BAR HARBOR — The Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club Princesses and Pirates Pancake Breakfast held on Aug. 9 raised money to send 100 wheelchairs to Panama at a cost of about $6,000.
Susy Davis, owner of local event planning business Prestigious Events and Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club member, decided to hold the event after discovering the need. “While visiting Panama last January, I met with the Santiago Rotary Club and spoke about the idea of bringing wheelchairs to people there and in remote communities as well,” said Ms. Davis. “The Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club members are very excited about this project and we are doing in collaboration with the Ellsworth Rotary Club.”
Wheelchairs not only have to be transported, but the wheelchairs themselves have to be made more durable for use in Panama.
Susy, a Panama native, has a personal connection. “We haven’t had an international project in a while, and for us to make this happen is beyond what words can express. We are very grateful,” she said.
Rotary International offers matching grants to local service projects in a competitive process. Davis applied and received the matching funds, fueling efforts to hold local fundraisers. This means that Rotary International gives $3000 to the project while $3000 is raised by the sponsoring club.
The most recent event to support the Wheelchair Project was the Princesses and Pirates Pancake Breakfast held at the YWCA Aug. 9. Disney princesses and pirates were on hand to serve pancakes and take photos while local New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones read a story. Children got glitter tattoos as a souvenir of the event. Approximately 50 children attended.
More ways to support the cause are being planned. “We are definitely thinking of having another pancake breakfast November during the Pajama Sale and a silent auction for our annual Rotary Christmas party,” said organizers.
To support the Wheelchair Project, please attend an upcoming event or make a donation directly to the project by writing a check to the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club and specifying in the check memo “Wheelchair Project.”