New Member Introduction | Melissa Gimby

Get to know one of our newest members, Melissa Gimby! Here’s her introduction, as read by her sponsor, Tammy McCammon:
Melissa grew up in Klamath Falls with her parents and younger sister Gretchen.  She was blessed to live there along with her grandparents and at one point in time, all 12 of her cousins. There were big family meals, BBQs, pool parties and lots of fun.  She moved in 1987 to Salem as a sophomore at Sprague High School with her family.  After trying out for the volleyball team where she made scorekeeper when she learned choir and drama were her wheelhouse and has continued to sing in church as an adult.
Fast forward a few years where she became the mother of 4 adopted children.  That’s where her love of adoption, foster families and organizations like Wake the World, Foster Parent Night Out and the Marion County Foster Parent Association grew. She was blessed to be a stay at home mom spending many of her days with her sister, niece and nephew going to bible studies, volunteering at her church, taking the kids to the park, just being with family.
After finding herself a single mother of 4 children under the age of 8 she went back to work for a local nonprofit that matched at risk youth with mentors.  Melissa loved learning about marketing, event planning, speaking to local philanthropic groups and any group that would allow her to speak.  She also learned about many of the nonprofits in our area… how they are the glue that keeps our community running… how they prevent folks from falling in the cracks and not getting the help or services that they need… and she learned how important it is to find an organization you’re passionate about whether its animals, hunger, education and reading, foster children, abused children and THEN give of your time or your monies to those groups.
After marrying her husband John in 2011, she is now a mother of 7, yes 7 children.  He had 2, she had 4 and they had a surprise.  They call the kids the bigs, the middles and the little.  The kids are now 28, 24, 18, 17, 14, 13 and 6.  Her world still revolves around family, big meals, hanging out and playing board games, watching the kids in sports and now also enjoying her 2 month old grandson.
Years ago Melissa was able to speak at several of the rotary clubs about the nonprofit she worked for, including this very group.  And that’s when she learned how much work rotary does and she wanted to be a part of it.  It took a couple of years but sometimes that is how life works.
After having an employer who was supportive of her joining Rotary she reached out to Tammy.  She saw that this group is about doing the work. And after being a visitor, she has had her original impression confirmed… that this is not a networking group, this is a group of friends invested in doing the work, making this community, this world a better place.  Melissa is so very honored to be inducted into the Rotary and is ready to jump in and do the work along side of you.