Rotary to host annual family, friends dinner

Published 8:21 am Monday, April 22, 2019

DOWAGIAC — One local organization will be celebrating the past and looking toward the future during an annual event this Thursday.

The Dowagiac Rotary Club will host its annual Family and Friends of Rotary Dinner starting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Dowagiac Elks Lodge, 300 Riverside Dr. The event will feature a cash bar, appetizers, a chicken, beef or vegetarian dinner and guest speaker. Tickets are $25.

This year’s guest speaker will be Katherine Koudele, a professor of animal science and the chair of the department of sustainable agriculture at Andrews University in Berrien Springs. A graduate of Dowagiac Union High School, Koudele has titled her program “Educating Earth’s Caretakers.”

“[The family and friends dinner] is a way for all of us to get together and share what we do and share a topic that is of importance to the community,” said Rotary President-elect Melody Wallace. “It’s a time where we can share that all with family and friends who might not be able to come to one of our [weekly] lunch meetings.”

Wallace said that while attendees to the family and friends dinner would be sure to enjoy the food, fellowship and a speaker, one of the most exciting parts of the night will be when Rotary members announce their plans for the club’s centennial celebration, which will be taking place next year.

Throughout the last 100 years, the Dowagiac Rotary Club has worked to improve the lives of those living within Dowagiac, Wallace said. Using her fingers, Wallace counted off several contributions that the club has made the community, including Rotary Park and Rotary Villa.

“The fact that Rotary has had a presence in this town for 100 years in amazing,” Wallace said. “For any organization, these days, to be able to say that have been around for 100 years in one town is a huge deal.”

Rotarian Larry Crandall agreed that 100 years of Dowagiac Rotary was something worth celebrating and getting area residents excited for during Thursday’s dinner.

“Not many things last 100 years,” Crandall said. “That’s rare for any organization, particularly in a small community.”

Wallace said she would encourage any community member to attend the event, learn more about the Dowagiac Rotary Club and to get a sneak peek at what is to come for the group’s centennial celebration.

“I think it will be a good event,” she said. “I think the program will be great, the food will be great and it will be a fun event.”

To reserve a ticket to attend the annual Family and Friends of Rotary Dinner, call (269) 782-6262.