M.V. Rotary Club inducts new members from here and abroad


In late March at the Portuguese-American Club, the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard inducted three new members living on the Island, and one from Germany. The local club, founded in 1991, is affiliated with Rotary International, a service organization of business and professional men and women with 1.4 million members in 150 countries.

The Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard raises money for charitable donations, volunteers at fundraisers and other events, and supports youth services through scholarships, sponsorship of the MVRHS Interact Club, student foreign exchanges, and youth leadership programs.

The new members inducted are:

Deborah Black, a marketing consultant for MarketPlace Development, working on special projects at Boston Logan International Airport. Deborah had a multifaceted career in the arts, as well as commercial real estate and transportation, developing and directing marketing strategies.

Howard Miller has a long career as a practicing attorney. He was president of the M.V. Boys and Girls Club for six years, and director and clerk at the FARM Institute. He also served as pro bono legal counsel for both organizations.

Karen Tewhey has had extensive experience in educational administration for at-risk populations in urban areas. On the Island, she founded Harbor Homes of M.V., a homelessness prevention nonprofit.

In addition to those local residents, the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard inducted its first international member. Renate Nels, from Leverkusen, Germany, made a special visit to the island with her two granddaughters, Wiebke and Aya May. Dan Larkosh, a member and past president of the Island’s Rotary, shares a history with Nels. In 1982, Larkosh’s brother, Christopher, was a Rotary exchange student, and spent a year in Germany with the Nels family. The two families stayed in touch, and continued to visit one another in Europe and America for the next 40 years.

“The Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard is honored to share a most remarkable story of our club’s inaugural international inductee, Ms. Renate Nels,” noted club president Greg Mafcher in a press release from the group. “The club hopes that Renate’s membership will serve as a symbol of international fellowship, and will foster even more connections, aiding the Rotary Club in its mission of ‘Service Above Self.’”

At the March gathering, the release says, Nels presented a moving speech in which she highlighted the meaningful and enduring relationships that have come from her connection with Rotary International. She stated that she was honored to be made a member of the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard.

The Rotary Club of M.V. meets regularly on Wednesdays at noon, at the P.A. Club, most weeks welcoming a wide variety of speakers from the Island community. Meetings are open to the public, and more information can be found at mvrotary.com.


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