GRANVILLE — The Putnam County Rotary held its annual awards banquet and president’s installation event virtually this year — a different look but proof that the ideals of community service and fellowship continue despite pandemic precautions.
Recognition was presented at the June 18 event to outgoing Club President Matt Hostetter with a commemorative desk gift, and a scrapbook commemorating the club’s many successful projects and programs during the past Rotary year. He then passed the gavel, virtually at least, to Incoming President Tina Dolder, whose year will face new challenges and new opportunities to help fellow residents locally and even globally in the months ahead.
District Governor Bobbi Burke also attended via Zoom, congratulating the club for its endurance and service, and Valentina Daza Gutierrez, who has returned to Colombia after her year in Putnam County as a Rotary exchange student, joined the Zoom meeting from Colombia on the occasion of her 18th birthday.
Special recognition was given to Rob and Jennifer Spratt, owners of Spratt’s Tap in Hennepin, for their volunteer efforts in providing lunches to students in need after COVID-19 forced closure of the schools, supplementing the school lunch program which continued during the shut-down.
The club presented the Spratts with the club’s thanks, a commemorative plaque and an honorarium of $100 to the Putnam County Community Center as their charity of choice.
The Spratts said that with help and donations, they served or delivered a total of 2,730 lunches to students over a two-month period. Their efforts truly epitomize Rotary’s ideal of “Service Above Self.”
Ten members were recognized for 100% participation, combining project participation and meeting attendance. Those honored were (alphabetically): Beth Acuncius, Brenda Bickerman, Debbie Buffington, Tina Dolder, Betty Johnson, Lisa Johnson, Brandy Sandberg, Adriane Shore, Scott Shore and Reed Wilson.
Rotary’s new Board of Directors, installed by Club Chaplain Ron McNeill, includes President Tina Dolder, Vice President Brenda Bickerman, Immediate Past President Matt Hostetter, Treasurer Brandy Sandberg, Secretary Scott Shore and additional Board Members Beth Acuncius, Debbie Buffington, Nancy Burress, Ron McNeill and Adriane Shore.
Though several year-end projects became victims of the pandemic, the club continued to meet weekly via Zoom, maintaining its ongoing projects, selecting and awarding several scholarship recipients, and successfully seeking a new Rotary District Grant for a project to launch next year benefiting Freedom House.
Club projects throughout the past year have included sponsorship of summer and full-year exchange students, support of PCJH and PCHS Interact Clubs, co-sponsorship of Illinois Valley Community College’s new Rotaract Club, volunteer and financial support of the Marshall-Putnam Fair’s Senior Day in 2019, literacy projects including the Third Grade Dictionaries Project, Rotary readers in primary and grade school classrooms, help with Family Reading Night and the PCES Energy Fair, help with the PCHS Interact 9-11 Red Cross blood drive and Grange Halloween parade and party, sending of Christmas notes to all Putnam County seniors over age 80, financial assistance to numerous local charitable causes, sponsorship of Toys in the Pantry and assistance to Putnam County Pantry in distributing Christmas baskets, establishment of two “Little Free Pantries” in Standard and McNabb with help of a Rotary District grant, and awarding of several scholarship grants to worthy graduating seniors.
At Rotary’s weekly meetings held at LJ’s Café in Magnolia, the club had hosted a number of amazing program presenters as well, covering many subjects from economic development to Freedom House, local solar and wind power opportunities to Rotary’s “last mile” efforts to eradicate polio worldwide, news from IVCC, and several programs presented by Rotarian members.
Rotary is a nonprofit community-based organization that brings together community and business leaders, local volunteers and others, sharing their talents and interests to address community needs and to inspire youth participation in service both locally and globally. Those interested in joining are asked to contact PutnamCountyRotary@gmail.com.