The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly meeting Tuesday, June 19, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. President-elect David Hussey opened the meeting and Rotarian Art Mabry gave the invocation.
Following a round of singing and announcements, Rotarian Mary Merrigan, president of the United Way of Vermillion Board of Directors, introduced Bob Fuller, executive director of the United Way of Vermillion, who shared information about the local United Way.
The local United Way was started in the 1950s. The 14 members of the board of directors are all Vermillion residents and business and professional people.
United Way is affiliated with 24 programs and agencies that together serve all age groups in the community. Some examples cited by Mr. Fuller were: Imagination Library which provides a free book each month to 238 children in the community, Vermillion Public Transit which provided approximately 68,000 rides last year, Senior Citizens Center, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, W. H. Over Museum, and the Welcome Table to name a few.
Mr. Fuller then introduced John Lushbough and Maxine Johnson who presented some facts about the Welcome Table and the W. H. Over Museum.
Mr. Lushbough said the purpose of the Welcome Table was to serve a free meal one night a week to anyone who came. But more importantly the Welcome Table provided a sense of community and belonging to its guests.
Partnering with the United Way and the more than 5,800 volunteers, more than 47,000 meals have been served since its founding in 2001.
Other contributions to the community made through the Welcome Table, thanks to many volunteers and organizations, include annual backpack and school supply dispersement for area children and annual winter clothing orders for many children.
Maxine Johnson added that many people in Clay County live at or near the poverty level. She also stated that 26 percent of the 2,500 children in this county live in poverty.
Ms. Johnson went on to say that the W. H. Over Museum was privatized in 1997. Since then private memberships, donations, volunteers, and the United Way have supported it. In addition to maintaining historical exhibits of the area, the Museum has a Kids Club to provide educational experiences for children, a gift shop, a Guest Artist program, and is partnered with many community organizations.
United Way support has been a significant help to our community.
Jolly J & Js keeping busy
Over the past few months, the Jolly Juniors and Juniorettes 4H club has been very busy with various activities and community service projects. One of these included changing our name to the Jolly J & Js. We thought it would be simpler when writing it.
For our may meeting, we assembled 46 candy bouquets for Teacher Appreciation Week. After gluing candy onto pop cans, we distributed them to the Vermillion High School, middle school, Jolley School, St. Agnes, Elk-Point/Jefferson Grade School and Vermillion area home school teachers.
On May 22, we helped sort food for the Vermillion Food Pantry following the mail carriers' food drive. We check expiration dates and sorted by category.
On Tuesday, June 5, we met at Barstow Park to pick up trash. We went to the 4-H building at 7 p.m. for our regular meeting. There, we broke into groups and took turns working on bird feeders and planting flowers outside the Extension office.
We assembled a wooden frame using a clamp and pre-drilling holes for nails. Next, we pounded nails to hold the frame together. Helping with the project were Marlon Hansen, Barry Hulse, Rocky Kickland, and Nick Vlasman.
Next, we had our regular business meeting. Some of the upcoming events consist of two judging schools on June 12 and June 26, and an acrylic painting class on June 25. The Farmers Union Day Camp will be held at Prentis Park on June 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July events will be the Fashion Review contest on July 12, and the Public Presentation class on July 19. Our next meeting will be July 7, at 7 p.m. We will meet at the police department, where we will get a tour of the facilities. Members were reminded to bring their bird feeders back, painted or stained and varnished, so that we can finish them.
Following the business meeting, we had four demonstrations. Madeline Wagner demonstrated how to make snow globes out of baby food jars. Emily Holoch gave a talk on quilling, which is curling paper to make designs. Brittany Hanson demonstrated how to make a rain stick, and Jackie Hulse showed how to make pencil grips out of paper.
The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.