Local Rotarians pass the gavel

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New Rotary Club of Morinville president Linda Kilian receives the gavel from outgoing president John Wasmuth. The local service club held their year-end wrap up Wednesday night at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. – Stephen Dafoe Photos

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Local Rotarians gathered June 26 for an evening of fellowship and celebration at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. Trading their traditional Wednesday morning breakfast meeting for a special year-end supper meeting, the club reflected on the past year, awarded recognition to their most dedicated volunteers, and passed the gavel from one president to another.

Outgoing president John Wasmuth said he was pleased with the year, one in which the 33-member club expanded to roughly 45 members. At the start of his presidency, the Morinville club had a goal of admitting three new members this year. He said he was pleased to end the year with a dozen more than they had at the beginning of the term. “It looks like we’ve quadrupled that plan to add three members,” Wasmuth said in his wrap up speech, adding he was also particularly pleased the club could complete their Namao playground project. “Our other service goal was to upgrade Rotary Park [in Morinville] and we’ve got a good start on that. We have some big plans for some further upgrades over the next couple of years.” That project, now underway, will see the club spend approximately $350,000 over the next two years in Morinville.

Wasmuth credited the club’s various successes over the past year to the dedication of its membership. The evening included presentations to a number of the club’s roster, including the Rotarian of the Year award, presented this year to Bob Taylor.

Taylor said he was surprised to receive the award. “I’d just like to say I was really proud to be a member, and really proud of all the people on my committee and team,” Taylor said. “We have great people and once I motivate you and tell you it’s okay, we can afford this, it does seem to work out.” Taylor’s ribbing of his fellow club members drew strong laughter and applause, and was a reference to the costs of booking country singer Aaron Pritchett for a recent fundraising event. That function, held earlier in June, raised $48,000 for the club’s initiatives.

With the completion of President Wasmuth’s year, Rotarian Linda Kilian assumed the gavel for the ensuing year. Kilian said she was pleased to have the opportunity and looking forward to continuing the club’s work.

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President John Wasmuth presents the Rotarian of the Year award to Bob Taylor June 26.

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