Beckley, W.V. (WVNS) — The Beckley Rotary Club has come a long way in its 100 years of existence. But one thing that’s never changed is the club’s drive to make a difference in the community.

The Beckley Rotary Club is celebrating their centennial year of community service by setting a series of goals revolving around the theme of 100 years. First on their list -gathering 100 blankets to donate to the United Way’s Warming center, which provides a warm place to sleep for folks who would otherwise be stuck out in the cold.

“We are very excited to offer this blanket drive for the month of January,” said Beckley Rotary Club President-Elect April Elkins-Badtke. “Every blanket we collect, we’re going to donate back to the United Way for their warming stations. We know that when they have folks coming in to get warm, that they’re going to be able to take these blankets with them and hopefully it will help them stay warm until they need to come back to the warming center.”

When asked what’s changed the most about Rotrary over her time in the club, Elkins-Badtke said she was thrilled to see how many women have taken on leadership roles in the club. Especially considering, just three decades ago, women weren’t even allowed to be members.

“1993 was when we had our first women join Rotary,” said Elkins-Badtke. “And now we have… I’m President-elect, so I’ll be President in 2022 in July. We have another female coming up behind us so we have women in leadership, which is something that is really unheard of, and especially when Rotary first started, it was really just for men.”

Elkins-Badtke says the changes she’s seen during her time as a Rotarian, really exemplify the spirit of what the club has always been about.

“Rotary is… we’re progressive. We’re absolutely doing things differently,” Elkins-Badtke explained. “We’re meeting the needs of others because our motto is service above self. And so we want to make sure we’re meeting that need for everybody.”

Folks interested in participating in the blanket drive can drop their blankets off at the Rotary Club’s office at 345 Prince St. in Beckley.