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Rotarians Bill Kmet and David Duskin take baskets out to be loaded into cars for delivery.

 

Each December, the Rotary Club of Arlington dedicates two days to serving members of the greater Arlington community. This year, the Rotary Club of Arlington added a third service project, as well.

On Dec. 20, Rotarians gathered to assemble and deliver 87 baskets of food to families that are served by the Arlington Community Food Bank. Rotarians individually donate funds to purchase the food to make up the Christmas baskets. Grocery Outlet in Arlington supports the food basket drive and donates extras. The club matches each donation by Rotarians dollar for dollar and gives a cash donation to the Food Bank at a later time when their need is greater, up to $5,000. After collating the baskets, Rotarians, friends and families delivered the gifts directly to doorsteps from Smokey Point to Darrington with warm wishes for the holiday season.

“Rotary is all about ‘Service Above Self,’” said Jim Kelly, director of service projects for the Rotary Club of Arlington. “Our members love these hands-on events and look forward to celebrating the season and supporting our community."

The following day, Rotarians met at the Stillaguamish Senior Center to serve lunch to 176 seniors and visit with its members. The lunch and door prizes is donated each year by the Rotary Club of Arlington. Santa even paid a visit to the seniors!

Leading up to Dec. 14, Rotarians collected unwrapped gifts for children aged birth up to 18 to donate to Christmas Wish, a local toy drive coordinated by local banks. The club also donated $10,000 to Christmas Wish to purchase gifts.

The funds that support these service projects are raised each year through the Rotary Club of Arlington’s Duck Dash on July 4. In 2018 the Duck Dash raised over $135,000 to give back to projects like these that will enhance life for kids, seniors, and families in a time of need.

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