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Washington Voices

Letter: All area Rotary clubs contributed to fire safety house

Thu., June 16, 2011

This is regarding Cindy Hval’s article in the June 9 issue of the Voices covering the 100th birthday of Rotary Club 21. In that article she mentioned a project Club 21 helped support. I need to modify/expand that.

I am a member of Spokane North Rotary and a past district governor of Rotary. I am responsible for the existence of the Children’s Fire Safety House. Years ago, I attended a meeting where the speaker was a lady that had suffered severe fire burns from a house fire some years back. She was attempting to solicit funds to build a “house” for kids. I knew the group she was addressing was not in position to handle her request, but being a Rotarian I knew her request was right up our alley. I contacted the fire department and the other Rotary clubs in the area. At that time there were nine clubs in the area. Every one was in favor of the concept.

The question was, “How much?” I was able to secure some plans of a similar structure from the Midwest and prices. It looked like we were talking about $25,000. We figured out a pricing plan for all nine clubs: x number of dollars per member of each club. Obviously, the larger clubs paid more per bottom line than the smaller, but the cost per member was the same. A major player in this was a volunteer architect who agreed to design the house. As time went by, he found things that he felt needed to be changed/improved/ added. These meant the cost would go up. I made two or three trips back to each Rotary Club saying we needed more money. Obviously, our message was we needed a quality house for the sake of the kids and the fact Rotary’s name would be on it as well. Each club agreed and paid their prorated share.

From start to finish the project took about two years with an estimated final cost of $100,000, including volunteer labor hours and material not counting the tow vehicle.

Not taking anything away from Club 21. They are a major player in most all things Rotary does in our area and internationally and greatly appreciated. I just want to be sure those that played a role in the development of the house are recognized.


Wm. J. Hiatt



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