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September 9, 2011 > Rotary Club 'lends a hand' at Warm Springs Elementary

Rotary Club 'lends a hand' at Warm Springs Elementary

By Miriam G. Mazliach
Photos By Don Brown and Miriam G. Mazliach

Fremont Warm Springs Sunrise Rotary Club generously volunteered their time and efforts this summer, to improve the Warm Springs Elementary School facility. In particular, their focus was on a problematic sloped area surrounding the classrooms that offered little protection from rain run-off, causing muddy and slippery walkways during winter rains.

Rotary Secretary, Audrey Kearns explains, "The club had previously worked on other projects at Warm Springs Elementary, so when Principal Brett Nelson Principal approached us, as there was no school funding to take on this needed project, the Rotary Club stepped in."

The group poured cement and installed concrete curbs and drainage pipes to contain and re-direct the run-off, as well as eight benches for seating. The final step was preparing the dirt slope for future landscaping. Through Rotary's labors, the area is now more usable and presentable and overall, a better place for kids to sit, enjoy recess or have lunch.

An organization of business people, Rotary identifies projects to help the local and global community; they volunteer their time and donate money, says Kearns.

Among those volunteering at Warm Springs Elementary was long time Rotarian Don Brown, a member since 1984. Brown mentioned that he enjoyed working on projects to benefit the community and those less fortunate who need help in life. He is also active in assisting the Rotaract Club of Greater Fremont; college students, considered to be Rotarians in Training.

The club also supports two Rotary Interact Clubs (for high school age students), at Irvington High and Kennedy High School. Just like Rotaract, Interact works on many community projects as well.

"We enjoy working with both the Rotaract and Interact Clubs as they will be the leaders of our community and possibly our government in years to come," says Brown. "We consider them as the future leaders of America."

Leading this year's Fremont Warm Springs Sunrise Club, President Eva Stone says, "I've owned a business in Warm Springs for 16 years and as a Rotary member I enjoy giving back to the community and society. Our club's motto is 'Service Above Self,' and everybody volunteers."

The Rotary group budgeted about $6,000 for the Warm School Elementary School project, according to Stone. "We wanted to get this completed before the rains this year so the school won't have the same mud problem. Last year, because of the muddy grounds, the kids couldn't play," she explains. "Luckily, Luis Lira, our Rotary Community Chair is a professional contractor. He knew how to solve this hazardous situation at the school."

Warm Springs Principal, Brett Nelson, expressed his gratitude toward the Rotary volunteers. "In budgetary times like these, we are lucky to have a strong community partner like the Fremont Sunshine Rotary. Their commitment to this beautification project has provided our students with an outdoors learning space and also established an area in the future for a garden. I would like to especially thank Luis Lira for his diligence in coordinating the project and his commitment to the students here at Warm Springs."

Many thanks to the following Rotary members who participated and helped out: Luis Lira, Eva Stone, Don Brown, Mike Kearns, Greg Bodganoff, Jamie Liu, Alex Huang, Rosemary Petersen, Alexandra Petersen and Linda Bailey.

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