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June 10, 2009 > Rotarians complete 'bench'mark project

Rotarians complete 'bench'mark project

Submitted By Rotarian Gordon Macleod, M.D.
Photos By Rotarian Jim Sakane

The Rotary Club of Fremont is proud that our members have recently completed a "hands-on" community project: building nine very high quality solid wooden benches engraved with the Rotary emblem for the students of American High School (AHS) in Fremont. These heavy benches were delivered to the campus on Wednesday afternoon, June 3rd, 2009 and presented to the Principal, Mr. Ron Leone.

Ten years ago the Fremont Rotary Club donated five benches to AHS where they have had very heavy and continuous use in the school rotunda. The design of those first benches has stood the test of time, no small accomplishment when in daily use by teenagers. Last fall Gordon MacLeod, M.D., this year's Community Services Chairman, asked Principal Ron Leone to suggest a project that the Fremont Rotary Club might undertake. He suggested the need for more benches to supplement the older benches which had proved so useful. Because of the successful original design, the new benches match the older benches.

Encouraged by Club President, Lena Zee, Gordon MacLeod applied and received a Rotary District 5170 Club Opportunity Grant (COG). The amount available was tied to Fremont Rotary's donations to the Rotary International Foundation last year and amounted to $726. Club member, Walt White's Mission Pass Towing donated over $600 in wages to have the wood prefabricated by Jean Paul de France (J.P.) and also contributed another $316 to provide the hardware and stain. Hulbert Lumber Company donated $100 toward the cost of the lumber. Fremont Rotary's contribution was almost $1,200. The total for the project amounted to more than $2,900.

J.P.'s presence during the work sessions ensured that when Rotarians assembled the benches, even financial advisors, doctors, insurance agents, school superintendents and the like could get the work done. And done well!

Principal Ron Leone thanked the Rotary Club of Fremont for its generosity in providing the new benches and noted that the "thank you" from his students would be through heavy use the benches would receive. Service of the benches the Rotary Club built 10 years ago attests to that assessment.

The Rotary Club of Fremont is proud of its record of involvement in world-wide Rotary projects such as the nearly completed effort to eradicate polio throughout the world, but also in its local activities, of which the American High School Bench Project is just the latest. A special relationship exists with American High School through its Interact Club, one of the largest and most active clubs at American High. We have also provided scholarships to American High School students for a number of years. Rotarians do value their motto, "Service Above Self."

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