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Dare to discover your local Rotary Club | Rotary News
By Bill Maule
Before we get to Rotary, let me back up a couple of years.
Susan and I have been in love with Kitsap County since 1979. We wangled a set of orders to Bangor in 1981, bought a house in Central Kitsap and loved it here for four years while our girls were in school. We loved it so much that we kept that house, voted and paid taxes here for the next 23 years while the Navy and NATO kept us mostly overseas. When I retired in 2008, we came “home” to Kitsap County and settled in Kingston.
So, we’re “newbies” here. Our priority is to grow roots in this fantastic corner of the world, after almost 40 years of gypsy existence. How does a person grow roots? They get involved in community service!
Susan quickly settled on the Kingston Garden Club and has happily co-chaired the last couple of plant sales. Easy for her — gardening has been her passion for years.
For me, it’s less easy. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, which seemed an obvious starting place. But I’m not actively “in business” anymore, and that wasn’t the whole answer for me. Rotary offered a community service focus with a strong international program. So I joined the Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary Club and really began learning about Rotary International.
What the heck is Rotary?
Despite its 100-year history, incredible record of achievement, 1.2 million members and 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries, Rotary International is a mystery to the large majority of our friends and neighbors — even here, where almost everyone of you knows someone who is a Rotarian. Through an incredibly efficient global organization, Rotary converts good intentions into dynamic results at every level, from community sanitation and health services to the global eradication of polio, which will happen next year. Through the Rotary Foundation, hundreds of millions of dollars are put to work every year, around the world, bringing water, sanitation, education, basic human needs and more to those who can’t provide for themselves.
Founded more than 100 years ago as a businessmen’s organization providing community services, Rotary quickly grew in vision and in scope. Business-MEN have for almost 30 years now been Business-PEOPLE, as Rotary enthusiastically incorporates the talents and dedication of our business women.
Today, Rotary Clubs are worldwide, and Rotary projects are ongoing wherever there is a need. And Rotary International includes future business people too. Our Interact clubs in high schools and Rotoract clubs in colleges let students work on service projects while they learn, and are an entrée to the business world after graduation. Anyone, in any profession, who wants to make a difference in the world, will find an ideal outlet in Rotary. We are in the business of Building Peace through Service!
Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary was founded almost a decade ago. We have about 40 members and our own affiliated Interact Club at Kingston High School.
Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary started with a multi-year campaign to build lights at the new KHS field. We raised almost $50,000 for that project. We helped develop the Village Green Park, and are today actively assisting (and financing) the Village Green Foundation’s construction of a new picnic pavilion this summer.
We did renovations on Kola Kole School last year, we will be major contributors to the Village Green Foundation’s Capital Campaign. A number of our members sit on the foundation Board. We award scholarships to KHS seniors.
We actively support the local blood drives, food banks and homeless programs and have a $7,000 grant from our Rotary District for the new Coffee Oasis in Poulsbo. With Kingston Kiwanis, we are raising funds for “Food for Kids” for needy elementary school children in Kingston. In addition, we support International programs providing water and sanitation in Africa and Central America, education in Central and South America and wheelchairs for people worldwide.
Our fundraisers include our annual Rotary Challenge Golf Tournament, the 4th of July Fun Run (with Kingston Running Club), Concerts on the Cove Beer Garden, and other smaller events through the year.
Kingston Rotary is just folks like you, who are making a difference. We meet every Wednesday at noon, at North Kitsap Fire & Rescue on Miller Bay Road, with lunch provided by Little City Catering. Stop by and learn more!