Clubs merge to form Riverbend East Rotary

WOOD RIVER — The wait and paperwork was worth it for the officially coming together of the Wood River and East Alton Rotary clubs to become one.

The two former clubs worked together often already, and it just made sense for the clubs to merge, Riverbend East Rotary Club President Chris Logan said.

“We had to get this approved through Rotary International, which was supportive, but we had to rewrite our bylaws for one club,” Logan said. “That took us months. And we had to discuss where to hold meetings, board positions and catering of meals.

“Everyone came to a consensus and are very happy with it.”

Though membership in one of the former clubs has been shrinking over the years, Logan said the idea to merge the two club s had been “kicked around for years.”

“A lot of the area of the public we served overlapped,” explained Logan, 32, who has been involved with Rotary for four years and was sponsored by longtime member Allen Hale.

“We thought becoming one club made more sense, and we can do more and do fundraisers together,” Logan said. “Especially due to the pandemic, we’ve been on hold. It’s been difficult.”

Geographically, it also made sense to the pair of former clubs.

“It feels like Wood River and East Alton are the same area,” said Logan, who is recreation director for East Alton Parks and Recreation.

Rotary International officially approved the merger of the clubs, each with a long history of serving their communities — Wood River since 1929 and East Alton since 1971.

Along with Logan, the other new club officers are Lindsey Herron, vice-president, Lori Palmer, secretary, and George Moore, treasurer.

Riverbend East Rotary Club is starting with 55 active members serving the communities of East Alton, Wood River, South Roxana, Roxana, Hartford and Wood River Township through service projects and targeted contributions. The new club also is accepting new membership. There also is a Riverbend Rotary Club, which is a different club altogether and services the areas of Alton and Godfrey.

Membership in the new Riverbend East Rotary Club is open to everyone in the business community. Weekly meetings are held at Julia’s Banquet Center in Eastgate Plaza at noon on Thursdays, though they have been held via Zoom.

The Riverbend East Rotary Club will hold its first fundraiser of the year under its new banner with a virtual music bingo March 12.

The majority of the club’s funds earned from fundraising goes into the Rotary Club Foundation account, used to pay out donations or scholarship, typically to given to high school students at East Alton-Wood River and at Roxana high schools.

Visit or to check if a meeting is being held in-person at Julia’s or via Zoom and for more information about fundraisers and membership.

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