Chances are, if you live in Chester or Long Valley, the Rotary Club has touched your life in some way.
The Rotary Club of Chester-Long Valley was chartered in June of 1946, and currently meets every Monday night at 6:45 p.m. at the Lamplighter in Chester. And while rotary is the largest service club in the world with 1.2 million members in 164 countries, the Chester-Long Valley chapter has around a dozen.
“We’re a small club and trying to get out into the world more so than we’ve been doing,” said current rotary president Suzanne Aitken.
Part of getting their message out includes participating and contributing to local events.
“We started the Farmers Market in Chester and that is a fundraiser,” Aitken said. “And we just won second place in the scarecrow contest in Chester.”
According to Aitken, their next big event is the Christmas Tree decorating for the senior resource center in the Church of the Messiah.
“We are planning to do more fundraising and more activities in the community and supporting the community organizations,” Aitken said. “We give gifts and donations to the first aid squad and the food bank.”
Aitken got involved in the rotary to give back to the community. Aitken said initially she was drawn to the international work the rotary has done working 20 years to eliminate polio in the world, as Aitken’s uncle was afflicted with the disease.
The Chester-Long Valley Rotary has also made contributions to Mendham native Maggie Doyne’s organization in Nepal.
“It is amazing what someone can do if they make their mind up,” Aitken said. “ And I do this to give back to the community and to the people in the community and help people who aren’t as fortunate as I am. And along the way I met some good friends.”
For her part, Aitken is looking for likeminded people to join their group.
“They don’t have to commit to join. They can come for a couple meetings and see what they’re all about,” Aitken said. “It is a commitment of some time and effort especially helping out on the fundraisers and community activities.”
Those interested in joining can contact Aitken via e-mail, call 908-705-7968 or come by a meeting at the Lamplighter on Monday nights.