We lost a good friend last week. I felt like I had lost a friend and on further consideration I realized our whole community lost a good friend when Frank Farmer passed away.
If you benefited from any of the charities supported by the Brazil Rotary Club, or even Rotary International, you benefited from Frank Farmer’s hard work.
A couple years ago our reporter Ivy Jacobs found out during the annual 4th of July Celebration that Frank had become Rotary’s $80,000 man. That meant that as of two years ago he had sold nearly $80,000 in raffle tickets.
For most people, the tickets mean a chance at the $10,000 grand prize or a chance to win many other prizes over the years including barbecue grills and thousands of other prizes donated by local merchants.
As a past president of Rotary I can tell you that from the another perspective, each ticket purchased is a donation to the many organizations supported by the Brazil Rotary Club. You have probably seen photos in The Brazil Times of the club president shaking hands with a representative of those many organizations that benefited from Rotary grants. Guess what funded those grants? It was tickets sold by members around the 4th of July and guess who sold most of those tickets over the years? Frank Farmer.
Sometime in June each year Frank’s many friends could count on a visit from him.
“Don’t you want to buy a ticket?” he would ask.
A lot of you said yes. Most of you never won that $10,000 grant prize but many of you won the daily prizes that Rotary gave away during the celebration.
Let’s talk about the celebration.
How many cities the size of Brazil brings in a carnival every year? How many cities our size can boast they have a grand, patriotic celebration of the scope of the Brazil 4th of July Celebration that has been going on for more than 80 years?
When I joined the Crawfordsville Rotary Club several years ago I was amazed how hard they worked all year long to raise money that the Brazil Rotary Club raises in about a month each year.
“You need to come to Brazil and see how they do it,” I told Rotary members when I was a member of the Crawfordsville club.
Now, let’s talk about the beautiful Forest Park that is the setting for the celebration each year. Beautiful trees, lots of good parking and no matter how hard it rains, for the past few years celebration-goers have had dry ground around the carnival to walk on when the rain stopped during the celebration.
That was due in part to Frank Farmer as well. Because of his hard work for Rotary and the quality of the Rotary 4th of July Celebration and thanks to Mayor Brian Wyndham the city saw fit to improve the drainage in that vast area used for the celebration each year.
As Carrol Evans said when she was president of the Parks Board, “Rotary has been doing the celebration for 80 years and they’re not going anywhere.” So she supported plans to improve drainage at Forest Park.
Frank and others like him have kept Rotary “going” for over 80 years.
I call Frank a friend because he sponsored my membership in Rotary back in the ‘90s.
We had an inside joke we liked to play on people who were standing around and maybe eavesdropping. Our names were Frank and we were both married to women named Linda.
Our conversation went like this:
“Fine. How’s Linda?”
Invariably, a stranger would overhear us and look at us like we were crazy. Funny.
Let’s all make it a point to buy a Rotary ticket this year, for Frank. Better yet, buy three. They are cheaper that way.
Frank Farmer truly was one who embodied the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”