By Kim Olds
As a somewhat new community member to The Valley who moved to Warren as a full-timer during COVID, I was hoping to get more embedded in the community. So, I jumped headfirst into The Valley by joining the local Rotary Club. Within a short time, I was quite quickly knocked off my feet with how much the Rotary contributes to The Valley. And, some of the most wonderful and caring friends that I now have are Rotary members. I was also surprised to discover that the Rotary is one of the best kept secrets in The Valley. So, here’s my attempt at letting the secret out.
Did you know that the Rotary has over 60 members. Through fundraisers, raffles and community events, the Rotary supports local organizations and global projects providing a broad range of services, from assistance for those in need, to arts and culture.
Some fun facts The Valley should know about the Rotary! The Rotary:
- Produces the Warren Fourth of July parade every year. I know, right, one of the most iconic events in The Valley. Over the course of days, some 25 Rotarians pitch in from putting up parking signs, setting up, selling buddy badges, managing the event, clean up.
- You’ve likely heard of the large fundraisers: Duck Race, Restaurant Raffle, von Trapp Garden Tour, July 4 buddy badges. They’ll be back again, don’t worry.
- Engages in hands-on work year-round. Examples: building insulating window inserts for the community, construction at many sites such as Neck of the Woods, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, Share MRV and more.
- Delivers food weekly for Mad River Valley Community Pantry. We’re talking 100 deliveries by 15 Rotarians. 100 total hours and many happy pantry customers.
- Organizes Rise Against Hunger, an annual meal-packaging event in partnership with the Waterbury Rotary. Last year some 70 community members along with youth volunteers packaged 15,000 complete meals of nutritious dried foods for shipment to hungry people around the world.
And the best news of all, whenever you donate or buy a ticket to a fundraiser, the money goes right back into The Valley. In FY 2022 the Mad River Valley Rotary gave out 12 grants with an average grant size of $2,500.
If you’re looking to meet some wonderful people and get involved in the community, our meetings are always open to guests. You can just show up. Check out www.mrvrotary.org
Kim Olds is a Warren resident.