Fifth-generation Rotarian inducted
Douglas Seegers and daughter Lauren, the fifth generation of her family to join Rotary. Photo courtesy of Douglas Seegers
Lauren Seegers Erwin's induction into the Rotary Club of Shades Valley, Alabama, USA, on 21 November represents more than her first day as a Rotarian; it continues her family's long legacy of Rotary service.
Lauren, 26, is the fifth generation of the Seegers family to join Rotary. Her father, Douglas Seegers, and grandfather, Sidney A. Seegers, both members of the Rotary Club of Monroe, Louisiana, traveled to Birmingham to surprise Lauren at her induction ceremony.
"I was so happy to see them. It meant a lot to me to have their support and presence there," says Lauren, who was an Interactor and participated in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards events. "I know they're going to be behind me as I begin my own life as a Rotarian."
Douglas says Lauren has embraced Rotary's ideals of service since she was a young child.
"Seeing her mature as a young woman and become a fifth-generation Rotarian is one of the most exciting experiences I've had in Rotary," Douglas says. "As a Rotarian, it is my privilege to invite like-minded individuals to serve as I do. And to have my daughter want to follow in her family's footsteps is one of the highest honors that her grandfather and I could have asked for."
A Rotary family
Douglas joined the Monroe club in 1991, the year his father was club president. "In fact, he was the one who sponsored me," Douglas says.
Sidney, who joined in 1958 at age 29, says his own father, for whom he was named, was also a Rotarian, but that it was his grandfather, Wardwell C. Flanders, a member of clubs in New Orleans and Columbia, Mississippi, who was the primary Rotarian role model.
"He was the ultimate gentleman and very concerned about others," recalls Sidney, who served as governor of District 6190 in 1995-96 and has received the RI Service Above Self Award. "In general, our family has always embraced the concept of community and international service. In my case, I developed a very strong interest in helping others."
An avid participant in Rotary's international programs, including Rotary Youth Exchange and Group Study Exchange, Sidney has always made sure that his children -- and now grandchildren -- were exposed to different cultures. "I wanted them to understand that Rotary is also a promoter of peace and understanding in the world, because the boundaries of race and culture disappear when people share their homes and get to know one another," he says.
Lauren would like to focus her Rotary work on New Generations initiatives. "Being one of the youngest members of my club, I want to set an example by actively promoting Rotary and community service to our youth," she says.
Douglas adds: "I know that people all over the world will benefit greatly from Lauren's service. I find it appropriate that, as a fifth-generation Rotarian, she has embraced Rotary's fifth Avenue of Service. She truly is part of a new generation of Rotarians.”
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