Amidst perennials and pine trees, Watters Garden Center was the scene of a lively auction that raised funds for the Prescott Unified School District summer math and reading programs. Watters owner and Prescott Frontier Rotary Club member Ken Lain says the club brought in $36,000 at the annual Grapes 4 Grades party through donations, sponsorships, ticket sales and the auction on Sunday, June 26.
“Lisa and I look for ways to give back to our community and a garden party is a natural extension of the energy of our Rotary club,” said Lain. “We give heavily through our church and through our business here at Watters Garden Center, but with Rotary we have a direct global impact, and we see the difference.”
Nearly 300 business owners and residents attended the wine-tasting and fundraising event. “This, our 11th year, was our most successful Grapes 4 Grades yet,” said Pinon Realty owner and broker Mary Fusinski, a Rotary member and Grapes 4 Grades co-chair. “The community was truly amazing. Local businesses as well as businesses from outside the area – including from the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and Laughlin, Nevada – supported the event because the funds support our children. People were leaving saying, ‘We can’t wait until next year!’”
Among the auction items were a flight simulation, furniture, artwork and resort getaways donated by local businesses. A Watters Garden Center landscaping package brought in the highest bid at more than $1,500.
“The idea of a wine tasting was novel back in 2004, and has it ever grown!” said Rex Townsend, Rotary president and Farmers Insurance owner. “The community has rallied around the ideas of Rotary as a community service club and the ideals of ‘Service above Self’ and supporting our local school children.”
“I’ve been reading to the kids during their summer program for more than 20 years now and see the direct result Rotary is having,” said local radio station owner Sanford Cohen.
Prescott Frontier Rotary also supports the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp, where high school students who demonstrate leadership skills are granted scholarships to the camp and trained by local business leaders so they will be prepared to have a positive influence in the community.
“At our core, Rotary stands for world peace through international student exchanges, making sure polio is gone as a threat globally, with a new directive of clean drinking water for the planet,” said Dr. Steve Meyers, a Rotary member. “With 1.6 million members serving in 33,000 clubs in every country in the world, Rotary can impact global issues like these.”
The Prescott Frontier Rotary meets at noon every Tuesday at Casa Bonita, 1317 E Gurley St. in Prescott. “I invite like-minded business leaders to join us,” said Lain. “We learn about our community, receive global updates and find ways to serve beyond ourselves.”
For more information, visit www.PrescottFrontierRotary.com or call 603-496-5809.
By Bonnie Stevens
Steve Sischka, owner of Olsens grain stores, served as emcee for Grapes 4 Grades, as Ken Lain of Watters Garden Center made guests feel welcome.
Photo caption: (photo in Dropbox)
Windermere realtor and associate broker Heidi Marshall and Sandy Griffis, executive director for Yavapai County Contractors Association, were among the nearly 300 guests supporting local students at the fundraising event.
Photo by Bonnie Stevens