Letters to the Editor

MI Rotary and Rotary Run benefit Island

In response to a letter to the editor last month, the Mercer Island Rotary Club would like to clarify how residents are notified of the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon, held in March each year, and where the money from the event goes.

Signs are posted along the route more than a week in advance; earlier notices go in the city’s newsletters, the Mercer Island Reporter, churches, clubs and businesses; other media ads are purchased; and a direct mailing goes to 2,500 residents.

This year’s March 22 race will net approximately $150,000, which will be invested for a year, then will support colon cancer awareness and research agencies, MI Boys & Girls Club, MI Youth and Family Services, vocational scholarships, youth exchanges and students-of-the-month, local hunger programs, and regional or international support for wheelchairs, clean water, polio inoculations and literacy projects and more, depending on how many matching grants and partners can be rallied.

Dollars from past runs are at work in other recent projects such as Rotary Park, MI park improvements by local Boy Scouts, the Big Read, the garden courtyard addition to West Mercer Elementary School, video cameras and defibrillators for public safety, senior citizen events, conservation and recycling projects, to name a few.

The list of needs and expenditures changes each year with the grant requests and the extent of other donations from Rotarians and partners. However, the MI Rotary Half Marathon, now in its 36th year, is the club’s major fundraiser. We hope you agree that for four hours once a year, any inconvenience generated by the event is worth the benefits it brings to our community.

Bob Olson, President

MI Rotary Club

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