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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HONORS A SERVICE CLUB

KELSO-LONGVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HONORS THE ROTARY CLUB OF LONGVIEW WASHINGTON AS THE 2023 SERVICE CLUB OF THE YEAR!

The Rotary Club of Longview was selected as Service Club of the Year as part of the Chamber’s Pillars of Strength initiative. The award was presented to the Club at the Chamber’s annual dinner after a vote of the entire Chamber membership.

There are five criteria used to make the selection. Two of the criteria are keys to the honor being bestowed on the Rotary Club of Longview: Producing a community event to enrich our community and provide family-rich entertainment and Adding to the economic vitality and quality of life in Cowlitz County.

The annual Squirrel Fest fits the criteria very well. The event is presented to the community as a free event and includes many opportunities for family fun and enjoyment. Free games and activities for kids, a cornhole tournament/ beer garden, over 100 vendor booths, and popular, entertaining bands – all this to celebrate squirrels and the nine squirrel bridges which grace Longview. There are even several opportunities to tour the various squirrel bridges in a vintage army troop carrier with historic commentary. The annual festival (12th in 2023) attracts not only area citizens but squirrel aficionados from all around the world! The Rotary Club of Longview is proud to provide this day-long event for all to enjoy. 

Another popular Rotary program in Longview is the four times per-year deployment of the U.S. Freedom Flags. Our entire community rejoices in patriotism as they see the American Flag waving in the breeze all across town. Volunteer Rotarians deploy the flags for a two-week period around our Patriotic Holidays and then retrieve them until the next occasion. 

The Crafted Brew and Food Fest, coordinated and hosted by Rotary, provides the venue and activities which community members enjoy so much. It is just another opportunity provided by Rotary for the area communities to gather and enjoy our local offerings.

The oldest of the Rotary Club’s public events is the Tour de Blast, which draws cyclists from all over the country (and, in fact, several foreign lands) to Washington’s Mount St. Helens to partake in a very well-supported round-trip ride on the volcano highway. Locals and visitors alike laud the Club for this feat of organization to safely enjoy a very unique bike tour.

The Chamber of Commerce selection of the Rotary Club of Longview as the Service Club of the Year recognizes a local Service Club which goes out of its way to provide fun and entertainment for all ages of Cowlitz County citizens and also funds many community (literacy, scholarships, Catlin Rotary Spray Park, Harlie’s Angels, etc.) and Rotary international projects. The Rotary Club of Longview subscribes to and operates per the international motto of Service Above Self.

Submitted by Pat Martin and Keith Larson 

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