Chelsi Dildine, the 2020-21 president of the Arlington Rotary Club, has been named “Rotarian of the Year” by District 7610 of Rotary International.
The district encompasses the Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg and Charlottesville areas, and honored Dildine for her service during the 2020-21 club year.
Dildine led Arlington Rotary in quickly adapting to challenges during the pandemic, shifting to “virtual” weekly meetings and special events – including fund-raising for relief efforts to help county residents in economic distress.
Despite the pandemic, Dildine also recruited more than 200 Arlington residents for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January 2021, who assembled 250 “no-sew” blankets at home for children in need. The project received regional television news coverage and led to a special recognition award for the club.
“I am humbled by this,” Dildine said of the award. “It actually reflects the dedication of all our club members to Rotary International’s mission of ‘Service Above Self.’”
Tony Weaver, who succeeds Dildine as club president for 2021-22, said “Chelsi will serve as an example for me on how to lead, with commitment and good cheer. I am also grateful that she has agreed to serve as chair of the club’s Community Service Committee in 2021-22, and I know the Arlington community will continue to benefit from her hard work and dedication.”
Arlington Rotary is a partner with AHC Inc., the Arlington Food Assistance Center, Key Elementary School and other non-profit organizations serving the community. It also awards a total of $18,000 annually in college scholarships to Arlington graduating high-school students.
District 7610 consists of close to 60 individual Rotary Clubs. Last September, the district bestowed the Arlington club with a Golden Award for Service honoring efforts “during difficult times.”
Rotary International connects 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries dedicated to humanitarian causes at both the local and international levels.