Wednesday, August 30, 2017
DALLAS — You see Dallas Rotarians hard at work during Summerfest’s Breakfast in the Park and Tom Newton Car Show every year.
Make a difference
What: Dallas Rotary Club.
When: Tuesday, noon.
Where: Dallas Civic Center.
Of note: The M-I Rotary Club also is accepting new members. The club meets at noon on Thursdays at First Baptist Church, 1505 Monmouth St., Independence.
But did you know the club is active in student exchanges hosting foreign students in Dallas and sending Dallas students overseas? Or that club members handed out more than 300 dictionaries to fourth-graders in 2017?
Also, the club honors outstanding Dallas students monthly and granted scholarships to three graduating seniors during the last school year.
Rich Wolcott, the club’s Community Service Committee chairman, said the club is adding a few more projects to its plate.
“Our goal is to become more involved in community service events, not that we haven’t been in the past,” he said. “We want to expand the global (projects).”
Recently, club members helped renovate the kitchen in Dallas City Park in time to use it for Breakfast in the Park, but also for other events.
Rotary District 5100 (to which the Dallas Club belongs) provided a $1,500 grant for equipment, and the Dallas Rotary club matched that amount and added in volunteer work repainting the kitchen.
“We spent a whole day, with about seven people,” Wolcott said. “We had so many that everyone got in everybody’s way. We painted the ceiling, the walls.”
He said in addition to Rotary, 60 to 70 different groups use the kitchen during the year for reunions, wedding receptions and other events.
“It’s just so much nicer and cleaner,” Wolcott said. “We were thinking, too, like everybody else is thinking, of the eclipse. We knew that the kitchen is going to be used more this summer by the public.”
The city of Dallas installed the new equipment and put in its own money for new lighting.
Not just focused on Dallas City Park, Rotary members spend time at the city’s dog park, Central Bark, putting down bark, and the club “adopted” a section of the Rickreall Creek Trail to help maintain.
Also, the club is helping pay for installing the long-awaited pickleball courts across the street from the Dallas Aquatic Center.
Wolcott said the club is taking more action outside of Dallas.
In partnership with Rotary Club of Salem, Dallas Rotary helped support a project to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to four villages in Haiti. The project improved living conditions for 25,000 people in the hard-hit nation.
“If any country needs help, that country needs help,” Wolcott said. “You can imagine what their water, and especially what their sanitation is like right now.”
Dallas Rotarians are working with Rotary Club of Keizer on a project in Thailand to reduce hazards associated with burning rice fields by building shredders to encourage composting the debris.
A club in Lampang, Thailand, developed the “Rotary Shredder” to shred crop residue into small pieces and add microbes to convert the material into fertilizer.
The fertilizer is added to the soil before the next crop is planted.
Bob Ottaway, a Dallas Rotarian and member of the Rotary Foundation Club, went to Thailand to help work on the project.
“It’s been a pretty active year for Rotary,” Wolcott said. “I’ve been a member for 14 years and every club has their up and down years.”
This would count as an “up” year, and Wolcott would like to see that continue.
The club is recruiting more members, and would like to have more women, and people 30 and younger join the club, he said.
Anyone interested in visiting the club can contact Susan Morrill at 503-623-3119, or any club member.