BY MELANIE BUCK –
The Rotary Club of Mena/Polk County recently held their annual dictionary giveaway. Each year, members of the Rotary purchase enough dictionaries to give to each child in third grade across the county.
The dictionaries also include quite a bit of reference material such as information about each state and each U.S. president. “Teachers and students welcome us to their classrooms and we get the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with them. High school teachers have told us that they have students who still have, and use, their Rotary dictionary. It is very rewarding for us to provide a book to each child and to know they are well used,” said Linda Rowe, member of the Rotary Club.
In addition to the dictionary project, the Club also provides classroom grants for teachers, scholarships, and support for projects to improve the lives of people in the community. “We honor a volunteer of the year, citizen of the year, law enforcement officer of the year, and annually contribute to the Single Parent Scholarship Fund,” said Rowe. Rotarians can be found volunteering at Special Olympics, working in area school concession stands, supporting Chamber of Commerce activities and much more. Their signature fundraiser for the year is Wheel A’Mena – Tour to the Top, a bicycle ride that leaves Janssen Park and gives riders the option of a 30-mile ride up the north side of Rich Mountain, or a 70-mile ride into Oklahoma and returning to Mena on the Talimena Scenic Drive. 2014 marked the third Wheel A’Mena event and where the Rotary hosted more than 80 cyclists from six states.