One hundred years is most certainly a big number for anything to reach in an age of so much disposability, when organizations and businesses come and go in the blink of an eye. For the Clarksville Rotary Club, 100 years is the first of many hundred-mark milestones they hope to reach throughout their history of serving the members of their community. When they celebrate their centennial in May, they’ll be looking back proudly at many years of service and looking forward to endless opportunities ahead.
It was with their golden anniversary in mind that the Clarksville Rotary Club set out a plan of service for the months ahead, taking their already civic-minded soul and adding a unique fun factor with the theme. “With this year being our hundredth birthday, we’ve been trying to achieve goals with a ‘theme of 100s—100 brand new backpacks that we purchased and packed with school supplies to donate to Crisis 2-1-1; money to fund 100 meals through Meals on Wheels as well as their actual delivery by Rotarians to needy, homebound senior citizens in our area; 100 gently used coats that we collected and donated to various charities throughout Clarksville; 100 items that we provided to the S.O.S (Save Our Students) program at APSU; and 100 volunteer hours of ringing the Salvation Army bell during the Christmas holidays,” says President and Executive Director Cheryl Lankford. “We’d also like to think we brought smiles to over 100 children’s faces with our Rotary Christmas float in the parade this year, and we’re in the midst of reaching our goal of painting 100 ceramic hearts in the Arts for Hearts program, which provides a small token of love to battered women or abused children when they feel they are at their lowest.”
The longstanding history of Rotary Clubs all over the country and all over the world as social organizations whose core goal is to better the lives of their community members and impact the rest of the world is, indeed, impressive and inspiring. So the celebration of such a mile marker as 100 years of service is certainly deserving of note. “Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world,” Lankford explains. “Our objective is ‘to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise,’ and our motto is ‘Service Above Self.’”
In Clarksville, the impact of Rotarians has been deeply felt throughout the area, traceable in the completion of numerous locally based initiatives and projects as well in the raising of much-needed funding for countless organizations whose missions center on bettering the lives of veterans, children, and underserved members of the community. Meeting challenges and serving the needs of others is what the Rotary Club proudly stands for, what they take honor in doing—and a passion so strong is what keeps them going, year after year.
For more information on Rotary International and Clarksville Rotary Club, visit www.clarksvillerotaryclubtn.com.