Making time for family and Rotary
Denver Simmermon takes part in a medical mission in Nicaragua, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Highlands Ranch (Littleton), Colorado, USA. Photo courtesy of Bill Simmermon
When Bill Simmermon joined the Rotary Club of Highlands Ranch (Littleton), Colorado, USA, six years ago, he wanted to be an active member without sacrificing time with his family.
So the father of two brought his sons along to lunch meetings and involved them in club activities. His eldest son, Denver, has taken part in community and international service projects, is a member of Interact , and has been the featured speaker several times at the club's weekly meeting. And Simmermon's wife has been an active part of the club.
"My family is all in," Simmermon says. "My involvement with Rotary doesn't conflict with family time. It has actually enhanced our family time, because we are all there together."
On RI's official LinkedIn group, several Rotarians also discussed the benefits of involving their family in Rotary. Henna Budhrani, a member of the Rotary club of St. Maarten, Sint Maarten, says she has included her children in the club's holiday food distribution to the elderly. Her kids will also attend the club's annual Christmas party for children from low-income families.
Like father, like son
Bruce Thomson belongs to the same club as his father, the Rotary Club of Lynnwood, Washington, USA, and both are past presidents. Long before he joined, however, Thomson notes he took part in the club's annual projects, along with his mother and four sisters. His children now help out in club projects.
"Our club serves as the conduit for our family's community service," Thomson says. "Rotary has had a major impact in our family evolution and that has impacted the community."
"Rotary has something to offer the whole family," Simmermon says. "For some of our members, the No. 1 reason they were interested in Rotary was that they could get their children involved in service projects. There's a big push in high schools to have children take part in community service, and it looks good on their transcript when they apply for college."
And he notes that The Four-Way Test and Rotary's other guiding principles are useful for parents.
"The same values Rotary stands for are values we believe in as a family," he says. "We want to pass along those values to our children."
Family is on the minds of many Rotarians in December, as Rotary celebrates Family Month. In addition to recognizing the importance of families in Rotary, the month celebrates the family of Rotary, which includes Rotarians and all those involved in Rotary's work -- from Rotary Foundation program alumni to participants in Rotary youth programs around the world.
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