MATTHEWS – Community leaders gather every Monday at the Levine Senior Center. They are part of the Matthews Rotary Club, a group designed to provide networking and service.
Natisha Rivera-Patrick, who serves as the group’s president, was first part of the Davidson Rotary Club, serving as its charter president in 2010. Because there is no chapter in Mint Hill, the Matthews group also accepts members from Mint Hill.
The Rotary Club is an international organization. Rivera-Patrick said wearing the Rotary pin grants members access to Rotary meetings around the world. She said there is a sense of hospitality and camaraderie among Rotary members everywhere.
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Every week, a speaker from a local business, nonprofit or other community organization attends the Rotary meeting to educate members about everything, from an upcoming project to the effects of CBD.
While networking, education and leadership are important parts of the Matthews Rotary Club, there is an emphasis on service in the group and in the community. The club hosts events such as a Veterans Day lunch and a stream cleanup in the fall and spring. They also help with projects at nonprofits, including Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity, Christ Our Shepherd and the Matthews HELP Center.
The club’s website states the Matthews Rotary Club gives more than $10,000 to local nonprofits each year.
“We’re humanitarians in motion,” Rivera-Patrick said. “Our motto is, ‘service above self.’”
Service is a large part of the selection process for Rotary members. When looking for members, Rivera-Patrick said the group seeks out people with the heart and desire to serve.
The group also follows a four-way test of Rotary International in which members evaluate if something is true, if it is fair, if it builds goodwill and better friendships and if it is beneficial to all those concerned. They use this in their member selection process as well.
Rivera-Patrick said potential members are often referred to the Rotary by current members, but those interested can join without a referral as well. Potential members may attend a few meetings to determine if the Rotary is a good fit and meet the members. Then, they fill out a formal application, which is reviewed by current members. Rivera-Patrick said so far, the Matthews Rotary Club has not turned anyone away.
Members of the Rotary pay quarterly dues and are requested to make a donation to Rotary International, according to Rivera-Patrick.
She hopes to see more diversity in the group as it continues to grow.
“We want to have diversity so that it reflects the community,” Rivera-Patrick said. “I would love to see more female leaders and just more diversity in race, age and ethnicity as well.”
With more growth, Rivera-Patrick believes the Matthews Rotary Club can serve even more of the community.
Want to help?
The Matthews Rotary Club holds its annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. April 24 at the Levine Senior Center, 1050 Devore Lane, Matthews. The fundraiser includes an auction. Visit www.matthewsrotary.org for details
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