Members of the Mad River Valley Rotary Club are looking forward to a post-pandemic and post-Zoom meeting world so that the club’s 50-some members can meet in person again.
“We’re hoping. We’re going to move into this slowly and carefully, following the guidelines. Once a good number of our members have had their second or first vaccination, potentially, we can meet sometime in June,” said club president Karl Klein.
But there’s one complication for the local Rotarians – they currently don’t have a location to meet. For many years, they met at the Sugarbush Inn and in the fall of 2019 they learned that Sugarbush wouldn’t be able to host them there any longer and wanted them to meet at Rumbles Bistro and Bar. That would have been more expensive, Klein said, but logistically also difficult because of the need for club members to trek from the parking lot up to the restaurant at 6:45 a.m.
“We left there in January 2020 and started meeting in the old Purple Moon Pub space in the Mad River Fiber Arts. Julie and Paul Burns, former owners of Three Mountain Café provided us with coffee, bagels and pastries,” he said.
They stopped meeting in person in March.
Although they haven’t been able to meet in person, club members have been continuing their community support efforts, including collecting the bottles and cans from the Waitsfield United Church of Christ drop box, separating them, bagging them and transporting them to the collection facilities so that the church can continue using the money for local people and projects.
Rotarians also gather food donations from Shaw’s, Mehuron’s and other places to bring to the community pantry in Waitsfield and during the pandemic they also purchased and installed welcome signs at the north and southern ends of The Valley.
There are several fully vaccinated club members who are currently helping with painting and renovations at Neck of the Woods child care in Waitsfield. Additionally, the local Rotarians have pledged $15,000 over three years to Neck of the Woods.
In terms of where they will meet when they can meet, Klein said club members are looking and doing quite a bit of outreach. They could meet in the community meeting room of the Waitsfield United Church of Christ, but would then have to manage the food side of that.