“Service Above Self” is more than just the motto of Rotary International – it’s also three words that Bill McLoughlin takes very seriously with regard to the service organization he oversees.
McLoughlin is president of the noon Rotary Club of Westerville. As an affiliate of Rotary International, the world’s oldest service club, its main aims are peace and health initiatives
The noon Rotary, which has been around since 1959, has made huge charitable waves since its inception.
Last year, the club “gave a dictionary to every third-grade student in the Westerville public schools within a two-day delivery period,” says McLoughlin.
In addition to dictionaries, the club also handed out scholarships to local high school students. The noon Rotary gave out 1,250 dictionaries last year and has given over $300,000 in scholarships throughout its history.
Its signature fundraising event, the Independence Day celebration, hosts around 50,000 participants yearly. It begins at 8 a.m. and ends after 10 p.m. on July 4, all taking place in and around Alum Creek Park.
“We have a road race, a parade and fireworks, which all culminate together in our celebration for independence,” says McLoughlin.
Among the club’s other fundraisers are the Phil Brown Holiday Basketball Tournament, a members-only golf league, an annual fish fry, a nighttime golf outing and the Rotary Honors Veterans 5K Walk/Run, a Veterans Day event McLoughlin says “has taken quite a bit of importance recently.”
Membership is easy, free and, most importantly, “non-denominational,” says McLoughlin – it has no “religious or political preference” within its members’ activities.
David Allen is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.
Rotary Club of Westerville
Meetings: Noon Thursdays
Location: Villa Milano Banquet & Conference Center, 1630 Schrock Rd., Columbus