Rotary recruits new membersThe Daybreak Rotary filled the room at the Hudson Golf Club last week with members and their guests at their Rotary Awareness meeting.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The Daybreak Rotary filled the room at the Hudson Golf Club last week with members and their guests at their Rotary Awareness meeting.
After members introduced their guests, several spoke about the history of the club and some of the programs and activities they support locally and internationally.
Past club president and former district governor Steve Wilcox said Rotary is the oldest service organization in the world. The Daybreak Club will mark its 20th anniversary next year. Wilcox recalled the club’s efforts to secure an ambulance for Hudson’s sister city, Ocotal, Nicaragua. He recalled delivering it there along with sports equipment including Booster baseball shirts and hats, some of which are still circulating there.
Rotarian John Knudson explained the international Shelter Box program that provides emergency shelter and supplies for survivors of disasters around the world. The green shelter boxes were in evidence in the earliest pictures out of Myanmar after it was hit by an earthquake in August. Knudson said that while the Chinese government was keeping most aid agencies out, the green boxes of the program were seen throughout the area.
Knudson said the program is considered to be among the most effective of its kind, not only providing the supplies but having people on the ground to see that the boxes get to the people that need them most.
Current Daybreak President Dick Whitcomb said the club has donated more than $425,000 over the past 20 years. Area organizations that have benefitted from Rotary support include the Bridge for Youth with Disabilities, Camp St. Croix and the YMCA, Youth Action Hudson, Junior Achievement, Royalty Wheel Park, STRIVE and improvements to Prospect and Lakefront parks.
Whitcomb said the club has made a commitment to “enhance opportunities for youth and create a better community for everyone.”
The final speaker of the meeting was Liselotte Seljom, a Rotary exchange student from Norway. She will spend the year living with three Rotary members and their families and attending Hudson High School.
Seljom told members that her mother is a Rotarian in Oslo. “She was a little worried sending me over here for a year but it helped a lot that I would be with Rotary members.” Seljom said that when she wanted to do an exchange, she looked at a variety of opportunities, but described it as “a jungle out there when it came to organizations.”
“The best decision I made was to come with Rotary. Coming to meetings and getting to know all of you, it feels like you are all my aunts and uncles.” Seljom pointed out that HHS had a late start that morning and she could have slept in but because one of the mottos of Rotary is “service about self” she wanted to be at the meeting to thank the club for hosting her and to communicate how invaluable her experience has been.
The Daybreak Rotary Club meets each Wednesday morning at the Hudson Golf Club. For more information on the Daybreak Club, call Dick Whitcomb, (715) 386-1185. The Thursday Noon Rotary Club meets each Thursday noon at the Hudson Golf Club. For information on the Thursday Noon Club, call Joel Skinner, (715) 386-5800.