Rotary Club Holds Club Awards Night
July 27, 2023 by Staff Report

The Rotary Club of Burton-Middlefield (BMR) held its annual club awards night July 19 at Welshfield Inn...

The Rotary Club of Burton-Middlefield (BMR) held its annual club awards night July 19 at Welshfield Inn.

Rotary member Kathy Vatty received the Rotarian of the Year award from club president Mike Valentino for her incredible efforts in organizing and running the club’s Maple Splash Raffle (MSR) Festival.  She spent countless hours contacting more than 23 non-profit agencies in Geauga County and inviting them to come to the festival, set up booths and meet with festival attendees. The nonprofits are all supported financially by BMR.  She also organized the raffle basket part of the event that raised more than $4,000, secured the services of food truck vendors and popular bands that entertained the crowd and ran all other aspects of the festival. Vatty was supported by her husband Craig and a hard-working staff of volunteers.

County Commissioner and Rotary member Jim Dvorak was given the club’s Service Above Self award for his tireless efforts in organizing and running the yearly Special Needs Fishing Tournament held at Geauga Park District’s Walter Best Wildlife Preserve in Munson Township. Over 70 special need students from all around Geauga County are invited to come to the event with an aide and take part in a day of fishing, outdoor fun and a picnic. Rotarians from all four Rotary Clubs in Geauga County help with the fishing equipment and transporting the students around the lake.

Dvorak also has run the annual Jeep Invasion event held in October at the Mayfield Road Drive-in Theater in Munson Township. Jeep Wranglers from all over northeast Ohio come and take part in a 25-mile tour of Geauga County including a special drive on the off-road portion of the Geauga Park District’s East Branch Reservoir Park that is normally closed to vehicles.  The event raised over $22,000 in 2023 which was donated to the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department to support the DARE program.

The final award went to BMR club president Michael Valentino who received a hefty scrap book containing the year’s worth of media and event news generated by BMR.