Rotary welcomes a new year of service

By Tracy McNew

 

The Rotary Club of Kootenai Valley gathered last week for their annual Pass the Gavel event.

The event signifies the start of a new Rotary year which runs from July to June. During the event, volunteers were honored for their service and the group enjoyed a potluck dinner.

The incoming Rotary President, Malcolm Edwards was figuratively passed the presidential gavel, and the club celebrated its accomplishments in community service over the past year.

During the 2017-2018 Rotary year, the club made bookcases for local Head Start students in need, filled them with books and gave them away early last fall. They gave dictionaries to all area third graders a bit later and then hosted Shakespeare in the Parks at Libby Elementary. They also hosted a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat event at Libby’s Central Administration building, they held a successful wine tasting event, sent a student to Brazil and brought a student to the United States from Taiwan as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.

The club also gave away scholarships to graduating seniors from Libby and Troy, hosted Missoula Children’s Theatre for a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs earlier this year, donated to the Food Pantry during their busy holiday season and sponsored a middle/high school interact club.

The group sent several local students to a free summer leadership camp, and worked with other area clubs to carry out water projects in Guatemala.

The Rotary Club of Kootenai Valley is a service organization that meets on the first three Mondays of every month from noon until 1 p.m. at the Venture Inn. For more information find them on Facebook or stop by during a meeting. Guests with a heart for service are always welcome.

(picture) Left to Right: Renee Rose, Jung Shih (Daniel), and Jon Reny pose for a photo together at last week’s Pass the Gavel celebration.

Daniel, from Taiwan, participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange program  during the 2017-2018 school year and is getting ready to go back home. His host parents, Renee and Jon said that they enjoyed being host parents for the school year and will miss Daniel when he’s gone.