The newly chartered Southfield Area Rotary Club’s (SARC) first fundraising event took place on Saturday, September 30th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southfield, Michigan. The event entitled “Party with a Purpose – Empowering Youth” raised monies to partner with the Southfield Youth Assistance organization for the purpose of mentoring youth, ages 12-18. Brandon Marsh, President of the Southfield Area Rotary Club, says chartering the club happened very quickly. “Toward the end of February this year, we began a journey to charter a Rotary Club in Southfield to empower the youth community. We did so with just a quarter of the people most clubs require, and hit 20 members within 3 months,” Marsh said. It should be noted that it normally takes about six months but within that time frame they had a diverse group of 58 charter members. Marsh added “In addition to being the first club to charter in our district in 5 years, the club has become the 7th largest club in the district, and continue to be one of the most diverse of all 52 clubs district-wide.”
At least 200 people, including dignataries, were in attendance for dinner and dancing to celebrate the newly chartered Southfield Area Rotary Club including Southfield mayor Dr. Kenson J. Siver. “I’m overwhelmed by the energy and enthusiasm for the rotary club and it’s certainly a rebirth for so many,” said Mayor Siver. John W. Barfield, founder of Bartech, and a major sponsor of the event, was especially proud of Brandon Marsh, President of the Southfield Rotary Club. Barfield, author of the book “Starting from Scratch: The Humble Beginnings of a Two Billion-Dollar Enterprise,” said that the rotary club started in his living room many years ago and that he mentored Brandon a long time ago. “I introduced Brandon Marsh to the Rotary Club some years ago and I listened to him talk about this dream and my wife was a part of those conversations and tonight we’re celebrating a brand new Rotary Club.”
Barfield, a forty-year Rotarian, helped raised approximately $565,000.00 to provide polio vaccinations for needy children. Other attendees included people like Cristen Prkic, who became a charter member of the Southfield Rotary Club, and shared that her father actually cried when she told him. Her father, Thomas Gorang, is another long-time Rotarian, who served as the President of three rotary clubs. Mario Fachini, owner of Business Growth Strategies, was especially excited about the new Southfield Rotary Club.
After dinner, several members from other rotary clubs talked about their various experiences of service including one teenager who traveled to Peru to help the less privileged. Additionally, the Ann Arbor Rotary Club shared their experiences and the projects they had worked on in the past. Past District Governor Michael Angelo Caruso presented Southfield Rotary club with their charter and members of the Southfield Area Rotary Club were officially inducted. Charter club member and owner of Option Insurance Group, Alvin Lynn III, was excited about the new Rotary Club. “The synergy between the Southfield community and the new Southfield Area Rotary Club (SARC) is electrifying! I am personally honored to be a chartered SARC member, with a mission to serve our youth in the Southfield community,” Lynn said.
The Southfield Area Rotary Club is focused on empowering local youth and they evaluate everything they do against Rotary’s code of ethics called the “The 4-way Test.” It asks four simple but crucial questions about any plan of actions.
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friends?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The Rotary Club’s motto is “Service Above Self.” In addition to Bartech, other sponsors of the event included Option Insurance Group, University of Phoenix, Southfield Chamber of Commerce, SEMEA (South East Michigan Entrepreneurs Association), Events to Remember, Southfield Youth Assistance and Artcraft Management Group.
Youth causes has been a primary mission for Rotarians around t…he globe, from finding ways to provide clean water for children in Africa or eradicate debilitating diseases like polio in India. The Southfield Area Rotary Club is committed to those causes, especially at a local level. Our primary mission is to empower the Southfield youth community, especially the underserved. Visit southfieldarearotaryclub.org to learn more about the exciting work our Rotarians are doing in the Southfield community