Buckhannon Rotary Club members share experiences

The Inter-Mountain photo by Sarah Goodrich Dean Everett speaks about being a part of Rotary for more than 40 years during Buckhannon Rotary Club’s weekly meeting.

BUCKHANNON — In an effort to become better acquainted, two Buckhannon Rotary Club members — one of whom is a recent new member — spoke a bit about their life and their thoughts on Rotary to fellow club members.

During last week’s Rotary meeting, new President Mary Dean said it was her goal to utilize the month of July to get to know one another.

Sharla Smith, who joined the club late last year, explained that after being consistently urged by Jody Light to join the club, she finally did.

“She always had great things about Rotary,” she said, adding Light worked closely for the club with the Salvation Army.

Smith, who is the service unit director of the Upshur County Salvation Army, explained when she first started the job she was simply there to oversee social services.

“Before I was with Salvation Army I was a blood specialist collection level two with the American Red Cross,” she added. “I loved that job but the schedule just got kind of overbearing …”

During last week’s meeting, Smith was given the role as the club’s community chair, which she said is similar to her job at the Salvation Army.

“I’m all about the community and trying to provide services and watch out for the needs, especially when it comes to the needy,” she said. “Upshur County has a lot more need than I think a lot of people realize.”

As community chair, Smith said she’d like to see the Upshur County pool improved.

“I’m guilty myself of leaving Upshur County and going to the VA pool or the Lewis County pool,” she said, adding that the county is losing money from folks heading to surrounding areas to swim.

Born and raised in Georgia, Dean Everett explained he became a new member of Rotary 40-plus years ago.

Everett’s college path led him to West Virginia University, where he tried out several majors before deciding on industrial management. Following some lift runs, he stuck to real estate for a number of years.

“I ended up marrying locally. I never intended on staying in West Virginia,” he said.

With over 40 years under his belt in Rotary, Everett said he’s proud to be a Rotarian.

“I think Rotary has more impact than any other service club in the area not only locally but internationally,” he said. “I’m proud to be one of you, and service above self.”