Over twenty Downtown Rotary members and friends joined forces August 3rd and 4th to brighten up the hallways and classrooms of Weaver Elementary. Volunteers worked with Weaver’s new principal, Ms. Cindy Webster, and her staff to paint both the first and second floors of the building. The two-night volunteer event allowed Rotary members to work together as a team to accomplish a sizeable task and provide an important service to the school.
According to Springfield Public Schools’ Quality Assurance Director, the school district employs five full-time painters for the entire district. Given the limited resources available, each school in the district is placed on an 18 year painting rotation. Volunteer painting initiatives, such as the one completed by our Rotary members, help supplement the district’s painting efforts and ensure students (and teachers) can start the new school year in the best environment possible.
“Instead of giving you something to dust on your shelf …”
Downtown Rotary members smile when they hear that phrase each week because they know that’s when President Cindy Stephens goes on to tell the day’s guest speaker that our club is donating a book on his or her behalf to Weaver Elementary School.
Downtown Rotary has been donating a book in the weekly speaker’s name for two years now, instead of a plaque or other token of gratitude. It’s just one manifestation of our club’s commitment to Weaver Elementary as one of its core community service missions this year.
Weaver Elementary, 1461 N. Douglas Ave., is a school of about 350 students with a 93 percent free and reduced lunch rate. Downtown Rotary members have spent many volunteer hours and funded materials to paint school interiors, repair sidewalks, update landscaping and provide other general care. Members painted a large map of the United States on the school’s outdoor basketball court. The club also purchased t-shirts for each student and portable tables to help teachers better use the instructional space in the building.
The Rotary Club of Springfield presented a check for $20,000 to the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch at their weekly membership meeting on Tuesday, August 12. Accepting the check was CEO of the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Kevin Killian, who also spoke to the club about the mission and programs of the nonprofit.
Pictured from left to right: Andy Wright, Service Projects co-chair; Jaimie Trussell, Membership Chair; Kevin Killian, CEO, Good Samaritan Boys Ranch; and Casey Pyle, Service Projects co-chair.
The Downtown Rotary check presentation was one of seven that will be held this week to donate proceeds generated from the 2014 Rock ‘n Ribs BBQ Festival, presented annually by all Rotary clubs in Springfield. All profits from the 2014 festival were divided equally to 7 local charities including the Boys & Girls Town of Missouri, Ronald McDonald House Charities-Mobile Dental Unit, Ozark Trails Council – Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Ozarks Regional YMCA and Harmony House.
For a few Downtown Rotary members, the motto might just as well include “Service Above Sleep” as well as “Service Above Self.”
They’re the ones who pull all-nighters every year so that the club can compete in the annual Rock’n Ribs BBQ Festival presented by the Rotary Clubs of Springfield Missouri. This year, Thomas Runion will be Downtown Rotary’s chief barbeque cook for the festival taking place April 24-25 at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.
This will be the 16th year for Rock’n Ribs, which distributed more than $1.5 million to seven children’s charities in the Ozarks. The recipients of the annual festival proceeds are Big Brothers Big Sisters, Great Circle, Boy Scouts of America, Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Harmony House, Ronald McDonald Tooth Truck, and the YMCA.
It takes thousands of volunteers to pull off the annual festival, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Downtown Rotary members join the cook team to set up and decorate the booth, pull pork, fill sample cups and pour on the sauce to serve the thousands who attend the festival in a smoky, sticky weekend of fun and support for kids across the Ozarks.
For more information, visit: rocknribs.com