The Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips is not your grandfather’s Rotary club. According to Ross Marvin, the club’s president, 50 percent of its members are under 60 years old and 30 percent of its members are women, many of whom are in leadership roles. Today’s Rotary is a diverse group of businesspeople having fun helping the community both locally and globally. But as Marvin points out, the real purpose of the group is about living by Rotary’s motto: “Service Above Self.”
Born out of Windermere Rotary, The Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips (more commonly referred to as Dr. Phillips Rotary) branched out on its own in 1979. It is one of the larger chapters in the Central Florida area, with 85 very active members.
According to Dr. Chris Crotty, who joined the club in 1988 and has been volunteering to bring a medical mission to Jamaica as part of his club’s international efforts for more than 10 years, he is a part of Dr. Phillips Rotary because he is proud and honored to serve the community. He feels it’s a bonus that he gets to have fun doing it with such a diverse bunch of people. “I love Dr. Phillips Rotary because so many members are fun, dynamic individuals who don’t hesitate to jump in and help,” Dr. Crotty says.
Marvin says. “Rotary really works both ways. It’s about helping the community and, along the way, it helps its members connect to each other and the community using their special skill sets.
Dr. Phillips Rotary has the autonomy to choose where it wants to focus its community work. The main recipients of Dr. Phillips Rotary’s efforts are Dr. Phillips High School, Dr. Phillips Hospital, Dr. Phillips Library and the Dr. Phillips YMCA. Executive Director of Central Florida YMCA Buddy Evans says recently Dr. Phillips Rotary collaborated with the YMCA to bring ͞Josh the Otter͟ books to the community so children can learn about water safety while learning how to read. Five area elementary schools and nearly 1,000 students will be participating in this literacy and water safety program.
In addition to these worthy causes, there are many more groups that receive the support of Dr. Phillips Rotary, including the Salvation Army, Give Kids the World and the Interact Club of Dr. Phillips High School, which is the junior arm of Rotary. With support from longtime Dr. Phillips Rotarian Rudy Tapia, Dr. Phillips Interact is involved in a youth leadership program and several community volunteer projects throughout the year.
Of course, giving requires getting. Dr. Phillips Rotary can give so much is because of its fundraisers, including citywide sell-out events such as the Wine and Dine on the Nine, a food and wine event open to the public during the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the Taste of Dr. Phillips, which showcases fine dining establishments on Sand Lake Road in Dr. Phillips. This year’s Taste of Dr. Phillips will be held on November 9, 2014.
From fundraisers to fun, Marvin says that Dr. Phillips Rotary is more than just a social group. It’s a service organization with a purpose. “The most important thing to know about Rotary is that we are here and we are doing the work that needs to be done and we are having fun doing it. I’m proud to be a Dr. Phillips Rotarian.”