August 2, 2017 – West Bend, WI – What does a turtle, a beaver, and an otter on a train have in common? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but a stroll along the Eisenbahn Trail in downtown West Bend will answer that question.
They’re all statues surrounded by a fresh bed of wood chips at the playground behind the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
During lunchtime on Monday, volunteers young and old from the Noon Rotary Club of West Bend stepped up to spread mulch at the small playground. Rotarians Lisa Sanborn and David Slinde spearheaded the project.
“After a Rotary meeting a few weeks ago, we were talking about getting our fifth Monday service projects going again,” Sanborn said. “Slinde reached out to Craig Hoeppner (director of the West Bend Parks, Rec, and Forestry Department) for ideas.”
Forgoing a typical lunch meeting, Noon Rotary plans to participate in hands-on service projects in the community when there is a fifth Monday of a particular month. Service projects are selected to provide non-profit organizations the opportunity to use the labor of Rotarians.
Slinde, who has been a member of Rotary for nearly 15 years, enjoyed volunteering on a sunny Monday, though he wishes more folks would get involved with service organizations.
“Rotary is unique that like-minded people come together from different backgrounds to commit themselves to ‘Service Above Self,” Slinde said. “I believe that by volunteering, everybody can participate in the building and maintaining of our community.”
Everybody indeed! Volunteers ranged from their mid-20s up to their mid-80s. In addition to Sanborn and Slinde, other Rotarians on hand included Richard Klumb, Amanda Follett, and Anna Jensen. Klumb, a spry 86 years old and member of Rotary since 1958, manned a pitch fork to assist with the woodchip spreading.
“We are young, middle aged, and old,” Klumb said. “But (we) work as a team. Yesterday… was a prime example of some of the things we do to make West Bend a great place to live, work, and play.”
The next time a month has five Mondays is October; Noon Rotary is currently exploring opportunities for a service project on that date.
About the author: William Schroeder is a lifelong resident of West Bend and has served the Noon Rotary Club of West Bend as Secretary for the past 4 years.