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Groups thrilled by Rotary donations

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An announcement by the disbanded Fort Frances Rotary Club last week that it was splitting its projects account between three local groups was a clear boon to the beneficiaries of the money.

The most significant amount was towards the local Kiwanis Club’s proposed skate park project, which received almost $5,000.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’s in the spirit of co-operation between service clubs,” said Kiwanis president Mark Jones, who also is involved in the skate park venture.

“It’s great to see them see the project as a worthy cause,” he added. “Any former [Rotary] members that want to work with us are certainly welcome.”

“It really helps kick off our fundraising,” agreed Kiwanian Steve Maki, who is spearheading the effort to get a skate park built for youths here.

This latest donation increases the amount of money currently raised for the project to about $25,000.

Also receiving money from the Rotary Club were the Fort Frances Public Library ($2,000) and the Rainy Lake Amateur Radio Club ($1,000).

“What a nice surprise. I just got the cheque today,” head librarian Margaret Sedgwick said Thursday. “I was having a terrible day and now everything’s going great.

“I’m up to my eyeballs with work right now, so I can’t think of what we’ll do with it. But we’re very fortunate they picked us,” she enthused.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” agreed Walter Seis, president of the local amateur radio club.

“We’ve got to buy two repeaters and they cost about $3,000 each, so that will certainly help out there,” he added, noting lightning and “old age” were the reasons the two pieces of equipment—one in Fort Frances and the other in Blackhawk—had to be replaced.

Rotarian Bill Badiuk noted last week the rest of the club’s business also has been tied up.

“We’re leaving with a clean slate, we’ve paid for everything. The McIrvine Park’s in fine shape,” he said, referring to the west-end park to which the group has donated equipment.

A sign was put up at the park last weekend, noted Devin Eldridge, president of the now-defunct Rotary Club, adding the three groups receiving the funds were suitable choices for the money.

And as first reported in last Thursday’s Daily Bulletin, the Rotary Club also has turned over co-ordinating the annual Santa Claus parade to the Business Improvement Area (BIA).

The annual procession of lights and sounds is slated to go Saturday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.

The local Rotary Club decided to turn in its charter earlier this year because of a lack of new members.

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