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Long Meadows Radio Rotarians talk to the tune of $23,000

November 18, 2003|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

Long Meadows Rotarians took to the studios for Radio Rotary Days on Saturday, Nov. 15. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Rotarians took turns manning the mics to broadcast ads purchased by local business owners over the airwaves of WARK-AM 1490 in Hagerstown.

The club began selling ads ranging from $25 to $500 to local business owners on Oct. 1. Bob Barnhart, 63, past president and chairman of the event, said with more than 100 sponsors, proceeds from Radio Days reached about $23,000.

Rotarians worked in pairs for one-hour intervals, reading ads, discussing Long Meadows Rotary contributions, and giving away autographed big league baseball bats to listeners who called in with correct answers to baseball trivia questions.

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Bill McCarrey, 46, of Waynesboro, Pa., a DJ at the radio station said, "I think it's a great fund-raiser. We get a kick out of having everyone come in here, and they have fun doing it. We enjoy being able to help out and being a part of the community."

Dr. Bill Plavcan, president of the Long Meadows Rotary, said the fund-raiser is different than a lot of others because there are no overhead expenses.

"With the exception of a couple international Rotary projects, these are purely community dollars," Plavcan said.

Suzanne Ollry, 50, a Long Meadows Rotarian, said, "Being a member, I realize how important it is to participate in fund-raising efforts. And it's great fun. Bob Barnhart has been really helpful in spearheading the drive with Bill Brockway to ensure we continue to support local needs."

Long Meadows Rotary awarded Hagerstown Community College scholarships, as well as funding for Children's Village, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, The Maryland Theatre, Washington County Public Schools Foundation Inc., Cub Scouts Pack 103, Washington County's Girl's Softball and Federal Little League, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Food Resources Inc. and a student art project.

This year's recipients have not yet been identified.

"We won't know until we start getting requests from various organizations," Plavcan said. "Our community services committee, lead by Pat Halladay, will review the requests and make the determinations."

One of Long Meadows Rotary's prize projects is Long Meadows Rotary Park on Northern Avenue.

"The lot was really a field with weeds when we took it over," Barnhart said. "Now it has flower gardens, a walkway, a patio, and American, Maryland and Rotary flags."

Barnhart credited John Clatterbaugh, a teacher at Hagers-town Community College, with the design for the project and the site work. He said donations from various contractors and Washington County, and maintenance provided by the Antietam Garden Club have helped transform the area. While the park was completed in 2001, Barnhart said its development remains an ongoing project.

The Long Meadows Rotary has been in operation for 27 years and has 56 members. The Rotarians meet at 6:15 p.m. Monday nights at Nick's Airport Inn.

"We don't encourage absenteeism," Barnhart said. "You pay for your meal even if you miss."

Barnhart said the beauty of the obligation is that if Rotarians are unable to make their own club meeting, they can attend club meetings in any of the 176 countries in the world that have Rotary organizations.

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