To the Editor:
In the mid-1980s, David Murphy, SAD #44 school administrator and Bethel Rotarian, created one of the club’s most beloved projects, the Christmas for Children program. In its 35+- years, thousands of children, and their families, have enjoyed a more joy-filled Christmas thanks, in part, to this program. We have recently wrapped up the 2022 effort, which served 115 area children from 50 families. The project is funded entirely through mailed-in donations as well as four weekends of collections in front of the Bethel Shop & Save. Additionally, the program had the support of the Gem Theater, owners Wade Kavanaugh and Beth Weisberger, as they provided two film showings of the traditional Christmas movie, The Polar Express. The proceeds from this event were donated to the Christmas for Children program. Many thanks to Beth and Wade, Sarah Southam, and all those who made cookies for distribution at the two showings. The program received a remarkable number of major donations this year, but each and every donation is meaningful and appreciated. Due to all who supported this worthy program this year, almost $20,000 was raised!

A number of Rotarians, Friends of Rotary and Interact members braved the cold – as well as inclement weather – to greet and collect from customers coming and going from the Bethel Shop & Save. Many thanks for their dedication! Additional thanks go out to John & Jeanette Poole for providing warm beverages to the volunteers, Michele Cole, Bruce Powell, Mary McCormick Smith, Robin Zinchuk, David Murphy, and the staff of the Superintendent’s office for their committee and administrative support and the Bethel Citizen for their PR support.

The Rotary Club of Bethel wishes all of you a happy, healthy, and safe 2023. Thanks again for supporting our work, which in turn benefits our communities.

Jean Benedict



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