The Annandale Rotary Club is all about being engaged with the community, so it was a natural that the service organization would want to play a key role in the Taste of Annandale.

The Rotary Club is not only a “gold level” sponsor of the community festival on Oct. 14, but the club’s president, Bob Kahane, is chair of the 2017 Taste of Annandale Planning Committee.

Rotarians invite the community to visit the club’s booth at the Taste of Annandale to learn more about its activities and the charities it supports.

The club will be selling raffle tickets at the booth for the Redskins vs. Giants game on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 8:30 p.m., at FedEx Field. Raffle tickets are $10 each or $20 for three. The winner will receive four tickets to the game plus a parking pass. The drawing will be at 5 p.m.

Proceeds from the raffle will support ShelterBox, an organization supported by Rotary that provides temporary housing and supplies to disaster victims.

The Rotary Club will also be selling lottery tickets, $100 each, to benefit the Annandale Rotary Club Foundation, which funds college scholarships to seniors at Annandale and Falls Church high schools and grants to various community programs.

The top prize in that lottery is $5,000. The second-place winner will receive $1,500, and four people will each win $250. Only 350 tickets will be sold, Kahane says, so there’s a good chance of winning.

“The Taste of Annandale gives us another opportunity to give back to the community and help bring the community together,” Kahane says. “It’s a fun event for the whole family.”

Community engagement is a key value of the Annandale Rotary Club, which was founded 52 years ago as a member of Rotary International. The international organization’s motto is “Service above self.”

One of Rotary International’s biggest projects is the eradication of polio. That campaign has been remarkably successful, as there only a few dozen people who have the disease worldwide.

The Annandale Rotary Club meets every Wednesday for lunch at the Juke Box Diner and once a month at the Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) Annandale campus.

Anyone interested in joining the Rotary Club has to be invited by a current member, but visitors are welcome at the weekly luncheons. Meetings feature a presentation by an elected official, professor, or community leader or a video of a TED Talk. Nearly half of the club’s members are women, and ages range from the 30s to 95, Kahane says.

The Annandale Rotary Club hosts an annual Community Service Luncheon at Annandale High School celebrating local organizations that provide critical aid to those in need – with a multi-course meal prepared by students in the school’s culinary arts program. The next one is Nov. 15.

Among the club’s service projects, it surprised a classroom of young children at the ACCA Child Development Center with holiday gifts last December. That is one of many Rotary projects that support ACCA’s (Annandale Christian Community for Action) initiatives to provide food, furniture, childcare, and other assistance to local residents in need.

The Annandale Rotary Club is affiliated with the Rotaract Club at NOVA, which hosts a food pantry for students, and the Interact Club at Annandale High School, which sponsors the annual Just World Festival.