Life Changing: Rotarian Jane Jerry
For Jane Jerry, life in a small town is made even sweeter with service through Rotary.
Prior to moving to Highlands in 2011 to become executive director of The Bascom: Center for the Visual Arts, Jane Jerry lived and worked in Houston, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Dublin, Ireland.
“During my interview [with The Bascom] someone asked how I would feel about living in a very small town,” said Jerry. “I had wondered about that myself. But I’d spent every summer growing up in Randolph, N.H., (year-round population of 310). I had fond memories of the smell of the pine trees and the warm embrace of all the families who lived in Randolph year ‘round. I happily moved to Highlands.”
Shortly after arriving in Highlands, Jerry was inducted into Highlands Rotary.
“I realized there was no better place to network and to meet year ‘round residents of Highlands, as well as ‘Red Badgers’ (summer members). In addition to meeting business owners, leaders of local non-profits, and retirees, I was quickly absorbed into a great variety of community events where Rotarians volunteer,” she remembered.
Jerry knew about the importance of Rotary and its impact on individuals and communities because her niece was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Finland. “She’s quick to explain that the experience changed her life. I now find myself proselytizing to all young people to explore the opportunities Rotary offers.”
Besides a focus on young people, Rotary Clubs support countless community efforts, and Jerry pointed out that “nothing could make me prouder than Rotary’s support of our local Covid-19 vaccination clinics.”
Highlands’ Rotary Clubs are accessible to people of all ages and stages of employment. “I’m a member of the Noontime Club, which meets at noon at the Community Center. I’ve also enjoyed attending meetings of the Mountaintop Rotary, which meets at 5:00 P.M. at the Episcopalian Church of the Carnation in Highlands.” (Both clubs have offered virtual Zoom meetings.)
After more than a decade of living in a small town, Jerry reflected, “Now that I’m retired from The Bascom, I’m one of those people who rarely ‘goes off the mountain,’ … treasuring the smell of pines, and still evangelizing about Rotary!”
by Deena Boukinght
photo by Susan Renfro