Reasons to Join Rotary
You have likely heard of the Rotary Club, but it’s just as likely you are not sure what it’s all about. Rotary International is a worldwide service organization to bring together business leaders to provide needed humanitarian services and to advance peace around the world. The primary goals of Rotary include promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies. Lofty goals to be sure, however, the reason that the organization is effective is that each club determines its’ own projects by applying the primary goals of Rotary to their locale. It’s also common practice for neighboring clubs to work together to accomplish larger goals that affect larger geography or population. For example, the Brunswick Coastal Rotary Club recently hosted a fundraising event at the Frontier Café in Brunswick and was assisted by the Topsham Expresso Rotary Club as well as the Brunswick Rotary Club. The event was conducted in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to raise funds to bring affordable/workforce housing to our community.

In pursuing these meaningful goals through local projects, individual Rotarians often find the satisfaction that comes from working with like-minded individuals to provide a hand up to someone in need. However, that is not the only benefit of joining Rotary.

Networking is another important benefit gained through active participation. Most – but not all -clubs have weekly meetings. Attendance standards, once fairly strict, have been relaxed in response to today’s crazy-busy world. Even if you can attend only sometimes, Rotary can be a great way to meet and chat with other current and retired business leaders in your community. In addition to the weekly meetings, members are encouraged to join a committee or two, giving rise to the chance to network more often in a smaller group. Most clubs also host various events to which non-members are invited, providing an opportunity to widen your networking circle. The Brunswick Rotary Club hosts frequent socials for members and non-members alike to mingle. Of course, networking can lead to improved business opportunities and successes, as well as long-standing friendships.

At the weekly meetings of the Brunswick Rotary Club, we have a 10-20 minute program, usually presented by a non-member, which offers an additional way to meet more people and also offers a chance to learn more about the community we serve. Sometimes the presentation can serve as the inspiration for a new project; other times, the presentation is just for fun! For example, at our meeting on Monday, December 16, we will be joined by the Mt. Ararat High School Chorus for a holiday performance.

Rotary also offers many opportunities for business professionals to hone useful skills. Tasks such as organizing events, contacting businesses to solicit support for the club’s efforts, writing articles, assisting with social media presence, and more, can all be pursued on a volunteer basis as members wish. The list of potential skills that can be refined or developed is unlimited. All club members are encouraged to develop and then spearhead new projects so leadership development shouldn’t be overlooked as a ‘side effect’ of joining Rotary.

Locally, there are many clubs, all of whom welcome and encourage new members. If you are interested in putting ‘service before self,’ please visit to select a local club. Today’s column comes from the Brunswick Rotary Club, established in 1925. The Brunswick Club meets most Mondays at noon in Brunswick and all prospective new members are welcome to join us. Program and meeting details can be found at Our club is currently offering 2020 calendars featuring local pictures by Rotarians for $20. Proceeds help to finance our annual bike rodeo, games on the mall, school supply gifts, children’s holiday gifts, and annual scholarships. Contact us through our website or on Facebook.