By Stacy Thomas | Photos by Danny Alexander
Every day, the Rotary Club of New Albany puts its mission into motion
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of the word “rotary”’ is: of motion; revolving around a center or axis; rotational. In the case of the Rotary Club of New Albany, the organization is a group of members in constant motion with a mission revolving around serving their community.
“Rotary Club is an international service organization with 1.2 million members. There are multiple clubs in Southern Indiana, including Clarksville, Corydon, Jeffersonville and Salem. Here in New Albany, our club just celebrated our 100th year of serving our community,” said Chad Dimmitt, president of the New Albany Rotary Club who has been a Rotarian for six years.
“I was originally invited to a Rotary meeting by my friend Bryant Hanson, a fellow Rotarian,” said Dimmitt. “It didn’t take long to want to become involved in our many community service projects and programs. When you work alongside so many service-oriented individuals, like I get to do through Rotary, you are quickly inspired to serve as well.”
The New Albany Rotary Club is involved in numerous current and past service projects, which include preparing meals for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House; The Angel Tree Program, where funds are raised to shop for children during the holidays; Rotary Readers who spend time each month reading to students in area schools; and the annual Scholars Banquet honoring top graduating seniors in Floyd County.
In addition, the Rotary Club of New Albany also partners with other Southern Indiana organizations, including Hope Southern Indiana, New Albany/Floyd County Habitat for Humanity and Exit 0, the Jeffersonville-based homeless outreach.
The Rotary Club also gives grants and raises money for donations to benefit community organizations like the Louisville Youth Group, Floyd County Veterans Court and Open Door Youth Services. The Club also was involved in raising funds to benefit the hurricane relief effort in Haiti and the rehabilitation of a school in Jamaica.
“Our overall goal as Rotarians is to continue pursuing projects and programs that make our community, our country, and the world a better place to live,” said Dimmitt. “Locally, our club just partnered with the City of New Albany to install a public drinking fountain in Bicentennial Park.”
And, the club’s annual Community Toast and Benefit Banquet recognizes a community member for best exemplifying the Rotary Club motto of “service above self.”
“Each year the event proceeds are split between our club for local grant programs and a charitable beneficiary of the honoree’s choosing,” Dimmitt said. “Over the past 23 years, more than half a million dollars have been raised to benefit local community causes through this annual banquet.”
The Club houses members of all ages and occupations – some have been Rotarians for over 50 years, some are brand new – but all members share the same goal – working together to improve the world in a variety of ways that are important to each individual.
“We are a great mix of business professionals, community leaders, and educators who come together to serve more effectively than we could individually,” Dimmitt said. “I think the most common misconception about a Rotary Club is that our purpose is for business networking. The truth is, being a Rotarian connects you to a world-wide network of partners with the common goal of serving humanity. I was blessed to attend this year’s Rotary International Conference in Seoul, South Korea.”
There, Dimmitt was inspired by meeting other Rotarians from around the globe who are actively promoting peace, fighting disease, such as polio, providing access to clean water, supporting education and helping to grow local economies.
“Rotarians here in New Albany and Southern Indiana have the opportunity to make a direct impact in their local communities, as well as have a hand in improving lives all over the world,” said Dimmit. “I invite anyone who is interested to come join us. The best way to learn about us is to visit us for our weekly meetings, or join us for one of our many community service projects.”
Rotary Club of New Albany www.rcna.us | Meetings Thursdays at noon at The Calumet Club, 1614 E. Spring Street in New Albany | For more information, contact Chad Dimmit at 502.396.3384 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Southern Indiana Rotary Clubs
Rotary Club of Jeffersonville: Meetings Tuesdays at noon, Clarion Hotel, 505 Marriott Drive in Clarksville
Rotary Club of Clarksville: Meetings first and third Wednesdays of the month, Clarion Hotel, 505 Marriott Drive in Clarksville
Rotary Club of Corydon: Meetings Tuesdays at noon, Kindred Transitional, 150 Beechmont Drive in Corydon
Rotary Club of Salem: Meetings Mondays at noon, The Steven’s Museum, 307 E. Market St. in Salem