Our View: Service clubs worth our time

The health of service clubs in our community is also subject to the whims of changing times.

There are cycles in everything from the market to the seasons. The health of service clubs in our community is also subject to the whims of changing times.

On the West Shore, there are a number of clubs that have made a significant impact on the region. Think of the Kinsmen Field House or the Rotary Picnic Shelter at West Shore Parks and Rec.

At a recent meeting with the Gazette, Rotary members from two of the region’s clubs (one is for those who prefer morning meetings and the other for those who’d rather meet in the evening) were fairly satisfied with the number of people choosing to become a part of their organization.

Part of the success stems from a decision made 25 years ago to allow women into the club. Today, young women looking to network within the business friendly organization account for much of the Rotary’s growth, with about half of all members now women.

The club relies on existing members to bring in new members and it seems to be working.

“We just have really high quality people in our clubs,” said Harold McNabb of the West Shore Rotary. “They’re the kind of people you want to be around.”

The same could be said of another service club in town, though its traditional membership is a tougher demographic to find these days.

The West Shore Lions Club is made up mostly of retirees who are looking for a way to continue giving back to the community. The club is deeply rooted on the West Shore, though they’re perhaps best known for their annual Easter Seals campaign.

Paul Patrick, an officer with the West Shore Lions Club, said it’s trickier for his club to recruit members because they might be new in town after moving to the community to retire.

It’s definitely an issue in a place that is growing as fast as the West Shore.

So, if you’re thinking you can do a little more to help make this community an even better place to live, think about giving a service club what is truly your most valuable asset: your time.