Citing dwindling membership numbers, the Redmond Rousers Rotary Club will disband Dec. 31 after 22 years of service to the community.
Past president Kelly Kyle says membership has dropped from typical rates of between 30 to 100 people to the current 11 members. Kyle said the club's numbers have ebbed and flowed over the years, and she thinks the economy might be to blame for the current decline.
"It’s been a struggle through the years,” she said. "It takes so much effort to build clubs—none of us really had the time or the effort to do it again.”
The Redmond Rousers were founded as an alternative for prospective members who were unable to attend lunch-time meetings at other rotary clubs. The club met weekly on Tuesday evenings at Ixtapa on Redmond Ridge.
Over the years, its members accomplished many notable community service projects. They provided dictionaries each year for third-graders at three Redmond-area elementary schools, sponsored a community garden for Hopelink clients, and started a 425-mile bicycle race across the state to help raise money for eradicating polio.
Just last week, club members collected more than 400 pounds of food for Salvation Army Eastside.
Kyle said it's sad to see the club disband but that its members will continue to carry on many of these service projects at other rotary clubs. Most of the current members are planning to join other clubs in Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah and Duvall, she said.