Rotary Endowment Serves City

Their mission, as an international organization, is to make positive, long-lasting change in their communities.

It’s a mission the Rotary, especially in Connersville, takes very seriously, and a mission which – coincidentally – almost perfectly matches that of the Fayette County Foundation.

So it should come as no surprise that the two organizations, through an endowment at the FCF, work together to better the Connersville and Fayette County communities.

Roughly 17 years ago, at the dawn of the new millennium, members of the Connersville Rotary – Bruce Bowden, Bill Thomas, Richard Hankins, Nancy Stevens, Bill Newquist, Bob Hassler, Patrick Kellar and Jim Riedman – created the Rotary Community Service Endowment at the FCF, which would allow the organization to meet its mission of providing service to others in the local community.

Believe it or not, the Rotary’s endowment at that time marked only the 37th such endowment created with the FCF. Since that time, the power of the endowments created with the FCF has shone through, and now today, the FCF has more than 170 endowments in its stead.

When it comes to the Rotary’s endowment, it has been used over the past 17 years for a variety of positive community efforts, many times behind the scenes.

Whether it be work on Connersville’s Amtrak stop along Eastern Avenue; donating endowment funds to the House of Ruth; helping with the annual STORM youth rally; lending a hand to the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation, Historic Connersville, Grace Food Pantry or Negril Education Environment Trust; helping CHS graduate Morgan Hamilton with her college studies abroad in Egypt; boosting a Frazee PTO fundraiser for new playground equipment; purchasing shoes for children at Frazee Elementary School; assisting the Connersville Band Boosters; sponsoring a Miss Fayette County Free Fair Queen candidate; awarding the Rotary’s “V” scholarship to a graduating Connersville High School senior; donating funds to the Vickie Blade Heart-to-Heart project, which ended up purchasing a pacemaker for an individual in Mexico; helping paint and refurbish a caboose for the Whitewater Valley Railroad; boosting efforts of the Connersville Spartan Robotics Team; or many other endeavors, the Connersville Rotary has put its endowment funds to great use to benefit the local community.

Such efforts are, without question, a living embodiment of their motto, “Service Above Self.”

For 2017, the organization received a grant for $1,546.07 – or 4 percent of its endowments earnings – from the FCF.

Having seen their past history of good work, it will be interesting to see what more good works come from that amount, not only today, but into the future.

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