Rotary Club looks to grow members in mission of service above self

Posted 5/24/23

The Cranston Rotary Club is looking for new members to help them in their mission of service above self,  inviting them to reach out or join them in one of their many projects aimed at helping …

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Rotary Club looks to grow members in mission of service above self


The Cranston Rotary Club is looking for new members to help them in their mission of service above self,  inviting them to reach out or join them in one of their many projects aimed at helping to make life in Cranston better.

Founded in 1905 in Chicago, Rotary is an international organization with chapters all over the world. Members are focused on doing good in their local communities.

“The organization was founded on the belief of service above self,” said Cranston Rotary President Stephanie Lemoi. “We do philanthropic events locally. Rotary as an organization has different areas of focus. These things we work on a global scale, but we also focus on them in our local communities. For example, the big one for Rotary has been ending polio. Rotary, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, started that initiative well before my years, before I was ever even alive. Now wild polio is almost completely eradicated. There are only a handful of cases each year that are reported.”

On a global scale, the organization works to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education for youths, support mothers and their children, support local economies, protect the environment and even provide disaster response if anything sudden happens.

When it comes to international work, Lemoi said that every individual branch of the Rotary Club has a different level of local to national affiliation in their regular business. The Cranston club doesn’t work on international projects that frequently, though every year they work to raise money to support an international cause Rotary is working for.

“Every year our club raises money and we’ll donate it to these bigger global causes,” Lemoi explained. “For example, providing clean water and ending polio were just a few of the global initiatives our club has donated funds to in the previous years.”

Rotary uses a variety of methods to help raise funds for worthwhile causes. The first of these is membership dues. Lemoi said that members of the Rotary club pay a yearly fee to maintain their membership and a portion of those funds are direct donations to worthy causes. Additionally, the Rotary holds fundraising events throughout the year.

“This past spring we hosted a touch-a-truck event,” Lemoi recalled. “It’s one of the biggest events that our club puts on, and we do it twice a year. We do a spring one and one in the fall. Those proceeds we raise go toward funding grants that can be awarded to local organizations and nonprofits, while some of the proceeds may go towards national goals like providing clean water to areas that need it.”

When it comes to dues, each Rotary has a different structure. A portion of the dues go towards the international work Rotary does, as well as helping to pay to maintain the structure of the organization. Additionally, some of the dues collected by the Cranston Rotary go towards simple things like pins, t-shirts and other swag to hand out at fundraisers. However, the majority go towards helping to grow the organization locally and to fund local causes and programs that help to better the community.

Lemoi said that one of the Rotary Club’s biggest problems now is the lack of awareness. With Cranston having a population of over 80,000 people, the club only has about 35 members. The club does so much good work but has problems with branding and drawing in new blood, Lemoi explained. The perception of Rotary, she said, can be that it is a social group for older people, rather than the wholesome group of people of all ages working for the greater good that it is.

“We do have older people,” Lemoi said. “But we also have business owners, people of all different backgrounds. Some of us are retired. Some work full time. Some of us are stay-at-home moms. The goal is that we all get together and focus on ways we can support our local community.”

Those interested in joining the group, whether to do good or increase their social network, will find it easy to do.

“Getting started is pretty easy,” Lemoi explained. “You can go to our website ( and just like start a conversation through email. You could also just show up to one of our events. Myself I expressed interest in giving back and being part of something bigger through an email. They then invited me to come to a thanksgiving basket collection and giving. I showed up at 7 a.m. to the Cranston Stop&Shop and I was just in this back room with a group of people happy to be awake at 7 a.m. and putting these baskets together to help people. Honestly, it was really cool.”

Lemoi said that over 150 boxes containing everything needed for a Thanksgiving dinner were packed up to be donated that day and she has been a member since. Once a week on Wednesday the club meets at Twin Oaks, on Sabra Street, for lunch to discuss the club’s activities and how they can give back to their local community even more.

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