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Service above self: A motto to live by

By Staff | Jun 15, 2012

On Friday, June 8, the Shepherdstown Rotary met to celebrate their 25th Anniversary at the Bavarian Inn. With Dabney Chapman acting as Master of Ceremonies, guests were treated to a night of laughs and remembrance of the last 25 years of the International Rotary in Shepherdstown.

The Rotary Club of Shepherdstown was chartered on April 24, 1987 with 28 original members. The club is one of 34,000 Rotary International Clubs. With the motto “Service above Self” the Rotary Club has worked to serve the community, the country and the world.

“With the motto of service above self, Rotary has been able to accomplish thing the governments, religious institutions, and world powers cannot.” William (Bill) Howard stated in a speech introducing the Rotary’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellows award given to those who have stood out with their dedication to service.

This year, the Paul Harris Fellows award was received by past president and community leader Julie Siler.

The Rotary Club members are the community leaders that are seen at many volunteer and charity events. Sponsoring events like a potato drop, where 43,000 pounds of sweet potatoes were dropped in front of Knutti Hall on Shepherd University’s campus and then given to 17 local area food banks, the Rotary has worked to help those in need not in just the local community but also around the world.

The Shepherdstown Rotary Club has raised and donated over $90,000 to the International Rotary Foundation. This money has helped fund programs like Polio Plus, were polio vaccines are distributed to countries that do not have the vaccine in an effort to help eradicate polio throughout the world. Also, by partnering with groups like the World Health Organization, UNICEF and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention they are working to make the world a better place.

The Rotary looks to pass their ideas of service to the next generation of community leaders with programs like Rotaract, which is based at Shepherd University and used as a way for university students to become involved with their community. They are also trying to establish a group called Interact at one of the county’s high schools; this would allow these young adults to interact with Rotaract and Rotary members.

With a group dedicated to helping others before themselves, the members of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club celebrated their 25 years of service to the community with smiles, laughs and most of all remembrance for those that couldn’t be with them on that night.

“Service before Self, it’s what we do, it’s who we are,” James Price stated in his speech about the past 25 years of membership and service.

To learn more about Shepherdstown Rotary check out their website at shepherdstownrotary.org or email them at info@shepherdstownrotary.org.