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Kingston Rotary gets its first turn

KINGSTON — A very dapper-looking group of Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary members officially took on the role of serving the community.

The club took the final turn toward becoming an official Rotary chapter Feb. 28 by accepting its charter during a semi-formal dinner and event at the Kingston Community Center auditorium.

“What we’re doing is the right thing to do,” District Gov. Bill McCarthy told new Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary members before the presentation. “In joining Rotary, you are going to do good in the world.”

Nine months after the Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary chapter spearheaded an effort to umbrella a Kingston club, 35 charter members of the Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary were inducted Saturday night. Cy Wyse was officially named as an honorary member.

Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotarian Jim Martin was also acknowledged with a special award for his work as the liaison between the two clubs. Martin kept in close contact with both during the past few months.

As a way to congratulate the new club and help it get on its feet, several of the regional clubs provided the Kingston group with meeting necessities, including American and Canadian flags, a bell, name badges and a lectern.

“Isn’t this fantastic?” said Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary Club President Brad Brown after the presentations. “There are Rotary clubs that don’t even know us and accept us into their family. We are fired up and ready to go.”

President-elect Gene Medina, who will take office July 1, said he plans to hold a “visionary workshop” with the Rotary Board this summer to brainstorm what needs attention in the North End.

“The Greater Kingston area is on the verge of lots more development as a community,” Medina said. “As a service club, we’ll be able to participate with other service clubs in that development.”

Charter member Doug Hallock has wanted a Rotary chapter established in Kingston for several years.

“I was just waiting for Rotary to show up in Kingston,” he said, noting he researched the idea to start a chapter in Kingston about three to four years ago. “We’re happy to be a part of it.”

Hallock said his interest in Rotary goes back to when he was a child in Boy Scouts, as he remembers Rotary members participating with his group. He has been a member for the past 15 years with the Silverdale, Port Angeles and North Snohomish clubs.

Charter member Karen Ross, who has been improving the looks of Kingston during the past few years with the Kingston Revitalization Association, decided to join because of the service-oriented angle.

“I think that’s what’s really important for me,” Ross said. “I feel there aren’t clubs around that emphasize it like Rotary.”

Brown said specific projects for the year have not been established yet but members have participated in Habitat for Humanity undertakings and helped with landscaping around the community center. They have also made donated to ShareNet Food Bank and The Natasha Barsness Project.

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