drive home the worthy Rotary Nomination. Karen and Kevin learned about Estefania Salinas, from El Salvador, who had lost a leg after she was hit by an out of control drag racer. “She suffered traumatic injuries to both of her legs, acid burns all over her body on her face,” Rand said. “She was taken immediately to the hospital where the hospitals there are different. You have to pay. There’s no insurance. You pay for your care.”
The two made it their mission to bring the girl to Boston. She’s now at Shriner’s Hospital, walking with a donated prosthetic and will undergo surgery on her other leg, also damaged in the crash, later this month. “Shriners Hospital has agreed to work with NextStep (Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics) to get her what she needed and NextStep is doing all of her prosthetic care for free and Shiners is actually doing her physical therapy with her prosthetic and any surgeries she’ll need,” Rand said. “It took a lot of people to make sure this could happen.”
Long-time Babe Ruth Manager and League Official Bob Rotondi was honored with the “Samuel G. ‘Sam’ Cherone Community Service Award.” Mr. Rotondi’s commitment to Malden goes far deeper than the Babe Ruth Program that he has been involved with for more than 50 years. He has dedicated his life to ensuring the youth of Malden have opportunities to succeed and has been a great mentor for many generations and beyond. 
The Board of Directors of the Malden Emergency Management Center submitted the nomination of Volunteer William McIntyre, while Malden Fire Chief Jack Colangeli nominated Deputy Chief Phil Cargill to receive the “James W. Quinn Memorial Firefighters Award.” Malden Chief of Police Kevin Molis nominated Detective JP Kelly for the “Aldo Ray Memorial Service Above Self Award.”