By Gary Nager
I was a Charter Member of the New Tampa Noon Rotary Club since its inception about ten years ago. But, when I attended my first Wesley Chapel (WC) Rotary Club meeting last year, I got the kind of feeling you only get when you know you’re among friends in a dynamic group of people that is not only still growing, its members keep building momentum together as a true Rotary family.
Both the New Tampa Noon club and the WC club meet at noon on Wednesdays, so I can’t really belong to both clubs. And, with the continued growth of not only its noon Rotary Club (there is also a WC Sunrise Rotary that meets Friday mornings), but of the entire Wesley Chapel area — and of our Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News — well, let’s just say that I am now proud to be one of the three newest members in this now-72-member club, which meets each week at Ciao! Italian Bistro in the Shops at Wiregrass mall.
And, speaking of the mall, I offer congratulations to its head honcho Greg Lenners, who recently completed his year as the president of the WC Rotary Club, which saw tremendous growth during his 2012-13 tenure.
I was very gratified to attend the WC Rotary’s annual installation and awards banquet, which was held at the elegantly revamped Quail Hollow Country Club on June 22, where Lenners handed the gavel over to Eric Johnson, the community relations director for Wesley Chapel Honda & Toyota, who helped install his new Board at the banquet. Lenners also honored at least half of his club’s very deserving members with a variety of awards.
Among the club’s many accomplishments the past year, Lenners and Johnson were both proud to be among a group of nine WC Rotarians who traveled to Las Trojes, Honduras, for a week in April, in a joint effort with Pure Water for the World to provide 50 clean drinking water filter systems for families in Las Trojes. The club also helped construct six outdoor latrines for schools in this impoverished town in Central America. This was the second year visiting the area for several of the WC club members, who all say that the trip, while it may not be “easy,” is tremendously gratifying and an opportunity for the club members who participate to truly feel like family.