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Community & Clubs:

Make a difference with clubs

January 06, 2009|By Jim De Boom

As you make your New Year’s resolutions, add one to visit a service club and check it out for possible membership. Membership in a service club is an extra 30 minutes a week on a breakfast, lunch or dinner hour for a club meeting filled with information, fun, friends and service.

For some, it’s a way to start a day inspired with a sunrise club.

For others, it’s a way to stay informed about your community. For still others, service club membership is a way to end a day with friends at a dinner meeting.

Many people want to make a difference in the world. For those of us in service clubs, we find that we can have a greater impact as a group than as an individual.

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Take for example, Rotary’s $480-million effort to eradicate polio from around the world and providing the polio vaccine to some 2 billion children younger than 5 in the past 18 years.

More than a million Rotarians, including 200 in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, are making a difference with their support of the Los Angeles Times Reading by Nine program. For more information, visit www.rotary.org.

Exchange Club members make a difference with their major thrust of child-abuse prevention. They promote Americanism with the Freedom Shrines, copies of historical documents important in American history, found in our schools, libraries and at John Wayne Airport. For details, check out www.nationalexchangeclub.org.

Soroptimist International, including our local Newport Harbor chapter, makes a difference with its emphasis on local women’s opportunities and the development of women peace ambassadors around the world. For more information, visit www.soroptimist.org.

Lions Clubs emphasize blindness and preserving sight with eye exams for our local school children and major treatment campaigns in third-world countries. You can recycle your old eyeglasses thanks to the efforts of Lions Clubs locally. For details, visit www.lionsclubs.org.

Kiwanis Clubs around the world have a major campaign underway to eliminate iodine deficiency illness in third-world countries and dozens of local projects benefiting youth. To find out more, go to www.kiwanisinternational.org.

Who are members of service clubs? Business and community leaders, educators, clergy, retirees, recent college graduates, housewives, and your neighbors. People who want to make a difference.

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