Caring is what makes our community great

The Marysville Rotary’s annul Pumpkins for Literacy Patch raises funds for literacy programs in local schools. -
The Marysville Rotary’s annul Pumpkins for Literacy Patch raises funds for literacy programs in local schools.
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MARYSVILLE — There are many things which make our community such a great place to live, but the one thing that really makes the difference is that our community cares about those who call it home.

Marysville is blessed with a wide variety of service organizations, groups and non-profits whose members strive to improve the lives of those facing challenging times.

They all deserve recognition and our thanks.

While it is not possible to mention them all, the Marysville Community Food Bank and the Marysville Rotary embody the spirit and generosity of all those who call Marysville home.

Marysville Community Food Bank

With the current economic downturn, more and more families are finding their household budgets stretched to the limit. And more and more families are finding that they need help to make ends meet.

One organization they turn to is the Marysville Community Food Bank which provides food to nearly 300 families each week. That’s a 12 percent increase over the same time last year, according to Joyce Zeigen, director of the food bank.

The food bank, which recently moved into its new facility at 4150 88th Street, provides a variety of food staples including canned goods, boxed goods, fresh produce and baked goods.

In addition to the volunteers who give of their time at the food bank, Zeigen said that without the support of local businesses and community members, the food bank wouldn’t be able to help as many people.

“It’s the generosity of the community that enables us to help so many people,” Zeigen said, “We have families or individuals who send in anywhere from $10 to $500 each month. It’s those loyal donors who keep us going.”

Zeigen also pointed out the support from local businesses.

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Marysville Rotary

The Marysville Rotary has been serving the community for approximately 20 years in a variety of ways, according to Mike Leighan, Marysville Rotary’s public relations chair.

The Marysville Rotary serves the community in three ways — community service, Pumpkins for Literacy and its Education Foundation. It also takes part in Rotary International programs.

In its community service, Rotary provides funding to and participates in a wide variety of local programs and organizations. Marysville Rotary donated $10,000 to the Marysville Community Food Bank to help pay for holiday meals, it donated $100,000 to help fund the food bank’s new facility, it provides funds for community projects like the ones at Jennings Park and skatepark, as well as building playgrounds at all local elementary schools and pledging $250,000 toward the construction of the Marysville Historical Society’s planned museum.

“The money we use for our community service comes from our annual auction,” said Leighan. “This year we raised about $160,000 at the auction.” Leighan pointed out that the Rotary depends on the community’s generosity to raise that money.

“Each year we raffle off a trip which raised about $15,000 and Roy Robinson donated a car at no cost to Rotary which was auctioned and raised about $35,000.”

The Marysville Rotary’s Pumpkins for Literacy Patch is an annual event which raises money for local schools.

With the money raised at the Pumpkins for Literacy Patch, the Rotary donates $1,000 to each elementary in the Marysville, Lakewood and Arlington school districts (the two smaller elementary schools in Arlington receive $500).

The Rotary also uses that money to provide new, hardbound dictionaries to each third-grader in the Marysville School District.

Rotary’s Education Foundations provides scholarships for local students. According to Leighan, Marysville Rotary handed out $60,000 in scholarships last year.

As part of Rotary International, local Rotary members travel to Guatemala where they build schools for local villages. They are also working to help eradicate polio.

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These two organizations are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the caring and generosity in our community. There are many more organizations and groups who also give back to our community and they also deserve our thanks.

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