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Lincoln Rotary Club helping out locally and abroad

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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Lincoln’s Rotary Club has a long history of giving back to the local community as well as the international community, said Larry Whitaker, assistant district governor of 5180 and a former president of the Lincoln Rotary Club. Lincoln’s club was chartered in 1926, just 20 years after Rotary was formed in Chicago, Whitaker said. ”We are the 533rd Rotary Club that was formed and that’s out of 35,000 worldwide,” Whitaker said. Four businessmen who wanted to network and give back to their community founded Rotary, Whitaker explained. The name comes from the fact that members rotated the offices where meetings were held. Lincoln’s club is composed of approximately 55 members, Whitaker said. It is part of the Sacramento/Yuba City area district, which has about 2,200 members. “In the early days, it was an all-boys club but it has evolved and now has the movers of the community for members,” Whitaker said, adding that there are currently prominent businesspeople, two City Council members, the chief of police and other community leaders. Rotary goals are many and some of the successes include far-reaching projects, such as the eradication of polio. “Twenty years ago, Rotary took on eliminating polio worldwide,” Whitaker said. “Today, there are only four countries left worldwide that have any polio.” Closer to home, projects include many community-oriented items, such as the recent donation of dictionaries to third graders, Whitaker said. Rotary is apolitical and not affiliated with any religious organization, Whitaker added. Additional Information: Rotary Club: Meetings are at noon every Thursday in the Women’s Club of Lincoln at Fifth and E Streets downtown. To join, prospective members can show up at any meeting. Being in Rotary involves a financial commitment of between $1,000 and $1,200 per year, and regular attendance at the weekly meetings. Brandon Darnell can be reached at 774-7967 or by e-mail at brandond@goldcountrymedia.com.