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MOUNT WASHINGTON - With 33,000 chapters worldwide, Rotary International is one of the most widely recognized and highly regarded civic organizations around, which is why local professionals Joyce LaGrange, Dale Salmon and Randy Wilcher are working to bring Rotary to Mount Washington.
The Rotary Club is a global organization made up of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders.
Rotary club members, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world, according to the Rotary International website.
Additionally, the organization allows professionals to come together, build partnerships and foster communities.
Wilcher, who pastors Mount Washington’s Crossroads Presbyterian Fellowship, is a former Rotarian.
“This organization will allow the business community to come together,” Wilcher said. “Yes were all busy, but this is an opportunity for people to serve their community and give back.”
LaGrange, who is the vice president of Mount Washington’s First Federal Savings Bank and a former member of the Bardstown Rotary Club, said that while Rotary is about giving back, it can also provide Mount Washington businesses with a much needed forum for networking and fellowship.
In addition to promoting service, LaGrange, Salmon and Wilcher explained that, if chartered, the Mount Washington Rotary Club would meet for regular luncheons to talk about their initiatives and hear from guest speakers.
“The nice thing about that is you learn about your community,” Wilcher said. “It’s a beautiful way of creating that kind of network of folks who can share their professions...It creates a shared knowledge of what’s going on in the community.”
As a former Lions Club and Rotary Club president, Wilcher stressed that a Mount Washington Rotary Club would not take away from other civic organizations such as the Lions Club or Lioness Club, but rather enhance what’s already established.
“It’s not either or, it’s both. By having one you don’t hurt the other,” Wilcher said.
Salmon, who serves as manager of the Mount Washington Main Street program, which focuses on the revitalization and economic development of downtown Mount Washington, said he wants to charter a Rotary Club to encourage community involvement.
“It goes hand in hand with our Main Street community development efforts,” Salmon said. “Main Street doesn’t accomplish a lot without organizations like these.”
Rotary is nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to everyone. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, the Rotary Club’s main objective is service.
Rotarians advance a wide variety of service initiatives, including educational and vocational programs, humanitarian aid and a host of projects as unique as the thousands of local chapters themselves.
The Rotary Club is perhaps best known for its dedication to the global eradication of polio.
There must be 25 participants to charter a Rotary Club chapter. LaGrange, Salmon and Wilcher ask that anyone who would like to get on board attend an informational meeting and luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 20.
The meeting will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at Kettle Creek on Old Bardstown Road where space is reserved. Lunch will be available for purchase.
All professionals, community leaders and individuals interested in service are encouraged to attend.
For more information about Rotary or becoming a charter member of a Mount Washington Rotary Club, contact Joyce LaGrange at (502) 538-2899.