On July 1, Rotarians around the world changed their officers. For the Moorestown Rotary Club, this meant welcoming a Moorestown native into the role of president, and Paul Canton III is eager to expand the Rotary’s reach in the year ahead.
Canton was born and raised in Moorestown, and despite leaving for a portion of time, he eventually found his way back. He attended the University of Richmond where he studied business administration, and upon graduating, he moved to Aspen, Colo., where he met his wife.
The pair moved closer to home and lived in Philadelphia for a time before settling down in Moorestown in 2004. For Canton, returning to his roots just felt like the right fit. He said Moorestown is a great place to raise a family, and it’s never felt like a commuter town where people just come and go. He said there’s a real sense of community among neighbors.
“It’s got some kind of heart and soul to it, which I think is important,” Canton said.
Canton’s father had started a custom home building company in the early ’80s, and in 2002, he joined in on the family business. Around 2008, he was working on a home project with Rotary member Pam Parkinson. Parkinson invited Canton to join, and he’s been a member ever since.
At the time, Canton’s grandfather was also a Rotarian, so the benefits to Rotary membership where twofold – he was giving back to the community he loves while spending time with family. In his eyes, the Rotary serves an important role in town. He said at its core, the Rotary is a group of people coming together “to do good for all the right reasons” and that gives them the ability to make an impact on the town.
He said the Moorestown Rotary is one of the biggest clubs in the area, and it’s a particularly active bunch. He said his time in the club has allowed him to become friends with people he might not have met otherwise.
“It’s broadened my exposure to people in town – people from so many different walks of life,” Canton said
So, when his fellow members tapped him for the role, Canton said he was eager to step up to the plate. His goal is to continue to improve upon the work they’re already doing. He said Rotary has a number of committees, and in the year to come, he wants to develop how each is committee is getting involved. He said this means empowering the committee chairs as well as everyone in the club as a whole to contribute to the club in the best way he or she can. He said some of the upcoming meetings will focus on the club itself, what more they can be doing and how to put all of these pieces together.
“I’ve always kind of viewed the role of a leader as somebody who empowers others and puts them in the right position to do the best work they can,” Canton said.
Canton said, at the end of the day, the role of president comes down to motivating people. He said the Rotary is entirely volunteer-based, and so his job is to inspire his fellow members and encourage them to get involved.
Along the way, the Rotary will continue its work awarding scholarships, and it has some new fundraisers on the horizon. He said, more than anything, he wants people in the Moorestown community to be able to see the work they’re doing, so he wants to spread the word about their work and create more of a sense of community awareness.
To learn more about the Rotary Club of Moorestown and for a full list of meeting dates, visit https://www.moorestownrotary.org.