There’s a new Rotary club in town for people interested in giving back to their community and abroad. At the Rotary Club of Huntsville Evening Satellite Club, you may see some familiar faces, but new members have been drawn to a different meeting format. (Note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is not currently hosting in-person meetings.)
Past presidents of the Rotary Club of Huntsville, Jennifer Jerrett and Kim O’Grady, are the new co-chairs of the evening satellite club. They saw the need for a different meeting arrangement for members, especially for young business professionals who were finding it difficult to attend weekly meetings, which possibly affected membership growth.
“When Kim approached me about a satellite club, it was an easy decision to make,” says Jerrett, who also sits on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Huntsville. “We both knew that this type of club would appeal to a large number of people in our community.”
The new evening satellite club is a branch of the main Rotary Club of Huntsville, of which all are members but they function separately. The meeting times are a key difference between the two clubs. The satellite club meetings are bi-weekly for one hour in the evening, whereas the main club meets weekly for up to an hour-and-a-half over lunch. Members of both clubs are encouraged to assist with the Rotary Club of Huntsville’s major fundraisers, such as Dockfest, and the evening satellite club’s members are also encouraged to participate on committees of the main club.
The new club’s first charter and induction ceremony took place on February 12 at Canvas Brewing Co. The unique format has drawn both new and returning members, with their current membership at around 20. Evening meetings may be more accessible to some members, while the goals of the group remain aligned with the foundations of Rotary objectives.
“Anyone can join either club,” says Jerrett. “People who want to make a difference, people who are passionate, people who are looking for a way to give back without giving up a huge portion of their own work or home time. At the end of the day we are a fun group filled with doers.”
The new membership of the evening satellite club is working to establish community support projects. So far, there is a future undertaking planned to paint the outside of Hospice Huntsville.
“We truly want our members to have a voice in how and who we support,” says Jerrett. “We often refer to ourselves as ‘People of Action’. We want to have our boots on the ground, helping our community, not just supporting with money.”
Meetings will be held the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and will resume once large gatherings are safe to attend.
“We are a fun, eager group of professionals who are out to make a difference,” Jerrett says of the inherently social environment created by the evening meetings. Once they are able to meet again, they “encourage people to come out to a meeting, feel the energy in the room, ask a bunch of questions, and we will take it from there.”
Jerrett also encourages members of the community to reach out to the new group with any community project ideas. “We would love to hear from the community on how we can support them through service.”
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their Instagram feed @peopleofactionhuntsville. They also have a private group on Facebook for members.
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