CHARLESTON -- Peoples Bank & Trust has presented its Volunteer of the Quarter honor to the Charleston Rotary Club.
Peoples reported in a press release that Rotary has been promoting goodwill and serving the Charleston area for 89 years. The Charleston club was organized in 1928.
The club focuses much of its time and contributions on the Charleston school district. Annually, the club presents a $1,000 scholarship to a CHS student accepted by Eastern Illinois University. This is a renewable scholarship, as long as the recipient remains at EIU. The scholarship has a four-year maximum.
Rotary also sponsor a luncheon annually to honor the top 10 seniors graduating from CHS as well as their parents. The club also sponsors a luncheon each year honoring outstanding students at Jefferson Elementary School, and their parents are also invited. The club presents "I Like Me" books to every first grade student in the Charleston school district each year. This program encourages literacy at a young age.
In 2017, Rotary will complete its second year of a funding project to provide technology to Charleston schools to help offset the state’s financial situation. Last year’s $10,000 award was for Smart Tables for preschoolers and this year’s award is for laptop computers for the sixth grade. The third installment of this grant will be in 2018, and the recipient has yet to be decided. The total value of this project is $30,000.
For many years, Rotary has sponsored high school students’ opportunities to live and study abroad for a year. The club also supports students from other countries coming to Charleston for the same purpose through Rotary’s International Youth Exchange.
The Charleston club also helps deliver Meals on Wheels each week, plants a flower garden on Lincoln Avenue every year, conducts roadside cleanup along Illinois Route 16, and is a financial supporter of the Charleston Carnegie Public Library.
Charleston's club also is partnership with the Mattoon Rotary Club and other Rotary clubs, as well as commercial sponsorship, to fund The Heart Scan Project with Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital. This program assures all area high school athletes the opportunity to be checked for cardiac abnormalities. Each year, this program finds students with unknown heart conditions.
Rotary supports the Red, White & Blue Days Fourth of July celebration with a vendor stand and EIU’s Homecoming with the Homecoming Pancake Breakfast event each year. They also collect soap and shampoos for veterans and women’s shelters.
Peoples is honoring Charleston Rotary with a contribution to the club and has placed the club's name on a plaque which is displayed in the bank's lobby. The Charleston Rotary Club is the 28th volunteer recognized by Peoples.