The Russellville Rotary Club recently received an award for the best community service project for the 2014-2015 year in Rotary District 6710, which consists of 57 clubs stretching from far western Kentucky across the state to Frankfort. The award recognizes achievement in financial impact to the community and number of people served. The award was accepted by club member and Assistant District Governor Tom Harned at the annual District conference on June 20th in Owensboro.
The honor was received in recognition of the clubs Happy Feet Equals Learning Feet Project which raises money to provide shoes for those school-age children in need in the Russellville and Logan County School systems. The project was started by long serving Rotarian Jim Riley in 2010 when he learned of the effects poor footwear have on a child’s ability to learn on a daily basis. Since the project began in 2010, the Russellville Club has partnered with Shoe Carnival to provide shoes to local students annually with donations received from the community. In more recent years the club has expanded the program to include coats for those same students in need. In 2014 the program provided children with 328 pairs of shoes and 205 coats; in 2013 the program provided 354 pairs of shoes and 222 coats.
“This is a great honor to be recognized by our peers in Rotary for a service project we do at the local level,” said Russellville Rotary Club President Joe Ross. “This program has been a huge success and we plan to continue it for years to come to do our part to give assistance to our youth in need. The Rotary Club would like to thank all of the people across this county who donated, because without the help of numerous non-Rotarians this program would not be nearly as big of a success. This award honors not only the Russellville Rotary Club but the generosity of Logan Countians as a whole.”
Rotary is a service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians. Local members usually meet on Thursdays for lunch, which is not only a social event, but an opportunity to organize work on their service goals.
Rotary’s primary motto is “Service Above Self”; its secondary motto is “One profits most who serves best.”