Rotary preps to celebrate 100 years

BUCKHANNON —The Buckhannon Rotary is gearing up for its 100th anniversary celebration in May 2018.

Foundation chair Jody Light said the club will reach the big milestone May 1 and is one of the oldest clubs in the district.

The club has been preparing for the milestone with a former AmeriCorps VISTA tasked with researching the club’s 100-year history.

Now, the club needs to decide what to do next, according to Light.

Many international clubs make their anniversaries a big event, she added.

One idea is to have a banquet and invite Rotary officials, past Rotary presidents and district governors and those who have been involved over the years.

Light has even reached out to incoming Rotary International president Barry Rassin to attend a celebration.

The celebration can also be a way to look back at what the Rotary Club has accomplished in its 100 years.

“It’s to say we have made that 100 years and look at the things that have been accomplished,” she said. “This 100-year anniversary is important.”

The club is one of the only Rotary Clubs that does a blood screening thanks to a great relationship with St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The club has secured thousands of dollars in district grants and Rotary International grants which have benefited Mountaineer Food Bank to help folks in need, purchased playground equipment, built a pavilion that was at Jawbone Park and is now in Buckhannon City Park, adopted local roadways, supported Special Olympics and many other groups in the community and helps with a backpack program for a local school.

Those and other projects the club has done over the years are all things that need to be highlighted, according to Light.

The club could also brainstorm for a $100,000 project or smaller projects that total $100,000 to support the community. The club could put in $10,000 to $20,000 and be matched with grants from the district and Rotary International level.

Rotarian Mary Dean discussed club membership.

“Without each of you as members, we would not have a club,” she said. “There are people out there in the community who would be great Rotarians.”

Club members are tasked with identifying prospective members within the confines of the Rotary classification list.

“You can have 10 percent of your club membership or up to 6 members from the same classification,” she said.

For example, up to six people could be insurance agents.

There are some classifications such as clergy that there are no restrictions on.

“Do a little bit of research and bring people into the fold,” she said. “We love our club. Let’s get this club back to where it is growing again.”

Dean also encouraged members to look at new service opportunities.

“I think we can show ourselves as being a little more valuable to the community in different ways,” she said.

Dean said she was drawn to a recent The Record Delta article in which Trumps Salon hosted a high school-age angel tree for the second year.

Dean asked Rotarians to brainstorm what the club could do for these high school students or other service opportunities.

Rotary will not meet for the next two Tuesdays but will start back at noon Jan. 9, 2018. Meetings are held in Chapel Hill UMC’s Engle Hall.

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