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Rotary Club grants go to nonprofits

June 14, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

The Hagerstown Rotary Club distributed $72,305 to 39 local nonprofit organizations during a ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the Four Points Sheraton.

One of those nonprofits, the Safe Place Advocacy Center, will use its $3,000 share of the money to buy digital recording equipment to help prosecute child abusers, said Teresa Thorn, the center's program manager.

Children are interviewed when they come to the center, Thorn said. Those interviews will be recorded on the new equipment and turned over to prosecutors to help establish a case.

Thorn said the center has raised about half of the system's $20,000 cost and couldn't afford such tools without the Rotary Club's help.

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"I was so excited when I heard they were going to help fund it," Thorn said. "We need this system."

Frank Erck, president of the Hagerstown Rotary Club Charitable Foundation, said after the ceremony that Rotarians raise the money each year by selling coupon books and holding a golf tournament and Bull and Oyster Roast.

The proceeds are distributed every June, Erck said.

Forty-five nonprofit organizations asked for more than $173,000 in financial assistance, but the Rotary doesn't have the resources to help everyone, Erck said.

"We can't touch that ... But we did give away all the money that was raised," Erck said.

Other nonprofits that received money were the American Red Cross, Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Maryland Theatre Association.

Sonny Shank of the Four States Christian Mission said he intends to use the Rotary's $1,000 award as starter money to replace the mission's roof.

Shank estimated the roof will cost about $40,000.

"It's really going to help us," he said.

Shank said the mission feeds several thousand people every year.




ยทFor more information about the Hagerstown Rotary Club, go to www.hagerstownrotary.org.

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