Rotary Changeover

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, July 5, 2017
The West Liberty Rotary Club, member of district 6000, held its annual changeover meeting Tuesday, June 27, at the community center.

“As outgoing president I want to thank quite a few people,” said President Marian Hart. “Especially, those who encouraged and supported the club by not being afraid to try new things.”

Outgoing President Hart passed the gavel to incoming President Anna Hanson, but not before the club honored several of its members for a year well-done.

Tomeka “Tommie” Petersen was honored as the club’s 2016/17 “Rotarian of the Year” due to her efforts to cure clubfoot in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Back in August Petersen joined a vocational training team of 15 Brazilians that aimed to train 50 doctors on how to fix clubfoot using the Ponseti method.

As a member of the Ponseti International Association (PIA) at the University of Iowa, Petersen also helped raised community awareness and family support on the matter.

Club foot is a common birth defect that causes one or both of the feet to turn inwards. The Rotary Club, especially the West Liberty chapter, is attempting to stand against the deformity.

The Rotary Club also honored Steve Hanson with the “Service Above Self” Award in recognition to his loyalty, untiring devotion and dedicated service to the Rotary way of life.

“I see him around town helping others in almost every capacity imaginable,” said Hart. “He has a lot of energy and volunteers to help anybody in anyway at anytime.”

Steve Hanson retired from his role as superintendent of the West Liberty Community School District. He has also been president of the Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce.

In fact, Steve Hanson and his wife Anna have been involved in just about every aspect of West Liberty since they first arrived. His friendly persona has made him a friend to all.

“During my 37 years as a board member I’ve never found a finer man than Steve Hanson,” said Rotarian Bill Koellner. He recently stepped down from the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency and is its longest serving member.

“I’ve never found a more dedicated man to his family, more dedicated man to the school and more dedicated man to the community,” he added.

Tom and Nancy Barr were awarded pins for achieving Paul Harris Fellow Plus 1 status for their contribution to the club and community.

Meanwhile Conrad Gregg received a special award in appreciation for his service and dedication to the club. Gregg left the Rotary board after several years of service.

It was another busy year for the West Liberty Club under Marian Hart.

The club supported Operation Warm for a third year in-a-row in the community, which has handed out a total of around 600 coats according to Hart.

The club continues to sponsor children at the Casa Hogar orphanage in Mexico and came one board with other clubs in order to give to a clean water project in Haiti.

West Liberty Rotary has and will continue to support club foot eradication, and will begin a new project that aims to provide bicyclist all over the world to provide transportation.

The club also participated in community events and supports other organizations. They’ll be at the Muscatine County Fair July 19-23.

“Thank you everybody for every way in which you have supported,” concluded Hart. With that, she passed the presidency to Anna Hanson.

President Hanson talked about applying the core values of Rotary International to the local club, which include fun and fellowship, service, integrity and diversity.

This upcoming year for Rotary will include Picnic in the Park, the Muscatine County Fair, the teacher luncheon in August, Fiesta West Liberty in September and Chicken BBQ in October.

The big event will be the Rotary Gala, a large fundraising event that only occurs once every two years during which the club partners with another service organization.

The 2017/18 Rotary Board includes President Anna Hanson, President Elect Tomeka Petersen, Past President Marian Hart, Membership Chair Wayne Steen, RYLA Rep Cindy Mays, Jodi Kelly and Steve Hanson.
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