NEWBERRY — The Rotary Club of Newberry celebrated the grant project completion of the expansion of the Picnic Shelter at the Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, located at PRIDE Park.
This expansion project was made possible due to Rotarians giving to the Rotary Foundation and donations from members of the community.
“We get a percentage of these funds back to go toward a community project that we want to do. This year we got $6,000 and we had to match that,” said Rotary President Kimberly Kitchens. “Due to the overwhelming response that happens at this shelter the expansion was necessary.”
Prior to the expansion, the shelter was not big enough oftentimes being unable to fit people under the shelter and having to sit in chairs and separate tents.
The shelter is open for use by the public and is most often used by first responders for their annual Community Picnic for people attending PRIDE Center, which was initiated by Lieutenant Randy Malloy from the City of Newberry Police Department.
“I went to NCDSNB to see what they were looking for and they came up with the expansion. Over 200 people attend the Community Picnic and the City had just gotten the Silver Palmetto Award and we thought this would help the clients of NCDSNB,” Kitchens said. “It wasn’t just a celebration for the expansion, but for the entire community. That park is available to the community, everybody can use that shelter in the park. When we did our Oktoberfest fundraiser that was specifically to raise funds for the picnic shelter and we handed out brochures to the community to help raise awareness to what they (NCDSNB) have to offer to the community.”
Bob Jones, NCDSNB executive director, expressed his appreciation to the community for this addition to PRIDE Park.
“We have a lot of fun with our folks, we have relay races and pies in the face, but having this addition has made it to where we can fit people under here and it’s a great way to invite the Newberry community who have been so supportive to us and we do appreciate it,” Jones said.
In recognition of the expansion a permanent Rotary sign was placed on the shelter. Upon the completion of the expansion, Rotary members will help install new landscaping at the shelter and park. The Boy Scout Troop that the Rotary Club sponsors, Troop One, will help in the landscaping installation.
The Rotary Grant Committee, which consists of Kitchens, Mayor Foster Senn, Mark Scott, John Glover, Kay Poston and Scott Bellows, are currently looking into what the next community project will be.