LOUISIANA—A good sized group of Louisiana Rotarians gathered at Sunset Park last Thursday to dedicate the new pavilion the group had built.
A major storm in 2018 dropped a tree on the old pavilion, damaging it beyond repair. At the time, Ben Logan was president of the club and he took on the responsibility of getting the project started, said Linda Beer, who keeps track of all the weekly meetings for the group.
Delays because of COVID-19 slowed the construction project, so last year’s Rotary President Todd Smith became steward of the project and then passed on that responsibility to this year’s president Brittany Taylor. Beer noted that Rotarian Tim Jenkins played a major role in coordinating the project.
Smith was the one who applied for a grant thorough Rotary’s Community Assistance Program, and was awarded funds for the purchase of five new picnic tables. These tables were constructed by prisoners at the North East Correctional Center through Missouri Vocational Enterprises.
In order to raise funds for the pavilion, Beer said, “Generous donations were received from the Bank of Louisiana, Mercantile Bank, the Rotary Satellite Club, the Elkettes, the Louisiana Bicentennial Committee, several individual donors, and memorials given in honor of the late Mary Littrell, a long-time Rotarian.” In addition to those funds, proceeds from last year’s Rotary barbecue, held at Sunset Park, were also designated for building the pavilion.
The City of Louisiana helped by providing the money from the insurance settlement from the damaged shelter house.
“City Administrator Kelly Henderson has served as a valuable resource in getting the project completed,” Beer said.
The local Rotarians hope to have a workday at the park in the spring to do some small projects in the area, such as general cleanup and landscaping in the park.
The new pavilion is not the only project the Rotary Club helped with in Sunset Park over the years. The club purchased the large set of playground equipment, the swing set, and the planted trees in the park. The Interact Club, a group from Louisiana High School, which is sponsored by Rotary, undertook the responsibility of putting in a new basketball court in the park.
The Louisiana Rotary Club was chartered in 1924 and currently has 36 members locally. Meetings are held in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Louisiana each Thursday at noon. Anyone interested in joining the Louisiana Rotary Club can call Taylor at 573-560-2343.
Rotary International has more than 1.2 million members in 35,000 clubs worldwide. The mission statement for Rotary is: “We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.”