Zionsville Rotary Club on Building Tables and Community Spirit
The Zionsville Rotary Club truly exemplifies “service above self,” and its latest service project is a testament to the organization’s Rotary International principal motto. When the pandemic struck earlier this year, the Zionsville Rotary Club asked itself in what ways could it help out the Zionsville community.
The club’s current president, Alan Stottlemyer, sparked an idea when the club’s past president, Jane Johnson, who works for Zionsville Community Schools, reached out to the district’s school principles to see how the Rotary club could assist the schools.
The need was identified as outdoor tables to assist ZCS in facilitating outdoor learning. As a local service club that has been serving the Zionsville community for nearly 35 years, the local Rotarians wasted no time in organizing build-out dates and delivering tables to the local schools.
Building Long-lasting Tables and Bonds of Fellowship
Rotarian Andy Liss has led the project of building tables and benches for ZCS students. The current goal is to build a minimum of four tables for each ZCS school. The club is comprised of about 25 members and has nearly 100 man hours into the 18 tables it has completed so far. But it can definitely use more hands and financial contributions from outside the membership.
“We’re a small club, but we’re mighty,” Liss expressed. “It’s just so fulfilling to know that we do build these [tables] so quickly and make a direct impact on our community. It’s what Rotary is all about. The project really began a few weeks back, over the summer, when the superintendent of ZCS, Dr. Scott Robison, was a guest speaker at our club. He discussed the pandemic and what the schools are doing, preparedness and things of that nature.”
During Dr. Robison’s visit with Zionsville Rotary, the topic of outdoor spaces came up, and Robison mentioned that they really didn’t have a lot of good [outdoor] tables for lunch or outdoor learning to assist with the school’s COVID-19 protocols and workarounds.
Liss added, “Our current club president, Alan [Stottlemyer], had noticed that the existing tables at his kids’ preschool were built to scale for smaller children, so we kind of molded the ideas together and decided that [building these tables] was an immediate need that would impact our community, right now, so we decided to set the project in motion, and it’s been so fulfilling to do.”
Members from the Zionsville Rotary Club have devoted four Saturdays over the last several weeks to building the six-foot-long tables and benches in Liss’ driveway and have delivered tables and benches to Union Elementary, Eagle Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary and Zionsville West Middle School.
How You Can Assist the Rotary Club to Complete Its Project
Considering that the pandemic has sparked a lot of home improvement projects as well as impacted the national supply chains, the purchasing process of lumber and related materials has been neither inexpensive nor easy to procure. The Zionsville Rotary Club relies heavily on its annual Zionsville Sprint Triathlon—that was canceled due to COVID-19—to raise funds for community projects such as this.
“Right now, we’re solely funding this project on club funds,” Liss shared. “We’re a pretty small club, and our main fundraiser—for the past 45 years—was canceled due to COVID-19, so we’re using carryover funds to build these tables and benches.”
The Zionsville Rotary Club would be most grateful for the community’s assistance with regards to corporate or individual monetary donations toward the lumber and material costs as well as extra sets of hands to assist with upcoming builds.
If you are looking for a project or an organization to get involved in and would like to contribute to an upcoming build, please send the club an email at [email protected]. Visit the club’s website at zionsvillerotary.com for general information.