Clyde Nelson accepted the president’s gavel July 12 at the annual awards dinner hosted by the Merrill Rotary Club. The event was held at the Lincoln Lanes banquet facility.
During his remarks, Nelson quoted Rotary International: “We are neighbors, community leaders, and global citizens unifying for the common good. Service above self is the Rotary slogan, that’s why we joined,” he further noted. “We make a difference in our community and the world. We make a difference by giving out time, talent and treasure to help our neighbors whether it’s here in Merrill or in Africa. We help people get what they need.”
Val Mindak, who served as president for the last year, acted as toastmaster for the evening before handing off the president’s gavel to Nelson. In her comments to the group, Mindak noted the local Rotary Club’s accomplishments during the past year. Among them are: Raising money to help fund a trip to Nigeria by local pharmacist, Cherise Lewer, who will help inoculate children with polio vaccine – an ongoing Rotary International project. Locally, Rotary has spearheaded the beautification and illumination of over one-half mile of the River Bend Trail, and has made one of the largest single monetary donations to the Merrill Food Pantry from its annual Christmas auction and is following up with other support projects this year. Also on the local level the Rotarians have made donations to the new aquatic center and the Aqua Jays and continue to provide scholarships to Merrill High School graduates. In addition, the new Rotary Emerging Leaders of Merrill group has been formed and will explore new ways to give back to the community. Finally, she noted that the Merrill club is partnering with three other U.S. clubs to deliver water filtration units to communities in the Dominican Republic.
The keynote speaker of the evening was District 6220 Governor, Diane Dappern, Green Bay, who highlighted programs from the recent Rotary International convention in South Korea and changes that are coming in district and area rules.