The Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie is responsible for many projects in Portage la Prairie, but they understand that they wouldn’t be nearly as effective without some help from the outside.

The club held its Friends of Rotary lunch meeting on February 21st, where they spoke with members of the community who’ve stepped up and volunteered while not being a member of the club. Public relations director Preston Meier says the lunch is something that they ran annually before COVID-19 forced them to stop temporarily.

“It gives us a chance to recognize anybody that has just helped us in any way, shape or form,” explains Meier. “Whether it be through a fundraiser, whether it be through an event or whether it be through a project, we're able to recognize that on behalf of the club, as well.”

He adds that the lunch also gives the club a chance to show people what it’s like at the meetings with the hope of potentially gaining new members.

Someone who is looking at becoming a member of Rotary is city councillor Joe Masi. 

“It’s clear (Rotary) is one of the top service clubs in our community,” mentions Masi. “I looked at Rotary a number of years ago when I was first in Portage. But, with my job at the time, I just couldn’t make the meetings.”

Masi says, now that he’s retired from his job, it’s the perfect time to join up with the club that he believes does some of the best work for the community. As someone who’s benefitted from some of the programs the club runs, he’s ready to help the club provide them for other Portagers.

“I’ve always loved the vegetable sale,” notes Masi. “My wife and I buy them. It's a great event and it's just a superb fundraiser for the club.”

While he’s unsure when he’ll be joining the club, he’s hoping to enter its ranks as soon as possible.