President of Rotary Club all smiles over Seneca River Days

Barb Rachetta 07/07/10More articles
Ann Smiley- President of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club

Ann Smiley is the director of Lysander Parks and Recreation. She has been with the organization since 1991 and was with Van Buren Parks and Recreation for 11 years prior to that. Smiley is originally from Troy, and her husband is from Phoenix. They met in college, moved here in 1979 and have two children. Smiley is the president of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club, which sponsors the Seneca River Days, to be held this weekend.

How long have you been a member of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club?
Smiley: I have been a member for 13 years and became president July of last year. My term ends at the end of this month.

Why did you join the Baldwinsville Rotary Club?
Smiley: I knew the kinds of things the Rotary does and they are very active with community involvement. When one of the members I know through work asked me to join, I did!

What do you like most about being a member of the Rotary Club?
Smiley: I like the fellowship with the other members and the services we provide in the community. All the things we do I feel good about. We raise money, then put it back into different activities within the community.

What are some of the things the Rotary Club supports?
Smiley: We help support “Keep the Ball Rolling”, an after-prom party that was in May. We host a senior citizen Christmas luncheon for over 300 seniors. We sponsor an annual Youth Exchange Student from another country and send a Baldwinsville student out to another country. We also provide dictionaries to all third-grade students in Baldwinsville: public, private and homeschooled, three scholarships to Baldwinsville students, and much more.

What kinds of things do you do in the community to raise funds?
Smiley: We have an Oktoberfest Booth, help staff the Lock 24 Visitor Center, host blood screening clinics, host monthly spaghetti dinners from October through May, highway and canal clean-up two times a year, and co-sponsor Car Seat Safety Day. We also sell ads and produce a community wide business directory, among other things. Our big fundraiser, however, is the “Duck Race” at the Seneca River Days.

What is the Duck Race?
Smiley: It’s part of the Seneca River Days, where about 3,500 brightly colored plastic ducks will race down the Seneca River for over $5,000 in prizes. It’s a great way to raise money and have fun doing it!

What things have you accomplished while president of the Rotary Club?
Smiley: We have increased our memberships and formed two shelter boxes for Haiti to provide them with tents, water purifiers, cooking utensils and items like that. Another project I am doing is working with other rotary clubs from other countries. An example of that is helping the Rotary Club of India fund a bus for their disabled. Our exchange program has also grown as well. Our local church also goes to Honduras and works with the orphanage there. We help them find gutters for buildings to help collect water.

Any final thoughts?
Smiley: The Rotary Club likes the hands-on things. You do what you can with what you can. When you give back to the community, it feels good…and come enjoy Seneca River days and the Great Duck Race!

CATEGORY: General Society
EDITION: Baldwinsville Messenger

Rating: 2.2/5 (5 votes cast)

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