"Service above Self" is the motto shared by 1.2 million members of Rotary International, and the Mount Airy Rotary Club has strived to demonstrate this adage with its modest membership of 20.
The Mount Airy club provides annual scholarships to local high school students and gives a dictionary to every third-grade student in the 21771 ZIP code, which includes five elementary schools. Those are just a few activities the club supports, but the list of service accomplishments over the last 26 years of the club's existence is extensive.
Many in the community are not familiar with Rotary and what the members do, and the club is out to change that, said Bart Kinlein, president-nominee of the club. "I hear, 'I don't know anything about you,'" Kinlein said, "so we are undergoing a major effort to get out the word of what we do, as well as increasing membership."
The club meets every Tuesday evening, usually at the Mount Airy Tavern, with some exceptions. The gatherings start at 6 p.m. for a social time prior to the meeting, which begins at 6:30. "Anyone can come to these meetings," Kinlein said. "Come as a guest and we will buy your dinner." Meetings usually include a guest speaker who may cover a variety of topics or give an overview of a service project they are working on, many being international projects.
Kinlein said there is a misperception that you have to be a business owner to be in the club. Although one of Rotary International's objectives is to promote high ethical standards in business, the club focuses on community service.
According to the club's website, each Rotary club's membership represents a cross-section of those who work and/or live in the community they serve. It is a nonpolitical, nonreligious group open to all cultures, races and creeds. Each autonomous club meets weekly to focus on Rotary's main objective of service: in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.
The next meeting will be May 28 at the Mount Airy Tavern, 1001 Twin Arch Road.
Sometimes the venue changes, so Kinlein recommends anyone interested in attending check the website
or call him at 301-829-3764.
The June 4 meeting will be at Elk Run Vineyards and will include a tour of the facilities, wine tasting, dinner, and a talk by one of the owners of the winery followed by an official club meeting at the winery, 15113 Liberty Road, Mount Airy.
All are welcome.
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In its seventh season, the Mount Airy Farmers Market, sponsored by the Mount Airy Main Street Association, is open for business each Wednesday from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. in the Mount Airy Municipal Parking Lot on Park Avenue, between Veterans Lane and Cross Street.
Many familiar farmers and vendors are returning for another season, accompanied by some new faces.
Additional information about the market and the association can be found at mountairymainstreet.org and on Facebook. Email the market at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-829-1983 for additional information.