Roses fund Rotary community service scholarships...

Rotary and Rotaract club members prepare 750 dozen roses to be delivered last week.

Shakespeare wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but the Bard had never smelt a Rotary Rose which by any other name could never smell as sweet, because the fragrance remains with the recipient who is helping high school seniors further their education.  Rotary Scholarships are awarded not for a student's athletic or academic ability, but uniquely in appreciation for what they have contributed in community service during their high school careers.  Last week some 750 dozen rose's brightened businesses and homes of scholarship contributors of the Central Peninsula thanks to the Soldotna Rotary Clubs annual rose sale.  "Our Hot Rod Hall of Famer Ed Krohn still breaks all records by delivering nearly one hundred dozen every year," said Rotary Rose chairman for life Doug Schoessler, "The rest of us commit to selling or buying to give away at least ten dozen and this one function funds all our scholarships every year.  Kim Merriman at Tammy's Flowers is a huge help in getting them from the grower to us in beautiful condition.  In all these years we've never raised our price, they're still a $20 dollar contribution per dozen," added Schoessler.

"Rotary's motto is Service Above Self and we come from all walks of life in our community and join with Rotarians around the world to promote projects like eradicating polio from all nations.  So a few years back we decided to base our scholarships on our motto and encourage high students to experience the joy of volunteer service and rewarding their efforts with scholarships to further their education.  We've seen C students be able to go to college because of our scholarships and they've gone on to continue giving back to their community.  We've seen a four fold increase in applications for our scholarships, which translates into more young people volunteering for different service in our town.  Some have held garage sales for folks who lost their home to fire, others have raised funds for hospital bills of cancer patients, others have traveled to Nicaragua to help build a school, or shoveled snow from roofs of senior citizens, and it's that special willingness to help others, self initiative, that we look for. This year we'll award eight $1,000 scholarships.  The more roses we sell every year the more scholarships we award," said Becky Foster, chairperson for the scholarship committee.  "It was a great sale this year and you can tell by all the happy smiling faces around town.  Thanks to everyone who participated from all of us," added Foster.