Rotary-led projects improve community | Rotary News

<em>From left, Rotarians Walt Elliott, Jim Dixon, Matt House, and Don Hutchins. </em>Contributed photo

From left, Rotarians Walt Elliott, Jim Dixon, Matt House, and Don Hutchins. Contributed photo

Two Rotary-led projects have come together to improve community information — and comfort — for Kingston residents and visitors alike: benches at Village Green Park, and an electronic reader board at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 104 and Lindvog Road.

The most visible — the reader board — informs passersby about community events, welcomes visitors and serves as a “community water cooler.”

It has taken 10 years to bring the project to fruition and those behind the project believe the effort has been worth it.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Kingston Rotarian Clint Boxman said. “It’s definitely something that will bring the community together. We’re constantly printing fliers and putting them in businesses all over. It’s in the newspaper and on social media. And people still say, ‘I didn’t event know that was going on.’ ”

The driving force behind the project was fellow Rotarian Jon Sole. He said he saw that, with the advancement of technology, there was an opportunity to build a sign to better inform the community. Kingston’s Rotary Club took on the project, spearheaded by Sole and Boxman. They enlisted community partners to get behind the sign, including Port of Kingston, Kingston Citizens Advisory Council, and Kingston Chamber of Commerce. About half the sign’s total cost of $40,000 is being supported by the Port of Kingston, which will operate it and provide maintenance and insurance.

The sign will be for community use. It will not be commercial or political. The site was cleared pro-bono by Steve Kelly Construction. Community leader Dave Wetter handled the excavation. Hanson Sign Co. was the contractor. County Commissioner Rob Gelder assisted on matters involving Kitsap County.

Kingston Rotarians celebrated another successful project benefiting our community recently when two benches were installed near the playground area at Kingston’s Village Green Park. The project was spearheaded by Rotary’s Community Service Committee, headed by Jim Dixon. Dixon said the project could not have been completed without the enthusiastic assistance of local contractor Matt House.

“He’s the hero on this thing,” Dixon said of House. “He donated concrete to pour the pads and the bench supports. He designed the supports and bench architecture, and he delivered all the materials for the work party to assemble. The community owes a lot to Matt House.”

Every time you drive past the park and see moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas watching their kids enjoy the playground from the comfort of the new benches, think of Rotary. It is the mission of Rotary to bring together resources to improve our community, one project at a time. It just so happened two projects came together at the same time.

Happy holidays from your Kingston-North Kitsap Rotarians, who meet at 11:45 a.m. Wednesdays at Village Green Community Center. Guests are always invited. Come join the fun. Get involved.

— Ron Carter is communication chairman of the Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary Club. Contact him at

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