The Rotary Club of White Bear Lake is entering its 39th year of serving the community with over 90 members. Rotary is a global organization whose purpose is to unite people and take action in solving some of the world’s most persistent issues.
Locally, White Bear Lake Rotary funds Strive, a program that provides scholarships to area high school students who commit to improving their cumulative GPA during their senior year, says past president Connie Bossard. The scholarships are endowed at Century College, and Rotary organizes three races each year to fund the scholarships. There will be 5K and 10K races on August 3, and also on November 3, Bossard says.
Greg Bartz, White Bear Lake’s membership chair, says that on the international side, this year Rotary will be continuing its connection with the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. The theme will be special education, focusing on music therapy. Rotary will partner with MacPhail Center for Music as part of the educational exchange.
Another international project that Rotary helps fund is H2O for Life, an organization with a chapter in White Bear whose mission is to help communities in need develop safe and sustainable water sources. H2O for Life works to provide water, sanitation and hygiene for schools. Patty Hall, president of H2O for Life, is a Rotarian. At present, H2O for Life works with 30 schools in Nigeria. H2O for Life also connects with students in the U.S. to help educate them about the global water crisis.
Rotary hosts Taste of White Bear Lake as part of its fundraising. The eighth annual event will be on September 7 at Pine Tree Apple Orchard.
“We’re in growth mode,” Bartz says. “We’re always looking for new members who want to help other people.”