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Barbara Blakey
We’re happy to introduce a new series called, “Meet a member of the Liberty NY Rotary Club.” It will run periodically on our club’s social media accounts. It’s almost fitting that on Labor Day, the first club member we are highlighting is Barbara Hackett Blakey, because let us tell you, she can work.
You might see her … behind the scenes at barbecues and events to lend a helping hand and make sure things run smoothly, organizing speakers for weekly meetings, gathering wellness information to share with our club, helping with grant applications and more! That really is just a small fraction of what she does. We are happy to have her as a part of our club. Here’s her Rotary story!
“Jack Strassman was persistent in his promotion of membership in the Liberty Rotary Club. In 2003 with doctoral studies completed, I became a Rotarian. The club was very small at that time, with 4 or 6 members at a meeting. Within a few years of joining, I moved from club secretary to president. With 6 members at a meeting we had to strategize about how to gain new members or suspend our club. Strategize we did, beginning with membership events (held at what is now Key Bank), continuing with our traditional fundraisers and community events, marching in parades and hosting speakers. Always raising funds to give them away. The membership did increase fostering the vibrant club we are today - thanks to the efforts of our membership committee.
"The biggest reason I became involved with our club is that from the beginning the motto of service above self was incorporated into all decisions and activities.
"Through the Liberty Rotary club, I have been fortunate enough to participate in events and service projects that promote literacy and education, support healthy habits, and provide nutrition to children and families within our community, across the county, around the country and the globe. The latter involved travel to Vietnam four times on humanitarian missions with other US Rotarians and Vietnam Veterans with the Schools To End Poverty organization (STEP). My participation with the group directly supports children with disabilities, education programs for disadvantaged children, and children living in orphanages after being abandoned by family. This year’s Rotary International motto is Service to Change Lives. Involvement with STEP is one way this gets done and it is incredibly rewarding.
"Outside of Rotary, I apply the concept of service above self through yoga instruction. As a certified yoga teacher, I can work with family and friends in a practice that strengthens and heals. In addition, I started yoga for a cause. I provide a class and the students make a donation to support abused and neglected children living in foster care through the speak up for kids organization in Palm Beach County. Currently, plans are in the works to use yoga for a cause to support local needs in Liberty.”
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