"The problem with Smethport is" you often hear this person or that person say as they talk on the streets of the town in the corners where so many travel with gossip and hearsay....
I moved to Smethport in 1995 because I searching out a place to raise my children close to where my family first established roots in 1804 to 1805 in this area of Pennsylvania. I have seen my share of the elaborate ruses from those who desire to control the town and seek to dump on every good idea and every dream of the up and coming with small town thinking which equates to small minds in a big city world.
Where many would volunteer and get involved with many benevolent efforts, soon the naysayers come out of the wood work to destroy dreamers and prevent any good from ever happening preserving the status of the clique.
Such are the exclusive groups that claim to be only about doing good and are nothing more than a rouse for old world thinking and good-old-boy compromise with doing nothing to maintain the power structure of an elite few who think themselves better than everyone else. Such is the gang at the Rotary Club in Smethport.
I attended their group invited for several weeks, then only to be tossed from a meeting without the benefit of even a phone call to say they did not want my voice and volunteerism as part of their band. Smethport sadly has become a group of cronies who cry that no one wants to do anything for the betterment of the town and when someone comes out to contribute, they spit in their face. It is sad but true, that those who have morals and common decency have been forgotten for cliques and exclusive self important groups who refuse the inclusiveness of the community as a whole for their own pet gripe sessions.
While attending the few meetings, I heard them preach how much they need members, desired members, and needed people to get involved with the club. These cries for help were nothing more than just a pretense to say they were doing something "Good" for mankind, when in fact, they were only doing what bolstered their own self importance to a dying community where the young people leave and the old people get bitter from trying.
As an Officer in the United States Army, I had been in many community service organizations and worked with many groups to see many works of mercy and kindness completed to make a better world with goals and inclusiveness.
Being an Ordained Minister and a part of many projects including recent relief work for Ukraine with weekly ministry shows on FAITH RADIO, we have raised funds for many projects of good works in the past. We have raised funds for homeless assistance and organizations like the YWCA Safe Space Homeless Shelter and associated programs.
and on WYHW FM, WRBG FM, KPJC AM and other stations in the
USA in MD, OH, OR, AZ, FL, TX.....
Upon reading the Rotary material given to me by those who invited me there, I see that the whole idea of the club was to get people together who could be honest and trustworthy to do good for the community and help eradicate polio while contributing to the community for it's betterment. They only required that a person be of good reputation and be willing to be a part. That is not true for this Smethport group. Although some members are good people, the core of the leadership there are all about maintaining a clique to keep control of their own interests without inclusiveness of the whole community at large. Their insulting nature of self-impressed exclusiveness is not in line with the governance of the organization and the Rotary International guidelines on their web site.
"Work hard to deliver an experience that will keep members engaged and excited about Rotary.
You can keep your club and membership active and thriving by:
Evaluating your club’s membership
Finding new members
Engaging current Rotarians"
This is not the case with the Smethport bunch. They desire to bolster their own self importance and reserve their own group of the same old cronies who have been stopping progress in this town for over 20 plus years for their own self gain and control.
If you want to actually do any good, and want to join a rotary club, I suggest you join Kawanis or a local church before getting involved with the Smethport Rotary Club. Like so many other groups who pretend to be inclusive, they only serve themselves and seek to exclude and insult people of good reputations and honorable intentions.
In accordance with the Rotary's own bylaws and guidelines ( https://www.rotary.org/myrotary/en/learning-reference/about-rotary/... ) It would seem to any honest person of good reputation that the intentions of the international organization is violated by the exclusiveness of some local organizations and some of the persons within those groups.
With these types of groups, it is all about who they will let join the clique rather than who might be good for the efforts of good works.
With other organizations we see just the opposite. Kawanis, The Historical Society, Even the Office of Economic Development, Chamber of commerce and Hamlin Bank all work with fair and honest due diligence to insure the community is growing and working to help those in need and help grow business in the area.
Many local church groups and organizations have food banks, clothing contribution shelves, and seek to help curb the tied of drug addiction and foster education to strengthen the community. It is to bad that exclusive groups seek to insult many with fine reputations and willingness to volunteer with politics of personality and power structure struggles among really unimportant people who seek to keep control over their cliques.
