Marlinton Rotary Club Annual Dinner Features District Governor
Marlinton, WV – The Marlinton Rotary Club held its annual dinner at Mountain Quest Inn on October 24. The community service organization conducts a variety of fund raising activities throughout the year to support college scholarships, youth development, and eradication of disease and humanitarian projects. Around the globe, 1.2 million Rotary members volunteer to achieve peace, health and fellowship in the world.
Rotary district governor Larry Nelson was the keynote speaker at the dinner. Nelson retired from more than 30 years of service in the West Virginia State Police. Nelson says the Marlinton Rotary is one of the state’s oldest chapters.
“Yes, it’s a great day to be Rotarian, I think,” he said. “I salute the Rotary Club of Marlinton; chartered on May 17, 1939 – well over 70 years of service to this community. Your history of community service is not only recognized by those who live here, but from others in this district and from the district leadership. I really believe that you exemplify what has become the Rotary’s official motto – Service Above Self.”
Nelson tells of his visit with Rotary International president Kalyan Banerjee, who told him that changing the world starts with changing yourself.
“President Kalyan says you can’t share peace if you do not have peace within yourself,” he said. “You can’t be a giver unless you have a giving heart. So it’s very much about looking within ourselves and beginning there as we venture out to do our service within our communities.”
Starting this year, the Marlinton Rotary is sponsoring an Interact Club at Pocahontas County High School. The goal of the club is to develop leadership, respect and helpfulness in young people. Rotary member Laura Young was instrumental in establishing the Interact Club. Rotarian Roger Trusler introduced teacher Joy Booth, who will serve as the Interact Club sponsor at Pocahontas County High School.
Booth introduced three Interact Club officers: club president Cassidy Rao; vice-president Clayton Irvine, and secretary Jordan Mann. Club officer Sean Sharp could not attend due to illness. The assembly gave the young volunteers a standing ovation.
Booth says her daughter at WVU received assistance with overseas humanitarian work from the local Rotary.
“This past summer, she got to go to Ghana, and spend about three weeks, and found out what the rest of the world lives like and how poor they might be,” she said. “She found out how important a malaria net can be to save a pregnant lady from losing a baby. She came home a changed person and just tonight – it’s so ironic – I get choked up thinking about it, because she called me right before I left and said, ‘I want you to thank that Marlinton Rotary Club because they donated to me, online, $250, so I can go back at Christmas time to Ghana.'”
The club welcomed four new members at the event: Booth, Paula Stemple, James Schepleng and Geoff Hamill. Club president Jim Burks reminded the new members of the principles and goals of the organization. For information on the Marlinton Rotary Club, call Jim Burks at 304-653-4455.