Farragut Rotary stays busy year-round

Tom KingFarragut, Feature

2017-18 was some kind of year for the Rotary Club of Farragut!

Rotary’s mission of “Service Above Self” is just three words. But the things that happen and the differences made in the lives of people based on those words … that’s what really matters. Clubs around the U.S. and the world, much like the Rotary Club of Farragut, stay busy year-round making a difference.


A major component of an effective Rotary club is supporting its community, as well as the international aspects of Rotary International. The Rotary Club of Farragut’s commitment to those community organizations in this 2017-18 Rotary year was more than impressive. When the club of 92 members reached the end of the Rotary year on June 30, the club had donated $43,587 to 29 primarily local organizations.

This does not include any scholarships the club awarded or money donated to a clean water project in rural Appalachia in Kentucky.

Here is the list of organizations that the club supported financially in the 2017-18 Rotary year:

Ridgedale School; The Cerebral Palsy Center of Knoxville; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Smoky Mountain Blues Society (Blues in the Schools); Laundry Love Knoxville; Girls Inc.; Smiles for Hope; the Yellow Ribbon Fund; Mobile Meals; Rotary’s Polio Plus; Tour de Tellico; CCAHT (Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking); Iva’s Place; Loudon County Humane Society; Haiti Reforestation Partnership; Costco (Children’s Miracle Network); The Rotary Foundation; Kane’s Crusaders; Knoxville Challenger Pro Tennis Tournament; Michael Dunn Center; Heart2Heart Project in Mexico; Smoky Mountain Service Dogs; HonorAir Knoxville; East Tennessee Children’s Hospital; Good Samaritan Loudon County; Change Center of Knoxville; Rotary 6080 Hurricane Relief (Houston); Remote Area Medical; Mission of Hope.

There also is something known as “sweat equity” when Farragut Rotarians are hands on, working on community projects and investing hundreds of volunteer hours serving our neighbors.

The long-running fall project known as “Free Flu Shot Saturday” for those needing flu shots began in the Farragut Rotary Club back in 1993, when Dr. Charlie Barnett was a member. Charlie, as we call him, still directs the medical component of the project. Today, Knoxville’s six Rotary clubs and their members serve as the administrative staff at the six locations for Flu Shot Saturday. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Rotarians Mike Singletary and Chris Camp ring bells for The Salvation Army.

Farragut Rotarians work with the town of Farragut to clean up a portion of Little Turkey Creek behind Costco and over to Parkside Drive. And yes, wearing waders, they get more than a little wet.

In December, working two-hour shifts on two Saturdays, Farragut Rotarians enjoy ringing the bells for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign. We’ve manned the kettles at Farragut’s Kroger store, our usual location, but have also been at Ingles and Walmart.

The club also collects toys for the Angel Tree project that are donated to the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley.

Club members worked at World Rotary Day at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy, cleaning up the school grounds, planting trees, spreading mulch and working in the flower beds.

Last year the club adopted Ridgedale School as its Partner In Education. This school on Oak Ridge Highway is not a typical school. It has no PTA or PTO. It serves special education students in grades K-12 from all around Knox County on one level. On the other level it is the alternative school for middle school students from around the county.

This past school year the club helped the school sell its coupon books. Members spent part of a Saturday painting lockers inside the classrooms. The five “Rotary Witches” from the club helped special education students paint their pumpkin faces at Halloween. But the looks on the faces of the kids is what made it so special. Great fun! The club also provided the food for the school’s Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at the end of the school year.

In addition to all of this, Farragut Rotarians contributed $19,558 to the Rotary Foundation and that is a record for the club. Members also donated $6,152 to the End Polio Now campaign known as “Polio Plus.”

When you add up all of the numbers, the club donated $72,125 overall to local community projects and to international projects … and that does not include the sweat equity and volunteer hours invested.

Chris Camp was our president in 2017-18 and her quote sums up the year: “We’ve had a great year. This year is a statement about the commitment and dedication our club and our members have to making a difference, whether it’s about our work for End Polio Now, our contributions to the Rotary annual fund or for the work we do around the world and in our community.”

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