At the Feb. 25 meeting of the FishHawk-Riverview Rotary Club, a recap of annual activities and events was presented to the invited guests, with an open invitation to join the service club.
One Rotarian discussed the history of Rotary International, which this year celebrates its 108th anniversary. Tracing the roots of the service club from its humble beginnings as the initiative of Chicago attorney Paul Harris, Lindstrom noted how the club started as a "trustworthy club of people to do business together" because, in Harris' view, business had become "too impersonal and immoral."
The local club this year has taken on Rotary International's water project as its focus, which aims "to provide clean water around the world."
"Simply put, about two billion people live in poverty around the world," said Rotarian Richard Lindstrom, who noted that with unclean water, people are dying from "diarrhea-related illnesses and typhoid."
"World water is going to be a big deal with Rotary worldwide and we're going to be at the forefront with helping to save lives," Lindstrom said.
The club each year supports a Boy Scout troop, and this year, $500 will be split among two Girl Scout troops as well.
Another $500 in proceeds from the latest race for honorary mayor of Brandon will be spent in support of the Brandon Outreach Clinic.
Rotarian Bryant Martinez discussed the upcoming Winthrop Art Fest, scheduled for March 23 and 24 at the Winthrop town development co-founded by Rotarian John Sullivan, with his wife, Kay.
Also under discussion was the upcoming speech contest, for students from Riverview, Newsome and Spoto high schools, and the Crawfish Festival in FishHawk, scheduled for May 18.
"We do have a lot of fun when we have our events," said Rotarian Christopher Jones, the club's president. He noted that more than 3,000 people attended last year's crawfish festival.
The local club also provides a free dictionary to every fourth-grade student in the area. Close to $2,000 worth of dictionaries are distrubted at 13 to 14 area schools, according to Jones.
Noted as well is the club's annual boat parade in Riverview, typically held the first weekend in December, at the International Showmens Club in Riverview. Proceeds benefit the club's scholarship program.
The club also has a presence at the Hillsborough County Fair, held annually in October, at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds off Sydney-Washer Road in Dover. There, the Rotarians hoste their annual chili cook-off.