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Rotary Club tallies local impact

The Jim Thorpe Rotary Club has made contributions in the borough and the rest of Carbon County totaling more than $150,000 over the past five years, according to an impact report released by the organization in spring.

That money has helped fund area educational projects, pay for Christmas gifts for over 1,600 children and their families, offer scholarships and support the Dimmick Memorial Library, among other local advances.

The impact report is the first of its kind to be released by Jim Thorpe Rotary, said Jeanne Yoho Miller, a 20-year Rotarian who will take over as president of the chapter on July 1.

“We were really excited when we saw the results,” Miller said.

“You don’t really think of that when you’re doing year-to-year projects and budgeting, but that’s when we decided, ‘let’s look to see what is the impact.’ That was a really good process for our club to go through, to go back and look.”

With a history that dates back to 1905, Rotary’s reach has extended internationally, it has over 1 million members internationally, and more than 35,000 clubs, according to its website. The humanitarian organization encourages participants to make change on both local and global scales.

In Jim Thorpe, the area club’s international donations over the past five years equate to nearly $7,000.

Of the impact report, Miller said, “having that information makes us realize the impact we make.”

But it also offers an opportunity to change, “Because we’re in a different time now,” she added.

Specifically, Miller is interested in growing the club’s influence by getting more young people involved with its efforts. Miller said the club is also looking at how tech might broaden its outreach.

“We’re looking at ways to do things in a less traditional way, so we can connect with more people, so we can even have a greater impact,” Miller said. “It’s the perfect time to look at that.”

Connor Rodgers, a Jim Thorpe Area High School student, wins $500 for placing in the 7410 District Rotary Essay Contest. The check is being presented by Rotary member Mary Mulligan. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
This year's student Rotarians, from left, front row: Kristin Scott, Holly Skrimcovsky, Maille Galvin, Autumn Roth, Rainbeau Currier and Christina Thieling; second row: Owen Rarick, Nolan Rehrig, Kobe Frycklund, Tyler Hartman, Dylan Letcher, Benjamin Pieri and Ashley Cole. Not pictured are student Rotarians: Joseph Mills, Khamaria Harris and Trent Hunter. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO