Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
A century has come and gone since the establishment of the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club, and although the pandemic may have prevented the club from celebrating its anniversary on March 1, that has not stopped the club from moving forward in tough times.
“With the anniversary, we were going to do something special, so it was frustrating when we had to cancel,” club President Cal Litwiller said. “The Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club had actually been meeting face-to-face weekly up until October and then we went to biweekly virtually. We’ve still been active in the community, just not as hands-on as before.”
The Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club is split into two groups, the original called the Evening and the Noon, which was formed in 1985. The only difference between the two is their meeting times.
“We have the same goals, and we’re all apart of the same general organization,” Litwiller said. “The Rotary is a service organization that focuses on both local and international service.”
“In addition to doing local service projects, like blood drives and the dictionary project in which each fourth-grader gets a dictionary, we also help with international projects,” he said. “One of the big things Rotary is involved in is the eradication of polio since 1985, and there’s just two countries left. Each year, we donate $1,000 to the polio project, and for a long time, from 1958 to 2018, we used to host foreign exchange students. The students would always come to Mt. Pleasant saying things like, ’Why am I here?’ but left with , ”Do I have to go?”
Despite having to cancel its annual barbecue fundraiser last year, the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club has not allowed the pandemic to stop its service projects.
“With COVID, we had to limit the amount of things we could contribute to the community due to safety and social regulations,” Larry Brenizer said.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not active in the community,” Betty Mullin said. “Last week, we sent out cards and letters to the nursing homes for Easter, and our current project is redoing the landscaping of the East Lake entrance.”
The Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club hopes that this year will be better for the club and the community as a whole. The club hopes that more people will want to get involved with Rotary and its service projects.
“We share people into our club, and we want to show them how committed we are in that aspect by being respectful, having fellowship, and developing relationships with those that may have been in the community for many years now but we just don’t know them,” Mullin said. “We bring together a diverse group of people in age, job vocations and ethnicity, and we want to get together with the community to connect and share ideas.”
“We’re looking to meet back in-person again May, and we’re crossing our fingers for the BBQ this year,” Dale Marzolf said. “We had a 90-plus-one celebration, so maybe we’ll have a 100-plus-one next year to celebrate our anniversary.”