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Vandalia Rotary Club holds banquet

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By Dave Bell

Several members received awards and a new slate of officers was inducted at the annual banquet of the Vandalia Rotary Club on June 28.

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Held at Los Amigos Restaurant, the banquet was emceed by outgoing president Lyn Gartke. She termed the club’s just-concluded year as “wonderful and productive,” and thanked club members for their volunteer work.
Among those cited were: Dale Freeman, Jerry McDowell, Howard White and members of the American Legion Auxiliary for their help with the American Red Cross blood drives; Rodes Hood for his leadership with the “Making A Difference Challenge” to encourage donations at the blood drives; and Kevin Childers for the best program of the year.
Among the projects completed during Gartke’s administration were: supporting Rotary’s shelter box project, raising funds for the Salvation Army by ringing bells during the Christmas season, conducting quarterly blood drives with the American Red Cross, distributing dictionaries to third-grade students in Fayette and Bond counties, donating food and funds to area food pantries, conducting the Christmas parade in Vandalia, hosting special education students to a luncheon with Santa, honoring high-achieving students at Vandalia Community High School, sponsoring students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference and sponsoring Strong Kids scholarships to the Family YMCA for needy youths.
Rotarians receiving Paul Harris Fellow awards (for contributions in their names to the Rotary Foundation) were: Don Carpenter, Larry Cable, Larry Bennett and Brad Dunn.
Former club president and former district governor Jay Stortzum was presented with an award for his service and Gartke was named “Rotarian of the Year.”
The Rev. Roger Grimmett, incoming president for the new Rotary year, which runs from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, was installed, along with the other officers: Steve Ainscough, vice president; Hood, secretary; Tom McCarty, treasurer; and Gartke, past president.
Grimmett listed the following goals for the club during the coming year: strengthen the committees; set up a Facebook page for the club; adopt an area highway to keep clean; hold a “Rotary Minute” once per month to educate members about the activities of the organization; and “have fun with what we do.”