Come for Lunch, Stay for Camaraderie and Inspiration

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State Librarian of Oregon Wendy Cornelisen.
State Librarian of Oregon Wendy Cornelisen.
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Every Wednesday at noon, dozens of working professionals and community members gather for the Rotary Club of Tualatin meeting. Our club has a reputation in the region for serving the best Rotary lunch, thanks to our host, the Tualatin Country Club.

But what happens at a Rotary meeting? And why should you join?

One of the key aspects of the meeting is an opportunity for fellowship. Members gather at large tables to share each other’s company and friendship over a good meal (including dessert!) Each meeting begins with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, and guests at the meeting are introduced.

While lunch is eaten, the Club President conducts any Club business, including sharing news about Rotary activities and projects, as well as providing an opportunity for Club members to share announcements about community events.

Then comes the Sergeant at Arms, who helps maintain an orderly and effective meeting. The Sergeant calls for “brags,” another opportunity for fellowship where members share personal successes or accomplishments of family members. The Sergeant also helps with the induction of new members and special member recognitions.

Many Rotary clubs use the Sergeant at Arms position as a fun and entertaining way to earn funds for the clubs through small fines – and our club is no exception! Fines can be issued for missteps in club etiquette, such as using your cell phone during a meeting, or as a light-hearted joke. If you’re “lucky,” you might have to spin the Rotary Wheel to determine your fine amount.

Then comes the heart of the meeting: hearing from our guest speaker. Tualatin Rotary strives to have interesting speakers on a variety of topics of local and regional concern. Recent meetings have featured:

State Librarian of Oregon Wendy Cornelisen informed us about the services of the State Library. The Talking Book and Braille Library is a special service for Oregonians who are print-disabled. This service provides free access to talking books, Braille titles, and audio-recordings of current magazines and newspapers to anyone who has trouble reading because of sight limitations, learning disorders, or difficulty holding a book.

Victoria Frankeny of the Tualatin Riverkeepers shared with us how the organization helps to protect and restore the Tualatin River watershed and encouraged us to get out on the river!

Tualatin City Engineer Mike McCarthy brought us up to speed on the city’s transportation-related improvements, thanks to the Tualatin Moving Forward bond approved a few years ago, including new bike lanes and sidewalks, more lighted street crossings, and redesigned traffic bottlenecks.

Pete Kerns, CEO of Serenity Lane, which offers drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, taught us how addiction affects the brain using the Country Club’s tasty chocolate chip cookies as an analogy. When you eat such a treat, he said, a little bit of dopamine is released in your brain; over time, repeated hits of dopamine cause addicts to intensely crave more.

From tolling to active aging, from forest sustainability to service projects overseas, Tualatin Rotary speakers enlighten, inspire, and impassion Club members to be more engaged with community concerns. Meetings end promptly at 1 p.m., so everyone can get back to work in a timely manner.

Building relationships with movers and shakers in the community, learning more about issues impacting us and our neighbors, and fostering opportunities for service – whatever your reason, Rotary Club of Tualatin has a lot to offer in one hour!

Interested in joining us for an upcoming meeting or volunteering as a speaker? Contact our Club President, Marlow Hornberger, at mhorn001@gmail.com. More information about our Club can be found at tualatinrotary.org or facebook.com/tualatinrotaryclub.

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