August was a memorable month for the Woodburn Rotary.
First, one of the civic group's biggest fundraisers of the year turned out to be a huge hit as the Aug. 10 Mud, Sweat & Barbecue had record numbers of both participants and sponsors.
Then on Monday, Aug. 26, when the city of Woodburn was celebrating the fruition of a number of downtown projects, Rotarian Paul Iverson was on hand to do the honors of cutting the ribbon for the new playground equipment at Library Park.
"We had over 250 runners and a record number of sponsorships," said event organizer John Zobrist. "It was interesting because in the years before it was called Mud, Sweat and Beers. But this year we took the (former) Firehouse Cookoff and combined events. We resurrected the cookoff, but made it a part of this event. And people stuck around after the run for it.
"It was our best year yet."
That was the idea going in, and it appeared to pan out.
"We basically are combining the Firehouse Cookoff with Mud, Sweat & Beers, bringing the two events together just to make it more fun," Iverson said prior to this year's run. "The name Mud Sweat & Beers, while it is family friendly, sometimes when people hear the word 'beer' they may get the idea that it is not family friendly; that it's an adult-only event. And so we wanted to emphasize that it's a family event."
Having the park playground equipment come together during the same month was a bonus. Zobrist stressed that Rotary was a part of it, but the city of Woodburn was the instrumental entity in getting it completed.
Still, 25 Rotarians did gather to assemble much of the equipment, under the supervision of the site contractor.
Other Woodburn Rotary projects have included the Plaza Park gazebo, an electronic scoreboard at the high school, a play structure at Centennial Park, bringing the dental van to town, securing new, energy-efficient lighting at the Family Learning Center, and even playing a key role in bringing the historical locomotive to town.
Rotary money has also been used to provide scholarships for local students.
"We put the money into local projects," Zobrist said. "Those are just some of the examples."
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