South Jordan Rotary: How Family Rotary Club Was Born

Picture three generations of the Thornbrue family working together on a fleece blanket that will be donated to a local shelter for families escaping domestic violence.  This was the sight at the latest Family Community Service Night, hosted by the South Jordan Rotary Club.  Lori Thornbrue, her husband, her two daughters and four grandchildren spent an hour and a half working together to help those in need – with the youngest grandchild excited to wear his fire fighter gear to the Fire Station where the event was held.  The South Jordan Rotary has been hosting several family community service nights each month as a way to provide families with the opportunity to do service together.  There has been such a high demand to attend the family community service nights that even after the number of monthly events has been expanded, the events typically fill up 2-6 weeks before the events take place.

What does the overwhelming response to these events mean?  The community is craving events that allow families to participate in service together!  So what is next for the South Jordan Rotary?  A family Rotary Club.

In the February issue of the Rotary magazine, there is an article about a family Rotary club in Florida.  But the concept of a family Rotary club is not a new concept to South Jordan President Ann Lobos and West Jordan President Alicia Summers – the masterminds behind the family community service night events.  Born in part out of a desire by Ann Lobos to impress upon and involve her own children in service, the positive response by the community has been exciting and confirmation that a family Rotary club is an avenue worth exploring.

So what does a family rotary club look like?  For starters, the meetings would be held on Monday evenings – the same night of the week that has drawn such high attendance at the family community service nights.  And the most exciting part of the family rotary club in Ann Lobos’ opinion?  Leadership opportunities for the children.  Imagine a club whose committees are comprised of both adults AND children.  Talk about a chance to mentor the youth and help them develop into the leaders that our country desperately needs!

While it remains to be seen how quickly the idea of family Rotary clubs will take hold, one thing that is certain is that if Rotary wants to attract a younger generation of Rotarians it may be time to re-think the traditional Rotary model of breakfast or lunch meetings and instead try out a new model for a club that involves the whole family.

If you want to see a short promo video the South Jordan Rotary Club created to gather interest in a family Rotary club, go to this website:

To experience what a family community service night looks like (if you are willing to drive to South Jordan!), to register go to:

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