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Westmoreland

Westmoreland area Rotary to promote work to try to boost membership

Patrick Varine
| Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

For much of their history, Rotary International officials have asked clubs to go about their business quietly and humbly.

But with numbers dipping in both District 7330, which covers Westmoreland and six other counties, and neighboring District 7300, which runs from Beaver County to McKeesport, that call has changed.

“We don't do our work for the recognition,” District 7330 President Pam Moore said. “But what we've seen is that it's best to get the word out there.”

Both districts are below the minimum district threshold of 1,100 members, established by Rotary International, and if they do not boost their membership, they could potentially be merged into a single super district, said Rotary International Vice President Jennifer Jones, who is visiting several clubs in District 7330 this week.

“Both areas need some attention,” Jones said.

Moore said one issue for her district is the number of people in the towns where clubs are based.

“A lot of our clubs are based in communities with declining populations,” she said. “So it's getting harder to find members.”

The district has a year and a half to boost its numbers and, at 1,060 current members, is only 40 shy of the threshold.

“We put a membership plan together and submitted it to Rotary International,” Moore said. “We just want to get our name out there and encourage people to share why they joined and spread the good word.”

Jones said the merger, if it were to happen, is “purely administrative” and that day-to-day Rotary members likely would not even notice the change.

For district governors like Moore, however, it comes down to pride.

“We want to maintain our identity and remain a vital, vibrant district,” she said. “Increasing new members will make Rotary stronger in both districts.”

Jones oversees 28 districts stretching from Canada to Virginia and from Wisconsin to New York. She said she has tried to visit all of them during her time as vice president, and the membership issue in District 7330 made this the perfect time.

“It was really important to me to support the district, do some cheerleading and help get the word out to others about Rotary,” she said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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