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Even though the Rotary Club of the Deerfield Valley was not able to hold its normal fundraising events, it has continued to serve the community.

In lieu of all canceled events, the club has decided to host a new event called the Garden and Music Tour. It will be held Saturday, July 18, from noon to 4 p.m.

Many beautiful and interesting gardens will be available for a self-guided tour in West Dover and Wilmington. Musicians will be playing at most of the venues and strict guidelines will be in place due to the coronavirus situation.

Online ticket sales are available at

Only 250 tickets will be sold, to ensure the safety of all participants. Advance tickets are $25. "Day of" tickets will be for sale if available. The club hopes that even if people are not able to attend, they will purchase a ticket as a donation to Rotary.

All proceeds benefit those in need, in many different ways. For more information, contact Bonni Pactor at

Rotary International is an organization that works globally to help people around the world in many different ways. There are thousands of clubs in the United States, and thousands more around the world. However, this pandemic has created a problem in regards to the way that Rotarians are able to help people.

The Rotary Club of the Deerfield Valley is comprised of 45 members, who gather at the Deerfield Valley Rescue Building on Wednesdays for breakfast meetings. The bulk of their fundraising activities normally begin Memorial Day with a BBQ, Memorial Hall ceremony, and parade. Throughout the summer they host a plant sale, car wash, pancake breakfast, golf tournament, jazz concert, and Farmers Day Fair booth. They also deliver free lunches throughout the summer for summer programs to kids in need. The club provides volunteers for Chamber of Commerce events, Mount Snow events, and the Southern Vermont Wildlife Museum events.

Due to COVID, all of this has changed drastically. Every Rotary fundraising event has been canceled for the summer. All volunteer projects have also been canceled or postponed. Instead of meeting in person, meetings are held weekly on Zoom, which has been a learning curve for many Rotarians. The Deerfield Club had to find a way to continue to serve the community without putting any of it's members at risk.

The first project initiated was purchasing art supplies for kids in need, who were suddenly not able to attend school. This was done in conjunction with the Food for Kids Program.

The second project was the collection of Thank You and Cheerful cards for first responders and nursing home residents. Hundreds of cards were collected and delivered.

The next project was in collaboration with the Lions Club. Banners were made up which thanked First Responders and Essential Workers, and were hung in locations in three towns.

A phone chain was set up to check on seniors or those living alone, and a resource guide made up with phone numbers for various help organizations

From the beginning of COVID, though, the main project of the Deerfield Club was making face masks and providing them at various locations in Wilmington and West Dover. Each mask was packed in a bag with cleaning information and the Rotary address. All donations benefited the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry. More than $2,500 was collected for the food pantry and more than 1,000 masks were made.


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