First Posted: 9/29/2014
It was 120 years ago, when people wore high buttoned shoes and hats, when Rotary was just starting.
The first public project ever tackled by a Rotary club was the construction of public toilets in Chicago, and Rotary was transformed into the world’s first service club. Now, we have grown to more than 1.2 million members and play on a world stage.
As the Northeast Pennsylvania woods take on glorious colors with the season of autumn, our Rotary Club of the Abingtons changes its colors, as well.
Just last month, the Taste of the Abingtons, now 10 years old, reached new heights. We had grown in these years to make this September celebration into an event attended by outstanding crowds of people. Each year, the Taste of the Abingtons evolved to include a wider array of restaurants, offering extraordinary fare for the event. As the crowd swelled indoors at the Inn at Nichols Village, the outdoor tent offered cigars while employees of local wineries and beer brewers poured sips of their best.
There were tempting tastes from hearty soup to homemade ice cream at the Taste for every discriminating guest. Profits from this event will be used for Rotary charities. Some local charities include dictionaries for local school children, aid to the Boy Scouts and help for the Salvation Army.
For the continued growth of our Rotary club, our president, Deborah Kennedy, initiated a plan whereby a larger group of people can become Rotarians. A mainstay of most Rotary clubs has been the lunch meeting, where members socialized with each other and planned how to make the community better. We have had two-hour meetings on Thursdays at Nichols Village for a long time. New arrangements have us in and out in one hour. Anyone who wants to stay longer and socialize can, and many do.
Some of our members could not take time off in the middle of the day. To accommodate that, our club has initiated two other times to meet. The breakfast club starts at 7:15 a.m. on Thursdays at the Glenburn Grill. Members can order and pay for their own breakfast, find out what’s happening in our club and still be at work at 8 a.m.
For those members who are not early risers, our Rotary has begun meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Blu Wasabi in Chinchilla. Members and their families can drop by for a drink after work, become connected with others, learn what is happening and choose service tasks. Those members can stay at the restaurant and have dinner with other Rotarians, or visit and go home. Partners and spouses are invited to take part in any of these meetings.
Although we are all about change for the good, such as a variety of meeting places and many different ways to serve our local and world community, one thing remains as steady as it was when Paul Harris, our founder, was alive. The motto of Rotary International is “Service Above Self.” While our club offers several venues for both business and social networking, the primary focus is on local and international service projects.
Two reasons why people join Rotary are to give back to their communities and to connect with like-minded leaders and friends. Rotarians stay members for those same reasons.
If you take that premise and place it on the world stage, you will find that Rotary connects leaders from all cultures and occupations who want to use their distinct talents for good. People whose sense of responsibility inspires them to give back to their communities, also step forward tackling tough challenges and persevere to create lasting change. Together, we empower youth, improve health, promote peace and advance our small communities to reach all corners of the globe.
With our 1.2 million members, growing more each day, our global community impact has never been greater.
You can find us many ways. Call our president Deborah Kennedy at 570-954-6799. Come to any of our meetings. Get to know us. To be a Rotarian, you only have to want, really want, to make our world a better place. Together we can rise above ourselves and do good.