Palisade Rotary Club is fifth in Grand Valley

Rotarian of the Year Teresa Anson is surprised by the award at Two Rivers Convention Center on Wednesday.

The Grand Valley officially launched its fifth chapter of Rotary International last month when the Palisade Sunrise club was chartered.

The club reached 20 members in June, making it eligible for a Rotary charter. Members had been meeting as a nonchartered club since November 2008. The club meets at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at The Wine Country Inn in Palisade.

Club President Holly Dewarwick said economic decline played a part in the club’s formation.

“When the economy turned so bad, I needed a feel-good,” she said.

With Rotary clubs serving the central and western parts of the valley specifically, Dewarwick, who was not a member of a local Rotary chapter before Palisade got its own club, said she felt more could be done to serve Clifton, Palisade and other parts of eastern Mesa County.

The club has volunteered time and money to help the Marillac Clinic at Palisade and the Salvation Army, and it has helped Rotary clubs in Grand Junction and Fruita with fundraising.

Other Grand Valley branches of Rotary include a Redlands club, a Fruita club, a downtown Grand Junction club and a Grand Junction Horizon Sunrise club.

Memberships range from the approximately 15-member Fruita chapter to the downtown Rotary club’s 150-name roster. Members of those clubs said membership has remained steady in recent years.

On Wednesday, the Downtown Rotary presented John McConnell, founder of the John McConnell Math and Science Center of Western Colorado, with a Service Above Self award for his efforts to help young people embrace education.

The club also selected member Teresa Anson, co-owner of Anson Investment Properties, Rotarian of the Year because of her efforts to support exchange students, work to support tsunami victims, and willingness to help in several Rotary projects.

There are 1.2 million Rotarians in 33,000 clubs worldwide, according to Members work “to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio,” according to the site.


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