Brooklyn Park Rotary Club Helps Start New Rotary Club for Veterans
The Brooklyn Park Rotary Club helped start a new Rotary Club for Minnesota Veterans that is the first of its kind in the area, maybe even in the world.
“When the opportunity came along to help charter this veterans club, our entire club got behind the effort,” said Tom Hokr, a Rotarian from Brooklyn Park.
But the Brooklyn Park club wasn’t alone in the effort. Other clubs in the district pitched in to help.
“This came together in about three months, which is phenomenal,” said Ross Michaletz, district governor. “The demand for this club is outstanding.”
“I think it speaks to the need for veterans to be with other veterans,” explained Tom Gump, district governor-elect. “They’d like to do service. That’s what they are used to.”
Instead of being organized by city, the new club will be an “interest club.” Members will either be veterans or interested in supporting veteran causes.
Rotary Club of Minnesota Veterans Already Believe “Service Above Self”
“It seemed like now was a great time to be involved in Rotary,” explained Neal Loidolt, a new member of the Rotary Club of Minnesota Veterans. “During the time I served, it was difficult to be in Rotary because of our regular service requirements. If you are traveling, sometimes you are gone for a year at a time. But even if you are gone for a few weeks, you cannot make the meetings.”
Loidolt lives in Brooklyn Park. He spent 35 years in the Army, even serving as a division commander for the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. Now, Loidolt works for a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. He believes the new Rotary club is one other way he can continue to serve.
“That’s always my message whether you are involved in Rotary or some other club,” said Loidolt. “Those of us who have the ability to give back to other people should. That’s what I think.”
To learn more about the Rotary Club of Minnesota Veterans, click here.