The Roswell Rotary Club is checking items off a to-do list of service projects as club members prepare to celebrate the local organization’s 100th anniversary in 2020.
One item on that list: a donation of almost $10,000 to the local zoo.
During a recent club meeting, Rotarians presented a check for $9,639 to the Spring River Zoo to help fund various improvements, including the planting of trees and the addition of fencing.
Accepting on behalf of Spring River Zoo was Zoo Superintendent Marge Woods.
“Thank you so much,” Woods said. “This makes my job a whole lot easier … donations like this.”
Helping make the donation possible were monies raised by the annual Rotary Sporting Clays Youth Benefit and matching grant funds from Rotary International.
“This being the 100th anniversary, we did apply for a Rotary Foundation grant — which we do have to match — and the Fun Shoot Committee came through and helped us with the matching amount,” said Rotary Club president Cindy Torrez.
The “Fun Shoot” event involves both the city’s Rotary clubs and takes place each May. Money raised benefits a number of youth-focused charities.
The zoo donation was a good fit because of its focus on educating young people. Speaking on behalf of the Fun Shoot, Rotarian Pancho Maples emphasized that educational component, and also praised the role zoos play in preserving species that become endangered, or that might go extinct in the wild.
Woods was the featured speaker at the meeting during which the check presentation was made. She updated club members on various projects and activities at the zoo — and also introduced them to Frodo, the zoo’s 9-year-old Great Horned Owl. The Great Horned Owl is one of the largest owl species in North America.
Frodo was found and brought to the zoo while still very young, having been discovered by a local resident after she fell from a tree. She has a crooked beak because of injuries sustained in the fall.
“Because she can’t go back to the wild, we got permission from the federal government to use her as an ambassador …” Woods said.
Frodo is part of outreach and education programs presented by the zoo.
A 16-person committee of Rotarians have been organizing activities related to the organization’s 100-year anniversary next year. The club recently buried a time capsule at Enchanted Lands Park, presented a float in the Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade, and raised funds in recognition of World Polio Day (eradicating polio is one of Rotary International’s primary goals).
Other events and efforts are planned. These include donation of work-hours to Habitat for Humanity; installation of Rotary signs along area roads; a visit from the organization’s district governor; a Luau fundraiser; and a 100th Anniversary Gala in May.
Editor John Dilmore can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 303, or firstname.lastname@example.org.