LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Increasing the membership of the Rotary Club of Larchmont is a priority for new President Stephen Bartell, who wants to complete local and global community service projects.
“I want to focus our orientation as locally as we can for the first half of the year,” he said. “The more members we can get, the more projects we can do.”
The small 15-person Larchmont club works with local political groups, community organizations and businesses to raise money for scholarships and service projects. The club sponsors an annual essay contest for Hommocks Middle School students, gives an award to a Mamaroneck High School senior each year who demonstrates the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self,” and participates in Toys for Tots each holiday season.
The Larchmont Rotary also specializes in global issues. One of Rotary International’s largest ongoing missions is to eradicate polio in the world by providing vaccinations to children. According to Bartell, more than 3 billion vaccinations have been generated by Rotary International and cases of polio only continue to exist in countries that prohibit citizens from receiving the vaccines.
“We are extremely excited and we hope we can declare the world polio free eventually,” said Bartell.
Bartell, who began his term as president on July 1, hopes that gaining additional members will help create more global projects. This year the club is sending member Daniella Rabino to Madagascar to help design an education program for children utilizing their native environment and incorporating local plants and animals into the lesson plans.
“She is just an amazing person,” said Bartell. “We like her a lot and we are lucky to have her in the club.”
Rotary meetings are open to the public, which Bartell said is a common misconception about the club. Anybody can come to the meetings to speak, share ideas and gather more information. The club is also looking into placing video chat into their meetings, so members and speakers can tune in and speak from home.
“This could dramatically increase the membership of the club,” said Bartell.
Rotary Club of Larchmont meetings are every Friday at 12:15 p.m. at the Larchmont Yacht Club. Additional information can be found online at http://www.rotarylarchmont.org/index.html.