of The Clarion
The Kindersley Rotary Club has been supporting the community for more than two decades and the club is doing more to raise funds for its ongoing efforts.
There are several ways to support a community, and joining a service club or fraternal organization is one way to give back. Membership is down for most service clubs, so people could help by joining their local clubs or organizations if they have the time to spare.
Service clubs have done a lot for their communities and several smaller communities would not have different events or amenities without their clubs. Local clubs and organizations are being featured over a series of articles.
Sharon Price, a spokesperson for the Kindersley Rotary Club, said the club was established in November 1996. She said she joined the club in 2000 and she has held several positions at the local and district levels. She has served as the club’s president on several occasions and she is the current past president.
Rotary International has been in existence since 1905 when Chicago attorney Paul Harris founded the organization. The purpose of the organization at the time was for professionals with diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas, form new friendships and give back to the community.
[emember_protected for=”2″ custom_msg=’For more on this story, please see the Jun. 6 print edition of The Clarion.’]
Price said Rotary and its membership have changed over the years. She noted that the organization used to consist of only men years ago and members were prominent working professionals such as business owners, managers and executives.
The spokesperson said it used to be frowned upon if club members missed meetings. The rules have loosened over the years, and Price said clubs have to be open to change if they want to survive. Membership is open to anyone male or female who is open to the principles of the club.
According to Price, the club currently has 17 members and the group is always open to new members. The membership has fluctuated up and down, but she said the club had its most members in the early years before she joined.
She noted that the club has a diverse membership of individuals from the community and the members are there because they want to give back. Meeting attendance is not mandatory, so the club just asks its members to make it to meetings whenever possible.
“If they’re willing to come to the meetings whenever they can and help whenever they can, then we want them there,” Price said, recognizing that people could attend a meeting to learn more about Rotary with no commitment to join.
The club’s motto is “service above self” and the focus is on giving back to the club’s local and international causes. Members meet at the Kindersley Inn every Wednesday, and meetings consist of a social gathering and a weekly meeting. The social portion starts at 5:30 p.m., and meetings are from 6 to 7 p.m.
Price said the Rotary club tries to have one formal business meeting each month, along with a meeting that is strictly social. The fellowship aspect of the Rotary Club is important. She said the club has guest speakers at meetings to keep members informed.
Guest speakers have included representatives of the food bank, family resource centre and Town of Kindersley among others, she said. The club has supported a range of community causes and projects including Rotary Field.
The club’s main focus is youth and Price said the focus on youth is shared by clubs around the world. The club hands out annual scholarships to high school students at area schools as part of its focus on youth. Elizabeth Middle School and Kindersley Composite School each have a Rotary Interact Club, the youth branch of Rotary.
Price said the club holds an annual Casino Night event and it is the club’s major fundraiser of the year. The event has traditionally been held near the end of October, but the club is moving the event to the end of November.
In the past couple of years, the club has expanded its fundraising activities because one fundraiser only goes so far, the spokesperson noted. The activities have included serving food at the K-Town Shakedown slo-pitch tournament and organizing a grid pool.
The club changes its local focus each year and it is supporting the Kindersley Aquatics Centre project this year. The club has also supported the Kindersley Walking Trail, Kindersley & District Food Bank, Spokes family resource centre and Kindersley & District Music Festival. Price said Rotary has a role to play.
“I just feel that the club is really serving a need,” she said, recognizing that membership is a way for her to give back and she also enjoys the social aspects. “I also think it’s the fellowship around the table.”
A focus of Rotary International has been on polio and eradicating the disease worldwide. Price said polio is still a focus, and it will be until the disease is eradicated for good. The club’s international cause is ShelterBox Canada, a disaster relief program.
The clubs are part of districts and the districts are part of zones. The zones are large geographic regions, and Price added that the zone with Kindersley includes clubs from Seattle, Wash. The Kindersley club is in District 5360 and most clubs in the district are located in southern Alberta.