ARE SERVICE CLUBS on the decline in this country? Is their membership getting older every day? Will some of them go out of business for lack of interest and members?
But here’s why service clubs–which have struggled to attract younger members–matter. Immensely. They Get Stuff Done.
Example: Hurley Field in south Marquette is home to a little playground that’s been neglected over the years and is in dire need of new equipment. It’s a neighborhood of affordable homes. Lotsa kids.
“I walk by there a lot,” says Marquette Rotary member Sally Davis. “I’ve talked to the parents. They’d love to see the playground fixed.”
Hurley Park playground is in need of some repairs.
“It’s a great little playground and we know it needs new equipment,” says Andrew MacIver, the assistant director of community services for the city. “But we have a large capital improvement list in Marquette and a limited budget.”
So here’s what’s going to happen. The Marquette Rotary, likely in collaboration with the Marquette West Rotary and the Marquette Breakfast Rotary, is going to raise funds to get the playground equipment–especially the old swing set with only two baby swings–replaced.
It all starts today (Wednesday) with an ice cream and hot dog social at the Presque Isle ice cream store. 4 pm to 7 pm. Free hot dogs, free ice cream, free chips for everybody. The hope, of course, is that people will show up, enjoy the food and then donate to the cause.
The playground is not the most inviting spot for children in south Marquette.
“We had ice cream left over at the end of the summer,” explains Michele Butler, the Marquette Rotary co-president and co-owner of Vango’s and the ice cream store, “and so we’re putting it to good use. We’re going to use it to help the community.”
This’ll be the start. If all three clubs get involved and donate money locally, then the district Rotary will match those funds. Add in another fundraiser or two–and Rotary Clubs know how to fundraise–and Bingo! They’ll have enough to buy the new equipment for Hurley Park in south Marquette.
By the way, this isn’t anything new for the Rotary Clubs. In the last year they bought new equipment and donated labor for the playground at Lions Park in the Township, and they did the same for the YMCA playground.
The Rotary bought an attractive new swing set and wood chips for the Lions Park playground last summer.
It’s what they do.
Nothing big and dramatic, in this case; just something to improve a neighborhood, and put more smiles on children’s faces. And they do it without spending tax money, though the city welcomes the outside help, according to MacIver, and will provide whatever support it can.
But, again, why do we need service clubs? Because They Get Stuff Done.