I was a member of the Southgate Rotary Club in the 1990s when I worked for the old Ramada Inn (now Holiday Inn) in Southgate. The group meets there still, on Thursdays at noon. I joined because one of their members, Steve Ahles, asked me to — and I stayed six years because it was a super fun group.
I really enjoyed helping the club with bachelor auctions, Vegas nights, red carpet galas, polish dinners and then had the privilege of leading the club in 1998, six months after I had my first son.
In my year as president, we were excited when our club of 30 members raised more than $25,000 and were honored with a few awards at the district conference. I had to take a hiatus to raise my boys for a while, but joined the Trenton club in 2007, where I now lived and work.
Rotary has a special place in our home and the “Four-Way Test” has been on our fridge since our boys started to read. The Rotary Four-Way Test asks: “1. Is it the truth? 2. Does it provide goodwill? 3. Is it fair? 4. Is it beneficial to all concerned?” Why did I join Rotary and then join up again? Because I want to be part of a group of people who believe in these values and that help others … and have a lot of fun doing it!
The Trenton club is one of the biggest and oldest groups in the Detroit area district and with over 80 members. The club has had great success with the Roar on the River, Wild Game Dinner, Winter Beach Blast, and many other projects that both raise money or serve a community need.
But that’s not all. Many of our club members travel all over the world bringing their talents to less fortunate people. From building water wells to medical missions to vocational study exchange our members are representing us and providing real solutions for people who really need help.
Every year a district conference is held and incredible experiences are shared about what all the other clubs and exchange students in Michigan and Canada (in our district 6400) have done to make a difference in their communities and world.
This year the theme was Africa, since it was held at the themed Kalahari resort in Sandusky, Ohio. Africa was also part of many personal projects led by our Rotary District Gov. Michael Duben, so many of the speakers told stories of sorrow, joy, troubles and solutions to many issues facing the continent.
I really enjoyed the fact that they also held hands-on projects this year and with the help of members put together 10,365 meals for those in need, gathered “birthday in a bag” gifts for a woman’s shelter in Sandusky and sewed “Little Dresses for Africa” to be shipped on another mission trip. At this year’s conference our leaders asked us to share our Rotary story, so I felt compelled to do my part!
We are looking for enthusiastic and caring people to join our club, so this is also my personal invitation to check out our group! We meet every Monday at noon at the Westfield Center and you can have lunch as our guest, too. I’m sure if you like to lend a hand to others and be part of something bigger than yourself, you will love our Rotary Club.
Kathy Kane is co-publisher and business manager of the Trenton Trib. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.