While much of Bucks County remains hunkered down through May, the Rotary Club of Shady Brook continues to “venture outside” to fulfill its motto, Service Above Self.
Meeting virtually every two weeks via Zoom, the two dozen or so members, mainly retired seniors, continue to champion their favorite causes, while tweaking their usual modus operandi.
“Rotarians are all about helping others to overcome obstacles,” said club President Jeff Revak. “Thanks to technology, we still get together to plan our projects, but we’ve had to make some adjustments of our own. The most obvious, of course, is the absence of our weekly breakfast meeting at a local diner that features a favorite, long-running fundraiser, a 50-50 hunt for an elusive joker from a deck of cards that never fails to draw good-natured teasing when the joker remains AWOL.”
With many community-based organizations (CBOs) scrambling to find scarce funding to provide much-needed services for their constituents, the Shady Brook club remain eager to help, even when the pandemic doesn’t cooperate. The group and the Villas at Shady Brook community, where many members live, were to co-host a program, complete with silent auction, to benefit Doylestown-based A Women’s Place, a service provider to victims of domestic physical, emotional and financial abuse and violence.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The CBO provides comprehensive free, private and confidential service, support education and advocacy to the victims of domestic violence, including children and older adults.
“Domestic abuse is prevalent in all communities, regardless of demographics, including age and socioeconomic status,” observed Fred Edelman, who together with his wife Fran, and Dolly Sokol, presented the idea to the club and Shady Brook community. “Unfortunately, coronavirus has worsened an already bad situation.
“But even after the virus preempted the proposed program, we still showed support through a $1,000 donation.”
The pandemic also prompted donations to the Bucks County Veterans Center to help several former service members who recently lost jobs, and also to the Penndel Food Pantry. The vets occupy a special place in the hearts of the Rotarians, some of whom are themselves veterans. Two of their most important and successful annual initiatives are fundraising drives outside local groceries before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.