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Bell Ringing for Food and Fuel Assistance

January 19, 2011

BENNINGTON - Both the Catamount Rotary and the Bennington Rotary clubs were busy this holiday season doing "bell ringing" to raise funds for food and fuel assistance. The Catamount club was stationed outside of Hannaford. Their funds collected go to support the local Food and Fuel fund operated by the Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services. The Bennington club operates outside of JC Penney. The funds collected here are donated to the Shareheat program sponsored by CVPS. CVPS matches the amounts collected which are then returned to the Bennington/Rutland Opportunity Council office here in Bennington for distribution to those in need. Both clubs wish to extend their thanks to Hannaford and JC Penney for giving us the opportunity to use their store entrances, and to the many local folks who generously donated to both programs.

The Bennington Rotary club is sponsoring the annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Elks Lodge on Wednesday March 23. This year the proceeds will support our scholarship program. Bennington Rotary awards six $1000 scholarships to local students each year who are pursuing post-secondary education. The criteria for receiving one of these is financial need and service to the community. One scholarship is reserved for a member of the MAUHS Interact club, a Rotary sponsored service group. The spaghetti dinner is a great opportunity to say hello to friends and neighbors, enjoy some good food, and support an excellent cause.

Rotary Clubs worldwide support the Rotary Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic foundation. The foundation sponsors these major programs:

PolioPlus- Founded in 1985, this program has been responsible for immunizing over two billion children worldwide. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has challenged Rotarians worldwide to raise another $200 million by February of 2012. If successful the Gates Foundation will match this amount in hopes of eradicating polio from the earth.

Humanitarian Grants- The foundation assists local clubs in responding to natural disasters. Most recently assistance has gone to the survivors of hurricanes in the US, Mexico, and Guatemala and earthquake survivors in India and Pakistan.

Educational Programs- Since 1947, 47,000 Rotary scholars have received assistance to study outside their home country and to serve as unofficial good will ambassadors. The Group Study Exchange program enables teams of non-Rotarians to travel outside their country for four to six weeks to learn more about the cultural and vocational aspects of a foreign land. Rotary Peace Fellowships sponsor 100 fellows annually to study at one of six Rotary Peace Centers for a masters level educational program.

Today over 1.2 million Rotarians in over 200 countries continue to support the work of the Rotary Foundation. You can help as well. Learn more by logging on to, or by contacting Lynne Stratton 802-447-1161. Her email is

Author: David Newell - Bennington Rotary Club Member

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