LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood School District's three elementary schools officially became recipients of the Rotary Club of Marysville's generosity yet again on Wednesday, March 5.
Marysville Rotary President Daryn Bundy attended the Lakewood School Board meeting that evening to present an oversized check for $3,000, with $1,000 going to each of the libraries of Lakewood Elementary School, English Crossing Elementary and Cougar Creek Elementary.
"In the 14 years since the Marysville Rotary started its annual 'Pumpkins for Literacy' campaign, we've raised more than $200,000 for local schools," said Bundy, who added that the allocations for this year's funds will include $12,000 for Scholastic Press books for kindergarten through third-grade students. "Those books will be distributed through those schools' principals. Kids who read do succeed."
Bundy acknowledged that a host of other Halloween and autumn harvest pumpkin-purchasing options have sprung up in the area since the Marysville Rotary pumpkin patch has started and kept chugging along, so he expressed his gratitude to those loyal supporters of "Pumpkins for Literacy," who have returned to the Plant Farm in Smokey Point each October.
"Between family operations, grocery stores and corporate outlets, it's been getting progressively harder to squeeze out those dollars, so we really appreciate those folks who take the time to come on by, year after year," Bundy said.
Bundy went on to tout the Rotary Club of Marysville's further connections to the Lakewood School District through Marysville Rotarian and Lakewood High School Principal Dale Leach, who will serve as faculty chair for the incoming Rotary Interact Club, which Bundy expects will be chartered by this June.
"It's all about the students, really applying themselves to supporting community service right here in Lakewood," Bundy said. "It's run by Rotary, but it's still the students' club."
Bundy had previously presented an oversized check for $10,000 to the Marysville School District's Board of Directors on Jan. 21.
Marysville Rotary Pumpkin Patch Czar David Edmonds acknowledged that the "Pumpkins for Literacy" program's methods of allocating its funds have undergone slight revisions in recent years, but asserted that its focus on literacy programs has remained intact.
"We're always looking for the most effective ways to impact literacy with the monies we raise," said Edmonds, who recalled how Rotary had previously dispensed dictionaries to third-grade students, but in 2012 began handing out thousands of Scholastic Press books to first- through third-graders throughout Marysville and Lakewood.