The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 21, 2013

Rotary clubs help education center

DANVILLE — The four Rotary clubs in Vermilion County are pooling their resources to make sure children get a good foundation in environmental education.

Members recently presented a check for $6,000 to help buy furniture and supplies for the new Environmental Education Center at Kennekuk County Park on Henning Road.

Using grants and individual club money from fund raisers, the clubs hope to present a total of $20,000 to the Vermilion County Conservation District by fall. The money will be used to buy desks, tables, chairs, computers, microscopes, and educational materials for the classrooms.

“Everybody is working together to make sure this school room will open,” said Judy Story, chairman of the project. “I’m excited about this.”

The four clubs involved in the project are: The Rotary Club of Danville with president Amy Hoose; Downtown Rotary with Jennifer Dixon as president; Danville Sunrise with Chuck Kasper as president; and the Rotary Club of Hoopeston with Greg Anvick, president.

Mike Wilkinson, treasurer for the project, said, “It’s good to see a dream come to fruition.”

Story said the clubs have heard Ken Konsis, executive director for the Vermilion County Conservation District, discuss the project over the last three or four years. Finally, Story said, “This is the year we can talk about what Rotary can do. It’s been on our back burner waiting to get the sign from (Konsis).”

The project was too big for just one club, so they banded together. In her time as a Rotarian, Story said, this is the first time the clubs have come together to help fund a project.

When Rotary District Gov. Gordon Bidner visited, he thought it was a “once in a lifetime deal,” she said, and suggested she write for a Rotary grant of $4,000. The clubs did fundraisers to get $6,000, and are working toward the $20,000 goal.

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