Supporting the community

Local civic group is named ‘Citizen of the Year’

The Camas-Washougal Rotary Club participates in the “Ducky Derby,” an annual fundraiser for the club’s various service projects and scholarships. Plastic ducks are tossed off the Third Avenue Bridge in Camas. The grand prize winner receives a trip to Hawaii.

If you go

The 2014 Citizen of the Year, Business Persons of the Year, Teachers of the Year and others will be honored at an awards banquet Wednesday, June 4, at Camas Meadows Golf Club, 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive.

Tickets are $35 per person. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Monique Quaranta at 834-2472 or Monique@cwchamber...

The Camas-Washougal Rotary Club motto is “service above self.”

So, it makes sense that the 57 member group has earned the title of “Citizen of the Year” by the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s great that they can be recognized as a whole for what they all do for the local community,” said Chamber Director Brent Erickson. “They’re a real well-rounded group.”

To be named Citizen of the Year winners must live in Camas or Washougal, perform volunteer service in the community and make an overall positive impact.

“This award fits Rotary members well because of all of the good deeds they do to make Camas and Washougal better,” Erickson said.

Rotary International is a service organization with more than 1.2 million members in 160 countries. The mission of Rotary is to provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world peace through a fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.

Local Rotary projects include Ducky Derby, Young Women & Men in Action, the Backpack Project, A Gift of Words, Santa’s Posse, SHARE House volunteers, International Youth Exchange (inbound and outbound students), Meals on Wheels delivery, Walk & Knock, Polio eradication program, FIRST Robotics and scholarships for high school students.

“I really enjoy all of the community activities and service projects,” said David Bussman, Camas-Washougal Rotary Club president. “You also meet a lot of like-minded people here.”

President-elect Molly Coston agrees.

“The service projects are near the top of the list for me, and so is the friendships we’ve developed over the years. When you go somewhere else in the world, and you see someone with a Rotarian button on, you can be pretty sure that they are trustworthy.”

The local Rotary club has been meeting for 20 years and was officially chartered in 1995.

Coston, a 10-year member of Rotary, describes it as “life changing.”

Bussman, a 6-year member, agrees.

“Anyone who wants to learn more about us should come to a meeting and see what it’s all about,” he said. “In the beginning, people come for the activities and then stay for the friendships. Joining was a life-changing moment for me. You hear about Rotary International’s polio eradication program and youth exchange programs, but really, it is just regular folks putting school supplies in backpacks and handing out dictionaries to third-graders. And we are all very proud to do it.”

The 2014 Citizen of the Year and Business Persons of the Year, and other honorees, will be recognized at an awards banquet on Wednesday, June 4 at Camas Meadows Golf Club, 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive.