The Centreville Rotary Club has 21 members so far, but it can't become an official organization until it has 25. So this Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 4-6 p.m., at the IHOP in Centreville (Route 29 and Old Centreville Road) it's holding a membership reception.
"You don't have to be a Centreville resident to join," said club spokesman Mary Ann Imgram. "You can either live or work in the Centreville/Chantilly/Clifton area or be interested in the betterment of the Centreville community."
THE NEW CLUB already has a few projects planned. Members hope to start a scholarship fund for local graduates, clean up a section of a road and start an Interact Club to help high-school students choose service projects and carry them out.
"We'll also set up an informational booth at Centreville Day [Sept. 16]," said Imgram. "There's a lot we want to do; we just need more members to help us do it."
Rotary is an international organization and, said Imgram, "We get support from other Rotaries. In fact, we're sponsored by the Burke Rotary." She described Rotary as "a diverse group of business and professional leaders working together to address various community and international needs and promoting peace and understanding throughout the world."
Belonging to a Rotary club allows members to become connected to their community, interact with other professionals in the local area, help with Rotary International's humanitarian service efforts, establish contacts with an international network of professionals, develop leadership skills and involve family in promoting service efforts.
The current Centreville Rotary president is Michelle Duncan; the president-elect, Marvin Powell, will take over the reins in September. "Anyone who joins now is considered a charter member," said Imgram. "After that, people have to be voted in."
The local club meets every Tuesday, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Centreville IHOP. "We discuss projects we're working on and we also have 'Happy Talk,'" said Imgram. "You pay $1 to the club treasury and say whatever you want — an announcement, information about an upcoming event, someone's birthday, etc."
She said the members also help each other out, business-wise, with networking and referrals. But it's not the club's main purpose — community service is — and that's why Imgram joined.
"I'VE ALWAYS wanted to give back and didn't know how to do it," she explained. "My kids are all in college and I had time for something else." So when the Centreville Rotary club started at the beginning of the year, she soon became a member.
"It's open to both men and women, and we have people in a variety of professions," said Imgram. "I've always been good at organizing, so I volunteered to help with the membership drive. I'm in it for the service part of it, but I also enjoy meeting new people and like doing projects that help kids."
At the Aug. 15 event, two speakers — Karen Wayne, an official with the American Red Cross in Prince William County, and Stephen Cook, of MiH Development Group in Occoquan — will talk about their experience as Rotarians. And attendees will feast on hors de oeuvres, lemonade and iced tea and then make their own sundaes.
"The idea is to come meet us and see who we are," said Imgram. "To me, Rotary is fun. I think it's a wonderful thing, and I'm having a good time."
Those interested in attending may e-mail RotaryClubOfCentreville@gmail.com. For more information, call Imgram at 703-273-1002.