By Rosalyn Graham
Since it was founded in March 1971, the Charlotte Shelburne Rotary Club has been active in the towns from which it draws its members, recognizing that members may live in Charlotte or Shelburne and work in other municipalities, or live in other towns but find the Charlotte Shelburne Rotary Club meeting time and location is convenient for them.
The neighboring town of Hinesburg naturally has a close relationship to its Chittenden County neighbors as part of the union school district and other community connections. In recognition of that relationship, the Hinesburg residents who have been active members of the club for years, and to encourage Hinesburg residents to join Rotary, the club has officially changed its name the Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary Club.
When Rotary was founded in 1905 (by Vermonter Paul Harris) one of the primary tenets of the organization was diversity. In fact, in the early years, a club could only have one member from any career path or profession. That strict guideline is gone now and Rotary today has 1.2 million members around the world, now including women, who were first admitted to the club in 1989. Rotary continues its original goals of bringing together people from many backgrounds to exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.
That diversity is embodied in the Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary Club which meets every Wednesday morning in the Community Room of Trinity Episcopal Church on Route 7 in Shelburne. Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary, enjoying a good breakfast, an interesting speaker, and lively conversation, is welcome to attend. And new members are always a cause for celebration.
The latest group of new members personifies the diversity of Rotary: Financial advisor Eric Kolomaznik, realtor Irina Norrell; audiologist Keith Walsh, and state Rep. Jessica Brumsted, D-Shelburne. The club held its annual Changing of the Guard June 14 at Fisher Brothers Farm. New officers were installed including Kolomaznik as president, taking the reins from outgoing president Judith Christensen, a psychology professor at the University of Vermont.
The 75-member organization continues the commitment to the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” reflected in service projects in the communities of Charlotte, Shelburne and Hinesburg such as organizing the popular annual Halloween Parade in Shelburne, tackling construction projects at Champlain Valley Union High School and Charlotte Central School, serving breakfast at Camp Ta Kum Ta, and presenting scholarships to local students to support their continuing education.
Rosalyn Graham is a Rotary member.