Rotarians get to work April 25

Clubs hold service day in lieu of Project Auburn
By: Michelle Miller-Carl Journal News Editor
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Auburn Rotary groups are hoping to fill a void left by the canceled Project Auburn. For the last four years, Project Auburn brought volunteers together to tackle big projects such as the refurbishing of the Old State Theater and constructing picnic tables at Recreation Park. But organizers chose to forego the community service event this year. “(Project Auburn) depended so heavily upon community donations and donations from contractors in the area, and due to the economy and the fact that construction has almost stopped in the area, we didn’t think it was appropriate to go out and ask people for funding this year,” said Nick Willick, Rotarian and chairman of previous Project Auburn events. Project Auburn, which was organized by Auburn Rotary, the City of Auburn, and other service clubs and contractors, could require $30,000 or more in fundraising each year. Willick said he hopes to bring it back next year, perhaps in a scaled-down format. But the spirit of volunteerism is still alive as three local Rotary clubs will participate in a Rotarians at Work Day on April 25. Auburn Rotary, Auburn Daybreak Rotary and Auburn Gold County Rotary will join Rotarians around the world to perform community service that day as part of an initiative by Rotary International. “I think it’s special. I became a Rotary member because I love the community connection locally,” said Larry Dorety, Rotarians at Work Day chairman. “But the more I learn about it internationally, the more I love it.” Auburn Rotary chose three projects. One is work at the Bernhard House Museum on Auburn Folsom Road. Back in 1979, families purchased personalized slats in the fence surrounding the historic residence to raise funds for repairs. Some 2,500 pickets surround the historic home and most have names inscribed on them. But over the years, many of those pickets have been vandalized or knocked down by traffic accidents. Now Rotarians will repair and repaint the fence. Rotarian Leonard James has also teamed with Museums Director Melanie Barton to create a catalog of the sponsored pickets. “The problems we’ve had over the years is that although we had an alphabetical list of names of people who donated, we didn’t know where they were on the fence,” Barton said. “If someone was interested in finding out where their family’s picket was, we weren’t able to direct them.” Work at the Bernhard House, which was built in 1851 and is one of the oldest buildings in Placer County, will also include planting of an 1890s-era garden typical of those cultivated by German immigrants, such as the Bernhards. “We’ve done research as to what veggies are appropriate and working with team leader Don Yamasaki, we’re trying to develop a garden with an interpretive use that explains what plants were grown in 1889,” Barton said. “It will be more than just a garden.” Strawberries, potatoes and onions will be some of the 1890s crops, along with one modern addition — a drip irrigation system. The club will also help establish a playground at the new site of the Auburn Boys & Girls Club at the Community First Bank campus on Lincoln Way. The design, donated by NTD Architects and Yamasaki Landscape Architects, will feature a stream, stage and ball wall court under a canopy of trees. “At first I thought, ‘This is great. People are stepping up to do something that sounded neat and fun,’” said Randy Tooker, Boys & Girls Club chief professional officer. “When I was bowled over is sitting in (NTD architect) Jordan Knighton’s office with Jeff Ambrosia (of Yamasaki Landscape Architects) and seeing the sketch of what they were thinking. It was like nothing I could have ever thought up.” The Rotarians will provide some manpower on the project including erecting of a shade structure, building a tot lot sand box, painting, general facility repair and planting of shade trees and a small grass assembly area. “Everything about this new clubhouse is showing Auburn’s kids how much the community cares about them,” Tooker said. The third project for Auburn Rotary is a “This Old House”-style makeover of a home on Oak Street. The home belongs to Alice Carrigg, 80, who is looking forward to a new coat of paint on her home. “It’s going to be yellow. I’ve always wanted yellow,” she said. “I thought it would be good this time around.” The Rotary team will pressure wash the house, prepare the surfaces by scraping and sanding, apply a permanizing seal and then paint the house on April 25. Willick said Rotary has performed these home makeovers for the last 15 years. “We try to find a house where we have a senior citizen who owns the house but doesn’t have the physical or financial means to fix it themselves,” Willick said. The business community has been extremely helpful so far, but sponsors and donations are still needed, Dorety said. He expects more than 80 Rotarians along with their families and friends to be working at the sites on April 25. Interact members from Placer High School will also participate. There won’t be opportunities for the general public to volunteer, as they could with Project Auburn. Dorety said they weren’t inviting the public because there would be limited workspace for additional volunteers. Auburn Gold Country Rotary will be helping to stock shelves at the Auburn Food Closet on April 25 by filling a truck with donations. “This is a really hard time for a lot of people. A lot of people are tapping the food closet and it’s getting pretty sparse,” said Nancie Radakovitz, publicity chairwoman for Auburn Gold Country Rotary. “They need all the help they can get.” Auburn Daybreak Rotary will help make the world a little greener with its Rotary Recycles event. Cans, glass and plastic will be accepted for recycling at the corner of Highway 49 and Luther Road. “We thought this would be an easy way for people to be aware of recycling. Something as little as a tin or aluminum can helps somebody else,” said Karen Williams, Auburn Daybreak Rotary community chairwoman. The Journal’s Michelle Miller-Carl can be reached at ---------- Rotarians at Work: The Projects As part of Rotary International’s initiative for a worldwide Rotarians at Work Day on April 25, the local Rotary groups will hold community service efforts. They are: Auburn Daybreak Rotary Rotary Recycles: Drop off plastic, glass and cans from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at the corner of Luther Road and Highway 49 in Auburn. Proceeds will go to the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet. There will also be a bounce house and display of green vehicles and solar power. Auburn Gold Country Rotary Auburn Food Closet: Help fill a truck with food donations for the Auburn Food Closet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at the Safeway on Bell Road near Highway 49. People can drop off food, make a donation or buy a prepackaged bag of goods specifically needed by the food closet. Look for the delivery truck courtesy of Ceronix. Auburn Rotary This Old House: Repairs and painting will be completed at a house located at 166 Oak Street, across from the Alta Vista School. The Rotary team will pressure wash the house, prepare the surfaces by scraping and sanding, apply a seal (preparatory efforts), and then paint the house on April 25. Sponsors: Whitehead Painting, Warehouse Paint and Placer Equipment Rentals. Boys & Girls Club: Rotarians will help to prepare the playground area at the new Boys & Girls Club location on Lincoln Way. Improvements will include the erecting of a shade structure, building a tot lot sand box, painting, general facility repair and planting of shade trees and a small grass assembly area. Sponsors: NTD Architects, Yamasaki Landscape Architecture, Gray Construction, The Home Depot, Verde Creations and J. Randall Smith. Bernhard Museum: The picket fence that surrounds the property at the Bernhard Museum will be repaired and painted. Names of donors (who participated in a 1979 fundraiser for restoring the Bernhard Mansion and grounds) are engraved in the pickets. A list of all the names will be created and indexed so current family members and friends can find the pickets. In addition, a 1890s era vegetable garden will be planted in the style of German immigrants of that time. Spot painting of railings and fascia boards will also take place. Sponsors: George’s Airless Repair, Kelly Moore Paint Co., Placer County, Eisley’s Nursery and Anderson Sierra Pipe. How you can help: If you or your business is interested in donating to the Auburn Rotary projects, contact Larry Dorety at (530) 885-1034.