The Brookfield Rotary Club has seen its membership decline for several years, but the past year has been particularly hard because of the deaths of long-time members Bill Litman, who was a charter member, Jean Wlodarski and Wade Foltz.
On Nov. 16, the club finally welcomed a new member with the installation of Amy Zell, giving it a roster of four.
President Elwood Walker said he hoped that Zell would be the first in a wave of membership growth.
“We need more new blood,” he said, adding that he would like to have about a dozen members to carry out Rotary activities.
Zell was a member of the Hubbard Rotary when she worked for the Hubbard Public Library. Now the suicide postvention event coordinator for LOSS Community Services, Zell said she is “super-excited that my work allows the flexibility that I can be a part of Brookfield Rotary.”
The Rotary Club motto is “service above self” and promotes communal action to address community issues.
“Everything that they stand for, it’s just a wonderful thing,” Zell said. “I’m interested to learn what else they do in Brookfield.”
The Brookfield club, which was chartered on Nov. 14, 1977, has taken on large projects in the past, such as the creation of a library in Brookfield, but has focused on smaller ones in recent years, such as giving a scholarship to a Brookfield High School graduating senior, holding a lunch to honor veterans and beautifying the community through a fundraising program in which it plants flags on participating properties.
The flag fundraiser is a “great way to show patriotism, but also support the community at the same time,” Zell said.
The Rotary did not plant flags last year, but Walker said that project will be back in 2022.
The Brookfield Rotarians often provide labor for other events, such as participating in the township’s two recent neighborhood cleanups and serving food at past Brookfield Township Outreach Association Thanksgiving dinners.
“We don’t have a chance to do as much as we used to do,” because of COVID, Walker said.
On Nov. 16, the club donated $100 to Brookfield United Methodist Church to support its Thanksgiving turkey giveaway.
The Brookfield Rotarians considered joining the Hubbard club.
“I really don’t want to do that, because then we’d lose our identity as a Brookfield Rotary Club,” Walker said. “Hopefully, with Amy here, we can try to start building it back up again.”
Anyone interested in learning about or joining the Brookfield Rotary Club can attend a club meeting. Meetings are held at noon the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Papa Louie’s Italian Kitchen, 7172 Warren Sharon Road. The next meeting will be Dec. 21.