#PeopleOfAction #ServiceAboveSelf continue for Rotary Club of West Liberty…..
By: Gretchen Nollman and Xiomara Levsen – Public Image Committee for RCWL
The Rotary Club of West Liberty had a great 2023 year for the club. Lots of #PeopleOfAction…. March of 2023, the club held a strategic planning session where the club membership came together to work on club goals for the coming year 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 as well as what members would like to see the future of the club be.
In May, the annual two scholarships were awarded to seniors in the 2023 West Liberty High School class. The scholarships awarded were $1,000 each. In June, the annual changeover meeting was held and club officers were inducted for the coming year 2023-2024. Ken Brooks became President, Jake Burroughs became President Elect, Father Guillermo, Xiomara Levsen and Allie Paarsmith joined the board as members, along with existing board member, William Koellner as well as Krista Lanier stepped up to volunteer as the club’s treasurer.
Busy month for sure in July, at the Muscatine County Fair at the club’s annual food stand during the fair week, where they were able yet again to partner with the Rotary Iowa City Downtown Noon Club as well as their own West Liberty Interact Club in raising funds to help with upcoming community projects. Also, in July the club participated in the annual Picnic in the Park that the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce puts on to help kick off the fair week. As well, the 50th anniversary for RAGBRAI came thru in July, which was yet another great event that the Rotary Club of West Liberty as well as Rotary Iowa City Downtown Noon Club were able to partner up to serve breakfast foods to riders and guests in West liberty. 
To keep the momentum going, there were several more opportunities for #ServiceAboveSelf for the club that took place in August and September showing off #PeopleOfAction.  August, Rotarians were able to feed hot dogs, chips and water to the West Liberty Highschool Marching Band students as well as feeding the West Liberty Community School District teachers and staff members, hamburgers, chips, and water.
September kicked off great with a District Governor visit from Dennis Drager and his wife Heidi. During the district governor’s visit, our club was able to celebrate 12 Rotarians who received Paul Harris fellow pins and certificates as part of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. These Rotarians were:  Jake Burroughs, Ken Brooks, Allie Paarsmith, Krista Lanier, Father Guillermo Trevino Jr., Xiomara Levsen, Rebecca Lorom, Charles Brooke, Sam Morel, Shaun Krueger, Juan Manuel Garcia-Hortas and Cara MCFerren. #ServiceAboveSelf rolled in as well in September with having a car show come to town on a Friday am that Rotarians from the club helped serve coffee and cinnamon bread. Also, during September, club members assisted along with local West Liberty Lion club members and other community volunteers to clean up brush, limbs, and trash along the Heritage Foundation Trail in West Liberty. Middle of September is also when the Annual Children’s Festival and Latino Festival takes place in downtown West Liberty, in which, club members set up a booth to have coloring activities for children as well as handing out rotary stickers during both the Children’s and Latino Festival. September ended with Rotarians from the club along with City Park District Employees, installing the bike repair center and bike racks within the West Liberty Parks from the CSG 22/23 grant cycle that the Rotary Club of West Liberty received as a matching grant from D6000 and The Rotary Foundation.
Also, now that school has begun, the West Liberty Interact Club is off to a great start. From a statement from Rotary Club of West Liberty’s President Elect Jacob Burroughs, “They've begun aligning their officers for this school year and identifying their projects. RCWL has sent Interact their portion of the Muscatine County Fair proceeds after a successful year of selling ice cream and pop. This will help fund their activities for 2023/2024. We look forward to a number of collaborative events with RCWL and Interact clubs to further benefit all in the community.” Currently, the Interact club has been active within the West Liberty Highschool since 2015 and the current sponsor over the last 6 years for the club is West Liberty Highshool teacher is Erica Jennings. 
What did October and early November bring for the club you might ask right? Well, there was 2 events that Rotary Club of West Liberty hosted. The first one was the West Liberty Community School District Board of Education Candidate Forum The 2nd event was the West Liberty Mayor and City Council Candidate Forum. A very fitting quote from that time frame is from Rotary Club of West Liberty President, Ken Brooks, “I am immensely proud of the array of service projects that we’ve spearheaded across West Liberty. Every initiative, from environmental conservation efforts to community welfare and educational programs, is imbued with the quintessential Rotary spirit of ‘Service Above Self’. Our projects are not just acts of service but a manifestation of our unwavering commitment to foster a world where individuals unite and take action to create lasting change.”  
Late November the club participated in the West Liberty Annual Holiday Open House that the West Liberty Chamber hosts, by setting up free Hot Cocoa and Cookie station to people passing by while enjoying themselves downtown will all the fun festivities. Also, late November into early December, the club’s annual Project Warm kicked off in great strides yet again this year and over $2000 was raised where 335 coats were provided to all ages within the local community.  Also in early December, the club held their annual Christmas Party at the West Liberty Golf & Country Club enjoying a delicious meal and fellowship amount Rotarians. 
So now you might ask what is left for the 2023-2024 year and into the 2024-2025 year for the Rotary Club of West Liberty right? Well our club will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary, which is a HUGE honor to say that we have been within the community that long, helping and serving those all around us within the West Liberty area community.  So stay tuned for more details coming out in the next few months for a 100-year project that the club will sponsor here within the community as well as a Christmas Ball in December 2024!
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