Madison Rotary plants Healing Garden at MRHS

JEREMIAH CORBIN (left), Madison Rotary Club president, Scott Parsley and Mike Brooke stand next to a new sign placed near the Rotary Healing Garden at Madison Regional Health System.

Members of the Madison Rotary Club have placed a sign near the new Rotary Healing Garden at Madison Regional Health System to complete their community project grant.

Members wrote and received a matching project grant from Rotary District 5610 to plant the Healing Garden in September 2018. Rotary members planted 50 bushes and plants surrounding the Rotary bench they had sponsored earlier on the MRHS grounds.

"We appreciate that the Rotarians are community-minded and supporters of our facility. They asked us how they could support our landscaping efforts and were both willing to write their project grant and work together to complete the garden," said Tammy Miller, CEO of MRHS. "It was a wonderful project which has made a difference."

Jeremiah Corbin, Rotary Club president, said, "The entire club was involved because we had to raise half of the funds for the project. The other half was contributed by the District 5610 Rotary Foundation, money that is contributed by all the Rotarians (nearly 2,000) in our district, which includes all of South Dakota, part of western Minnesota and the northwest corner of Iowa."

Nancy Moose was the Rotarian who wrote the grant. She said that Rotary awards grants for projects that support the community and that will be sustainable.

"Because the hospital maintenance staff will care for the plants and because the garden is available to the public as well as to patients, their family and friends and to hospital staff, our grant was accepted," said Moose. "We had to extend the grant for a year because the original placement of the garden had to be changed. In the end, the new placement of the Healing Garden is probably much better since it is visible from the patient rooms, and it is more private for those who need some time and space away from the indoor hospital setting."

In addition to this project, Madison Rotary supports community programs and projects with both funds and labor, such as the Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels, Community Center, an elderly transportation program and the Domestic Violence Network.

Internationally, Madison Rotary has supported sewing machine projects in India and wheelchair projects in Romania and Guatemala.

The Madison Rotary Club was chartered in 1929. The members are committed to Rotary's Four Way Test. They are active in Rotary Youth Exchange by hosting students from other countries and by sending Madison students to year-long exchanges around the world. The club's annual fund-raisers support scholarships, Polio Plus, the Rotary Foundation and many other local projects.

Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.