A salute to our Rotarian friends

For visitors to the Mecosta County Agricultural Free Fair, an often anxiously awaited part of the fair experience is sitting down to another hearty grilled chicken lunch served up by enthusiastic members of the Rotary Club of Big Rapids.

The smell of chicken on the grills is intoxicating. The food is wonderful and the service and banter are friendly and embracing.

The lunches are offered in support of a great cause and aimed at funding the many, Many, MANY projects adopted by local Rotarians.

When all the chicken has been eaten; when the tables are stacked; when the grills are packed away in storage, members of the Rotary really get to work.

In 2013, local Rotarians delivered more than 75 complete Thanksgiving Day meals to families in need throughout the area. The year before, the Rotary Club delivered complete meals to 56 families for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Money raised while serving lunches during the 2013 Mecosta County fair were a portion of $5,000 donated to the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center.

In the not too distant past, the local Rotary Club raised $10,000 to help develop youth soccer fields.

And more, … and more, … and more.

Local Rotarians represent industry, the professions, the public sector and the education community. Membership is wide and diverse.

In that diversity, however, there is a commonality of purpose — service.

In their own statement of purpose, we read: “Rotarians provide service at both the community and international levels. Service programs address health care needs, hunger and poverty, illiteracy, disaster relief and environmental cleanups, to name a few. Members experience the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.”

And give back they do.

We thank members of the Big Rapids Rotary Club, not only for a fine chicken lunch served up by a cheerful crew, but also for their continuing service to our community, state, nation and the world.

It’s great to have men and women of this caliber as family, neighbors and friends.

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