Mercer Rotary keen to expand membership, perk up its image The club president is busy organising fundraisers and service projects that attract new members.

Mercer Rotary Club members host fundraisers and participate in a variety of community events. Pictured from left are: in back row, Tom Grant, Michael Davis, Katlin Bowser, Grace Anna Boggs, Jim Clapper and Rick Boggs; and front row, Lillian Davis and Marie Grant.
Mercer Rotary Club members host fundraisers and participate in a variety of community events. Pictured from left are: in back row, Tom Grant, Michael Davis, Katlin Bowser, Grace Anna Boggs, Jim Clapper and Rick Boggs; and front row, Lillian Davis and Marie Grant.

Mercer Rotary Club (Pennsylvania, US — District 7280) has added to its membership, and the group’s president is hoping to see more new faces join the ranks.

“Now we need folks that are younger,” said Katlin Bowser, who will soon enter her second year as club president.

Bowser, 25, who owns Shaver’s Barber Shop in Mercer, has been busy organising fundraisers and other events.

Some of it has been a challenge since she has found that older members can be hesitant to change the way things have been done, but she keeps pushing forward to gain their trust.

“We have a ton of cool stuff going on,” she said.

She encourages younger residents to get involved as a way to give back to their community.

The club has 26 members; six new people, all under the age of 50, have joined since Bowser took the lead in July.

“Everyone brings in something new,” she said. “We have to keep growing.”

She’s found that the younger members are full of fresh ideas, and they have a lot of resources to share with Rotary.

That has helped pave the way for Bowser to become more confident in her role as president.

Bowser believes she’s been making it easier to become a Rotary member by restructuring fees and dues and offering more meeting options.

Members don’t have to live in Mercer, and she welcomes anyone with the “heart and time to volunteer.”

There is no age limit, and thanks to Interact – Rotary’s club at Mercer High School – they have about 50 students who help volunteer around town.

“I’m proud of the Interact club,” Bowser said.

She’s been putting more focus on outreach and having a web presence, which helps spread the word about Rotary events.

Bowser is also looking forward to the annual conference for Rotary District 7280, which will be held later this month in Punxsutawney in the state of Pennsylvania.

She’s hoping that her club gets some awards for the projects they’ve worked on over the past year: Three scholarships, Coats for Kids, Loaves and Fishes, Mercer Memorial Day 500, the soccer field Eagle Scout project at the park, and more.

The club continues to live up to the Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” and Rotary members around the world remain dedicated to serving their communities and eradicating polio, she said, adding that she loves her Rotary “family.”

“Rotary is my hobby. I like to do it,” she said. 

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