I have watched for almost 20 years as the children of the community grow up and leave this area stating that there is nothing here to keep them here. It is those who are so selfish and self absorbed that they must maintain a certain deterioration of community and lack of healthy competition that have fostered the shrinking number of businesses and people who stay. Corruption creeps in within even the structure of the court systems with a sheriff accused of crimes and dope smoking mayors who claim to want to be beneficial to the community, yet find every way they can to push out other voices for positive change. The Seventh Day Adventists moved to Mt Jewett and Bradford as they were pushed out for other groups. Businesses failed due to lack of support because certain people did not think them worthy of their support and discouraged others from supporting or buying from them. This is the attitude which causes a community to wither and die on the vine.
As store fronts in small towns grow empty windows and economic conditions restrict small businesses from even getting started, you would think that some folks would learn that their exclusiveness is not the answer to building a better future and that they would realize that no matter how much they acquire personally, or control they think they have over others, eventually we all die and take nothing with us. It is not what we have that makes us anything, but what we leave behind.
If some old cronies have their way they will leave behind empty streets and storefronts and no one left to visit their clique members in the grave yards of a forgotten past. There are a few towns like that from the 1700s and early 1800s out west in overgrown dirt paths that no longer can be found on the map. They call them ghost-towns.
Small towns that arose and were taken over by bullies who sucked up all the money and resources and controlled the people with fear and the gun of rumor and gossip. As people found what was going on in these types of new small towns they all moved eventually and the big bosses of greed died or were left alone to have their ghost town.
So let them rot in their self importance without any to help them out of the pit they have dug. As for me, I will not darken the door of such small people with small minds in small towns who seek their own greedy ends.
Today I was met at the door of the Rotary meeting with a request to get lost and don't come back in a rude fashion that seemed to be a surprise even to the person who had invited me to join originally.
The shock of such lack of manors that they had not even called me to say they did not want to extend a hand of friendship to me was insulting and showed the lack of class and social prowess that they maintain in this group.
So as to Rotary this was my response to them in a group email:
I want to thank all those who welcomed me over the last few weeks to the Rotary Club.
I had thought that your strong desire to gain members and add to those willing to become
a part of honorable good works was welcomed with your invitations and emails,
I am sorry I was mistaken.
I would suggest that the next time you do not want someone to be a member that you have
the common decency of a phone call to let them know that you want to exclude them from your club.
I will place my efforts in other areas of benevolence where my efforts are welcomed.
All the Best,
Rev Cpt Daniel W Merrick PhD
I counted from the members emails from their invitations 19 members,
most of which do not show up to the meetings.
I can now understand why so few show up when your
efforts will be greater appreciated elsewhere.
To date the organizations that I have joined and have
life time memberships with in many of these groups are:
MOAA - Military Officers Association of America
ROA - Reserve officers Association
DAV - Disabled American Veterans
AUSA - Association of the Untied States Army
Mckean County Historical Society
Tigoa County Historical Society
National Society of Sons and Daughters of Royalty
Sons Of The American Revolution
As a young boy in high school I was a member of the Key Club and have had to my credit many works of charitable efforts through my congregations and church organizations throughout my life. I have never been so insulted by any such organization as I was today by these classless aging hacks who will no doubt shrink and die on the dead vine.
I do not know how other Rotary Clubs operate or invite members and grow, but as for this one in Smethport I do not recommend it to anyone. Perhaps those of us who have been insulted by this group might want to start our own club for good works and try to breed some influence of honesty, integrity, and class to be a moral influence on our community to fight the tidal wave of corruption and cronyism that has bloomed a dark cloud over our town.
If you are interested in perhaps becoming a part of a more inclusive group as this you may comment below or email me here on this site.
I can not recommend Rotary unless it is in another community away from this group of dwindling members which have only sealed their own ends by their lack of good well, lack of manors, and total lack of class.
For more on Dan's Radio Shows and Ministry see www.YahsSpace.org and join free there and become a part of good works and ministry there.