From left, Mike Slavik, Abby Meyers, Craig Beissel and Superintendent Rob McDowell pose holding the Rotary Club’s $1,500 award check. Photo by Bruce Karnick.
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Rotary Club donates $1,500 to Hastings Schools

Nerissa Solovitz

On the heels of the September 8th Rivertown LIVE Event, the Hastings Rotary Club donated $1,500 to Hastings Public Schools at the school board meeting on Sept 28th. These dedicated funds are donated directly from the Rotary Club’s Rivertown LIVE budget and are given to assist with Hast-By ings Schools activity fees for students who can’t afford the costs.

“As a whole, the Rotary Club has been able to give almost a million dollars to the community and public schools since its founding,” said Mike Slavic, Hastings Area Rotary Club President.

Different Rotary Club items and events provide the proceeds for these donations. Slavik added, “As of late, it’s the Hastings Rivertown LIVE, the concert that we do down at the Riverfront every September. The proceeds from that are able to go in and support our community and our schools.”

Craig Beissel, the Rivertown LIVE Volunteer Coordinator and Hastings Rotary Club Member said, “Our event had roughly 90 adult volunteers and an additional 4050 student athletes and coaches who chipped in. Trent Hanson, the athletic director, was extremely successful with backfilling our needs with additional volunteers.”

“The athletes who helped out during the event showed much respect to our bands, crew members, other volunteers, guests, their coaches, and myself,” praised Beissel. “The entire interaction with the Hastings Athletic Department was amazing.”

He added, “I took a lot of credit with pulling off a smooth event, when a lot of the recognition should be given to the Hastings Athletic Department, the coaches, and all the athletes who chipped in with positive attitudes and smiling faces. The Hastings schools should be proud of the work and time the athletes put in. They were a part of something bigger than they can imagine. Thanks to Trent and his connections, the Hastings Rotary Club was able to put on an awesome community event.”

Beissel included a special thank you to “coaches and parents who chipped in to make this community event happen, including girls tennis coach Marissa Welch and her 8 student athletes, cross country coach Joe Rabaey and his 8 student athletes, girls’ soccer coach Paul Armstrong and his 10 student athletes, boys’ soccer coach Tom Brenny and his 12 student athletes, and football coaches Dana Strain and Pete McGinnis with their 20plus football players.”

Also included in Beissel’s thanks were coaches Jamie Swanson, Kate McAlpin, Brian Wilson, Jeremy McAlpin, Gerry Rupp, school board members Carrie Tate and Lisa Hedin, and Superintendent Rob McDowell.

“The Rotary Club looks forward to more events that will involve needed help, much like the assistance received for Rivertown LIVE,” added Beissel.

The check for $1,500 was received by the superintendent and a round of applause was given for all of the Hastings High School Rivertown LIVE volunteers.

“Thank you so much for the donation. That is an amazing gift to a lot of kids that potentially find these fees out of reach,” said Hastings School Board Chair Brian Davis.


Rotary Club President Mike Slavik shakes the hand of Superintendent Rob McDowell while presenting the $1,500 award to the school board. Photo by Bruce Karnick.

October 5, 2022