Rotary Club of the North Fork Valley is forming a satellite club and will hold a kick-off meeting for interested members at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at Remedy Juice Bar Cafe, 232 Grand Avenue, Paonia.
Rotary club president Barb Heck said the satellite club is perfect for people who want to be involved with Rotary, but who can't make the weekly "knife and fork club" lunch meetings. "It's for those who want to be a part of a local and global network of service."
Many Rotary clubs around the world are sponsoring satellite clubs, said Heck. More than 70 percent of Rotarians are over the age of 50, and now they're playing catch-up in getting younger members to join.
Satellite club members would pay a membership fee of $15 to cover all international and district dues, with about $1.50 going to the local club. Satellite members also have voting rights and other perks, meet monthly, decide on their own meeting schedule and projects, and can work with the sponsor club to create bylaws.
They also have the option of attending the weekly lunches, which are generally followed by a program or guest speaker. Membership can also be a pathway to joining Rotary.
A lot of people aren't aware of all that Rotary International and its members are active on both a local and global level, said Heck. Over the last 110 years Rotarians have partnered with other organizations to reduce diseases like polio, provide clean water, support education and literacy programs and grow economies throughout the world.
Locally, since 1987, Rotary has awarded more than $210,000 in scholarships to about 160 graduating high school students in the North Fork area. They also provide scholarships for EMT training and Technical College of the Rockies. They also award annual scholarships to high school students for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, an intensive experience for students to hone their leadership skills. Students "come back with a greater sense of service," said Heck.
The local club also holds regular trash pickup events on Highway 133, and for well over a decade has made numerous improvements to Poulos Park. They also helped build the Inge Lange Pavilion at Paonia Library, and installed the bench at the Paonia Post Office.
Rotary meets the first four Thursdays of the month at noon at Paonia Town Hall for lunch and a guest speaker. In months with a fifth Thursday, they meet for a potluck dinner. Contact Heck or visit PaoniaRotary.org for more information.
Joyce Stanway of Hotchkiss was the lucky winner of the Rotary Club of the North Fork Valley's third annual Ducky Derby. Stanway was delighted at winning the $500 grand prize, but insisted on donating half of her winnings back to the club.
"We, too, are delighted and appreciate her generous support of our programs," said club treasurer Sarah Bishop.
Club members thank everyone who purchased a Ducky Derby ticket. The club raised more than $4,100, which will help fund scholarships for 2019.