Lunch with the Lincoln Rotary

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: By Lora Finnegan, Special to The News Messenger
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“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s

best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too

dark to read.” - Attributed to Groucho Marx

I wish I had thought of that Groucho Marx line, above, when I had lunch with the guys and gals of the Rotary Club of Lincoln last week. They’re a neat bunch and would probably have enjoyed the humor. But I wasn’t there to do a stand-up routine; I was there to say “thanks” for a serious gift.

My pal (and Rotarian) Pete Walker, along with Rotary Club of Lincoln President Clark Osterhout and past President Joann Hilton had invited me to the Rotary lunch to give them the latest news about the Friends of the Lincoln Library.

And it was a receptive and attentive audience. But as much information as I had to impart, I ended up learning much more from the amazing folks at Rotary.

Over a tasty repast, I heard the history of Rotary and its 34,000 community-based service clubs.

I discovered that the main mission of its 1.2 million members is to eradicate polio, provide clean water, promote literacy, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and other goodwill endeavors. That’s a tall order but not impossible (in fact, polio has just about been eradicated from India, a success few would have dreamed of as little as 50 years ago).

For Rotarians, it all starts with a commitment to “Service Above Self.” Today, you’ll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad. Among its other works here in Lincoln, Rotary has for years stepped up to buy children’s books for the Lincoln Public Library through its donations to Friends of the Lincoln Library.

It’s not hard to find examples of Rotary’s gifts in the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges. Their books dot the shelves, each marked with a bookplate noting the donation. At the end of the luncheon, I got a generous check from Rotary President Osterhout for the Friends to buy more children’s books.

I will never forget the generous spirit and inspiring mission of the Rotary Club. Maybe Groucho was wrong when he said a book is a man’s best friend (outside of a dog). Maybe a Rotarian is a man’s, or a library’s, best friend. Thanks, Rotary Club of Lincoln!

Friends meet Tuesday night

A large cast of colorful characters and plot lines on such topics as political corruption, women’s rights, the Bay Area social whirl and racism —that’s “Legends of the Strait” by Bruce Robinson, a novel about Benicia during the Prohibition Era. You’ll hear the stories and meet author Robinson at the Friends General Membership Meeting, at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Twelve Bridges Library. Drop in also for refreshments, the latest library news, update on Friends activities and the election of Friends officers for 2013-14. It’s free.

On the Calendar

Tuesday at 6 p.m.: Friends General Membership Meeting, Willow Room, Twelve Bridges Library.

This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. Have a question? Contact the Friends at 434-2404, at or e-mail Lora Finnegan is a Friends of the Lincoln Library member.