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ROTARY NEWS: Rotary still committed to the community

January 19, 2017
By DICK BREWER - Lake Placid Rotary Club , Lake Placid News

The Rotary Club of Lake Placid has been involved in community service right from the beginning.

When we were new, we started to look around for something we could support. Bob Urfirer was a charter member and his wife Helene was heavily involved with Literacy Volunteers, so that became the first cause we took up, and has continued to this day.

Shortly after that, the Shipman Youth Center was being built and our members along with the members of other service clubs in Lake Placid pitched in and contributed countless hours to its construction. We also continue to support the Youth Center with monetary contributions as well as some occasional sweat equity.

Article Photos

Betsy Gengel, Mary Liz Alexander, Krista Frei and Gene Gengel serve cocoa at the Olympic Center during the Holiday Stroll in December. Thanks to Starbucks for the donation of hot cocoa.
(Photo provided)

One of our earliest initiatives was Kate Smith Day. Every year around Kate Smith's birthday (May 1), we give a scholarship to a promising Lake Placid Central School musician.

Another ongoing project is the local parks. These small "pocket" parks are used more by the village residents than visitors. We spruced them up, raised money for new playground equipment and installed the equipment. We've continued to work on park improvement and maintenance.

Along the way there have been some "one-shot" projects, for example several years ago we bought a small passenger bus for Uihlein Mercy Center, and more recently installed bike racks around town.

We recently held an election night dinner at the American Legion and donated the proceeds to the Legion. Recently we helped revitalize a home in Saranac Lake to provide transitional housing for homeless and at-risk people. We continue to look for projects that will improve the quality of life in Lake Placid, particularly for its residents.

We give donations to many local groups that ask us for funds. This used to be done on a haphazard basis, so a few years ago we formed a donations committee that vets requests and approves donations.

We also support Rotary International with donations. RI is active in a number of focus areas throughout the world - too many to enumerate here, If you're interested take a look at www.rotary.org.

Today, proceeds from one of our major fundraisers, Trivia Night, go to support Literacy. Our other major fundraiser is the Dam Duck Race, which has evolved into a local institution and supports most everything else that Rotary does in the community.

What's changed?

Our membership started out at 25 as required by Rotary International for a new club, and then went up and down - as low as 12 at one point - and is now more than 40. A group this size gives us more opportunity to be of service.

Since our founding in 1994, we still meet on Thursday morning, although the start time of the meeting moved from 7:30 to 7:20 a.m. so that we can get all of our business (and fun) done and get everyone on their way by 8:30 a.m., because Rotarians are busy people.

We started out meeting at the Ramada Inn for several years. When that property changed hands and the new owners wanted to do some major renovations to the kitchen, we moved on to Howard Johnson's. The Butlers took very good care of us for many years, and actually spoiled us. When they decided to move on, we found a new home at the Marriott.

What hasn't changed? Our commitment to ourselves to have fun while we serve the community!

The Lake Placid Rotary Club meets every Thursday morning from 7:20 to 8:30 a.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott. All are welcome. For more information, visit www.rotarylakeplacid.org or email us at rotarylakeplacid@gmail.com.

 
 

 

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