The Rotary Club of Cambridge met this past Wednesday to discuss plans for the rest of the year.
Starting next week, members are encouraged to help "Red Badge" members or new members complete their orientation at the first ever Red Badge-O-Rama. Members are also encouraged to attend the next monthly social to complete their orientation.
The Rotary Ecology committee is getting ready to participate in a water testing in Guernsey County coming up this spring.
The Rotarian Magazine is currently having a photo contest and members can participate by logging on to the Rotary International website by Feb. 15.
Cambridge Rotary has been approved for the Youth Exchange program for the 2018-2019 school year and is currently looking for a host family within the club. Those club members interested in more information may contact Katie Good.
In polio news, numbers are in for 2017 proving that Rotary is "this close" to eradicating polio. In 2017, there were only 21 global cases of polio compared to 35 in 2016. Nigeria managed to escape 2017 without any outbreaks in their country and have continued that into the new year. If they remain on this path for the next two years, they can be finally be considered as "polio free."
There will be two fundraisers coming up in the near future for Rotarians. On April 19, there will be a "reverse raffle" at the Eagles in Cambridge with a barbecue dinner and on March 23, Rotarians will host a "Pints for Polio." More information to come on both of these events.
The student guest this week was Breanna Davidson, a senior in the Health Tech Lab program at Mid-East Career and Technology Center in Buffalo. Davidson is a member of SAD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and NHS. She hopes to continue her education at Belmont College next year in nursing.
This week’s guest speakers hailed from the Cambridge Salvation Army. Majors Steven and Dolly Griffin have been at the Cambridge Salvation Army since June of last year and will enter into retirement on Feb 1. They have been a part of the Salvation Army church for over 15 years. Griffin says "the giving and caring in this community is phenomenal," especially at Christmas time.
The Salvation Army served over 400 families and 200 children this Christmas season. They were also able to exceed their kettle goal of $70,000 by $4,000 of which Griffin convinced regional headquarters to match dollar for dollar. Cambridge Rotary was able to raise over $500 this year.
Local schools and businesses are always great with their donations at Christmas, the Griffins say, but this year they were able to collect enough to not only supply families with food for Christmas dinner but there was enough left over to fill their food bank.
The pride and joy of the Cambridge office, however, is the Summer Sack Lunch Program, as it is the only one of its kind for the Salvation Army across the country, Griffin says. The program, which has been around for 19 years now, gave over 16,500 meals to area students last summer alone. The best part is that it is all community funded. For more information on volunteering contact the Salvation Army at 740-432-7759.
Major Griffin explained that the Salvation Army is so much more than red kettles and food drives. This past year they were able to provide rent for 27 families, bus transportation to 21 families, help with utilities for over 70 families and even overnight lodging for almost 70 individuals. They also help with the warming center on North 4th Street in Cambridge.
Rotary officials said Guernsey County will surely miss all the "amazing" deeds that the Griffins have done for this community in such a short time.
The next Rotary meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 17, at noon at the Cambridge Country Club.