The Rotary Satellite Club of King/Stokes County has been approved by Rotary International as an official club. There are 11 members who are also considered members of the sponsor club, the King Rotary Club, which has been around for a long while. A kickoff celebration was held recently at the Town & Country restaurant, with an official member induction ceremony and the installation of officers.
“Our club is official and we want to get things going,” said Olivia Calloway, the City of King’s Parks and Recreation director and the president of the new club. “We have some really eager member who are ready to start doing projects. We had ‘interest’ meetings and they were planning service projects. We’ve got some people champing at the bit to start doing things community service-wise. We’ve hit the ground running.” “And of course we’ll look for ways to partner with the host club,” Jackson said. “We are connected. We’re not trying to do everything on our own.”
“So we’re looking at community service projects that don’t require a lot of cash up front,” Calloway added. That’s part of the reason Jackson is attending meetings for both clubs, to facilitate ways of combining efforts.
“One of the challenges is balancing the fund-raising side of it,” said Jackie Jackson of Ireland Insurance, the Satellite Club’s president-elect.” The host club has a history of how they’ve done the fund-raising and have an established base. We’re starting with zero dollars. Our projects need to be hands-on because we don’t have the funds. We’re going to have to figure out what fund-raising looks like for us in the future.” And start they have, with two service projects already checked off. On a recent sunny day club members paddled out onto the Dan River in kayaks to pick up trash, a lot of it. And this past weekend the Satellite Club was part of the local church Mission Blitz, working on homes in the King area.
Factors in the creation of this satellite group included frequency of meetings, dues and the early start time for the established club’s weekly 7 o’clock breakfast meetings at P.B. Clark’s restaurant every Thursday. The majority of the new members are totally new to Rotary, with the exception of Patty Snyder and Andrea Lawson.
Jackson said that Rotary International is recognizing the need for alternative approaches to attracting members, especially younger members. “What fits for one group doesn’t fit for all,” she said. “That was the inspiration for the start of this new club,” Calloway said. “We wanted to be a part of Rotary and its community service mission. But we didn’t want to do the 7 a.m. meeting.” “We still want to do the good work of Rotary,” Jackson added, “but this is an alternative approach: meeting less often, meeting at a different time, and a different dues structure. Those things really drove the original conversations, and really how we attracted a crowd. There are very few new members of the base club who would have ever signed on to the host club, not because they didn’t agree with the mission, but because it just didn’t fit with their schedule.”
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