Tag Archives: Rotary International

Why Rotary?

5 Oct

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a member of the Ashland Rotary Club.  To be more precise, I am an Honorary Member of that club.   Here is how the Rotary International website describes what that means:

Honorary members have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in support of Rotary’s ideals. They’re considered friends of Rotary for their permanent support of Rotary’s cause and are elected by the club.

To tell the truth, I’ve never read that before tonight.  I thought I was chosen to be an Honorary Rotarian because I made the monthly birthday cakes.  But I know that it there is more to it than that.  Since my husband joined the club more than 16 years ago, I’ve participated in the club in one way or another.  At first I only sang with “the Rotary band” at the annual Holiday Party for shut-ins… but over time I found a number of ways to make a difference.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been very active at the Rotary garden.  Just last week I learned that over the last four years our efforts have resulted in more than 10,000 pounds of fresh produce being donated to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.  How wonderful is that?

Mixed Berry Pie

Apple Almond Pie

One of the Rotarians who works with me at the Rotary garden made this special request, “Could we please have pie instead of cake at the birthday table in October?”  Of course I was happy to comply!  The only thing I did in advance was to send an email to the “other” October birthday folks asking if that was okay with them…. and I was not surprised to learn that it was.

Early yesterday morning I prepared two pies for the meeting – one a Mixed Berry Crumb Crust Pie… and the other, an Apple Almond Pie.  Then, to top it off, I picked up some vanilla ice cream so that the pies could be served a la mode.  Almost as soon as they were delivered to the birthday table, the pies were cut and distributed all around… and it warmed my heart to see everyone devouring them.`

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked by curious friends if “it helps” being a member of Rotary.  What the question means (to me) is “does it help your business.”  Perhaps it does… but if you’re asking that kind of question, I don’t think you understand what Rotary is all about.  Again, from the RI website: The Rotary motto Service Above Self conveys the humanitarian spirit of the organization’s more than 1.2 million members. Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international service projects characterize Rotary worldwide.  

By being a member of Rotary I have met people from all over the world – and have had the opportunity to help make a difference in some amazing ways.  And I’ve gotten to know my fellow Rotarians better by working alongside them to do good.  And so, if you were to ask me “Does being a Rotarian help?”  I’d have to say “Yes. It helps so many people… and it will help you too… but probably not in the ways that you expect.”

Tonight I would like to dedicate this post to a friend and fellow Rotarian, Hal.  He was a great man and will be greatly missed.

Go into the world and do well.  But more importantly, go into the world and do good.  Minor Myers Jr.

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Day 94: Happy 70th Birthday to Ashland Rotary!

9 Jul


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Tonight there was a celebration for the 70th Birthday of the Ashland Rotary Club. There are nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs in the world and their stated purpose, according to Rotary International, is to “bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”

My husband joined the Ashland Rotary Club in 1995. I have been making birthday cakes for this club for more than 12 years and a few years ago was made an Honorary Member of the club (an honor that few people have received). We have been active in many of the club’s activities (The Taste of Guanajuato, The Rotary Garden, The Shut-In Holiday Dinner to name a few). Some people think that you join Rotary (or other service clubs) to gain access to community members and maybe improve your business. That may be true – but if you join Rotary to gain you’ve missed the point.

Rotary is a primarily a service organization – and their motto is “Service above Self.” We have met wonderful people in this organization who model this behaviour everyday. We know doctors who have raised money for hospitals in Africa; we know others who have raised money to eradicate polio; and still others who have helped raise money to build homes for impoverished folks in Mexico. Ashland Rotary is an amazing community of people and we are proud and honored to be associated with them. Both of our children have been Rotary Exchange students – my daughter spent a school year in Denmark, my son spent one in the Czech Republic. What a gift it was for them to spend time living abroad and learning about another culture while still so young.

I could go on and on about Rotary and would gladly share with you any information that I have. Tonight, I’d like to toast the Ashland Rotary Club for 70 years of community service and would like to congratulate the men and women of this club – for all that they have accomplished thus far and for all that they aspire to do in the future. We are happy to a part this incredible fellowship.