Charlie Gratz, John Ryder, Nancy Bourlier, Jeremy Truitt, Mark Herman, Fred Mathews and Victor Fitz. (Submitted photo)
Charlie Gratz, John Ryder, Nancy Bourlier, Jeremy Truitt, Mark Herman, Fred Mathews and Victor Fitz. (Submitted photo)

Archived Story

Dowagiac Rotary inducts three new members

Published 7:54pm Monday, March 3, 2014

“Bring One.”

This theme is bearing benefits.

In January, Dowagiac Rotary President Victor Fitz challenged fellow Dowagiac rotarians to each “bring one” new member into the fold.

Since the challenge was issued, the club has seen four new members inducted into the local organization, including three enrollees welcomed during Thursday’s noon luncheon.

Jeremy Truitt, a Dowagiac High School graduate and current team member of Fifth Third Bank, and Nancy Bourlier, a 1st Source Bank employee who has spent portions of her life residing in Europe, the Middle East and beyond, were inducted as first-time rotarians.  Truitt and Bourlier’s sponsors were current Rotarians Mark Herman and Charlie Gratz, respectively.

Reactivating his Rotary membership by signing up with the local organization was John Ryder, Chief Operations Officer for Dowagiac’s Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital. Fred Mathews sponsored this former Portage, Mich. resident as he officially became a member of Dowagiac Rotary.

In late January, Sandra Bessey was sponsored by Mari-Lou Franks and also inducted into the club. Bessey serves the Cass County community as an area beautician.

Fitz commended sponsors Franks, Gratz, Herman and Mathews for their leadership in the Bring One campaign and encouraged the entire membership to follow their lead.

“If we each ‘Bring One,’ we will achieve our goal of doubling membership by July, 2014,” he said.

Rotary is the world’s oldest service organization and emphasizes the theme of “service above self.”

In addressing Bourlier, Ryder and Truitt, Fitz said, “You have been elected to membership in this club because your fellow members believe you to be a worthy representative of your calling and also to possess qualities that will permit you to exemplify the true spirit of Rotary in your public, business, social and private life.

“I wish to impress upon you that you have been admitted not only to the Rotary Club of Dowagiac, but to a worldwide association; and by virtue of your membership in this club, you will be welcomed into the fellowship of any Rotary club in the world.”

After their induction into the club, Thursday’s new-member-trio sat back and listened to an intriguing presentation by Rotarian Wilbur Bresman as he filled the club in on his recent Rotary-supported trip to the African country of Niger where they aided in the installation of water wells in local villages.  Bresman noted that the instances of death and disease have been significantly reduced by this project.

In addition to yearly involvement in a variety of local and international public service endeavors, the Dowagiac club meets on Thursdays at noon to hear a speaker discuss a new and unique topic each week.  The meetings take place at the Dowagiac Elks Club.

Persons interested in joining Dowagiac Rotary should contact the club by contacting any of the Club members or officers, including President Victor Fitz, Vice President Matt Cripe, Secretary Jennifer Ray or Treasurer Mike Franks.

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