Transcribed by Alina Warner
Join Melissa and Erin as they welcome the inspiring Amy Higgins from Rotary 21 to this podcast! This amazing local nonprofit is a service-based organization that has been changing lives for years. Amy was driven to become the board president by the incredible mentors who have guided her throughout her life. Tune in to hear all about her journey and the impactful work of Rotary 21!
Discovering Rotary: An Introduction to Rotary 21 and Its Work
Rotary clubs vary, but they all have a cause-driven focus. Spokane Rotary, founded in 1911, is one of over 3,000 clubs worldwide. Spokane has 6 clubs, with Rotary 21 being the 21st club ever formed.
The positions in Rotary 21 follow a rotation system. The Vice President serves for a year, followed by a year as President Elect, and then a year as President. This ensures a diverse range of leadership styles and fresh ideas.
“Service Above Self”: Why Joining Rotary 21 Matters
Rotary 21 believes in “service above self.” They are a group of people who want to make their community better, create peace in the world, eradicate disease, and educate others. Your donations are compounded and can make a big impact through events and fundraisers. They also do more than just donate money, they administer polio vaccines in other countries and go on friendship exchanges. There is a group for everyone in Rotary 21.
Inside a Rotary Meeting: What to Expect and How They Work
Meetings are on Thursdays at 12:15 sharp. They begin with a non-denominational, non-political reading called an invocation. Then, they sing a patriotic song led by the music committee. Everyone sits down and welcomes each other, celebrating birthdays from the past week. The club is made up of people from different professional backgrounds, represented by different classifications. These classifications and their backgrounds are shared during the birthday celebrations.
Every President has their own unique way of doing things. For Amy, she chose to reignite the spark among members by sharing a rotary story about each individual. With two years of virtual and semi-virtual meetings, it’s no surprise that there was a bit of a disconnect. But, by learning about each person and sharing that information with the group, Amy was able to get everyone to connect and form relationships. Then, it’s time for the speaker of the week to take the stage! They could talk about anything from their life story to how to launch a new business. The possibilities are endless and always exciting!
Rotary meetings are like mini TED Talks and are valuable for both members and guests to attend.
Making an Impact: Rotary 21’s Committees and Projects That Matter
Rotary 21 has two arms: the Rotary Club and Rotary Community Service (RCS). RCS has committees like International Services, Disability Services, and Vocational Services. These committees give money to people and organizations in need. They build wheelchair ramps, give scholarships, and improve mobility for people with disabilities.
The Rotary Club board provides each committee with a budget based on their fall fundraising campaign. Committees decide which grants to fund during their meetings. The board meets twice a month and can typically fund a grant within a week or two. Grant request forms can be found on the Rotary website.
Rotary donates thousands of dollars annually for impactful projects, including the Rotary Riverfront Fountain downtown. Amy shared her favorite past and upcoming projects with us, including:
- The Children’s Fire Safety House (a combined effort with all Spokane Rotary Clubs) in need of a remodel
- Manito Picnic Shelter
Get Involved: Connecting With Rotary 21 on Social Media and More
The Rotary Club of Spokane provides information through their website, which includes newsletters and an email link for those interested in attending a future meeting. Guests will be connected with a host for assistance at the meeting.