Odor honored as 2022 Le Mars Rotarian of the Year

Monday, September 19, 2022
Le Mars Rotary Club President Steve Albert, left, presents Ryan Odor with the 2022 Rotarian of the Year award at a recent meeting. Odor has been a Rotarian since 2016, and a member of the Le Mars club since 2021.
(Photo Contributed)

LE MARS — The Le Mars Rotary Club recently honored member Ryan Odor as its 2022 Rotarian of the Year.

The award was presented at a Rotary meeting by Rotary President Steve Albert.

Odor has been a member of the Le Mars Rotary since 2021 and currently serves as the Sergeant at Arms.

Odor began his Rotary involvement at the Spencer Rotary Club in 2016. While at Spencer, he served as president-elect followed by president. Since his wife is a pastor, they occasionally move. Their most recent move brought Odor to the Le Mars Rotary Club.

Albert talked about Odor’s Rotary involvement.

“While at the Spencer Rotary, Ryan received a grant to refurbish space at the Spencer Community Theater. The grant allowed the theater to create a new children’s theater classroom. It also included a lift to get on stage. This has made it possible for people with disabilities to get on stage to participate in the Children Theater Program or one of the Main Stage performances,” Albert said. “This project was close to Ryan’s heart as when he was a child he participated in the first production of the Children Theater Program, ‘How To Eat Like A Child.’”

Even though Odor has been at the Le Mars Rotary only a short time, he initiated a polio donation program which involved auctioning off a very colorful scarf. The winner of the auction selects a Rotary member to wear, for a week, the colorful scarf at their various weekly events and activities, initiating inquiries leading to conversations and awareness of polio and its eradication. Donations to the polio fund could be made in lieu of wearing the scarf, then passing the scarf to another Rotarian to wear. This process continues for the entire polio awareness month of October. Several thousand dollars of donations to the Polio fund resulted.

“One of Rotary’s areas of focus is disease prevention and treatment. Rotary has put a focus on eradicating Polio worldwide,” Odor said.

He thought he would invite the District Polio Plus Chair Willis Sutliff, to speak to the club.

“Willis mentioned a fundraiser idea using a Polio Plus scarf to raise some funds. On top of all of this I recently found a newspaper article about my mother and uncles raising $4.60 towards polio prevention. It was cool to see my family wanting to make a difference in the early-mid ‘60s,” Odor said.

Albert continued, “An ongoing program of which Ryan is supportive is encouraging each Rotarian to bring at least one guest a year to a Rotary meeting, anticipating that many of the guests will be motivated and interested in joining the club.”

In conjunction with promoting Rotary membership, Odor is working on developing a brochure highlighting the many and varied events and activities supporting local and international projects.

So what does Rotary mean to Odor?

“First and foremost Rotary means community. I love how it allows me to make positive impacts on my local community but we are also a part of an International organization that makes positive impacts worldwide,” he said.

He pointed to Rotary’s seven areas of focus: water and sanitation, economic and community development, maternal and child health, supporting the environment, basic education and literacy, disease prevention and treatment, peace and conflict prevention/resolution.

“I truly can’t think of very many areas that I find more important than these areas, and this is just another reminder of how important Rotary is to me,” Odor said of of what Rotary means to him.

“We have our 4-way test of the things we think, say or do. First, is it the truth, second, is it fair to all concerned, third, will it build goodwill and better friendships, fourth, will it be beneficial to all concerned. These words are wonderful words to live by,” he said.

Albert had more to say about Odor’s involvement in Rotary and his being named Rotarian of the Year.

“Ryan is well deserving of being the Le Mars Rotarian of the year. Ryan stepped up and did an amazing job with social media for the club. He also takes pictures at Rotary events and activities, adds a narrative and posts them on Facebook,” Albert said. “Ryan has also paved the way to allow Rotary meetings to meet at his place of employment, Wise I. As Sergeant at Arms, Ryan’s weekly trivia questions seem to keep us on our toes.

“Ryan approaches each Rotary event, project, or activity with enthusiasm. He is a willing participant, bringing his great personality to each project. Ryan’s wife sees his excitement when he is involved with a Rotary project as well as his determination to see that project through to the end. Ryan is an asset to the Le Mars Rotary Club,” Albert said.

Albert concluded his presentation by saying, “Ryan is quite pleased and happy where he is currently in his life. While no one is sure of their future path or endeavors, Ryan says that Rotary is so important to him that it will always be a part of his future.”

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