Stettler’s Rotary Club continues to build on an already long and solid foundation of community service.
The local club has been running for an amazing 95 years.
“We are already pre-planning for our centennial,” said Vicki Leuck, who handles the Club’s public relations. “We’ve been involved in a lot of projects – the last few projects that we’ve been a bigger part of include the Rotary Water Park, the new bleachers up at the baseball diamonds, the hot tub at the Recreation Centre, a big part of the library expansion, and the memorial tree park. We’ve been a big part of the community for a long time.”
Internationally, Rotarians contribute to a wide range of causes and charities and that holds true locally as well, but there is also a special focus on youth, too, said Leuck.
“We’ve had exchange students here for 65 years,” she said. “So youth is a big part of it – we also started an Interact Club here at the high school as well for younger kids to get to know what Rotary is about, and to get involved. They’ve done a really great job of being a part of the community.” The Club was launched nearly a year ago, and Leuck said Interact members have already made significant contributions.
”They did the Jail and Bail at our local trade show and it went really, really well.” They also helped to support the new track by the high school, she added.
Meanwhile, Leuck’s involvement with the Rotary Club extends back to 2008.
Over the years, she has served as president, past president and now, as mentioned, handles the public relations duties. “I’ve been on the executive pretty much since I started,” she said, adding how much membership in the Club has enriched her life. “I find great enjoyment in it. We do a lot for the community, but we are like a pretty big family,” she said, emphasizing that new members are of course always welcome to come onboard as well.
Currently, membership runs between 30 and 40 people.
Members meet Mondays at noon at the United Church Hall for lunch meetings. “We have speakers, and we also have our current exchange students give weekly reports on what they’ve been up to and what they’ve been involved in,” she said, adding that the goal is to feature guest speakers who represent various facets of the community. “We also have groups come in to tell us about what their clubs and organizations do, and if they need help monetary-wise or with volunteers.
“It’s a great way to network because we can find out about new situations in town and help out if we can,” she explained.
To those who might be considering joining Rotary, Leuck said she would likely ask them what their interests are and what would they perhaps like to be involve in.
“What are they passionate about? Once I had that information, I would explain what Rotary does and how it has impacted the community. Also, that it’s like having a whole other family to give you support,” she said. “And if someone has a great new idea, we as a group can help them make it happen.”
Joining the Club is also a superb means of connecting with the community for those new to Stettler as well.
“It’s really the best way to meet people, and it’s a great way to network as well.”
Rotary Clubs were established in Chicago back in 1905, according to Rotary.org.
It all started with the vision of one man — an attorney by the name of Paul Harris.
“Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world. That commitment endures today through an organization that remains truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Our members now span the globe, working to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.”
A primary goal has been to see the eradication of polio. That campaign was launched in 1979 with a project to immunize six million children in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, giving back brings a tremendous amount of fulfillment.
“I think it’s also a lot of fun,” said Leuck of the local group. “We have a lot of fun events that we are a part of, from the Friendship Dinner years ago to volunteering last year for the Scotties tournament that was held here in Stettler,” she said. “We also put on a lot of events that we think people really enjoy and that the town (and surrounding area) have come to support.”
For more information about the Stettler Rotary Club, find the Club on Facebook at ‘Rotary Club of Stettler’.