Lamar Rotary Gears up for Annual Dictionary Give-Away

Rotarians Rick Robbins and Lance Benninghoff with  Anne Marie Crampton in Distance

Rotarians Rick Robbins and Lance Benninghoff with
Anne Marie Crampton in Distance


Each September is dictionary time for members of the Lamar Rotary and the students throughout southeast Colorado who receive the books purchased by the Club. This will mark the 14th year Rotary members have handed out comprehensive and impressive dictionaries to third graders in five counties.  Each book contains a sticker and hand signed letter from a Rotarian before they are distributed this month.

Rotarian George Gotto

Rotarian George Gotto

Rotary President, John Marrin, said club members are handing out just over 250 books to students in 14 schools in Baca, Bent, Prowers, Kiowa and Kit Carson counties. Marrin, also the Lamar Community College President, and other members spent their lunch hour at the Cow Palace Inn on September 4th, opening the boxes of dictionaries and comparing names with lists, and began writing a simple note to each student.

Mike Renkin Gives the Ducks a Spin

Mike Renkin Gives the Ducks a Spin

Member Judy Turpin said the kids don’t mind the lack of technology involved with their gift of a four pound book.  “Every one of them is excited to receive this book and many of the students continue to use them through their school years.  It doesn’t matter if it’s not a smart phone or an ipad, this is something they appreciate, and for many of them, unfortunately, this may be the only book they own for a long time.” Turpin said the books are financed through a number of ways, but mostly through the annual Ducky Dash held during the Lamar Days festivities.  Marrin said there are other local contributing sponsors for the project, but most of the funds come from ticket sales.

Quackers the Rotary Duck

Quackers the Rotary Duck

The annual Dash has changed locations and its scope over the past two years. Instead of dumping rubber ducks into the Lamar Canal to see which ones cross the finish line first, the ducks are mixed up in a giant drum and elementary students take part in races at Willow Creek Park to determine which winners will get to draw some of the numbered ducks.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is the Rotarians efforts to get funds to purchase the dictionaries and the public’s help through their ticket purchases.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEducationEventsFeaturedLamarProwers CountySchoolYouth


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