Please do not blame me for the title of today’s RFA. That dubious honor goes to Rotarian, Cort Vitty, a proud member of the Rotary Club of South Anne Arundel County, who obviously has a questionable sense of humor. (I was helpless in the grasp of this startling display of wit.) The “quack” in the title comes from the club’s recent successful fundraiser, called Quacks for Backpacks. This unique fundraiser involves getting businesses and residents to sponsor plastic ducks that “race” according to the wind and the tide where the winner is determined by pure luck. One race featured 43 ducks sponsored by local businesses at $200 per duck. And the children’s race had 175 ducks at $10 each. The net result? They raised $12,000 and more than 200 people attended the event and had a great time (see pix below). Yup… some folks in town might have learned a thing or two about Rotary in the middle of all that fun.
However, the real winners are AA county school children because 100% of the proceeds of the race go to the club’s Bountiful Backpack Project, where children in need get a backpack stuffed with food to sustain them for the weekend. Club members shop for and buy the food and then work with the schools to distribute the backpacks to the kids every week. AWESOME. Word is that this might be their “Rotary Day” event for next year.
But your intrepid RFA reporter didn’t attend to learn about duck races. I earned my free breakfast by doing my Rotary Foundation song and dance as the club program. Once again I was in danger of “talking past the sale.” Why? Because on a per cap basis the South Anne Arundel club is THE most generous club in District 7620 . This year the club’s per cap giving number is over $450 per head! It was gratifying to hear from Club President, Chris Asher, that our meeting with the Board after the club meeting was productive and the best practices we reviewed about District Foundation giving ideas will help South County to sustain their Rotary Foundation giving in the future.
What else? The club is well managed. You can see it from the number of projects they are involved with both locally and internationally. You can see it from the boards they hang on the wall showing their progress towards meeting various goals. A strong hint might be winning the Gold Club Award from District 7620 AND the RI Presidential Citation, WITH DISTINCTION. And you can also tell by talking with the club’s leadership. They have that air of confidence that comes from leading clubs that have a pretty good handle on how to go about their business of doing good in the world. The club is very active in the District scholarship program. Several members serve on the District’s PR committee (special shout out here to Katie Blyth.) And last, but certainly not least, this club is the home of venerable, esteemed, and sometimes feared, Area Governor, Larry Leahy. All I can say is that there is a pretty good chance that Larry is typically behind the scenes giving high quality guidance to club leaders.
Next stop for this club? You guessed it. MORE MEMBERS. A club this good should be twice the size. What goes on here is just too good to keep it a secret.
If you are in the vicinity of the Killarney House Restaurant in AA County on a Thursday morning and you could use a make up, stop by for breakfast. They pass my laughter and volume test.