Waconia-West Carver Rotary donates to the community

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The Waconia-West Carver Rotary Club is dedicated to assisting a wide variety of community organizations and causes, including the StoryWalk event at the Waconia Library. Shown here is Greg Scheff, the chairman of the club’s Community Services committee. (Submitted photo)

An old Scottish proverb goes, “Charity begins at home, but shouldn’t end there.”
It is truly appropriate of the Waconia-West Carver Rotary Community Services subcommittee. The Rotary Club is known for its work with Strive and the International Exchange program, but the club also accepts requests from the community so that the various groups can leverage their dollars to do more good.
The mission of this committee is to support financial grants to local community service projects. Committee chair Greg Scheff notes that the committee is very diligent about reviewing each application.
“It needs to fit the criteria,” noted Scheff, who then presents it to the Executive Board for final approval.
This past year, the club has funded the Waconia Heritage Association for partial production of volume 2 of The Town and It’s People, Mayer Lutheran High School towards technology improvements, the Art Wander for support of the promotional pieces, MN Connect Aphasia for support of language disorder therapy to increase quality of life for its residents, the Waconia Library to provide funding towards a StoryWalk and the Paul Spring program, Auburn Homes for the Life Enhancement Fund through the Festival of Trees Event, Parkside Church for English as a Second Language teachers’ books, the Waconia Food Shelf to be used for shelving and other upgrades to the building, Waconia Hockey Association for the annual ice out fundraising, the Watertown-Mayer High School to be used towards the high school scholarship fund, and Joe Dertenger to help with costs in training for the Paralympics Alpine ski race.
The amounts given to each group are meant to be a leveraging tool for the groups to solicit more funding.
“Auburn Homes and Services deeply appreciate the support of the Waconia Rotary,” said Bob Kuhlman, Director of the Foundation for Auburn Homes. “They have given much needed funds to accomplish special projects and inspired other donors to participate by providing matching funds. They have enabled Auburn Homes and Services to continue our 85-year mission of providing the highest quality care, comfort and quality of life for the seniors of our area. Thank you, Waconia Rotary, for your great partnership, making a real difference in our community!”
Each project brings the Rotary closer to each group and fulfills the local Rotary Club’s vision of a whole community support. Additionally, such support sometimes leads to a stronger bond with groups. Because of the support given to Waconia United Food Shelf, the Rotary has taken on the food shelf as one of its signature projects as well as the Duck Race.
How does the Rotary Club raise the money it donates? Through such fundraisers as the Nickle Dickle Day Duck Race, the Gourmet Wine Dinner and the Rose Sale. The Rose Sale is upcoming and Rotary members will be requesting support from the community in order to give back.
“The health and vitality of a community operates much like a garden. You reap what you sow, and what you sow requires cultivation and care. What you are willing to give and invest into your community … the world … is often what comes back to you. As Rotarians, we invest in service, high ethical standards, and international goodwill,” said Rotary President Richard Scott.
For more information, contact Scheff at gscheff@usfamily.net.

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