Goals and Objectives: The Committee’s role is to identify opportunities for the Club to spearhead initiatives that benefit the local community. Rotary’s members are drawn from leaders in business, government entities, not-for-profits and Shepherd University. As such, the Club is uniquely positioned to undertake those projects that benefit the community and enhance community pride where there are no clear-cut advocacy interests that can take the lead. Through these efforts the Club establishes itself as a positive influence in the community and is seen as an attractive avenue for service thereby sustaining its vitality.
Community Enhancement Projects:
Over the years the Club has been a seminal force in numerous community minded projects:
- Rotary brought the Town, Shepherd University, business leaders, individuals and organizations together to construct a “Shepherdstown Welcome Sign” to greet visitors from Maryland crossing the James Rumsey Bridge. The Club worked with the Town, the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the Bavarian Inn for approval of the design, rights-of-way and ownership issues. A second sign to greet travelers arriving on Route 230 will be in-place mid-Summer 2015. It will be located on the corner of O’Hurleys General Store property.
- Rotary participated in the Potomac River Revitalization Project that resulted in a plan to preserve, protect and beautify historic riverfront sites and properties. As part of the plan, provisions were developed to connect Rumsey/Cullison Parks with the Boat Ramp, Tobacco Warehouse and Town Run at the river’s edge, while providing access for foot and bike traffic from the Canal Tow Path. Project participants included the U. S. Park Service, Rotary, Shepherd University, the Town and local citizens.
- Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer caregivers is a well-established entity that now Jefferson County. It had its beginnings in Shepherdstown in the early 1990’s when the benefits of an all-volunteer in-home care network for older citizens was brought to Rotary’s attention. Rotary worked with local citizens to develop and staff organizational efforts and contributed financially over the initial three years to the start-up costs.
In addition, the Committee organizes a number of annual activities – involving Rotary & Rotaract and in some activities others including outside individuals and organizations:
- The Committee signs up Rotary volunteers for the United Way Annual Day of Caring while identifying specific projects for Club members to participate in. The Club has contributed to the Day of Caring project since inception.
- Each year since 1991 we have hosted the Annual Christmas Charity Ball the December. The funds raised have been invested in the community starting with the major projects noted above. Since 2007 the focus of the event has shifted as reflected in the Ball’s name – Our Ball Your Charity. In this capacity the Ball has raised a total of $174,952 for area nonprofit organizations, or an average of nearly $25,000 a year.
- Rotary has participated in theAdopt a Highway Programsince the Club’s inception in 1987. As such it is the longest running Adopt a Highway project in the state. Twice a year in the Spring and Fall Rotarians remove litter along the two mile stretch of Route 230 from the “Y” in the road to the railroad tracks at the edge of Town.
- The Produce Project was initiated by Rotary in 2007 when it first contracted for the delivery of 40,000 pound of surplus, loose potatoes, and this has now become an annual tradition. The fruit/vegetables are typically unloaded on a Saturday morning in the middle of King Street in front of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Volunteers bag the fruit/vegetables which are then distributed to Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Shelters and Church Pantries for the benefit of needy families. The produce comes from the Society of St. Andrew, a national nonprofit organization that distributes surplus and gleaned food to needy people.