The effort to eradicate polio is synonymous with international members of the Rotary Club. However, the local organization is perhaps better characterized by its projects for local youth.
“We are very youth-oriented, but just if there’s a need in the community we have been there,” Gini Liveley, public relations for the group, said.
The projects, of course, require fundraising.
The organization’s biggest fundraiser is just around the corner.
The group annually organizes a grocery grab. Members of the public can purchase $5 raffle tickets for a chance to run through Price Chopper filling grocery baskets with items.
In the Rotary Club’s first grocery grab in 2011, the Gardner Food Pantry won the grand prize. Another year, the American Legion took the top prize. But Liveley said individuals can win the raffle as well. Last year, Sarah Buchanan, a woman from Manhattan, Kan., collected more than $1,600 in groceries during the annual event.
Liveley said Rotary members will be selling raffle tickets for this year’s event in February. The actual grocery grab will occur in April.
“There will be a big push here shortly on starting to sell chances,” Liveley said. “It’s really a big deal. Plus it’s fun.”
Some of Rotary’s funds go to the international Rotary organization, which is known worldwide for its mission to eradicate polio, but the organization also does a variety of local projects including an international youth exchange, giving dictionaries to local elementary students and providing Gardner Edgerton High School students with scholarships.
The local club was chartered in 1996 with 25 members. Today it’s grown to more than 50.
Many of its members are local business people, Liveley said. Club members will be selling raffle tickets for the organization’s largest fundraiser, the grocery grab, throughout February and March. The actual event is set for April 18, but the club will draw and announce 11 finalists on April 10.
At 8 a.m. on April 18, club members and finalists will meet at Price Chopper. There, runners-up will be announced and a grand prize winner will be drawn.
Then the fun begins.
The grand prize winner will be given five minutes to run through the grocery store collecting items.
Liveley said the Rotary Club is a friendly group passionate about serving and engaging the community.
She said helping people is a major emphasis in the organization, Liveley explained.
The club’s motto, recited at every meeting, is: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? And will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
The Gardner Rotary Club is a breakfast club that meets every Thursday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Gardner Senior Citizens Building.
Those interested in purchasing raffle tickets for the annual Rotary Club Grocery Grab can contact a Rotary Club member, or email [email protected] The club maintains a website at www.gardnerrotary.org.
Club’s largest fundraising event approaches