membership grew nearly 10%

Belfast Rotary adds new members during pandemic, receives Governor’s Gold Citation

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 12:45pm

The Belfast Rotary Club welcomed six new members during this pandemic year.

“The Club had to move to online Zoom meetings last March,” said Club president Richard Koralek, in a Rotary news release. “But in spite of not being able to see each other, our membership grew nearly 10%. That should tell you something about how successful Belfast Rotary is.”

Partly as a result of this membership growth, and partly for its virtual meeting adaptation in times of pandemic, Belfast Rotary Club has just been recognized with a District 7790 (parts of Maine and Quebec) Governor’s Gold Citation.

The new members, all inducted in the last 14 months, are Beth Sterner, of Belkis Consulting; Ken Schweikert, retired owner of the Grasshopper Shops; Russell Werkman, executive director of the Waldo County YMCA; Kevin Kelley, a retired hospital administrator; Kim Fleming, executive director of Waterfall Arts; and Hadan Kauffman, a retired science teacher.

“The skills and experience these people bring to the Club and to the community are mindboggling,” Koralek said. “New members, men and women of any age, are always welcome. With nearly 70 people following the Rotary motto of ‘Service Above Self,’ there’s no wonder the Club does so much for the Belfast area.”

Belfast Rotary Club, founded in 1925 and approaching its centennial celebration, has nearly 70 members who meet in person or by Zoom each Wednesday at noon. When John Golden of Belfast replaces Koralek as Club president at the annual dinner in late June, he will inherit the leadership of one of the largest and most active Rotary Clubs in Maine. It raises funds year-round through activities such as the Belfast Harbor Fest, annual charitable fundraiser and golf tournament event, 5K road races and pancake breakfasts. Its community support includes donations to food pantries and soup kitchens, holiday gifts to 150 children each December, $80,000 in scholarships to local college-bound high school students and special donations as the need arises.

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