It’s been an ongoing project for the past year; Rotarians in Mesquite are making sure that kids are making buddies; they’ve just installed the second Buddy Bench at Virgin Valley Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 22. The first one was installed on Dec. 14, 2018.
Mesquite is one of the rare communities lucky enough to have not one Rotary Club but two. Morning Rotary Club members have their own schedules and agenda items they use to improve the community and Noon Rotary Club Members have theirs as well. The two groups give anyone wanting to get involved with Rotary options for meeting times and projects.
Each group on their own does wonderful things for Mesquite but when the two clubs join forces, and then partner with Dr. Ann Rice and the Ann Rice Foundation, incredible things happen.
Anyone who knows of Dr. Rice or the Rotary know they are all about our youth; ensuring our youth thrive in Mesquite is a number one priority and one way they thrive is to be surrounded by love and friendship.
The nature of childhood mostly takes care of making friends but sometimes even nature needs a little nudge, so Rotarians and Dr. Rice are providing that with Buddy Benches.
Buddy Benches give children a way of letting others know they are lonely or sad and need of a friend; sometimes it’s hard to reach out.
Benches are built by Robyn Schaefermeyer, a part-time Clark County School District bus driver and concrete finisher extraordinaire who designed, built molds and pours four separate, very large and heavy, concrete pieces to make one bench. The process takes him three days, and the entire bench weighs about 800 pounds.
Neither Schaefermeyer nor Rotary members are finished with the project; there are plans in the works to install three Buddy Benches around Mesquite. Nick Montoya, director of Athletics and Leisure Services, and the Rotary are still working out the where but expect them soon.
Once the benches were installed, Linda Gault reached out to Interact Club Members from the high school to paint the benches. The call for this bench was answered by Beaver Dam Sr./Jr. High School Interact member Nicky Hernandez and her boyfriend Josue Guerrero. Hernandez and Guerrero made sure that the purpose of the chair popped as did the rotary symbol in the middle; anyone can clearly see that this bench was made to help kids make friends by the beautifully painted words “Buddy Bench.”
For more information on the Mesquite Rotary Clubs contact Deb Parsley at: firstname.lastname@example.org for the Sunrise Rotary or Ron Bird, 702-346-7025 for the noon Rotary clubs.