Sherry Menninger has been involved with Rotary for more than three decades. She’s played an active role in the district as well as the Chittenango Rotary. She recently shared her thoughts about Rotary and some of the highlights of her Rotary experience.
When did you join Rotary?
In 1988, I received a letter from club president, Ned Mann, asking if I wanted to join the Chittenango Rotary Cub. I was surprised because at the time, I mistakenly thought Rotary was a “men only” club. But it turned out that two other women were asked to join at the same time as me — and there were already two women in the club! In any case, I was honored to be invited to join Rotary and I have always tried to honor the responsibility of being a Rotarian.
What has been the greatest highlight of your Rotary experience, Sherry?
My greatest highlight was traveling to India for the polio inoculation project. The last reported polio case in India was in 2011, and most people don’t realize Rotary played an important part in its eradication. Hosting the group study exchange students is also on my list. These students and professionals came from many countries, but the group that made the biggest impression on me was from South Africa. Before they came here, they were told the streets were lined with gold! But during our time together, they learned we are all the same and share many of the same life problems.
What are some of the positions and service roles you’ve held in Rotary?
Over the years, I’ve been involved in many areas of Rotary. I was the club president in 2009-2010 and club treasurer for more than 17 year. I was also a member of the district foundation responsible for securing a grant for the Bear Country Little League concession stand, a four-time Paul Harris Fellow, and a benefactor.
Any advice for new or prospective Rotary members?
My advice to new members is to get involved!! Not only with the club, but with the district.