Posted by Karen Griffith on Apr 30, 2014

Library bookmobile garage dedicated and other East Jefferson Rotary projects

ImageJefferson County Library director Meredith Wagner (with scissors) cuts the ribbon on the new bookmobile garage, constructed by members of East Jefferson Rotary. Pictured are (from left) retired library director Ray Serebrin, Wagner, East Jefferson Rotary president Karen Griffith and bookmobile driver Greg Turner. Photo by Fred Obee

East Jefferson Rotary Club (EJRC) and the Jefferson County Library recently celebrated a successful partner-ship with the dedication of the library’s bookmobile garage, which was constructed by members and friends of EJRC. The project began when Ray Serebrin, then the director of the Jefferson County Library, asked if EJRC could help in the remodeling and expansion of the library to accommodate the community’s growing demand for services and programs. The idea was to build a new garage for the bookmobile, which would allow the library to expand into the former bookmobile garage. EJRC provided more than $15,000 in cash to support this effort and more than $15,000 in volunteer labor constructing the building. Rotary president Karen Griffith said the contribution was one the club was happy to make.

“The bookmobile garage is just the latest in a long series of projects our club has participated in,” Griffith said. “The Rotary pledge is to put service above self, and that’s what we continue to be dedicated to.”

 

While nearly all of the money raised by the club goes to local efforts, the club also participates in international aid projects. Among these projects was the installation of a new water purification system in a village in northeastern Thailand on the border of Laos. The village school was so poor, students were required to spend hours in the fields planting and harvesting rice for their daily lunches. The Thai Ministry of Public Health was threatening to close the elementary school (kindergarten–sixth grade), which would mean the school’s 85 students would have to find a way to travel 20 miles to the next nearest facility. When John Barrett, Port Hadlock dentist and EJRC member, heard their story, he immediately took action. In a very short period of time, he successfully obtained a matching grant from Rotary International for $1,200; at the same time, East Jefferson Rotary made a donation of $500, but more money was needed. That’s when Linda Kostenbader, senior adviser/coordinator of the Interact Club of Chimacum High School and also a member of EJRC, stepped up. Through Interact’s Santa booth and car wash fundraisers, the club pledged $485 to the project. That pledge together with a private donation put the project over the top.

The Rotary Pavilion at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum is another of many local projects the East Jefferson Rotary Club has completed in recent years, and each year the club pro-vides scholarships for local students, and support to nonprofit groups ranging from DoveHouse Advocacy Services in Port Townsend to Backpacks for Kids in Chimacum to the Quilcene Community Center. Also, each month two students from Chimacum High School awards. The club sponsors a variety of fundraising projects to sup-port its activities.One is the Pot of Gold raffle. This year, the raffle’s first-prize winner was Elena Lovato-Kraut of Jefferson County, who took home $10,000 in cash. A second prize of $1,000 in groceries from QFC went to Cheri Boteilho of Camas, Wash.; and Danny Tonan of Port Townsend won third prize, a $1,000 gift certificate at Hadlock Building Supply. The raffle raised $11,000, which will go toward projects. The club also sells subscriptions for the installation of American flags on five national holidays each year. Nearly 200 subscriptions have been sold, and more are available.

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