By Ed Cook
Did you know there is an active Rotary Club right here in Smithfield? Well, yes there is. We meet every week on Wednesday mornings at Bryant University and would love to have you stop by to see what Rotary is all about.
What is Rotary you ask? Rotary is a group of local people, your neighbors, your friends, working together, trying to make a positive change in the lives of people right here in Smithfield. We do this by engaging in community service projects and public causes where help is needed.
Our members are community leaders, employees of big companies and small business owners, and just good people concerned with the people of Smithfield and Smithfield as a community. Our members are professionals who work regular jobs but go beyond to help others. Our motto is Service Above Self.
You have already seen us at work in the community, but may not have known it was us hard at work for you. We have been helping families in need since the first day we started. Each week, we donate backpacks filled with food and daily necessities to our neighbors in Smithfield. We help clean up Limerock Road on Earth Day. We helped at the inaugural Smithfield Christmas Parade, we answered telephones for the Radio-thon fundraiser at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. We ring the bell for the Salvation Army. We held clothing drives for the homeless. And we have helped with monetary donations to worthy causes like Sojourner House, the Smithfield YMCA, and others.
Also, did you know that at Smithfield High School there is a group of students who, with Rotary Club support and guidance, has organized a junior Rotary club that is called the Interact Club? These young Smithfield residents, about 15 strong, have already helped the elderly by organizing a blanket drive, a food drive, they helped our Rotarians with Earth Day and Salvation Army Bell ringing. As these service projects show, these are the future community leaders of our great town. They are motivated and are just starting their commitment to service.
Rotary Clubs have been doing good in the world community for 110 years! Rotary International is the oldest community service organization in the world! The Smithfield Club has been around since 2009. Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million members. We are problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities around the world. Our guiding principles have been the foundation of our values: service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.
While the Smithfield Rotary Club concentrates its efforts right here in Smithfield, we are proud to be part of Rotary International. Rotary has been a major driving force in the near complete eradication of Polio world-wide. Rotary and the Rotary Foundation has invested hundreds of millions of dollars toward this goal and we are nearly there. In the most recent year that results are available (2015), there were only 12 new cases, and polio is only active in three countries. (Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria). There is hope that in the next few years it will be wiped out completely…and Rotary did this!!!
Rotary International has also invested many more millions to fight disease, for water purification, to support education and family care in many 3rd world nations. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, known for its focused support of a small number of highly respected charitable organizations, supports the Rotary Foundation very generously.
All of what we do locally is made possible because of our annual fundraising event – Savor the Flavor. It’s a beer, wine and food tasting with live auction items, super raffle items and penny social raffle. Join us on Tuesday, October 17, at Bryant University, doors open at 5:00 p.m. Don’t miss out on this fantastic and fun filled evening. Learn more on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SmithfieldRotaryClub/ or search Facebook Smithfield Rotary Club) and check out our web site www.smithfieldrirotary.org. Don’t forget to Like the Facebook page!
We invite you to join us when we meet every Wednesday morning at 7:30 in The Fisher Student Center at Bryant University. We are excited to see you, so get up and join the fun! A full breakfast is served every week.
We do good work helping the community, having fun while doing it and make new friends too! We would love to see you.
If you would like to help our fundraiser, help the community of Smithfield or learn more about us, contact us on Facebook, our website – www.smithfieldrirotary.org, join us for a meeting or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org.