Pancakes and Beyond: Ferndale Rotary Approaches 90th Year

mbrew brought to you by top adPancakes and Beyond: FerndalegardenfreshAD Rotary Approaches 90th Year

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 20, 2014)

As the Ferndale Rotary Club approaches its 90th anniversary, the community service organization finished up the year with the annual pancake breakfast and will be starting 2015 with efforts to increase membership.

Over 80 people HowesLocationcame to Blumz by JR Designs for the delicious breakfast tradition last Saturday. Guests brought gloves, socks and hats for the Rotary giving tree, and enjoyed a breakfast of sausage from Western Market, eggs from Howe’s Bayou, pancakes from Dino’s and the overall event sponsored by Garden Fresh Gourmet.

“Rotary International is an organization that has roots in the community and additionally supports international causes for humanitarian purposes,” said Jerome Raska, past President of the Rotary and owner of Blumz. “All of the proceeds go to support our projects locally here in Ferndale.”

Among those projects are the annual Bike Rodeo, where Rotary gives kids free bike helmets, and giving awards to Ferndale Schools students that help them pay for college.dinos02sidelogo3

Work done at an International level also means a lot to members. “I got involved with Rotary International because it is the largest humanitarian service organization in the world,” said President Jodi Knittel. “I’ve been active in BNI [Business Network International] and I love the relational aspect. When I wanted to join something with a humanitarian focus, Rotary appealed to me because it had that relational aspect tocandlewickHOLIDAY it.

“Even though Rotarians don’t know each other, we’re connected. There is a history and a community there.”

Knittel is proud of Rotary’s role in tackling the problem of polio, which is nearly eradicated worldwide thanks in part to Rotary International’s intense focus.

For Fred Bond, who has been a member for over 50 years, the International connections are important as well. Rotarians are welcomed wherever there is a Rotary Club, and Bond has visited them in cities around the United States and countries around the world in his years of business travels.royal_services

“Some Rotary meetings are very nice affairs. People dress up and it’s a very serious thing,” Bond said. In Ferndale the group is more casual, with people getting together on Thursday evenings to share a meal, maintain friendships, and talk about what good things they are working on for the community and the world.

Rotary Clubs flourished in the 50s, with a strong emphasis on relationships for business and Ferndale 115_FFLservice. Over the years membership has declined in many Rotary Clubs, including Ferndale’s. But Knittel and the 16 current members are hoping that a re-branding and membership drive in February will breathe new life into the organization.

Those who join are able to meet every Thursday at 5:30pm for dinner and community-building at Blumz in Ferndale. They learn about the Four-Way test and sometimes hear special guest speakers.

The Four-Way Test asks people to think before they act, questioning:

  1. Is it the truth?dda_ad_03
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The delicious pancake breakfast seemed to build goodwill and friendships, and will Knittel hopes will encourage more people to join. To learn more about Ferndale Rotary visit

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