Sharon Rotary celebrates past, hopes for future

Sharon Rotary celebrates past, hopes for future
By Patsy Nicosia

The Sharon Springs Rotary called out the cavalry Friday in hopes of finding ways to boost its dwindling numbers. Guests included members of the Cobleskill Rotary Club as well as friends from the Sharon Springs community. The meet and greet was also a chance to honor Paul Harris Fellows Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Jeremiah Tichy. The Paul Harris award recognizes individuals who donate-or have donated in their honor--$1,000 to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. With Jeremiah's honor, all six members of the Sharon Springs Rotary are now Paul Harris Fellows. But like volunteer organizations everywhere, the group is struggling to stay alive; Friday's event was a chance to showcase the Sharon club's accomplishments and seek advice from others on how-and if it should go forward. "If we don't continue, this would be our last chance to honor Josh and Jeremiah," Sharon Rotary President Geri Dunne said. "They deserve the honor and we didn't want to let that chance pass." District Governor Paul Mucha talked about Rotary International's long history of accomplishments and said it all begins with local clubs like Sharon and Cobleskill. The Sharon Rotary's accomplishments, Ms. Dunne said, include helping to bring dentist Seymour Stein and doctor Robert Shelmandine to Sharon, maintaining the signs on Route 10 and 20, and bringing WiFi to the library. They sponsor the Cub Scouts, help with the food bank, and have worked with the District Rotary and SALT to donate winters coats to every school in the county. The Sharon Rotary is also responsible for the community's Christmas tree lighting. In the past, Rotary was very involved in the Exchange Student program, said Rotarian Paul Tichy, but the group eventually became too small for that. "Still, that's very important and why we need to revive the club," he said. "It's about the kids and forging relationships around the world." About 25 people attended the meeting. They were asked to share their thoughts on effort that could use Rotary's help-or that they could help Rotary with. Among those listed: The Rec Center, pool, library, and Bowmaker's Pond. Said Yassin, past president for Cobleskill Rotary, urged Sharon Rotarians to focus on one project and then take it on whole-heartedly. One of their biggest successes, he said, is a December Breakfast with Santa. "We want you to exist," he said. "We'll help. You have to have goals and a plan."

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