The Rotary Club of Washington was named Club of the Year for 2020-21 at the Rotary 7305 District Conference at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
Two Rotary districts combined last year, which means the Washington club, for the first time, was up against more than 80 clubs from Western Pennsylvania, many in the greater Pittsburgh area and as far flung as Indiana, Point Marion and Johnstown.
The club has 52 members, 42 of whom participated in service projects in the past year.
“Rotarians join together to make a difference in our communities,” said Brandi Miller, Washington Rotary President. “Being recognized at such a high level meant a lot to us, considering what so many organizations went through in the past year.”
Even though it was a tough year for volunteering, Washington Rotary found a way to make the community a better place to live.
Education is a club priority. Third-graders in Washington area schools received a dictionary this past year courtesy of Rotary, a program the club has been doing for decades. They provide scholarships to local students and sponsored Baby Bags for the Literacy Council. When students couldn’t go on field trips during COVID, the club helped fund educational kits explaining the Whiskey Rebellion to area elementary students.
They are committed to local causes, including funding the new Dragonfly Gardens community greenhouse, located behind the transit center in Washington. In support of the Community Circle Food pantry, the club bought and assembled personal care packages for more than 400 families who might have trouble buying necessities like shampoo and soap.
The service club also supported two local organizations that enrich children, ensuring some children would have presents for Christmas and that Teen Outreach would continue meeting teens’ needs.
Internationally, the club partnered with Zonta to send hospital gowns to the maternity ward in Bondo, Kenya (after having supplied medical equipment the preceding two years), sent eight desks to Kosovo and donated to Rotary International’s Polio Plus program.
And in this time of COVID-19, the club found ways to do in-person service projects, participating in a roadside cleanup and the city of Washington clean-up.
“Our Washington Rotary Club is more than a hundred years old. We look forward to continuing setting the standard for local clubs well into our next century.”