ASHVILLE - Representatives of the Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club recently cut the ribbon on another asset to the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village, dedicating a pavilion literally built by the hands of club members and a few helpers.
Club president John Hamels gave the full story of the April through early November volunteer efforts to produce an ideal gathering place for children and parents to relax after exploring each safety village learning experience.
It all began when executive director of the safety village Terri Kindberg noted during a presentation that Rotary had no presence there. When Hamels mentioned this at a club meeting, Rotarian J. B. Dunn challenged his constituents to fill the need. At that time, a meeting of the safety village board, of which Hamels and Westfield-Mayville Rotarian Ben Spitzer are members, noted there was no place for children to congregate outside for lunch or activities.
A dedication of a pavilion from the Westfield-Mayville Rotary at the Safety Education Village took place recently. Pictured from left to right are: Westfield-Mayville Rotarian J. B. Dunn; club president and safety village board member John Hamels; safety village executive director Terri Kindberg; Sue Hammond; and club Foundation chair Jim Wakeman.
Next came Westfield-Mayville Rotary Foundation chair Jim Wakeman 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 site and assisted with the digging of the footers, and Chris O'Brien and his classes who poured the footers and built the superstructure.
"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," Hamels said in officially dedicating the pavilion. "We do this as part of our motto, 'Service above Self,' and in alignment with this year's theme, 'Peace through Service.'
"May the staff and students find the pavilion a place of enjoyment and haven from the elements for many years to come," Hamels said. "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."