By Jared Jernagan, Greencastle Rotary Club President

One of the most exciting recent projects for our club has been pledging to be a Shel- terBox Bronze HERO. This was a small leap of faith for us. While the club was already giving, a Bronze HERO commits to give at least $1,000 for three consecutive years. Im- mediate Past President Jacqui Ellis has a passion for ShelterBox that has inspired others. As such, our commitment for 2018-19 has been paid, and most of 2019-20.

Rotarians are annual fixtures as volunteers at Putnam County Airport Appreciation Days and Friends of the Putnam County Library Touch-A-Truck fundraiser. We even lend a hand to the Greencastle Kiwanis Club, operating a booth at its annual Reality Store each fall. Additionally, our club has an ongoing commitment to clean a stretch of U.S. 231 in the city’s south side through the state’s Adopt A Highway program.

For the coming year, we’ve struck a new local partnership with the United Way of Put- nam County to support its Real Men Read program. Once a month men of the com- munity go into each Putnam County kindergarten classroom from December to April. We read a different book to the children and provide male role models. Each child receives a copy of that month’s book, an addition to his or her home library. Through funds from the Greencastle club and a district grant, we plan to help this program in the ongoing effort to promote literacy in our community’s youngest students.

Since Greencastle received a Stellar Community Grant in 2011, we’ve watched this city reinvent itself. Today, downtown Greencastle has become a destination for dining and music. I think the Greencastle Rotary Club is already pretty stellar, but we can follow that lead and get even better. That’s my goal for the club for my year as president and beyond, including looking toward our club centennial in February 2021.

If you find yourself in Greencastle on a Wednesday, or need an excuse for a road trip, join us at noon for lunch at the Inn at DePauw, 2 West Seminary St., Greencastle.