Steamboat Springs Steamboat Rotarian Darcy Trask said the group's goals lie in "sharing the heart of the Rotary both locally and internationally."
In the months leading up to Christmas, the Steamboat Springs and Ski Town U.S.A. Rotary clubs worked to meet that goal by raising about $2,400 to purchase gifts for residents of two orphanages in Agua Prieta, Mexico.
Home to Steamboat Rotary's sister club, Agua Prieta is just south of Douglas, Ariz., not far from Mexico's border with the United States. The Steamboat Rotary has worked on school projects in the town twice before, working on building improvements and consistent water pressure. Rotarian Ed Albright said local clubs were looking for ways to expand that involvement.
"We went down and made a visit to two different orphanages, and I came back up and made a presentation to the Rotary Club. We decided that we wanted start this process by doing Christmas gifts to the kids down there," Albright said.
Trask and fellow Rotarian Holly Rogers purchased all of the gifts locally, with about half coming from independently-owned stores such as Duck Duck Goose and Steamboat Kids, and the rest coming from chain stores in town.
"Although buying the gifts in the Yampa Valley made the process more time-consuming, we felt it was important to put Rotary dollars to work here in our community and to support local businesses," Trask said.
Additional help came from Kathy Stokes at PostNet, whose company packaged the gifts for free and contributed $300 to shipping costs. Albright said the two Rotary clubs sent five large boxes of toys - enough for about 90 children.
"Everybody was extremely pleased with the results that we had, and this is definitely something that we want to do again for next year," Albright said, adding that both of Steamboat's Rotary clubs are looking for ways to continue support for the orphanages during the summer.