By Gretchen Nollman and Xiomara Levsen, Public Image Committee for Rotary Club of West Liberty
The Rotary Club of West Liberty started the year with feet on the ground with #ServiceAboveSelf.
Starting in July, at the Muscatine County Fair at the club’s annual food stand during the fair week. They were able to partner with the Rotary Iowa City Downtown Noon Club as well as their own West Liberty Interact Club in raising funds for help with upcoming community projects.
Also, in July the club participated in the annual Picnic in the Park that the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce puts on to help kick off the fair week. Also, the 50th anniversary of RAGBRAI came through in July, which was yet another great event that the Rotary Club of West Liberty as well as Rotary Iowa City Downtown Noon Club were able to partner up to serve breakfast foods to riders and guests in West liberty.
To keep the momentum going, there were several more opportunities for #ServiceAboveSelf for the club that took place in August and September. August, Rotarians were able to feed hot dogs, chips and water to the West Liberty High School Marching Band students as well as feeding the West Liberty Community School District teachers and staff members, hamburgers, chips, and water.
September kicked off great with a District Governor visit from Dennis Drager and his wife Heidi. During the district governor’s visit, our club was able to celebrate 12 Rotarians who received Paul Harris fellow pins and certificates as part of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. These Rotarians were: Jake Burroughs, Ken Brooks, Allie Paarsmith, Krista Lanier, Father Guillermo Trevino Jr., Xiomara Levsen, Rebecca Lorom, Charles Brooke, Sam Morel, Shaun Krueger, Juan Manuel Garcia-Hortas and Cara MCFerren.
#ServiceAboveSelf rolled in as well in September with having a car show come to town on a Friday am that Rotarians from the club helped serve coffee and cinnamon bread. Also, during September, club members assisted along with local West Libert Lion club members and other community volunteers to clean up brush, limbs, and trash along the Heritage Foundation Trail in West Liberty.
In the middle of September is also when the Annual Children’s Festival and Latino Festival take place in downtown West Liberty, in which, club members set up a booth to have coloring activities for children as well as handing out rotary stickers during both the Children’s and Latino Festival.
September ended with Rotarians from the club along with City Park District Employees, installing the bike repair center and bike racks within the West Liberty Parks from the CSG 22/23 grant cycle that the Rotary Club of West Liberty received as a matching grant from D6000 and The Rotary Foundation.
Also, now that school has begun, the West Liberty Interact Club is off to a great start. From a statement from Rotary Club of West Liberty’s President Elev Jacob Burroughs, “They’ve begun aligning their officers for this school year and identifying their projects. RCWL has sent Interact their portion of the Muscatine County Fair proceeds after a successful year of selling ice cream and pop. This will help fund their activities for 2023/2024. We look forward to a number of collaborative events with RCWL and Interact clubs to further benefit all in the community.” Currently, the Interact club has been active within the West Liberty High School since 2015 and the current sponsor over the last six years for the club is West Liberty High School teacher is Erica Jennings.
What does the next few months bring for the club you might ask right? Well, there will be two events coming up that Rotary Club of West Liberty will be hosting. The first one is Wednesday, Oct. 25. This is West Liberty Community School District Board of Education Candidate Forum starting at 6:30 pm at the WLHS Auditorium.
The second event is on Thursday, Nov. 2. This is the West Liberty Mayor and City Council Candidate Forum, which will also start at 6:30 p.m. and at the WLHS Auditorium.
A very fitting quote recently from Rotary Club of West Liberty President, Ken Brooks, “I am immensely proud of the array of service projects that we’ve spearheaded across West Liberty. Every initiative, from environmental conservation efforts to community welfare and educational programs, is imbued with the quintessential Rotary spirit of ‘Service Above Self’. Our projects are not just acts of service but a manifestation of our unwavering commitment to foster a world where individuals unite and take action to create lasting change.”