Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Animal Clubs: Should You Pay Your Dues?

As a new member of Rotary International, I read with interest your article about the demise of animal clubs - "Elks, Lions May Go Way of the Dodo" (Aug. 24). One's intuition confirms that increased demands for time, a gradual disconnecting with community, and an increase in activities competing for leisure time have combined to diminish numbers joining civic organizations. Nonetheless it seems there are two missions of Rotary International that make this organization timely for the coming millennium.

The first is community service; more specifically, development of an infrastructure of support for kids. In the case of my community of Hudson, Wis., our Rotary groups have supported a wheel park for youth, a mentor program in collaboration with the schools, and the development of youth-friendly areas on our riverfront, among others.

The second mission of Rotary is emphasis on international issues and service. Local service initiatives are mirrored in terms of interest, enthusiasm, and financial support with work on international programs, e.g., student exchanges, that keep global topics in front of the membership and the community.

While the article builds a good case for the demise of community organizations, it is hard to make sense out of all this. Why are folks rejecting organizations that support youths and that ask us to take a friendly turn toward the larger international community?

Judy Freund

Via e-mail

I enjoyed the article on animal clubs, "Elks, Lions May Go Way of the Dodo." I've been an Elk, a Kiwanian, and a Rotarian. I dropped out of each of them. Why?

By and large, they are shopkeeping, very conservative and Republican. They are absolutely "right" on all social and religious issues. I was amused at being reminded of the status and prestige they once had. I'm old enough to remember that era.

I do not wish to suggest for even a second that they are not a nice bunch of guys who very much care about each other, God, their mothers, the flag, and the country. …

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