Cutting the ribbon on another asset to the Safety Village recently were representatives of the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club who dedicated a pavilion, built by hand by club members and a few helpers.
John Hamels, club president, gave the full story of the beginning to the end of the April through early November volunteer efforts to produce an gathering place for children and parents to relax after exploring each learning experience.
It all began when Terri Kindberg, executive director of the village, noted during a presentation that Rotary had no presence there. When Hamels mentioned this at a club meeting, Rotarian JB Dunn challenged his constituents to fill that need. At that time, a meeting of the Safety Village Board, of which Hamels and W/M Rotarian Ben Spitzer are members, noted that there was no place for children to congregate outside for lunch or activities.
Present for the dedication of a pavilion for the Safety Education Village were several involved in the eight-month creation of providing a place for children to lunch and other activities. From left are JB Dunn, Westfield/Mayville Rotarian who prompted the project; John Hamels, club president and village board member; Terri Kindberg, village executive director; Sue Hammond, designer of the upper ‘Rotary Pavilion’ signs; and Jim Wakeman, club Foundation chair, who received Rotary district grant to purchase tables.
Next came Jim Wakeman, W/M Rotary Foundation chair who suggested some funding might be available through a Unified Rotary District Grant to purchase picnic tables. The grant was submitted, approved and led to the purchase of four all-weather tables.
To keep it in the family, Wakeman's wife, Sue Hammond, designed two long "Rotary Pavilion" signs, one of which she funded, and they were installed by Hamels and club member Tom Berkhouse.
Special recognition was given for the help of two BOCES teachers: Jeff Angeletti and his Conservation classes prepped the sit and assisted with the digging of the footers; and Chris O'Brien and his classes who poured the footers and built the superstructure.
In officially dedicating the pavilion, Hamels said, "The Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club wishes to officially open this pavilion to be used by children across the region when they visit the Children's Safety Village. We do this as part of our motto, 'Service above Self' and in alignment with this year's theme, 'Peace through Service'."
Hamels added, "May the staff and students find the pavilion a place of enjoyment and haven from the elements for many years to come. And, finally, this is only the beginning. We plan to make the Safety Village a high priority as one of our special projects for the foreseeable future and will endeavor to support the mission of educating our youth in how to live safely in a peaceful world."