ROTARY – “SERVICE ABOVE SELF”

Posted by Kathy Silvia.

About 32 years ago, I was invited to attend a Rotary meeting in Osterville.  Little did I know that some 32 years later, Rotary would be an integral part of my life.

Rotary was the world’s first service Club.  Founded in 1905 when a lawyer from Chicago, Paul Harris and three friends got together; they wanted to reinvigorate the spirit of friendliness they had known from their own home towns.  Word of this small group spread, and other were invited to be part of the club.  They met in “rotation” at the members’ various places of business; so it would be only fitting to call this club “ROTARY”.  Soon the group was using the talents and resources of its members to serve throughout the community.  As time went on, more clubs were formed throughout the United States, and by 1911 a Club had been established in Canada, and in 1912, across the “pond”, in Ireland.  Before 1925 there were 200 clubs across the globe.  Today, membership is over 1.2 million, with over 35,000 Clubs.  Rotary works to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education and many other things.

I was invited to join the Osterville Rotary Club and was inducted as a member in August of 1987.  It was on May 4, 1987, that Rotary first allowed women to join!  Not only was I the first woman in the Osterville Club, but I became the first woman President in 1993.

Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self”.  Osterville Rotary participates in service projects throughout the community, and some of our efforts are worldwide.  In 1985 Rotary undertook a project to eradicate polio throughout the world.  Today (2019) it remains endemic in only three countries.  Rotary’s structure has changed over the years, but the goals of Rotary have not changed.

For the last 25 years the Osterville Rotary Club has held a Bluefish/Striper Tournament to raise funds to support the good works the Club embarks on.  Our efforts range from 2 $1,000 Scholarships awarded to Barnstable HS Seniors for 4 consecutive years, to picking up Trash along Route 28 from Centerville to Osterville, providing journals to all 5th graders in Barnstable, joint efforts with other Rotary Clubs on Cape Cod to help purchase a Bloodmobile, to working on a Habitat home, to various projects at CHIPs House in Centerville.  This is a small sampling of what the Club accomplishes.

Our meetings are fun, we have fascinating speakers and we do so much good!  We are always inspired to “be the good”.  Osterville Rotary is always looking for members and it has been nothing but rewarding for me.

The pictures are a few of our recent projects.