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Ripon Rotary makes a difference in the community
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Ripon Rotary Past President John Mangelos serves members and guests as treasurer Danielle Pierce chats with a visitor who shared in a program presentation. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Serious community cheerleaders like the Ripon Rotary Club members need your support in making a difference.

“Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? And, will it be beneficial to all concerned? …represents Rotary’s Four Way Test of things we think, say or do.”

Membership in service clubs and their devotion to the community go hand in hand. Ripon Rotary is no different, meeting every Wednesday at the Barnwood Restaurant during the lunch hour. It, too, has a waning membership.

Ripon, Manteca, Salida and Lathrop clubs are finding it difficult to draw the passionate folks out of their communities who will mark a weekly date on their calendars and be there “no matter what” to make a difference in service to their fellow man and woman in need.

While Rotary International has all but conquered the spread of polio throughout the world, little has been known about what the Ripon club and others locally have specifically accomplished in their business and residential communities.

The Ripon membership recently came together to help fund a new drug dog for the police department with Rotary dropping some $700 into the coffers. The other groups were included in a photograph with the new chocolate lab canine, however Rotary was missing from the photo op. Those same members have also been collecting wheelchairs for polio victims in the third world countries.

There is a definite passion needed to make the community a better place in which to live, whether it’s Rotary, Soroptimist, or Ripon Lions Club members taking the lead, and they are becoming fewer and fewer in numbers. The Manteca (noon) Rotary Club is a good example of the trends over the past 40 years when that group once enjoyed having nearly 80 members at their Thursday lunch meetings. Today they are lucky to have 25 sitting down together for the good of Manteca now with a greater population by 10 fold.

While Ripon lists some 50 past Paul Harris Fellows in its club bulletin, the club is doing well if it draws 15 to its weekly meetings on Wednesdays. A Paul Harris Fellow is one who has donated $1,000 to the international foundation. The foundation then spends only the interest accrued on that money for worldwide Rotary projects.

There was a time when the managers of all the banks and grocery stores to the smallest mom and pop shop owners wouldn’t miss their weekly meetings – their proven way to give back to their communities as teams of active Rotarians dating back to the early 1900s.

Ripon Rotary recently had a former NASA staffer speaking at its noon meeting on a potential school project near Cabo San Lucas. George Williams has found a need in those poorer than poor school children – a need he is attempting to fill with other Rotarians’ help.

It’s those service club fundraisers that bring much of the money to make a difference in our country’s communities to those around the world in the international scope.

The Salida Rotary is holding a crab and rigatoni feed in the Ripon Community Center on Saturday, February 2. A Super Bowl omelet breakfast hosted by Manteca Rotary is scheduled for Sunday, February 3, at the Manteca Senior Center. It has profited more than $16,000 in past years that has made the world a better place for many.

On April 12 the Ripon Rotary fundraiser Bingo/Poker Tournament is being planned for the Ripon Community Center. For those who have made the effort to make Ripon an even better place through its service clubs.