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Green Bay Rotaract offers service, networking

Katie Phernetton, Life Writer
February 13, 2013
Filed under Life

What do Gerald Ford, the founder of Hallmark Cards and a world champion boxer have in common? They were all members of Rotary International, something that students at UW-Green Bay will now be able to be part of.

The Richard Mauthe Center announced that students have come together to form a Greater Green Bay Rotaract, a subsidiary of Rotary International.

“Nobody else has a club like this,” said Emily Smith, senior business administration major and president of the Greater Green Bay Rotaract. “Our main focus is service work. It’s more about how we network with people to get the resources we need to help other people.”

Rotary International is a professional networking organization rooted in service recognized around the globe.

“I would say Rotary International is a two-headed beast,” said Ryan Dunk, senior political science and democracy and justice studies major. “One side is your service work and the other side is the professional development.”

This organization isn’t just limited to UWGB students, but anyone in the community between the ages of 18-30. All of the members come from different backgrounds and different areas of study.

With weekly meetings, the organization is able to bring in professionals from all different career backgrounds in the area that are members of Rotary International, providing networking opportunities for students getting ready to graduate.

“You’re working with them,” Dunk said, “and when they see that you care about something, when you display emotions and compassion, you set yourself apart from just another face in the crowd.”

Just a few weeks into the spring semester, the Greater Green Bay Rotaract already has some service projects in the works. They plan on helping in a nursing home, homeless shelter and St. Vincent de Paul in Northeast Wisconsin.

Although still in it’s infancy, the organization is already setting some high hopes. Smith said that they are planning on participating in a “Blitz Build” with Habitat For Humanity. She also hopes to send some members overseas in the future.

One thing that could concern organizations about having such huge projects like this is financially being able to support them. But for the Greater Green Bay Rotaract, Dunk said that it has the opportunity to have money they raise for major projects matched by the Rotary district and the national district – another chance to network with a wide variety of professionals.

“This organization will take you really far,” Dunk said. He went on to say that this organization teaches professional skills while making a difference and can leave you with a much greater chance of being successful.

“There are no requirements to join, just a want to make a difference,” said Smith. “Everything you do is for the benefit of others.”

Meetings are held weekly and service projects throughout the month. For more information contact Ryan Dunk at rdunk@mcenter.org.