QUAD AREA – After four years of hard work and community service, the Chain of Lakes Rotary Club is getting its official recognition.On March 1, the club is holding its charter dinner, a sign that the group has been officially recognized by Rotary International. The group of about 20 to 30 local residents has been building a club since 2010, and the club’s public information officer Mike Trudeau said it’s a great feeling to be welcomed into the fold of the worldwide volunteer and community group. “We’ve just spent the last couple of years building up awareness,” he said.
Rotary’s motto is “Service above self,” and Trudeau said some locals began piecing together the group after seeing what kinds of things other areas’ Rotary clubs were doing (the Forest Lake club has been the group’s sponsor). Everyone in the club, he noted, is committed to helping the local communities in any way they can.
“It’s just a great group of people to be around,” he said, adding, “That’s really what makes Rotary, is the people.”
The group has engaged in all sorts of volunteer activities over the last few years, from helping out at the Centennial Area Food Shelf to hosting a 5K run event at Lino Lakes’ Blue Heron Days.“The [draw], I guess, is if you want to be involved with service,” said Trudeau.Beyond the charter dinner, this spring is shaping up to be a busy time for the club. On April 5, the club is hosting its annual Chain of Giving dinner, which will include games, raffles and silent auctions aimed at raising money for the Centennial School District’s Peer Leadership program (previous dinners’ proceeds were given to the Lino Lakes Police Department to fund its K-9 program). It will also be finishing another year of its STRIVE mentoring program, where club business leaders go into the Centennial High School and talk about business principles to interested students.“We basically go into the schools and we work with the guidance counselors and some of the folks in administration who have identified students who could benefit from [interacting] with business people in the community,” Trudeau explained. The group also hands out $2,000 in scholarships to some of the participating students each year.Twenty members is just the floor for the group.“We’re still growing, so we’re certainly looking for more people interested in helping the community to join the club,” said Trudeau.In addition to helping the community, he said, the club is a lot of fun, offering a good social outlet and excellent networking opportunities.“I always just encourage people if they’re interested to come check out a meeting,” Trudeau said.The club meets each Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Lino Lakes Assisted Living. Breakfast is served at the meetings.For more information about Rotary or the Chain of Giving Dinner, which is open to the public, call Trudeau at 651-288-7580 or club president Brian Bourassa at 651-338-7373.