Rotary District 7610 recently named the Rotary of Great Falls as one of its top achievers for 2019-2020. The club was honored in several categories. It received plaudits for several youth projects, including sponsoring two teenagers for Rotary’s Leadership Institute; its Interact Club’s Habitat for Humanity building project in Lynchburg; the new Rotaract Club (serving 18-30 year olds) launch of its Flags for Heroes, the launch of Cooper Middle School’s 4-Way Test essay contest; and sponsorship and leadership of Wolf Trap’s First Time Campers weekend targeted at children from challenged backgrounds.
The Club was also recognized for its community projects, which included an opioids forum and installation of a used-drugs drop-box in the Center’s CVS; quarterly meals served up at the Embry Rucker homeless shelter in Reston; participation in the local Farmers Market; and sponsorships of Great Falls Seniors program, the July 4th Fireworks, and the Grange Foundation.
On the international front, it was recognized for educational sponsorships for poor girls in India and Nepal, as well as sponsorship and participation in Rise Against Hunger, which packaged nearly 100,000 meals for world-wide distribution.
In other areas, Rotary praised the Club for its vocational efforts through its first-ever business reception, its Oktoberfest educational fundraiser, and its multifaceted pandemic assistance to both Cornerstones and area hospital staff. All of this activity produced a natural increase in membership, for which the Club was also recognized. Two members received special recognition: Connie Sawtell for her efforts on behalf of the Club and June Melloni Kelly for her involvement with the District’s Opioid Taskforce.
Rotary District 7610 is a large district spanning the top half of Virginia and encompassing 56 clubs. The Rotary of Great Falls was recognized as a Club of Excellence, one of only three in the entire District to gain that recognition.