Cramer emphasizes community involvement, making a difference as Rotarian president
Tom Fink Staff Reporter
For the past eight years, Claremore businesswoman Barry Cramer has been involved in the Rotary Club of Claremore, but for the past two months, her involvement in the group has increased exponentially.
In July, Cramer took over as president of the Rotary Club of Claremore from outgoing President Mark Ogle.
Cramer explains her long-held interest in Rotary:
“I’ve been involved in Rotary since 2005,” Cramer said. “(Rotarian) Rose Ann (McCaw) and I were friends and she’d been telling me I should join, so I went to a few meetings to see what the group was about. I was very impressed with the group, the character of its members, and everything the group stood for and everything they did.”
Perhaps nowhere is the character of Rotary members so evidenced, Cramer said, as with the group’s “Four-Way Test,” recited at each meeting and a reminder to members about the level of ethical conduct to which they are held.
“Ah, the Four-Way Test,” Cramer said. “That’s really at the heart of everything we do, of the kind of people who are Rotarians — it (the Four-Way Test) cuts to the core of how we face every life decision, and it’s the ultimate cornerstone by which we conduct ourselves.”
With the Four-Way Test, before making decisions, Rotarians ask themselves: Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
“The (Four-Way) Test is really a foundational part of the group, of its members and how they view their commitment to make a difference in their community,” she said. “Historically, we (Rotarians) undertake so many life-changing projects as an organization — we’ve taken on the near-eradication of polio, we’ve handed out personalized dictionaries to Rogers County third-graders, we’ve helped build water wells in Nicaragua, we offer scholarships for area students, we raise money for the Claremore Public Schools Foundation, we collect and redistribute medical supplies, we offer leadership training, and right now, we’re collecting shoes to later distribute to children in need, and more.”
Although Cramer is the first female Rotary president in several years, she said she wants the focus of her tenure (as president) to be less about her gender or even herself, and more about the organization.
“I would hope during my time (as president) that its members would be recommitted to being Rotarians — not just members of ‘a group’ but real Rotarians,” she said. “We’re helpers in the community, both the immediate community — Claremore — and the global community. Our strength comes from our members coming together to do genuine good, to make a (positive) difference in people’s lives, and to train up a generation of new Rotarians to do the same. The Rotary Club is really the greatest organization to which, I think, anyone could belong.”