Cottage Grove, Here to Help

Carousel committee continues progress

Rotarians: Rotarians Karol Simons, David Russell, Diana Hayes, Larry Bottemiller, Dana Merryday, Karen Munsell, Chandra Van Husen, Christina Lund, Don Williams, Nadine Kelley, Tyson Woodard and Gary Manly. Philippine Delegation: Philippine delegation members Ramon Cua ”Toto” Locsin, Victor Federico ”Pip” Acepcion, Ivy Lasanas, Maricar Octaviano, Paul Yap, Joel Jaranilla, Maria Ester ”Mate” Espina, Christopher ”Popoy” Mah, Joseito ”Lito” Sion, and PP Maria Antonietta ”Toks” Lopez. The group was joined by Wendy Kirby, founder and board president of the Albany Carousel; Rebecca Bond, executive director of the Albany Visitors Association; Nadine Kelly, local Rotarian and grant writer for the Carousel; and Don Williams, founder and board president. PHOTO PROVIDED

COTTAGE GROVE – A Philippine delegation visited the District 5110 as part of the Rotary Friendship Exchange. Ten members of the Philippine delegation visited local Springfield, Cottage Grove, and Eugene area to look at local Rotary projects.
In the Cottage Grove area, they looked at/learned about the repainting of the Aqua Lions mural at the Warren Daugherty Aquatic Center; the historic downtown bike lockers; the annual community Christmas party; the Swinging Bridge; scholarships for local high school seniors; the Rotary Youth Academy camp for high school sophomores; the bike helmet, car seats and life jacket programs; support for the Family Relief Nursery; support for food security; support for South Lane Children’s Dental Clinic, which provides free dental care to qualifying local children; and providing art supplies for local students and a personal dictionary for each third grader.
The group also did a tour of RiverBend, Weyerhaeuser, Pacific Yurts, and did a walking tour of downtown Cottage Grove.
The delegation, from the central Philippines, will take ideas back to their country, and if the need fits, work on those projects for the betterment of their communities. The delegation was made up of a Rotary District Governor, eight Rotary past presidents, and a president nominee.
A dedication ceremony was also attended by several local Rotarians and eight members of the Philippine delegation to dedicate the local Rotary Club’s adopting a section of the Carousel, known as the handicapped section, which meets ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
Larry Bottemiller played the National Anthem of the Philippines by trumpet, with Paul Yap, a member of the Philippine delegation, holding the music.
The club’s check for the Carousel section adoption was presented by Rotary Club Community Service Director Dana Merryday to Carousel committee founder and president, Don Williams.
A few members of the Philippine delegation had never ridden a carousel, and signed the liability form to have a ride on the carousel. (Due to the fact the Carousel has not yet been certified, and to meet insurance needs, any rider must sign a waiver.)
There are approximately 36,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries around the world. The Rotary motto is ”Service Above Self.” Rotarians take this very seriously. Rotary has many facets – for instance, the Rotary Friendship Exchange. Other aspects include sending a high school student to a foreign country and hosting a foreign exchange student in our district for one year to be educated in our school system and our way of life.
Rotary International is dedicated to the eradication of polio and to bring peace and harmony to the world. Rotarians work in foreign lands on clean water projects, sanitation, and have many volunteers in the medical field who donate their time and skills to help blind children see. Those children may never see a doctor, other than the ones Rotary brings to them.
Our District has 66 Rotary clubs, including Cottage Grove. It extends from north of Albany to northern California, and from Burns to the Pacific.
Interact is a Rotary-sponsored group, equivalent to a Junior Chamber of Commerce. It is a standalone club within the high school system that elects its own officers and has its own fundraisers. The Rotary Club appoints an advisor to work with the students in their endeavors. Another organization, RYLA, is organized for high school students to go to a boot camp and learn leadership. This leadership camp is not the traditional swimming and fun; it is a leadership/learning experience.
Everywhere I go in our Rotary District, either as a Rotarian or a guest, I am asked questions about the Carousel project. It is becoming very well-known.
The Carousel project is moving along exceptionally well. We have been blessed with doors being opened when they needed to be opened. We are still waiting for safety certification and further work on business agreements regarding the long-term temporary home to house the Carousel, as well as working towards a building fund for land and a permanent building for the Carousel.
We have been fortunate to have so many happy people visit the Carousel. While the Philippine delegation was making their presentation, we had the honor of having the founder and president of the Albany Carousel Board, Wendy Kirby, and Rebecca Bond, executive director of the Albany Visitors Association, in attendance.
The day before the Rotary dedication, three members of the former Coquille Carousel Board visited the Carousel.
With so many volunteer hours put into the project, it is heartwarming to have questions raised throughout western Oregon regarding the Carousel and its well-being – and, ”When can we ride it?” We thank the TV and papers for the wonderful coverage they have extended to the Carousel. Without their support and cooperation, we would not be where we are. Most leads that have come to us have been through the print or electronic media.
And from a public relations and promotion person, I say a big THANK YOU. You helped us make it happen!



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