Rotary Club holds fundraiser for Tuscaloosa community

Rotary Club holds fundraiser for Tuscaloosa community

The Cultural Arts Center located in downtown Tuscaloosa. CW | Jonathan Daniels

When you're ready to relax before the 3-day weekend, the Rotary Club International is ready to wind down with you in their annual Wind Down with Rotary fundraiser.

The event is a fundraiser for adults 21 and over to have a night of socializing with donated food from local restaurants, a wide selection of international wines and local beer, and a silent auction. Wind Down with Rotary will be taking place Thursday April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center.

The Rotary Club International’s Tuscaloosa Morning Club is hosting the event. The Rotary Club is an international network consisting of 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Founded in 1905, Rotary consists of volunteer leaders who work on community issues such as water and sanitation, basic education, literacy, economic development and disease prevention and treatment.

“At Wind Down with Rotary, we are raising money for the local community. One of the great things about the Rotary Club is that we can do things here locally and also on the other side of the world.” said William Petty, an assistant governor for Rotary District 6860 and a business professor at the University.

The fundraiser will benefit local charities like the Community Soup Bowl, Druid City Garden Project, and Success by Six among others. Rotary is also utilizing funds for their International Service Projects.

One of those major international projects Rotary is currently working on is in India.

“We can also combine with a Rotary club in another country to complete a project," Petty said. "We all combined with a club in India where they are building sixteen toilet facilities for the schools there."

Locally, one of the major charities that the event will donate to is the Tuscaloosa Community Soup bowl, which feeds lunch and other foods to those in need.

“I love seeing how all of the funds we raise benefit the community. It’s great once you see what all of these organizations are doing and how they are impacting our community” said Charlotte Bowers, the president-elect of Rotary Tuscaloosa’s morning club.

Although the event is entertaining and social, the main focus of it is to raise funds for local and international charities.

“Our main duty at Wind Down with Rotary is to raise funds and find sponsors. It is mainly benefiting our local charities,” Bowers said. “Typically, we raise around $15,000 each year.”

Some items being auctioned off include: a chance to drive a new racing Porsche, a day at lunch with UA’s new basketball Coach Avery Johnson and weekends down at Gulf Shores.

Everything for the event is donated from local companies and individuals and all of the foods and drinks are donated from local restaurants and breweries.

The event is being held the day before Honor’s Day so that parents who are coming in town can attend the event.

“We have the event before honors day so that any family or people coming in town for honors day will have something to do," Petty said.

Petty said that students interested in coming can contact him at bpetty@cba.ua.edu.

“I try to invite students and allow them to use it as a networking opportunity to get to know other rotarians and hopefully get involved” said Petty. “Last year, 43 MBAs came to the Wind Down with Rotary and they all enjoyed it very much.”

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