RIDGEFIELD, Wash. – The Rotary Club of Three Creeks recently celebrated its second “birthday” and totally skipped the “terrible twos”.
In its first 25 months of existence, the Rotary Club of Three Creeks completed 24 hands-on giving or service projects to make a difference in the community – or the world.
“Our transition from startup to success was remarkable,” said Club President Nelson Holmberg, whose wife Susanne led the club through its first two years. “We’re very proud of the culture that’s been developed in our club and continues to evolve.
“I like to say ‘we’re not just anyone’s Rotary’ about the culture of our club. It is nothing like the general public’s perception of Rotary. We are always trying new things and the members have a lot of energy and are really fun.”
Among its accomplishments include the service projects members are so proud of, a spectacular celebration of the club’s charter in 2017, two successful fundraisers, peace & conflict resolution recognition, development of a youth program and a basic education and literacy program that are funded through club monies and Rotary grants.
Statistically, the new club has proven to make a big difference. Through its first two years, the club has recorded the following metrics of community service:
The club is also a model for flexibility for its members, providing an option for members to provide service, work on a club committee or otherwise engage with Rotary activities twice a month rather than attend meetings if meetings aren’t for them.
“Time is more valuable than money to many who seek a service organization to be a part of. Rotary is about service, not primarily about attending meetings,” Holmberg said. “We are a small club and we are growing. It’s quite amazing what we’ve accomplished with a small membership.”
Holmberg said at a Rotary-provided leadership seminar last February he was inspired to continually try new things during his leadership of the club.
“As a response to that inspiration, we have done all kinds of things that are different than the ‘normal’ club,” he said. “Some – like ‘Bizarro Rotary’ – have gone over very well and others – like the video newsletter we tried briefly – not so much.”
Trying new things isn’t really rocking the boat for this club.
Susanne Holmberg credits the secret to the club’s success to its structure. She said of the club’s 29 members, just nine had any Rotary experience prior to joining this club.
“That creates a culture that’s open to innovation, and disrupting the way Rotary is seen and experienced,” she said. “Even the veteran Rotarians are excited and engaged in the way we do things!”
The grassroots are important to the club, too. Among some of the things the club does differently include how each member is responsible to create the meeting program one time a year; strategic social meetings designed to help leaders guide the direction of the club; and rotating some of the club’s meetings to different locations each year.
Recruitment of new members is another thing the club does differently. The Three Creeks club strongly encourages those interested in Rotary to explore the other clubs in the county before making a commitment to join a club. Additionally, the Three Creeks club suggests a potential member visit their club at least twice to be assured it’s a group they feel a good fit in.
“It seems to be working for us,” Susanne Holmberg said. “We’re very proud of the growth of the club, and the way people see our club when they visit us.”
ABOUT THE ROTARY CLUB OF THREE CREEKS
The Rotary Club of Three Creeks recently celebrated its second anniversary and serves the Hazel Dell, Felida, Salmon Creek and Ridgefield areas of North Clark County. Since chartering in October 2016, the club of 29 members has completed two dozen service projects. More information about the club can be found on its website (www.rotaryofthreecreeks.com), or Facebook (www.facebook.com/rotaryofthreecreeks).