On Thursday, Sept. 15, the Mesquite Rotary held the dedication ceremony for the Beaver Dam Junior/Senior High School Beautification Project. The project has taken about four and a half years from concept to completion including a change in direction along the way.
During the dedication ceremony, Rotary President Keith Buchhalter introduced the woman responsible for taking the lead on the project, Linda Gault, by saying, “One of the things I admire most about her is her love for and dedication to the youth.”
Also during the dedication ceremony and introduction an interesting conversation was taking place between several students, one of which made the statement, “I don’t see what the big deal is.” Without ever having heard the question themselves Buchhalter and Gault went on in their speeches to explain. Rotary is not about self, it is about people, individuals and communities, coming together to commit selfless acts that enrich the entire community at large.
Gault and her husband George knew when they moved to Mesquite five years ago that they wanted to be involved in Rotary so they sought them out. The Interact Club, which took responsibility for the project, was already a want and need for the Rotary group. Gault already had Interact Club experience with the Rotary in Wyoming so she volunteered to begin the club in Beaver Dam Junior/Senior High School, which the Mesquite Rotary had adopted into their community.
Work on the BDBP was completed through a combination of Rotary Club, Interact Club and community members along with local businesses who all got involved. Without the help and support of the each and every ‘member’ the project would never have come to fruition. Star Nursery donated trees and plants, Kokopelli Landscaping donated labor and dozens of community members donated time and muscle.
Rotary is based on Five Avenues of Service and in completing this project they called on four of the five. Rotary commitments to club, community, vocational and “New Generations” services were satisfied. The only “service” not reached with this project was “International” and the very near, “local,” Beaver Dam community members were appreciative of that. Many Beaver Dam and Mesquite community members along with the entire high school, Interact Club, Mesquite Rotary and national Rotary members showed up for the dedication ceremony.
The dedication ceremony was for a little more than just the beautification project. Buchhalter also mentioned that, in preparation for the dedication, Rotary and Interact Club members spent the Saturday beforehand weeding the beautification area. “We got out there at 7 a.m. and spent hours weeding the area. I thought we were finished when all of a sudden Linda and other Interact Club members began piling into the van ready to head out to Little Jamaica to clean that area up.”
Little Jamaica is an area in Desert Springs/Beaver Dam where locals and travelers can enjoy some water fun in the Virgin River. The area has been popular for years and is becoming much more a tourist spot. Unfortunately, people who visit don’t always leave with everything they came with.
Gault sent a short email to the MLN explaining the project, “This year’s Interact Advisor, Joe Aquino, asked the Interact Club students what they wanted to do for a community project this fall and they decided to clean up Little Jamaica. We had hoped to do that project last spring, but there were too many activities and we couldn’t get to it. So after planting and weeding at the high school Saturday morning, the students decided to head on down and clean up Little Jamaica. They hauled out at 8-10 big black trash bags full of garbage that people had left.”
Beaver Dam Junior/Senior High School and the entire Beaver Dam community can utilize the space, once barren and now inviting, along with Little Jamaica to enjoy a minute or an hour of the great outdoors, company of friends or whatever it is that enriches their lives because of the completely selfless act of other community businesses, clubs and community members. People doing for others, many of whom they don’t even know, just because they want to; that’s the big deal.
History with before and after photos on the project can be found in the previously published articles: