By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – “Service Above Self” is the motto of the Rotary Club. Rotarians are always looking for ways to positively impact their communities and support charitable causes. It’s central to its mission: “provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.”
Yet, to continue to serve, largely through financial contributions, the Shrewsbury Rotary Club must raise the necessary funds to continue its mission.
“This year, due to the pandemic, we’ve been advised by Rotary International to not hold any in person events or fundraisers,” stated club president Owen Russell.
“We do so much for the town of Shrewsbury by giving back and we needed an alternative way to raise funds so that we could give back to different organizations in town,” he explained. “Unfortunately, this year we had to cancel one of our biggest fundraisers which is our Recycling Day in October.”
The club has found a safe option and will hold an on-line Holiday Gift and Giving Basket Auction fundraiser this holiday season.
It’s all remote so it is a completely safe holiday shopping alternative because, like everything else, shopping this season and gift giving is going to be a bit different in an age of COVID-19. Best of all, shoppers can shop in the comfort of their own homes.
“The work that Rotary does to support the community is especially important now,” remarked event chair Beth Casavant.
Funds raised will go right back into the community and will benefit critical services for those who have been hit the hardest because of the pandemic, e.g., St. Anne’s Human Services and Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services.
Casavant shared that funds raised last year were used to purchase gift cards for Meals on Wheels volunteers and the staff at the Shrewsbury Nursing Home to show appreciation for their continued efforts during the early months of the pandemic
Additionally, school supplies including COVID kits filled with cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, tissues, and soap were distributed to students in grades K-12, whose families are supported by St. Anne’s Food Pantry, prior to the start of the school year.
The auction entails 15 baskets featuring items ranging from a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Suite, an Italian feast, a romantic evening, chocolate and other goodies for enhanced wellness, family game nights and beating pandemic boredom. The fair market value in total is more than $3,000.
Casavant added: “Every club member engaged in creating this online auction, and the baskets reflect our unique interests. There is really something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.”
The auction will start on Black Friday, Nov. 27 at 12 a.m., and will be open through Saturday Dec. 5, ending at midnight.
To view the auction, visit www.32auctions.com/rotaryauction2020. For more information or to make a tax-deductible gift directly to the Shrewsbury Rotary Club Foundation, visit www.shrewsburyrotary.org.