Meetings: Holiday Inn - Thursdays at 12:00pm-1:15pm


Rotary Club of Martinsburg - Martinsburg WV / Grapevine  / August 14, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – Membership Month

August 14, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – Membership Month


In 1990, our club became the largest club in the district with over 220 members. Since then, Berkeley County has grown exponentially while our club has shrunk to 130 members. Rotary is not alone in this membership shrinkage. The Lions Club and Kiwanis have had an even worse problem. Part of it is apathy on the part of the 20-40 year olds who have not developed a sense of community. Part of it in Berkeley County is that many residents live here but work elsewhere. And part of it is complacency with the present members.

Rotarians join and stay with their clubs primarily because they seek opportunities for community service, fellowship, and friendship. Many of the non-Rotarians you know are looking for the same things. Invite them to help with your service projects, attend a networking night, or participate in a club get-together and help them see for themselves how Rotary connects leaders to make a positive change.

Here are some potential candidates to consider for membership:

  • Friends and family members
  • Business acquaintances
  • Professional colleagues
  • Younger community leaders who are already connected to Rotary through Rotaract, RYLA, peace fellowships, Youth Exchange, and other programs

We need to introduce prospective members to Rotary by describing what our club does, our club’s successful community and international service projects, and Rotary International programs. We should develop a program that provides prospective members with an overview of:

  • Our club and its history and a description of its primary or signature projects and activities
  • Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation
  • The benefits and value of membership in your club
  • The various opportunities to get in involved in club activities

A prospective member who has been introduced to Rotary by enthusiastic Rotarians, and who is well informed in these areas before joining, is more likely to become an involved and active member.

A club’s image is directly related to its ability to attract new members. The club should highlight the specific values and benefits it provides its members, and communicate those values to prospective members. With consistent public image efforts, individuals will seek out local clubs and be more inclined to accept invitations to join.

August is Membership Month, so start inviting people you think would be good members to our meeting. Mike Hicks, the district membership chair, will tell us more.



ryla[1]This summer we sent two students from Spring Mills High School, Leah Smith and Tania Boh, to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards at Juniata College. Both girls are rising seniors with 4.7 grade point averages and are members of the newly formed Interact club at Spring Mills.

They learned team building, how to put up a shelter box tent, and many other things to help them in the real world. They also had to do a project. They chose a fund raising project to support the VA Hospital in Martinsburg. Their project was good enough for first place, which they were both really proud of achieving. It was obvious from their presentation that RYLA made a big impact on their lives.


Answer to last week’s question:

The 4-Way Test is a convenient measuring stick for all human relations, consisting of four simple questions, as follows:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it  fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

We recite it at the meeting every week.

This week’s question:
What are the qualifications for, and privileges of, honorary membership?

Kenneth Mann from the Shepherdstown club was our lone visiting Rotarian. Dennis Etherington, a retired educator and a Martinsburg City Councilman, was a guest of Buzz Poland. Kevin Knowles brought Justin Cowlick, a hearth specialist and consultant for Sunfire Energy Solutions. Gideon Elliott, a self-described assistant to Mike Hornby, was a guest of Mike. Mike Hite brought Tim Merceruio, an entrepreneur at Rovia Travel. Kevin Starliper, Senior VP and chief lending officer at CNB Bank, was a guest or Ross Curtis. Mike Whalton, Executive Director of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, was back as a guest of Dour Roach.

There is a mega food drive for Loaves and Fishes as part of the Day of Caring. We’re starting to collect food now, so bring your canned goods to the meeting. Extra-large cans and bulk goods are NOT wanted as they are too hard to distribute. The shelves are getting bare and need replenished now!

Our club was represented by 27 members and their spouses at the dinner for RI President Gary Huang. By all reports everyone had a great time.

Thanks go to all those who volunteered at the Youth Fair this past Saturday. Look at the Martinsburg Rotary Facebook page to see the volunteers at work.

We need sponsors and golfers for the golf tournament on September 15th. Sign up now so Mike Hite can rest easy.

Labor Day breakfast tickets are now available for sale. Tickets are $25 in advance. Several Rotarians will have them for sale. Contact Buzz Poland if you want to buy tickets or sell them.

New member Kresha Hornby (she’s the intelligent Hornby) won 50/50, but only won the right to sell tickets this week.