Crawfordsville Rotarians are welcoming a new club president during its 100th year in Montgomery County.
Charlie Cochrane, self-described as a millennial and youngest president of any Rotary club, was officially recognized Wednesday during the group’s first in-person meeting since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restricted public gatherings in March.
Cochrane is an insurance agent at JM Thompson Insurance in Crawfordsville, and has been a member of Crawfordsville Rotary for two years.
“In that time it’s been an honor to get to know my fellow Rotarians and see the impact this club has had on the community,” Cochrane said. “I’m excited to take a larger role in that service. It is also an unprecedented year to be the president as we navigate strange and frustrating times.”
Meeting in the shade under the north shelter at Milligan Park on Wednesday, members arrived with face masks or joined via virtual platforms amid social distancing guidelines.
Outgoing president Roger Azar thanked members for their support during the last year and performed his final task as president to swear in Cochrane.
“Welcome to the presidency of Rotary for 2020,” Azar said.
The Rotary Club’s annual New Year began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021. Cochrane was elected by the Rotary Club’s governing board of 17 members two years ago and has been mentored by Azar and others for the role ever since.
“This year can be one of our best years yet, and we must continue to expand our community impact and inspire not only new members, but new community activists,” Cochrane said. “As the youngest club president (in the country), I hope that my year can show fellow youthful residents not only the honor that service to a community brings, but the fun that can be had in doing so.”
As the club moves forward with upcoming food festivals and concerts in August and September, Cochrane said he realizes the value of togetherness during trying times.
“I believe that small communities are where you truly see the best that this country has to offer,” he said. “I hope to continue the long tradition of service that my longer-serving fellow Rotarians have made into such a strong community staple.”
Past president Aaron Morgan was present Wednesday and presented a plaque to outgoing president Azar.
“(Azar) did a fantastic job and he certainly stepped up for me as I was going out as president,” Morgan said.
Rotary Club members meet each Wednesday at noon at various locations. For membership application information, visit www.my.rotary.org.