CELEBRATE COMMUNITY: Mid-Bay Rotary Club plants 50 trees

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JENNIE McKEON @JennieMnwfdn

NICEVILLE — Earlier this year, Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged locals clubs to plant a tree for each Rotary member.

It was a challenge the Mid-Bay Rotary Club was willing to accept.

On Feb. 2 the club split up in two groups and planted 50 crepe myrtle trees at eight schools in the Mid-Bay area. The schools were Bluewater Elementary, Plew Elementary, Ruckel Middle School, Niceville High School, Eglin Elementary, STEMM Academy, Lewis Elementary, and Edge Elementary.

The club also bought 16 potted 6-foott-tall crepe myrtles from Terra Firma Specialties in addition to 80 3-foot crepe myrtle saplings that were provided by the Florida Forestry Service and the Yellow River Soil and Water Conservation District to plant. Any remaining saplings went to Rotarians to plant in their yards.

“One of our members, Rory Cahoon, took the lead on it and divided us into two groups,” said Mid-Bay Rotary President Steve Gardner. “It’s a good community event. We had a wonderful crew and it was a good weekend for tree planting.”

Rotarians Kurt and Kim Freudenreich volunteered their crews from Arbor Barber Trees to help with the planting, which made the day go by quicker.

Rotary International is a service organization that provides goodwill and service to the community. There are 34,282 member clubs worldwide and 1.2 million members.

Mid-Bay Rotarians were also busy last weekend not only planting trees but also putting together 65 care packages for troops.

“I’m very proud of our club,” Gardner said.

Ron Moore, who is a charter member of the club, said it was a good experience, as staff and students were especially grateful for the attention.

“It was neat getting all the thanks from school principals,” he said. “They were delighted. And it will be nice to see the trees as they grow and know where they came from.”

For more information about Mid-Bay Rotary, visit midbayrotaryclub.org.

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