Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.

Michael Davidson, district governor of Rotary International, made a stop on Wednesday at the Ripley Rotary meeting to discuss the combination of the northern and southern districts of West Virginia.

Davidson expressed his concern over the decline of Rotarians throughout the recent years. He noted this being the main reason for the combination of the two areas. Each threshold was previously set at 1,100 Rotarians per district, but will now be set at 1,100 Rotarians for the combined areas.

In total, there are 335 Rotarian districts throughout the world. The new district would be District No. 7545 and contain all of West Virginia except the northern panhandle, which lies in a different area.

Davidson stressed this combination will probably not effect the Ripley Rotary. He commended the group for all the good they have done in the community, specifically for providing items for over 800 children in the last year.

Rotary International’s theme for 2019 is, “Be the inspiration.” Davidson encouraged the Ripley Rotary to continue to grow by reaching out to the community to recruit new Rotarians.

“New members bring new ideas, which helps the Rotary grow stronger,” Davidson said.

On March 30, 2019, Barry Rassin, the president of Rotary International, will be in Buckhannon to speak with Rotarians concerning the combination. Davidson encourages anyone who wishes to attend the event.

Another event to note will be the district conference, May 3-5, 2019, at Olgebay in Wheeling. Everyone is welcome to sign up and attend.

For more information go to Ripley Rotary on Facebook or contact Melissa Kerns, membership chairperson, at 304-372-2281 to join.

“We as an organization are about fellowship and community,” Davidson said.

In other business:

• Adopt-A-Family is going well. There are still families to adopt.

Anyone interested can call the Jackson County Community Foundation at 304-372-4500.

• The Festival of Trees is taking place at Sorella’s restaurant from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.

• The Ripley and Ravenswood Christmas Parades are at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1.

• From 3-6 p.m. on Dec. 14 there will be a Coat Drive at City National Bank in Ripley.

Olaf (the snowman from the Disney movie “Frozen”) and Santa will be there to greet everyone.