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ROTARY CLUB NEWS: Rotary Club offers service opportunities

The inflatable rubber duck on Mill Pond promotes the Lake Placid Rotary Club’s upcoming Dam Duck Race fundraiser, which will be held down the Chubb River on Saturday, Sept. 11. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

The Rotary Club of Lake Placid is made up of close to 40 members who volunteer and donate to support community needs. We are part of the larger Rotary International, a global-to-local, action-focused organization. The Community Service Committee of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid helps bring members’ service ideas to life. The Club’s current projects span educational, environmental, cultural and community needs. Each year Club members donate approximately 900 hours of volunteering, often in partnership with other groups.

The Community Service Committee is co-chaired by Martha Pritchard Spear and Kate Thompson. Here is a report on the committee’s activities past, present and future. Everyone is welcome to participate in these projects. Just email us at RotaryLakePlacid@gmail.com.

Bus shelters: This project began in 2018 with the leadership of Heather Perkins and Martha Pritchard Spear. The Rotary Club of Lake Placid is having built and donating three beautiful bus shelters to the community. They will be placed throughout town and help to protect riders in all weathers. Thanks to all who donated, helping to get this much needed resource to the community. A special thanks to the lead donor — the Uihlein Foundation. John D. Leekley, Chairperson of the Henry Uihlein II and Mildred A. Uihlein Foundation Trust said, “Having spent more than a few mornings and evenings in January…standing in the open waiting for the bus, I applaud Rotary for this initiative. This project hits all the right notes: it’s for everybody and it benefits the community as a whole. We were pleased to invest in Rotary’s new bus shelters.”

Shipman Youth Center: Peter Beatty is the captain of yard work and outdoor clean-up projects to help keep the center in tip-top shape. The Rotary Club does all sorts of handy things around the property including, recently, taking apart the bottle shed that had fallen into disrepair. Peter is planning a fall clean-up for the center. The Rotary Club, along with others, has volunteered in the I Love BBQ and Music Festival that helps to raise funds to support the youth center. This festival is set for Sept. 3-5 at the North Elba Show Grounds.

Dam Duck Race: Each year the Rotary Club hosts, with help from Lisa G’s, a fundraiser and festival that helps to support community giving. Chaired for 16 years by Debbie McLean and Tina Leonard, this year’s event is Saturday, Sept. 11. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the race takes place at 6 p.m. Duck tickets are available for purchase at $10 per ticket or $25 for 3 tickets. This year’s first place prize is $1,500 — and the second and third place prizes are also very generous. If interested in purchasing a ticket go to DamDuckRace.com.

Elderwood Caroling and Holiday Gifts: Many residents of Elderwood either do not have family members or members who live near by. Rotary is explicitly a non-religious organization and we honor all faith traditions. The Rotary Club, lead by Chandler Ralph, helps to bring winter cheer during the end of the year by serenading the residents with festive music and giving them each personal gifts. The Club looks forward to this activity and welcomes any who would like to participate.

Food drives: the Club just completed a year-long COVID-response Food Drive for the Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry, chaired by Kate Thompson and staffed by volunteers from area agencies including the Rotary Club, ADK Community Church, Lake Placid Synagogue, Lions Club, St. Agnes Church, the Zonta Club of the Adirondacks, and student volunteers. Thanks to our generous community enough food and resources were collected to feed four people three square meals a day for nearly three years. The food pantry actually ran out of storage space, the community was so generous each month! Food drives were on hold this summer and resume on September 18 given the pending changes of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and benefits through the CARES Act.

Greenwood Valentine’s Day gathering: Begun several years ago by Amy Quinn, each year since the Rotary Club, along with volunteer high school students, hosts a pizza social for the residents at the Greenwood. Student volunteers decorate the gathering room. For 2022 the Rotary Club is seeking a captain to organize this event. If you are interested in being the Greenwood Valentine’s captain, please contact either of the Service Committee Co-chairs.

Highway cleanup: Each spring and fall the Rotary Club gathers to help clean up state Route 73 coming into the town. This helps to protect Lake Placid’s environment. Stephen Detweiler passed leadership for this activity to Bill and Linda Flederbach.

Hot chocolate at Holiday events: Pre-COVID, Rotary traditionally gave out hot chocolate at the Holiday Stroll, skating events and other special wintertime activities in the village. Starbucks graciously donated the cocoa, Stewart’s donated cups and napkins, and our volunteers stood warmly in the Olympic Center, or braved the elements outdoors handing out the good stuff. This project will be led by Stephanie Pianka in partnership with Bethany Valenze of ROOST.

North Elba Historical Society: We recently hosted a project at the Lake Placid North Elba Historical Society cleaning the antique glass photo negatives in their collection. Like many of the other projects this one is ongoing and we help with it once or twice a year.

If you would like to learn more about Rotary come see us at our booth on Community Day, September 12, between 1:00 – 4:00pm at the Horse Show Pavilion. The Club’s sister organization, the Lake Placid New York Rotary Foundation, will also have a table and provide information on Foundation opportunities.

Rotarians are effective people: Club members like to get things done. The Rotary Club of Lake Placid welcomes new ideas and partnership opportunities with other groups, nonprofits and organizations serving the community.

We encourage those who are interested in Rotary Club to attend an early Thursday morning breakfast and meeting. Please contact us by email at rotarylakeplacid@gmail.com for more information.

To learn more see the Lake Placid Rotary Club website at www.rotarylakeplacid.org, or find us on Facebook.