EDITORIAL: Rotary effort deserves support

Oak Harbor Rotary Club earlier this month kicked off its stadium funding campaign, a worthy effort fully deserving of community support.

Working through the Rotary Stadium Coalition, Rotary members hope to raise at least $1 million for new athletic facilities for Oak Harbor High School, including a desperately-needed football/soccer stadium and track. The total project cost is estimated at $5.5 million, so Rotary is hoping to raise roughly 20 percent of the total from private donations.

This is an example of citizen enterprise stepping in to fill a need that, judging by past bond election failures, the public doesn’t yet fully understand. Oak Harbor voters will support school improvements, but not before the need is demonstrated beyond any doubt.

That’s where the Rotary effort will pay off. The money raised by Rotarians will show that the need is real, and is recognized by many in the community. In addition, the process itself will produce that grassroots awareness and discussion so necessary in rallying community support for a public project.

Any Rotary Club member is happy to talk about the project and accept a donation, or simply stop by any branch of Whidbey Island Bank and write out a check payable to the Oak Harbor Rotary Stadium Foundation.

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