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KH Rotary busy as club year draws to a close

Keystone Heights Rotary Club Treasurer Shelly Gibbs presents the club’s annual donation to Lake Area Ministries, with a check to LAM Director Betty Ann Chapman.

Keystone Heights Rotary Club Treasurer Shelly Gibbs presents the club’s annual donation to Lake Area Ministries, with a check to LAM Director Betty Ann Chapman.



Last Week, Rotary Treasurer Shelly Gibbs presented a check to the Lake Area Ministry’s Director for the Day Betty Ann Chapman.  For the last two years the civic organization has made its contribution as the school year winds down and LAM looks ahead to the summer months.

Based on the food pantry’s past experience, during the summer months, contributions tend to drop off, just as needy families face a lengthy period when children are out of school and have less access to campus-based breakfast and lunch programs. Rotary wants to remind the public that LAM’s work goes on year round and help is needed during the summer as well as winter holidays.

Rotary also recently heard from Cal Feindess, a staff member at the Presbyterian Church’s Camp Montgomery, which will be hosting a teen retreat on hunger and homelessness later this month.  Feindess said more than 500 high-school aged teens from all over the state will “get the feel” of homelessness by sleeping outdoors in large cardboard boxes and eating soup kitchen meals for several days. However, the teens will also pack more than 10,000 ready-to-eat meals that can be distributed to the homeless and other hungry people over the summer. It costs  $.20 to create each meal, and Feindess is looking for $2,500 in smaller local donations to help defray those costs. (The teen-agers will be seeking sponsorships, too.)

The Rotary Club was also well-represented at last weekend’s Arbor Day festivities around City Hall.  Member Glen Harris distributed materials from the Florida Forestry Service and showed youngsters and oldsters several examples of tree rings he has collected during years of service at Smurfit-Stone and the Keystone Airpark.  At the next table was Rotarian Joyce King, a key figure in the founding of the Santa Fe Audubon Society.

The Rotary Board of Directors will consider the Camp Montgomery request at its April meeting, along with other local groups, including Haven Hospice, Relay for Life, the Seamark Ranch, Answers and Champion’s Heart.

Rotary will round out its giving year with one or more scholarships to graduating Keystone Heights High School seniors who plan to continue their education at college or a certified trade or technical school.

Last Monday night, however, it was Rotary’s turn to take up tickets at the main gate of the Clay County Agricultural Fair.  Rotarians and their visiting volunteers worked two shifts as the fair entered its fifth day. Monday was also Clay County’s food pantry night.  Visitors got a discount on a ticket for every can of food they brought for the Clay County food pantry.

Cal Feindess speaks to the Keystone Heights Rotary, describing a teen retreat and

Cal Feindess speaks to the Keystone Heights Rotary, describing a teen retreat and

Keystone Heights City Manager and Rotary Club member Terry Suggs volunteers at the Clay County Fair.

Keystone Heights City Manager and Rotary Club member Terry Suggs volunteers at the Clay County Fair.

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