Rotary Club hits home run

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rotary clubs in Suffolk and the surrounding area contribute many man-hours toward raising enough money to give generously to the community.

Whether they’re supporting events like this past weekend’s Mission of Mercy dental care outreach or giving to causes that improve the lives of children, the Rotary clubs are constantly working — often behind the scenes — to make things better for everyone in their communities, young and old.

The Rotary Club of Churchland recently got together with the Western Branch Athletic Club to renovate its Pony League fields behind Chittum Elementary School for the first time since they were built.

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The league, which serves about 55 Suffolk children among its 600 participants, will receive $22,500 from the Rotary Club of Churchland to complete improvements including clubhouse renovations, improved batting cages, picnic tables, electrical work and anti-flooding measures on the fields.

Athletic club officials told reporter Matthew Ward this week that the relatively small amount of money they are able to set aside each year for capital improvements has never been much more than was needed to get the fields ready and safe for competition.

“To have the Rotary club come in and support things that have been on our list for decades is great,” Jason Tone, its president, said this week.

The Rotary Club of Churchland said the initiative is an early part of an effort to diversify the causes it supports. It took suggestions from members, particularly new ones, to look for projects in the area.

Located at the confluence of Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth, the Churchland area finds itself looking to many different places to support causes in its neighborhood, and it might be easy for it to get lost in the shuffle. However, the Rotary Club of Churchland is to be congratulated for stepping up and ensuring its own children got taken care of first.