HILLSBOROUGH, NJ -  Rotary International District 7475 will honor Courtney Newman, founder of Steps Together, with its prestigious Jean Harris award.

Newman was nominated by the Rotary Club of Hillsborough for the extraordinary community service that she offers through her Hillsborough-based 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring the community to pay their blessings forward and support Somerset County families facing a medical crisis.

The award will be presented in a virtual ceremony on June 24.

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“The Jean Harris Award is the highest honor that Rotary can bestow on a non-Rotarian, said Tricia Marciano, Rotary Club of Hillsborough president. “Though not a Rotarian, we believe that Courtney truly embodies the ideals of Rotary, as well as our motto, “Service Above Self.” 

Formed in 2013, Steps Together, with the support of the community, provides families facing a medical crisis with needed financial relief, while also bringing awareness to the conditions that impact them. Their stories and needs are shared within the local community by creating pages for each family on the Steps Together website. The site is then used to centralize fundraising efforts to create a “one-stop shop” for anyone wishing to help.  Steps Together has raised over $800,000 since its inception, which has covered a wide spectrum of costs for families facing their most difficult challenges.

Courtney and Mike Newman were inspired to help families after experiencing medical scares with both their young children. During that brief time, the couple learned about the complete disruption to life that occurs, the true cost of medical care and the overwhelming feeling of isolation that can be helped tremendously by the smallest act of kindness.  Courtney decided to find a way to pay her blessings forward and encourage the local community to join her in this endeavor. 

Rotary connects 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. The Rotary Club of Hillsborough has 35 active members, including business and professional leaders and retirees who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. 

While its bi-monthly dinner meetings are currently suspended during the COVID-19 crisis, the Rotary Club of Hillsborough continues to meet virtually every other week on Wednesdays.  Those interested in joining Rotary, or merely learning more about the organization, can visit the website hillsboroughnjrotary.com.