by Glenda Jones
The Rotary Club of Carleton Place & Mississippi Mills is a mighty moniker for a small group of dedicated volunteers who support various charities in our area. They do two major fund raisers: a rose sale in the fall and a mushroom compost sale in the spring. For the latter in early May, the club bagged over 2 ½ truckloads of compost into 20 litre bags which weighed about 50 lbs. apiece when full. Heavy work like this demands strong backs, so the club recruited school kids to help, and help they did! Youngsters as young as 10 came out with shovels and worked for hours, learning what true volunteer labour feels like, what the Rotary Club intended to do with their earnings, and how Rotary can help school kids. Everyone went home feeling a little sore but satisfied.
However, these good feelings didn’t last when it was discovered that the last 150 plus bags that were meant for customers were removed without permission from the site at the Old Barracks near Carleton Place. The bags disappeared some time between Sunday May 3rd and Monday May 11. The price of that quantity represented over $1200.00 to the Club. Organizer Mike Jeays was astonished that anyone would enter private property and intentionally make off with this sizable amount of bags. Club President Brian Armstrong lamented that the kids who helped would be disappointed to see their hard work disrespected in this manner. Although the police have been contacted, there are no leads at this time.
From the Club as a whole, there is the hope that the bags, ordinary black garbage bags, about 50 lbs. each, were taken inadvertently, and that the person who is responsible will come forward and pay for them in good faith. The Rotary Club will seriously consider if they will do this project again. The gardening community, the kids who helped, and the projects Rotary supports will all be losers if that occurs.