First Posted: 4/11/2012
Don Demarest, club president for the Trail Rotary Factoryville sums his feelings about his involvement with Rotary International as a whole: "When you wake up and smell the coffee, then pour yourself a bowl of Wheaties , put your glasses on and shake the cobwebs loose, you pick up the paper and realize everyday what non-profit organizations accomplish in NEPA for the good of our citizens and children. Now magnify this by the thousands across this country."
He sees the big picture. "Rotary is not just a club, it's an education."
Demarest has witnessed firsthand what the organization has done locally as well as throughout the world. And he wants to spread to the world that people are needed in all walks of life to help the endeavors club members face.
The Factoryville resident has been busy with Rotary for three years, club president for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, and has experienced first hand what the organization does locally, as well as throughout the world.
"It's just amazing how much the government or county or non-profits have made a difference during times that are hard for citizens…so no matter how little, every bit is appreciated it. It's a team effort. I stress that – T-E-A-M effort."
Though Demarest's team is small, he claims it's mighty. He says there are a lot of clubs larger and stronger than his yet they are no. 1 in their district per capita in giving per member, 12 members and counting. The majority of them are baby boomers, born between 1946-1964. "At present, we have most likely achieved the American Dream. But, slowly, our future and dreams are fading fast. As far as tomorrow, most are taking it a day at a time. If you care about our young people, our children, and grandkids, how many tomorrows will it take so they have a brighter future? Will they be able to live the American Dream?"
Some of Demarest's successes with Trail Rotary include having started a chess club, sponsored a bowling tournament for the last two years to raise money for polio and helping out at the library every Saturday from 10 until noon. His goal is to increase membership. His hope is to start clubs for past alumni, teachers from any district club and 21-30 year-old graduates from Lackawanna Trail. Demarest said it only takes five members to start those satellite clubs and members can meet once or twice a month whenever and wherever they want. As for Trail Rotary, they meet at Gin's Restaurant on Tuesdays at noon and meetings are open to the public.
According to him, the difference is non-profit organizations do this with love, honor and most important, they do it peacefully. "There is little time left before we pass on, so be a mentor, volunteer, perform a service or join a club. We are the future. With positive thinking and an ‘I Can Do' attitude, we can make dreams come true. Kindle the spark to continue. Ignite the flame toward mankind. Reach within and embrace humanity."
Demarest graduated in 1971 from Passaic Valley Regional High School in Little Falls, N. J. He took I.C.S. business management courses and spent 15 years as a manager at Toys R Us and Kay Bee Toys. For seven years he served as a supervisor for 14 convenience stores in New Jersey and the last seven years at Ray's Shur-Save Market in Factoryville. He is a former councilman and baseball coach.
Demarest has been married twice but now is in a relationship with his first love, 41 years later. He has three children from his first marriage: Carrie, Corinne and Courtney. He also has a son from his second marriage: Don-Michael, two step-daughters and seven grandchildren.
Interests and hobbies: All sports – baseball, playing chess, collecting baseball memorabilia.
I'm inspired by: Youngsters and the success they have after graduating.
Favorite place in the world: Any ballfield and mountains
Favorite book: ‘Under Fire' and ‘Delta Force'
Greatest achievement: Being asked to setup a prototype store for 156 retail locations with everyone flown in and two busloads arriving, videotaping and photographs. Then job offers made it an amazing day.
Perfect Saturday afternoon: Playing golf with my son.
One item I can't leave home without: Wearing a rotary pin