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New Rotary Club branch spans wide service area

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In just over three months, a new branch of the Rotary Club has been making an impact from Edinburgh to the Center Grove area.

Members have served lemonade at the Johnson County fair to help Gateway Services raise money to help those in need in the community.

When area students needed school supplies through the United Way’s Fast Track program, club volunteers stepped up to help distribute notebooks, pens, crayons and other items.

The Rotary Club of Johnson County formed as a way to broaden the organization’s mission of service to the entire county. Though the group just formed in May, it already is nearing the 20 members it needs to become chartered by Rotary International.

“There are so many people out there who want to give back, but they don’t have the connections to know where to start,” said Karen Buckler, club organizer. “This club gives them that place to start.”

Rotary International is a worldwide network of organizations dedicated to serving individual communities. Though large-scale projects, such as eradicating polio, the clubs are encouraged to find causes that cater to the areas they live in.

Johnson County already is home to three Rotary Clubs — White River Township, Greenwood and Franklin. But with no shortage of community needs to work on, Buckler and the new club members wanted to offer another option.

“We have Rotary Clubs in Greenwood and Franklin, but those clubs don’t necessarily serve the rest of the county,” Buckler said. “The in-between areas like Bargersville and Trafalgar, it’s not advantageous for them to make meetings.”

The county club meets at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of the month. The location of the meetings shifts throughout the county to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to attend.

Even if people are unable to attend, the club has scheduled twice-monthly chances to volunteer. The hope is that with more options, more people can take part.

“With us being a countywide club, we’ll do service for the entire county. We want to spread it out and make it easy for people to serve in their own communities and be a Rotarian,” Buckler said.

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