Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

Harvard Rotary has 'can' do attitude

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The Harvard Rotary is holding a milk can fundraiser to raise funds for the various efforts they support. Pictured is a milk can Rotary member Becky Frost commissioned John Pagles to decorate. HML PHOTO BY JAY SCHULZ

The Harvard Rotary is trying something different. Instead of the annual summer steak fry, Rotary members are trying another fundraiser they hope pays off. The Rotary purchased 20 old-fashioned milk cans and are looking for sponsors to have them painted and then eventually auctioned off.

“We don’t want to do the steak fry,” said Rotarian Sheila Henson. “There’s a lot of work involved for very little profit.”

The Harvard Rotary currently has 12 members and the small number of members makes it hard for them to hold larger events.

“With our particularly small number of members, if two of our 12 can’t make it, we’re down to 10 people doing all the work,” Rotarian George Partlo said. “It would be nice if we had 35 members.”

Harvard Rotary President Eric Thornberg said the idea came from Marengo where a similar fundraiser was conducted using Adirondack chairs.

Ten of the can are already sponsored by Rotarians or their businesses. Sponsorship of the milk cans is $100, which covers the prep work, paint and other materials. The milk cans will be given to the Harvard High School art department, and art teacher Suzy Hereley will oversee HHS student painting them. The students will work with sponsors to identify how they want the milk cans decorated.

The Rotary is hoping to have them ready by mid-May and then have them displayed over the summer by the sponsors. Sponsors will be asked to display the milk cans throughout the summer. The milk cans will be auctioned off at an event to be planned later. The Rotary is considering possibly offering a buy-now price for each milk can before the auction but no plans are set.

Funds raised will be used to support scholarships for graduating seniors of Harvard High School, the community garden in Lions Park and literacy programs for grade school children. Funds also will support Rotary International programs.

Harvard Rotary Vice President Michael Morris said that Castle Bank will decorate a can with Castle Challenge sponsors.

“It comes down to trying to hit a different audience where you get your money from,” Morris said. “We’re just trying to do different things to change the status quo and raise awareness of [Harvard Rotary] in the community.”

For information, contact Thornberg 815-943-0721.