Elyria Rotary is in the process of sponsoring a Rotaract club on campus. Elyria Rotarians as well as other Rotarians from Lorain County came together for a meet and greet with students on Oct. 2 at the College Center.
The concept of Rotary derives from the desire to help those in the community, and even internationally. Whether it is dealing with hunger, sickness, or even helping families, Rotary clubs help organize operations to help those in need.
Rotary is essentially a network of problem-solvers who unite and come together to act to create lasting change in the community. Few of what they do is fight disease, provide clean water, support education and help mothers and children, as well as tasks of the like all to promote integrity.
Giving back what people can
According to President of the Elyria Rotary Rich Fredrickson, there are about 1.2 million Rotaries worldwide, with approximately 34,000 clubs across the globe.
Sam Battle, who is in charge of youth services at the Elyria Rotary, said the concept of Rotary is, “networking and finding something in common,” and adds, “humans need to give what we can.” Battle hopes with the implementation of this Rotaract club being planned, “hope students can be Rotary to carry on what we do.”
The purpose of the meet and greet according to Fredrickson was to, “educate those interested in what Rotary is to students.” It was also to help kick start a potential Rotaract club on campus.
According to Fredrickson, a Rotaract club shares the same basic principles of a Rotary club but more so with college aged individuals, with an age range of 18-30, whereas a regular Rotary consists of those who are 18 and older in the community.
The meet and greet was also to “show what Rotary was to students so that they can be interested to start their own,” said program coordinator of the International Initiative Shaun Marsh, Ph.D.
Marsh added, “Rotary clubs are a service organization that originated in the 1900’s with an international focus on how can the community be better.”
“Service is our main goal”
An example of what the Elyria Rotary has done was help building a roof in San Pedro Sula, Honduras for the Escuela Jose Maria Gonzalez Rosa which is a school that houses 400 children to educate.
“Something is better than nothing,” said Board Member of the Elyria Rotary Mark Mathes. “It is fellowship, and fun, but service is our main goal.”
“Ultimately up to the students”
“The International Initiative sees the Rotary as a way to help better the community and possibly provide a guide of volunteering for our students,” said Dr. Marsh. “Rotary may provide reciprocal both for American and international students should they pursue a Rotaract club on campus.” Dr. Marsh added, “The International Initiative supports the idea of having a Rotaract club on campus, but it is ultimately up to the students to decide together using the support of various North West Ohio Rotary clubs.”