Could Rotary Membership Be Hereditary?

Father son at road cleanup.
Father son at road cleanup. Submitted photo
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Though each human is unique, some traits are passed from generation to generation.  Hair texture, dimples, eye color and handedness can be traced to an ancestor.  But possibly, there are other attributes that ring true in familial circles.

Reid Hornberger, the current Tualatin Rotary President, is about to end his one-year term.  In June, he will pass his gavel to his father, Marlowe.  Like John and John Quincy Adams and George and George W Bush, leadership appears to be a family trait.  For the Hornberger Family, the roots are even deeper.  Marlowe’s dad also served as a Rotary President.  The gavel that the duo will use belonged Reid’s grandfather.  

Tualatin Rotary has other generational members.  Michelle Schnabel, a former club president follows in the footsteps of her dad who was president in a Portland Club.  Kirsten Lauritzen served as club president two years ago and her mother-in-law, Barbara has been a long-time member.  Over the history of the Tualatin Club, husband and wife teams have provided strong leadership.  Norb and Leah Murray and Mike and Debbie Bunce have inspired members with their commitment and service.

Reid and Marlowe at Rotary Meeting.
Reid and Marlowe at Rotary Meeting. Submitted photo

So, why do people join Rotary?  The answers are many.  In 1905, Rotary began with the premise of friendship and fellowship in a busy world.  Humans have a basic need to belong.  Rotary gathered members who wished to work together to better their neighbors and themselves.  Rotary offers business networking to club members.  Rotarians are from all walks of life.  As club members, they share and influence each other.  Every Rotary meeting includes a guest speaker.  Members are informed about current events in their community and around the world.  People join Rotary because of its international standing.  There are over 33,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries.  A Rotarian in rural Nebraska can have influence in a remote village in Africa.  When the war in Ukraine began, Rotarians in Poland were ready to assist fleeing women and children immediately. Rotary clubs from around the globe and right here in Oregon raised funds to assist this work.  For an ordinary citizen, this international impact is impressive.  Rotary attracts members because of its ethical four-way test and because it is an organization the welcomes all faiths. The glue that unites members is service. Rotarians believe that to improve the life of another is a very rich reward.

You do not need a family member’s permission to join a Rotary Club.  But you might be inspired by the good work that a club does to influence your life.  In Tualatin, members provide scholarships to first generation college students.  Since 2013, fifteen scholars who looked at a college education as a dream, have made it a reality.  Countless Tualatin High School students have been selected to go on an adventure called youth exchange.  They have spent one high school year in another country.  The Tualatin Rotary supports students who need financial help with team or club fees.  Children all over the school district have been given free books and every third grader is gifted with a dictionary.   Eighth graders at Hazelbrook and Twality have had the opportunity to be tutored and mentored by high school students.  You too could take part in this service.  The Tualatin Rotary Club is always ready to welcome new members.

There is a fourth Hornberger out there!  Little Heron Hornberger turned one this year.  Will the example of his family mean a membership in Rotary for him?  Or will he join just to continue the service to others that is the Rotary brand.  

If you would like to learn more about Rotary, visit our website at

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