GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis Rotary Club members hosted Rotary 6690 district governor Tara Craaybeek Tuesday morning at one of their weekly meetings to discuss what it takes to be a Rotary Club member and how to improve in club dealings.
Craaybeek joined her local Lancaster Sherman Rotary Club in 2002 and became its president in 2005. She is a graduate of William V. Fisher Catholic High School and and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She received her master’s degree in business administration from Franklin University in 2001. She currently workers for Park National Bank.
“I’d like to answer six questions in the time I have here today. Who? What? Where? Why? How and when? Who is Rotary?” Craaybeek asked the occupants of the room.
She answered that she was a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister and a banker.
“Through it all, I am a Rotarian. Many people are surprised when I tell them about my involvement in Rotary. I’m not your typical Rotarian, but I ask you not to be typical Rotarians. Rotarians encompass all religions, nationalities, races and genders,” Craaybeek said.
She asked her fellow members what kind of Rotarians they were and if they were being the best Rotarian members they could be.
“Rotary unites leaders to exchange ideas and take action to improve communities everywhere. We are an organization of 1.2 million people doing great things around the world,” Craaybeek said.
The district governor asked group members how much bigger they would be if they each invited one member to a Rotary meeting. The group was not just about taking care of communities around them but also taking care of fellow members by using networking opportunities to improve relationships in communities and families. She told members to “be” everywhere in their community day after day.
Craaybeek told members her brother invited her to her first Rotary meeting.
“Paul Harris founded Rotary on the ideals of networking. The idea of a service project was secondary to the original idea when four gentlemen met for the first time in Chicago to get to know each other as business professionals,” Craybeek said. “But why do we stay (in the club)? Because we care. We care for kids who live in Africa who risk getting malaria just by getting into bed at night. We care about women in India who want to make a better world for themselves. And we care about our youth.”
The district governor discussed international efforts aided by Rotary in their ever approaching goal of eliminating polio. She urged members to involve themselves in all of Rotary and to raise money to help aid in local civic functions as well as international.
“Let’s make District 6690 a 100 percent giving district. Whether you can give $10 or $10,000, please give to our foundation,” Craaybeek said as she spoke of the Rotary Foundation fund which aided funding thousands of international civic projects.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.