There are Rotary members, like Lara McGinnis that have traveled weekly from as far away as Ninilchik to be part the service organization that not only serves the local community and district, but globally is close to eliminating the crippling disease of polio from the planet and completing other international projects like clean water to villages in Africa and India. To start a new Rotary Club in a community 25 members are required to charter a club, but in a rural area like the Kenai Peninsula where smaller villages like Ninilchik are located organizing a club can be difficult. That’s why Rotary District 5010 approved an idea presented by the Soldotna Rotary Club to create Satellite Clubs under a larger club that could serve their local communities.
The first of such Rotary Satellite Clubs got off to an inspiring start last week at the home of Lara McGinnis when Soldotna Rotary president Matthew Pyhala inducted five new members of the Ninilchik Satellite Club who will join with Rotary to accomplish local projects, “Essentially, the club is a branch of the Soldotna Rotary Club that will meet on their own in Ninilchik on the last Friday of the month and get established and grow and maybe even charter their own club someday, while practicing service above self from the get go without being burdened with administration tasks of being an autonomous club,” explained Pyhala. “We’re pretty excited,” said McGinnis, “I’ve always believed in playing it forward and Rotary is a huge example of how truly huge playing forward can be and change the world one person and one idea at a time,” she said.
Elise Spofford was a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar before started her family in Ninilchik, “I was an Ambassadorial scholar in 2006-07 over in England at the University of Sussex studying international relations. So Rotary has been a part of my life for a long time and when Lara and I got to talking about the possibility of forming a club here in Ninilchik I got really excited to become part of a wonderful club for our community while also being part of a greater whole that does amazing things worldwide. The purpose of the Ambassadorial scholarship is to invest in individuals you feel will have a future impact in the world in a positive way,” said Spofford. Katie Matthews is also a member now of the Ninilchik club and comes from a 4-H background, “I’ve also been involved in FFA and now as a volunteer 4-H leader I’m looking for new activities and avenues of service for my 4-H kids to join in and joining a club like this will open up a lot of opportunities for the youth of Ninilchik to join in international projects,” she said. Anyone interested in learning more about joining the new Ninilchik Satellite club can contact Lara McGinnis at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds or can visit a Ninilchik meeting on the last Friday of each month.