Service group looks for members

Those looking to get involved in their community may want to give the Southern Sussex Rotary at try. The world’s first service organization is looking for members in the area.

“It’s a community thing,” explained Southern Sussex member Dominique Kimball. “But it is also national and international.”
Rotary International boasts 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. It was set up as an endowment fund in 1917, by Arch C. Klumph, “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” The group’s first $500 donation went to the International Society for Crippled Children, which later grew into Easter Seals.

The Southern Sussex Rotary has about 15 active members and meets weekly on Thursdays at the Fat Tuna Grill in Millville, at 7:30 a.m. The club usually starts with the Pledge of Allegiance, a morning prayer, breakfast and, for the second half of their meeting, they have a guest speaker.

“Service above self” is what the Rotary Club is all about. Whether they serve by raising money or awareness, or both, service is at the core of their mission. The Southern Sussex Rotary has donated dictionaries to local schools and, along with the Freeman Foundation, donated a beach wheelchair to the Town of Bethany Beach. It also still does work in the area of eradicating polio, which was one of the group’s original missions.

Each year, Southern Sussex Rotary holds crab feast, and this year the proceeds went to the Delaware Burn Camp and polio eradication. They also participated in Cooking for a Cause at Difebo’s restaurant this summer, and those proceeds went to polio eradication.

Members volunteered and sold tickets at the Great Pumpkin Festival in Millville, with proceeds going to polio eradication. They rang the bell for the Salvation Army, and volunteered and donated money to Camp Fairlee – an Easter Seals camp. Also this year, they made a grant toward a park bench and bike rack for the Town of Ocean View’s John West Park.

“Rotary International is a non-profit organization composed of business professionals that want to contribute to the community, as well as abroad. There are many benefits to joining Rotary, including networking with local business professionals and community leaders, fellowship and making an impact locally, nationally and globally,” said Brendan Garfield Crotty, Southern Sussex Rotary president.

Several rotary members recently hosted other adult Rotary members from Brazil in a “friendship exchange” program. The hosts will eventually go to Brazil to learn more about that country.

The Southern Sussex Rotary welcomes visitors to its weekly meetings each Thursday.

“We are always looking for new members. It’s a good opportunity to give back, and it’s really rewarding,” said Kendall.

For more information, contact Brendan Garfield Crotty at (302) 858-3234 or by e-mail at, or visit the Southern Sussex Rotary’s Web site at