The Keene Elm City Rotary club honored Peter Poanessa and Judy Rogers as Paul Harris Fellows for their work in bringing the Walldogs Magical History Tour to Keene this past summer. The three-day tour brought roughly 300 painters, known as Walldogs, to town to create 16 murals based on Keene’s history.
Rogers is the owner of Prime Roast Coffee Company, a retail coffee shop and wholesale roasting company. She was also one of the six organizers of the original Pumpkin Festival in 1991. Poanessa co-owns and operates Keene Signworx, a design and sign-making company and is a Walldog.
“Walldogs is what I call an unorganized organization — there’s no address, no phone number, it’s literally a group of artists and sign makers, most of whom work in small shops,” said Poanessa. “We learn where the next festival is, and we just show up. We have around 300 active artists in the Walldogs and, as the show travels, we pick up new artists.”
Keene Elm City Rotarian Allen Mendelson presented the Paul Harris Fellow certificates to the duo. “I want to thank the two of you who have done so much, by presenting you with Rotary’s highest honor, a Paul Harris fellow,” he said. “You are joining more than 150 people who — over the past 30 years — have been recognized for their service to the community.”