Rotary is a group of civic-minded community members and professionals coming together to grow and inspire positive change and support in local communities and around the world. Puyallup is home to two clubs: the Puyallup Rotary (downtown) and the South Hill Rotary. Membership is comprised of individuals, family and corporate memberships.
Rotary is a renowned international organization, most recently in the news for its work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the worldwide project to eradicate polio. Clubs decide their own charitable focus and how they wish to be involved the community — both locally and globally. Rotary provides an opportunity to serve alongside like-hearted people, engage with local business and nonprofit organizations, and build personal and professional skills.
On Feb. 23, South Hill Rotary will hosted its third annual Gold & Silver Raffle, which gave attendees a chance to win up to $9,000 in gold and silver along with other prizes, and enjoy a dinner provided by local eateries. In August, the club hosts Hounds on the Hill, a dog walk and street fair at Bradley Lake Park in Puyallup.
Over the past 30 years, South Hill Rotary has provided more than $225,000 in scholarships to local students. The club also owns two duplex homes (four units) that provide emergency housing to homeless families for Helping Hand House. Annually, the club makes additional charitable donations to local and international charities and distributes Vocational Awards at a luncheon in May. Donations come from events and a variety of fundraising efforts throughout the year, including parking cars during the Washington State Fair.
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On March 24, the Puyallup Rotary will host its 55th annual all-you-can-eat Oyster Stew and Crab Feed at the Washington State Fair. This has been a longstanding community event that has become a staple in Puyallup. The clubs also hold an annual golf tournament in June at High Cedars Golf Course.
Puyallup Rotary started the Youth Advocacy Project (YAP), where the club works with the Puyallup School District, Community In Schools, the YMCA Youth Investment Center and other organizations to fulfill many needs at all grade levels; needs such as food, clothing, tutoring and mentorships as well as training for career development, resume and interview skills, and building emotional intelligence.
This past year, the money raised at Rotary events has financially supported the YMCA Youth Investment Center, Challenge Day, Communities in Schools and sponsored Huston Kraft, a charismatic speaker on the importance of loving your fellow man during “Love Week.”
“Our goal is to continue raising funds to continue this amazing work in our community and across the world.” says member Karissa Thompson.
Cyndi Anderson Roberts is part of the Service Clubs of Puyallup. This is a monthly column highlighting Puyallup service clubs and their contributions to the community.