Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club

Rotary and the Y partner for the community
Mon, 05/02/2022 - 8:45am

A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Rotary building last Thursday to enjoy fellowship and hear about what’s happening at the Y.

Our speaker was Andy Hamblett, who is a past member and past president of this club, and he was joined by Y board chair (and lifelong Y member Charlie Britton and staff member Allyson Goodwin).

Andy lauded the Rotary club for our long association with the Y, and thanked us for our many joint projects, including constructing the Centennial Stage and Arts and Crafts House at Camp K; the basketball courts (a joint Rotary/Lions project), and more recently the 2019 project to build veggie and flower beds that summer campers and after-school program uses to learn about gardening and harvesting.

Andy shared the history of our local YMCA: It was founded in 1955 by some dedicated local citizens, despite the national organization’s belief that a small community “couldn’t keep it going.” The Y moved to its current location in 1964 and has been expanding ever since. The Camp K property was purchased in 1985; the Y Arts Chorus was founded in 1999; that same year the Field House opened; the Baldwin Center dates from 2001; and the list goes on and on.

The current building campaign will create a centralized entrance and new exercise studio as well as multipurpose community rooms, and renovate a teaching kitchen, which is critical to the food insecurity work our club is doing with the Y. Also currently underway are plans to replace the HVAC system, refurb the parking area, add solar panels, update windows and lighting, and paint, paint, paint. The work should be finished by October, and Andy generously offered to give a tour to our members who wish a peek of the new spaces.

All this directly relates to the Y’s three goals of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Andy specifically mentioned the Y’s decision to open the Field House to a mass vaccination clinic in winter/spring of 2021 as part of the Y’s commitment to social responsibility – he believes that the Boothbay Region Y was the first in the nation to host an ongoing COVID clinic.

The last word went to Charlie Britton, who asked us to contemplate how less rich our community would be without the YMCA. Amen to that.

Also during the meeting, we passed warm regards to Bob Pike, who is now rallying at Maine Med.

Bill Prince reported that, since we opened at the beginning of the calendar year, barn sales have raked in $15,000. That’s a huge bonus for our local charities, including (but not limited to) the Food Pantry, youth activities, Community Center and so much more.

President Jeff, just back from a few days’ vaca in New Orleans, reminded us all to remember The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund, which supports the good work we do – including the 2019 garden. As a reminder: All personal donations up to $100 are matched by the club – so please get your donation in before the end of May.

There’s more: The Rotary Foundation has set up a special disaster relief fund for Ukraine – local Rotarians in that country and neighboring countries can apply for the funds for projects to support humanitarian and refugee relief. All funds donated by April 30 will go straight to where they can be best utilized – and over $9 million had been donated by Rotarians through mid-month.

Interested in learning more? Check us out online – or on FB, or come on out on a Thursday evening at one of our meetings at the Rotary building at 66 Montgomery Avenue. And don’t forget to check out our Barn sales each Saturday from 8:30 to 11:00 am. We’ve got lots of treasures and all proceeds come back to the community. See you there!