Carol Palladini, founder of the Santa Barbara Women’s Fund, was honored by the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara with a Paul Harris Fellow Award.

The Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self,” and this award, the highest honor a Rotary Club may bestow, recognizes community members who best exemplify the motto.

Palladini, a native of Illinois, moved to Santa Barbara in 1996 and has been actively involved in community activities ever since.

She has held leadership roles with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Planned Parenthood, where she was honored as Volunteer of the Year. She also has served as a volunteer for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Santa Barbara magazine recently recognized Palladini as one of seven “movers and shakers” of women and philanthropy in the community for her role as founding member of The Women’s Fund.

She had read of women’s “giving circles,” and worked with the Santa Barbara Foundation to develop one in which like-minded women get together, write a check annually and give the proceeds to worthy nonprofits.

In its first year, 80 members gave $140,000; year two, $200,000; year three, partnering with the Orfalea Fund, a total of $485,000. Year four, with membership now at almost 300, together with the Orfalea Fund, members gave $600,000.

Kathryn McKee is the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara‘s media relations coordinator.