Grandfather and Granddaughter’s Bond Includes a Shared Love of Rotary and Service
 
Richard Littlefield is the 91-year-old grandfather of 34-year-old Jyoti Goodwin-Jones and both are members of the Rotary Club of Ogunquit.  They were excited to share their thoughts about what Rotary means to them and how grateful they are to be able to share their commitment to Rotary, community service and each other, by participating as members of the same club.
 
Richard has been a member of the Ogunquit Rotary Club for thirty years and has been president twice.  He reports that, “Joining Rotary was one of the best things I ever did.  The social aspects of the club and the focus on helping others is what makes it a wonderful experience.” While Jyoti has technically been a member of the club for a comparatively short two years, she has participated in Rotary activities since she was a little girl by joining her grandparents at meetings and helping with Rotary fundraising activities.
 
When Richard joined the club in 1991 it was all men.  The change to include women, including his wife Mary in 1994, was an important and positive decision.  When Mary and Richard brought Jyoti to meetings and activities when she was a little girl, they were so proud to have her there with them.  The feeling was mutual, and Jyoti says that now that she is a member, “Being in the Rotary Club with my grandfather has extra special meaning because it’s something that we both love doing and can do together.  Going to Rotary meetings together and having that shared experience has really enhanced our relationship.”
 
For Jyoti, being part of community and networking with people who want to give back is important.  She has participated in the annual 2-cent sale since she was little and that is her favorite Rotary event.  She has also made time to participate in Ogunquitfest and staff the Rotary table at the beach.  Another important event for Jyoti is the Christmas event, usually held at Jonathan’s, where Rotarians serve a meal to senior citizens.  “While Christmas can be joyful for a lot of people, it can also be a difficult time for some.  It’s a great feeling to provide good food and cheer to seniors in our community during the holiday season” Jyoti explained.
 
The sense of purpose that Richard and Jyoti share was clear in what advice they would give to people considering joining the Ogunquit Rotary Club.  Richard’s advice is, “If you are civic minded, love your fellow man, and want to make the world and our community a better place, you should join the Rotary Club of Ogunquit.”  Jyoti’s advice is this, “If you are looking for a place where you can have a feeling of belonging and give back to the community, it’s a great organization to join!”
 
The full interviews with Richard and Jyoti follow:
 
What is it about the Rotary Club of OGT that made you want to be a member?
 
I had been asked to join the club by local business owners and, in 1991, I joined.  During my 30 years as a member I have been club president twice.  Joining Rotary was one of the best things I ever did.  The social aspect of the club and the focus on helping others is what makes it a wonderful experience.  When I joined, the club was all men and the change to including women was an important and positive decision.
 
Are there particular Rotary club activities that you find most rewarding?
 
RL: Raising money to help those who are less fortunate is most important to me and I’m glad to participate in those activities.
 
What does it mean to you to have been in the club with your wife and now to be in the club with your granddaughter?
 
RL: My wife Mary joined the club in 1994 and was a member until her passing in 2019.  Mary and I would bring Jyoti to Rotary meetings and activities when she was a little girl and we were so proud to have her there with us.
 
What advice would you give to people considering joining the OGT Rotary club?
 
RL: Being a Rotarian is a commitment and our club is a political-free environment.  If you are civic minded, love your fellow man, and want to make the world and our community a better place, you should join the Rotary Club of Ogunquit. 
 
What is it about the Rotary Club of OGT that made you want to be a member?
 
JGJ: My grandparents, Richard and Mary Littlefield, have been long time members and talked so highly about Rotary.  Being part of an organization with people who have a common mission is very rewarding.  It’s great to be part of a community and to network.  Rotary really gives back, and that is important to me.
 
Are there particular Rotary club activities that you find most rewarding?
 
JGJ: I have participated in the 2 Cents Sale since I was a little girl and that’s my favorite event.  I helped on the day of the event by giving out prizes to people and I helped my grandparents sell tickets and put together gift baskets.  It’s a really fun community experience! Another great experience is participating in Ogunquitfest.  Our Rotary Club has a table and we sell bread that has been donated.  Working at the table makes you feel like you are part of the community and proud to be in Rotary.  It’s also a great way to see lots of people and say hi as they visit the table. I have also participated in the Christmas event at Jonathan’s where we serve a meal to seniors.  That is a fun and uplifting event.  While Christmas can be joyful for a lot of people, it can also be a difficult time for some.  It’s a great feeling to provide good food and cheer to seniors in our community during the holiday season.
 
What does it mean to you to be in the same club as your grandfather?
 
JGJ: Being in the Rotary Club with my grandfather has extra special meaning because it’s something that we both love doing and can do together.  Going to Rotary meetings together and having that shared experience has really enhanced our relationship. 
 
What advice would you give to people considering joining the OGT Rotary club?
 
JGJ: If you are looking for a place where you can have a feeling of belonging and give back to the community, it’s a great organization to join!