Six Rotary Clubs in Columbia come together to fund new playground

Kathleen O'Dell People of Action, Projects

All six Columbia Rotary Clubs worked together to raise $51,000 for the Clary-Shy Community Park project in Columbia. Rotary Club representatives presented the check to the Columbia City Council on Monday, Dec. 17. The check will help fund the park’s new farm-themed playground. The playground will be built in the existing Clary-Shy Park, a 20-acre area located between West Ash Street and Clinkscales Road that has previously housed the Columbia Farmers Market. The playground is part of a larger master plan, which will include a pavilion for the farmer’s market and amphitheater. Mike Griggs, director of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, first received the idea for a playground in an email from Jan Grossmann, president of Columbia Rotary South, 14 months ago. As of December, $2.9 million has been collected for the park in donations and grants, Griggs said. “It is such a tremendous asset to have those guys here in town,” he said. Grossmann said the collaboration between the six clubs has been a positive experience. “It’s the first time all six of the clubs have joined together in partnership to do some kind of a local project that would benefit the community,” Grossmann said. Rotarians said they hope to have the playground completed by March 2019.

The Warrensburg Rotary Club does a Pulled Pork Roast Sale each October.

Mark Pearce People of Action, Projects

We sell the 4.5- 5-pound roasts freshly smoked, chilled or frozen through our local meat processor Alewel’s Meats. They provide the roasts at their cost and we sell them for $25 each. We always have good return customers, so it’s not re-inventing the customer list each year. We net $5,000 to $6,000 for special projects in the community. We also do a catfish fry dinner at one of our area wineries. It’s a good community interaction/social, but nets only $1,500 to $2,500, so we’re thinking about making it a meal delivery opportunity on a work day. It will lose the social aspect, but it may sell more meals. We’ll see what the committee decides. The Warrensburg Early-Birds has the KING fundraiser in our county — The Taste of Johnson County — in which area restaurants showcase their cuisine. Tickets are $12 or $15 and the restaurants take on the food costs. They usually bring in $10,00 to $13,000.