"I can spell onomatopoeia!" piped the third-grader from Runnymede Elementary School after receiving a dictionary from the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow; he also knew what it meant: a word that sounds like the thing it refers to, like buzz or hiss. Giving dictionaries to all third-graders in the county is just one of the many projects of the county's four Rotary Clubs.

The Bonds Meadow club, which meets every Tuesday for breakfast at the Bistro at Carroll Lutheran Village, is also sponsoring the Linda Mahin Speech Contest for high school students, who are asked to give a 5-minute talk that applies the Rotary Four-Way Test to a topic of their choice:


• Is it the truth?

• Is it fair to all concerned?

• Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

• Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

With an emphasis on children and youth, the club supports the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, which sends one or more students to a retreat where they can develop leadership skills, as well as the Boys and Girls Club, Dr. Seuss readings to first-graders, and financial support to a variety of local nonprofits like Access Carroll, the Carroll Hospital Center, The Arc, Change and Target.

Club members also do not mind getting their hands dirty, for example, in cleaning up the Washington Road Community Trail, renovating houses for Habitat for Humanity or serving meals at Loaves and Fishes.

Rotary, founded in 1905, now has 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 clubs in virtually every country of the world. It has spearheaded the effort to eliminate polio worldwide, which is now nearing fruition. Even a small club like Bonds Meadow can make a difference globally, as shown by our leadership of an effort that raised $38,000 in 2015 to provide medicines for Ebola victims in Liberia, undertaken with our long-time partner IMA World Health, formerly headquartered in New Windsor. The club also initiated the concept of Safe Motherhood Kits — a package of clean and sterile birthing supplies designed to help prevent infection, which causes 13 percent of childbirth deaths worldwide. After assembly by club members, thousands of kits were shipped by IMA to countries like Haiti, South Sudan and the Congo, with undoubted impacts on the health of mothers and infants.

As well as promoting such weighty matters, the weekly club meetings are an opportunity to network and socialize and enjoy a brief presentation for our busy business and professional men and women. As Theresa Bethune, president of Freedom Broadband, recently remarked: "When I transitioned from corporate America to being a local business owner, I knew how important it would be to establish local relationships. I came to Rotary, because Rotary gives me the opportunity to build local relationships with other local business people, while giving back to the community."

Club President Mike Walters added: "We are always looking for present and future community leaders with a commitment to community service. If that describes you, please come to breakfast as our guest, or check out our website www.bondsmeadowrotaryclub.org or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BondsMeadow or give me a call at 410-848-3660, and help us expand our programs and club."

Peter Whitford is a member of the Bonds Meadow Rotary Club.

Nonprofit View

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times will publish a column from a local nonprofit, allowing it to share information about its organization and the issues facing it. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line "Nonprofit View."