The Rotary Club of Front Royal contributed a record-setting $126,370 to Front Royal and Warren County non-profits during its fiscal year 2017-2018, bringing to $1.5 million the amount it has raised for local organizations since launching its community grant program 37 years ago.
“Everywhere we look around our community, we see our fingerprint,” said a former Rotary president, Doug Stanley, in addressing an audience Friday that included a dozen of the year’s 30 recipients. “There are so many projects we were part of creating,” said Stanley, the Warren County administrator, enumerating the following:
Warren Memorial Hospital, the 4-H Center, Samuels Public Library, Bing Crosby stadium (lights), Linden Fire Station, Red Cross disaster trailer, St. Luke Community Clinic, C-CAP, Fantasyland playground, as well as three playgrounds at local elementary schools.
He congratulated last year’s president, Rick Novak, on racking up the current dollar numbers while recalling the founding of the club in 1926. “From its beginning, the club had been part of building our community,” he said. “Each year, we roll up our sleeves and go out and raise a bunch of money, only to give it all away at the end of the year and start over.”
At the program’s inception in 1976, $5,000 was raised. During the 37 years since the total donated to “our local and global community” is $1,447,472, Stanley announced.
In describing his successful year as club president, Novak remarked: “We continue our tradition of giving by celebrating the organizations in our community that are doing great things around us.”
He introduced two successful applicants for major grants this year. C-CAP’s Joanne Kozyk and Larry Elliot ($3,900) took a bow for their “Fresh Food for Families” initiative. The other was Front Royal Little League’s Missy Henry ($6,100) who used the money for a dugout and concession stand roofing.
Other organizations represented at the luncheon were: Warren County backpack program (Lori Glascock); Blue Ridge Opportunities; Warren County Sheriff’s office (Lt. Jennifer Kirkland); Warren County Education endowment; Blue Ridge Arts Council (Kym Crump, this year’s Rotary president); Juvenile Diabetes (Carol Dodson); Ressie Jeffries playground (Greg Drescher); Front Royal Police Foundation; Front Royal Women’s Resource Center; Blue Ridge Heritage Project (Darryl Merchant);and the Warren County Coalition.
The club donated back to the Rotary Foundation $13,175, and among other local recipients were seniors from Warren County public and private schools who received among them $13,000 in Rotary scholarships.
(Contributing writer Malcolm Barr Sr. is a member of the Rotary Club of Front Royal)