At this season of giving thanks and remembering the people and events that shaped this past year, I felt it to be an appropriate time as Immediate Past-President of the Rotary Club of Brazil to thank those who have been involved with the success of the club in 2011.
For the past 76 years, the Rotary Club of Brazil's annual 4th of July Celebration has grown to a point where it is a deeply rooted part of this community's history and traditions. We are pleased to bring the celebration of our nation's freedom and history to the residents and guests of Clay County.
Not only is it our largest fundraiser, we Rotarians also see it as a service project for the community. It could not be a success without the "Service Above Self" attitude of so many individuals and organizations.
Thank you first of all to the more than 40 Rotarians who give up their 4th of July each year to work in the park and make sure the Celebration tradition continues.
Thank you to the businesses which provide entertainment sponsorship so that people of all ages may enjoy entertainment every evening of the Celebration free of charge.
The Gold Sponsors this year included Allstate Insurance (Ted Paris), Clay County Podiatry (Dr. Miranda Goodale), PDF and Riddell National Bank.
Silver Entertainment Sponsors this year included ADS/Hancor, Alicia Reed-Thomas OD, Bob Bowen Ford, Century 21 Realty, Emmert Realty, Exceptional Living Center of Brazil, Fifth Third Bank, First Financial Bank, 1st Security Insurance (Tony Smiley), French Funeral Home, Harris Bank, I.V.C. Industrial Coatings, Miller and Stewart LLC, Moore Funeral Home, New Wave Communications, The Outpost, Rodgers Veterinary Hospitals, Inc., Sam's Do-It Best Hardware, State Farm Insurance (John Howes), Terre Haute Savings Bank and York Chevrolet/Pontiac/Buick.
Thanks also to Wallace Brothers Disposal, Inc., which donated services to provide dumpsters and trash removal to keep Forest Park neat and clean for Go-Kart and Celebration attendees; TransCare Ambulance for its donation of round-the-clock emergency medical personnel and services at Forest Park; in-kind donations from Adamson's Portable Restrooms, Clover Signs and Will's Far-Go RV for use of a trailer for Rotary Headquarters.
Special thanks to our media outlets for their attentive publicity and coverage of the Celebration, including The Brazil Times (which sets up our ads, prints our raffle tickets and provides the tab, which provides all the details of the festivities), WTWO and WTHI provided news coverage at Forest Park, 102.7-FM WBOW provided on-site coverage, in-kind radio ads and the live musical soundtrack accompaniment to the best 4th of July Fireworks display in the Wabash Valley -- provided by our own Mark Adamson at Aerial Arts Fireworks.
The Rotary Club of Brazil is grateful to have our venue be the beautiful Forest Park and to those who make it possible: The Brazil City Parks Board and Park Superintendent Bill Houck and his staff, who provide special attention to making the Celebration run smoothly, and Brazil City administration, including Mayor Ann Bradshaw.
Thank you to the Brazil City Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Department and the Clay County Sheriff's Posse for ensuring the safety of us all.
Thanks to the Clay County Search and Rescue for its food booth and safety and radio services and providing some added festivities during the Go-Kart Race weekend, leading up to the 4th of July Celebration.
Thanks goes to Clay Community Schools, especially North Clay Middle School for use of kitchen facilities to prepare for the band's fish fry and Forest Park Elementary for the use of their grounds for the fireworks setup.
We also have to thank the Forest Park Golf Course and Pro Mark Rogers for their support and the use of fairways for viewing the amazing fireworks display.
A huge thank you also goes to Northview High School Band and Color Guard, North Clay Middle School Band, Clay City Jr./Sr. High, and all the band boosters for devoting an evening of entertainment and serving at the fish fry.
The local talent makes each year extra special, including Moore's Dance Company, Toni's Tumbling and Dance, Cindy's Dance Studio and Tumble Express.
The YMCA of Clay County runs the Firecracker 5K Run/Walk, which is always a wonderful, healthy accompaniment to the 4th of July Celebration.
We were proud to offer them the opportunity to raise funds through what we hope is an inaugural public dinner at the park.
To the historic Brazil Concert Band and conductor Matt Huber, we also remain grateful for being able to count them among the spirited offerings at this patriotic event.
Thank you to the Clay County Historical Society, who maintains the historic log cabins and provides members to man them for the public to view during July 4 -- an excellent visual reminder of the journey that this country and its people have made through history.
Among others, the Rotary Club of Brazil is eternally grateful to all of the businesses, which provides prizes for daily drawings.
They are too numerous to list here and can be found on our website at www.brazilrotary.org.
All those who buy raffle tickets are making a donation to our community and we appreciate their patronage.
Without the support of the community, entertainment, sponsors and prize donors, the Brazil Rotary Club 4th of July Celebration could never be what it is.
We thank everyone who comes out to support our event, because you make it possible for the Rotary Club of Brazil to return that support back to our community with many community non-profit grants, volunteered hours, informative lunch programs, a speech contest, college scholarships and the annual $10,000 grand prize raffle drawing.
June 27-July 4, 2012, will be the 77th year of the Brazil Celebration, so mark your calendar now.
Thank you and Happy Holidays from the Rotary Club of Brazil.