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The Moab Rotary Club Celebrates!
By by Ann Stewart

This year Rotary International is celebrating its one hundredth year of service, and the Rotary Club of Moab is celebrating its forty-eighth year. The community is invited to join in the festivities by attending a picnic in Rotary Park on Saturday, June11 at 11:00 am, right after the Rodeo Parade. And there is plenty to celebrate.

Rotary was founded to be an association of businessmen who chose to conduct their business affairs by an ethical code called the 4 Way Test. {See sidebar} It has continued on to become one of the world’s leading non-profit service organizations with over 1.2 million members. There are more than 29,000 Rotary clubs in 167 nations. Moab’s Rotary Club, which is part of Utah’s District 5420, is one of those. The fifty or so members of Moab’s Rotary Club, have performed many services for the Grand County area. Men and women, mostly managers and business owners, are invited to join the Moab Rotary Club. Each local charter is an autonomous group which keeps active by pursuing the four avenues of service in Rotary: Vocational Service, Club Service, International Service, and Community Service.

Rotary President Sharon Nelson with guests from India May 23, 2005

Internationally, the major contribution of Rotary has been to almost eradicate polio world-wide. The Polio Plus display of an iron lung and other information about polio will be on hand at the community picnic.

Rotary Clubs, in partnership with other groups such as the Bill Gates Foundation, churches, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, have seen the dramatic decline of polio due to their efforts. However, small pockets of the disease remain, so the Polio Plus committees continue to need support. Until every single case of polio is gone, the threat is still here.

Closer to home, Rotary of Moab has helped in numerous ways. Improving education has always been an important goal. To that end, the Rotary Auction each fall raises money to aid children at all grade levels. The elementary students in Grade 3 all receive a dictionary from Rotary of Moab. The middle school is helped through funds for after school programs and the new Teen Center. For high school seniors, Rotarians put on an all night Graduation Party. This tradition has been a part of the Moab Rotary for so many years, that some members of the club remember Rotarians chaperoning their high school graduation party.

In addition, Rotary members contribute to two scholarships for graduating seniors. Another two scholarships go to adults who are attending the Utah State University campus in Moab.

As a way to assist education world wide, Rotary clubs participate in Group Study Exchange Team programs. These GSE teams consist of a Rotarian from a foreign country who accompanies four or five young professionals on a visit to the U. S. Conversely, GSE teams from the U.S. visit other countries. In May of this year Moab Rotarians hosted a GSE team from India for three days while they were on their six-week Utah visit.

Many Rotary services occur through partnering with other organizations. Five years ago with partnering and matching grants, Moab’s Rotary Club obtained funds to provide bathroom facilities for many Navajo Nation homes.

Some Rotary activities, however, are strictly local. For example, Moab’s Rotary Club created the beautiful Rotary Park across from Red Rock Elementary School. This year they also re-roofed the Park’s Pavilion. And they have expanded the park’s usefulness even more by building a one hundred seat outdoor amphitheater at the east end of the park. The dedication of the amphitheater will be during the Celebration on Saturday, June 11.

Although Rotary was started by business men in Chicago in 1905, the clubs now include women. The Rotary Club of Moab has many active women. Last year Theresa King was the President. This year’s president is Sharon Nelson. Paul Evans will be the next President, starting in July.

Surely, Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Moab have a right to “Celebrate Rotary.” They invite the community to join them at Rotary Park on Saturday, June 11 at 11:00 am immediately after the Rodeo Parade, to see the new improvements to the park, and to enjoy a free lunch of hotdogs, drinks and other picnic fare hosted by Moab Rotary Club.

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