Every Thursday morning, the Rotary Club of Champlain-Rouses Point meets at Sandy’s Deli in Rouses Point to discuss their next project.
The club is part of a much larger entity, Rotary International, whose 1.2 million members make it the largest service organization in the world.
Founded in 1905, Rotary International began for the purpose of “doing good in the world,” and has since raised more than $1 billion to combat polio and to promote health and education worldwide.
Those numbers are a little smaller in the North Country, but the desire to help others is just as great.
It began June 26, 1997 as a spinoff of the Plattsburgh Rotary. Several of the group’s eleven members have participated since the beginning.
Lisa Roberts, former president of the Rotary Club of Champlain-Rouses Point, said that she got into Rotary when she started banking because her boss was a rotarian and wanted everyone to join.
And now, she’s happy to be a member.
“After you see the good Rotary does, you want to be a part of it,” Roberts said. “You fall in love with it, you believe in the cause and you really don’t want to leave.”
Allen Racine, Vice President and Northern Region Corporate Banking Manager of Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company, said he joined the club about 4 years ago and has since become the club’s president.
He echoed Roberts’ sentiment, and added that helping the community is integral to being a rotarian.
To support the club’s many causes, each Rotary member must pay annual dues, most of which goes to Rotary International to support various international programs and objectives.
That means money local clubs collect through fundraising efforts stays within the community.
The largest fundraiser the group held raised $7000 for a new fire rescue trailer for the Champlain Fire Department in March 2008.
They also raised money and built a pavilion, swing set and slide at the Children’s Learning Center in Rouses Point, and have paid for fifth-grade students to attend the Clinton Community College science project.
And when prom time comes around, they sponsor the Chazy High School and Northeastern Clinton after-prom parties.
“I’ve looked at what we’ve done in the community, and a lot of it comes down to supporting the youth in various ways,” Racine said.
The club is always looking for new members, but new additions must be sponsored by an existing member to join.
For more informatin, visit rotary7040.com/clubsite.php?id=50519