Rotarians maintain parks, trails as fall season returns

In case you missed it, those beautiful baskets of bountiful color were removed from 162 light poles around Kingston Sept. 17. Thanks to the Community Beautification Committee, led by Rotarian Kris Libby, they went up May 11. But they were tired. They served their purpose to brighten our community. Their removal marks the end of a busy season for Kingston North Kitsap Rotarians — people of action.

The season began with the club’s annual Rotary auction at White Horse Golf Course in April, with revenues approaching $50,000. Just two months later, the 15th annual Swing for Rotary Golf Tournament was held at White Horse.

Combined, the events — auction and tournament — helped the club support the Stillwaters High School Project, Kingston Cares, Food4Kids and Kingston Cares Community meals, Kingston Super Seniors, Kingston’s Boys and Girls Club, Kidzz helping Kidzz, Rotary school supplies, Kingston Scouts, and Kitsap Homes of Compassion, among others.

The season continued with Rotary’s almost-award-winning entry into the 4th of July parade. Kingston’s Rotary Club also supported the annual 4th of July Ball Race, which benefitted the Community Beautification Committee.

The club also operated the Beer and Wine Garden at Mike Wallace Park, in support of the Port and Chamber’s summer concert series. As summer has given way to fall, Rotarians have resumed their maintenance activities at North Kitsap parks and trails.

There’s something in there for everyone. Want to pour beer at the tent? Help with flower basket hanging? Secure auction items? Golf? Deciding grants to community organizations? Etc. Etc. Etc. Rotarians welcome folks with all matters of interest in doing and bettering North Kitsap. Please join us, either at the Noon Team meeting Wednesdays, or the Evening Team meetings once monthly, third Thursdays. Contact Bill Beaudoin at wgbeaudoin@outlook.com.

Rotary’s beginning

Rotary began with the vision of one man, Paul Harris, in Chicago in 1905. But it was the nudge of another — Donald Carter — in 1906 that propelled it forward. Early in 1906 press reports criticized Rotarians as having selfish motives. In April of that year, Rotarian Fred Tweed visited Carter, a patent attorney and business acquaintance, to talk about Rotary. Carter seemed a good candidate for membership.

Carter was both flattered and interested. He asked about the club’s purpose. Tweed explained it had two: boost members business and promote friendship. Carter was not impressed. After a brief review of the Rotary Constitution and by-laws, he stated “such a club has great possibilities if it could do something of some benefit to people besides its own members. I believe it should do civic service of some kind.”

Tweed responded with, “Why don’t you join the club and perhaps we could amend the Constitution the way you think it should be done.”

Carter joined in May of 1906. He drafted the third objective that was added in 1907: The advancement of the best interests of Chicago and the spreading of the spirit of civic pride and loyalty among its citizens.”

A pivotal moment in Rotary’s history. Carter became known as the father of community service. Rotary 1, the Chicago club, embraced civic service as an ideal. Rotary now had 140 members and was registered as a nonprofit corporation.

The rest of the story. Rotary now numbers 1.4 million members, stretching across more than 46,000 clubs worldwide. It operates clubs in more than 200 countries and territories. Its current worldwide president is Canadian communication executive Jennifer Jones. Kingston North Kitsap Rotary’s president is Jackie Baker. As the saying goes, “All politics is intensely local.” So, too, is Rotary’s “action.”

Ron Carter writes a monthly column on Rotary for this newspaper.