Bonny Diver and Jim Mortimer

Harry Funk/The Almanac

During a recent McMurray Rotary Club meeting, guest speaker Bonny Diver received a $1,500 donation toward her Hair Peace Charities, which helps provide wigs for cancer patients. With her is Jim Mortimer, the club’s philanthropy chairman.

For more than a century, clubs in Rotary International have had a standard practice of meeting once a week, usually for breakfast or lunch, with similar formats for each meeting.

A relatively new concept for Rotary is the establishment of satellite clubs, which are intended to make the 1.2 million-member service organization more accessible to more people.

The McMurray Rotary Club, which meets at 12:10 p.m. Wednesdays at Atria’s Restaurant in Peters Township, is looking to start a satellite group.

To discuss the possibility with people who are interested, the club is holding a “Discover Rotary” informational event in Cecil Township at 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at Cannon’s Chophouse, 1900 Main St., Southpointe.

“The members will be members of the McMurray Rotary Club, but they will have their own club and they will basically have their own rules,” Al DeLucia, governor-elect of Rotary District 7305, explained.

At their discretion is how often the satellite club will gather.

“What we’re seeing is that a lot of the really successful clubs will decide to meet maybe three times a month,” DeLucia, a 28-year McMurray Rotarian, said. One might be for a regular meeting, a second for networking and socialization, and a third to concentrate on service projects.

A satellite club needs eight applicants to get started, and once it reaches 25 members, the process can begin to establish a full-fledged club.

“There will be members of our club who will be advisers and mentors to them,” DeLucia said. “But they’re pretty much on their own in establishing how their club is going to be set up and how it’s going to be run, and what they’re going to do.”

Also helping with establishing a satellite club is Cherie Sears, 2018-19 district governor, who worked on similar efforts with her home club in California and another in Westmoreland County.

The McMurray Rotary Club is targeting Southpointe as a potential hub for a new group, which perhaps would meet after work, when heavy traffic makes it difficult to leave the multi-use complex.

“This is an opportunity for us to get into a little bit of a different geographic area and maybe tap into a little bit different demographic,” DeLucia said, with younger professionals in mind. “It’s very appealing to younger professionals who really have a motivation for service.”

For more information about the McMurray Rotary Club, visit www.mcmurrayrotary.com and www.facebook.com/mcmurrayrotaryclub.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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