Rotary clubs donate supplies

The Rotary clubs on Whidbey Island have united to bring supplies to various agencies combatting the coronavirus.

The four clubs established a task force at the end of March after a member of the South Whidbey Rotary club offered to to procure needed supplies for WhidbeyHealth.

“All four Rotaries quickly pitched in,” said Steve Schwalbe, Oak Harbor Rotary Club president.

Schwalbe said the umbrella organizations Rotary International and Rotary District 5050, which extends from British Columbia to Everett, had to cancel their annual conferences because of the pandemic.

“It freed up lots of money,” he said, so they were able to get $5,000 from the district. Paired with the money donated by club members, task force was able to raise over $13,000.

Earlier in the month, the task force was able to donate over 10,000 masks and 8,500 gloves to WhidbeyHealth.

Schwalbe said the task force’s original goal was to help the hospital, but it branched out to help the fire departments as well.

More recently, the task force partnered with Island Drug to deliver disinfectant spray bottles to the Island County Department of Emergency Management.

The task force had 84 bottles of alcohol that were donated so they purchased spray bottles.

Island Drug added additional chemicals to make the disinfectant.

“Rotary did a nice job of working with Island Drug, and Island Drug did a super job of working to get the material to us,” said Oak Harbor Fire Department Chief Ray Merrill.

Merrill said the fire department will use the disinfectant sprays to clean hands, surfaces and equipment.

Schwalbe said the task force is currently looking at getting disinfectant wipes for Careage of Whidbey.

“We’re going to zero out our account with buying wipes for Careage,” he said, but added that the task force is still open for donations.

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