A group of local Rotarians spent a weekend in December working at Mohawk Valley Elementary School doing various repairs and additions to the campus that would have cost the school over $50,000 to do on their own. 

After spending fall meetings organizing work teams and doing prep work, more than 50 people from the Fort Yuma Rotary Club met for the three-day project to complete various projects on campus. 

“This project has been a godsend for our school,” said superintendent Doug Rutan, who explained that they currently do not have funds for campus or playground improvements. 

Rutan said that he was thrilled to be approached by the club about adopting Mohawk Valley School. They had previously adopted Dateland Elementary School as well. 

During their work weekend, the group built a new concession stand complete with insulation, air conditioning, electricity, sheetrock, counters, storage; a new outdoor sand volleyball court complete with sand, poles and net; built and installed three tetherball poles; removed four very large diseased and bee infested trees on the playground; built a wooded table to go over the stump of the large tree that was removed; erected a large shade cover to replace the shade lost by the trees; replaced all of the old aluminum covering on the school breezeway; installed a new basketball backstop; completely rebuilt and reroped the stage curtains; added four square and hopscotch to the playground; added shade covers to baseball dugouts; and purchased outdoor balls for the students, including new volleyballs and two sand volleyball rakes.

Rutan said that the club set up a dozen mobile campers and trailers on the playground in order to accomplish the tasks in one weekend's time.

“They brought heavy equipment and everything they needed to do the jobs,” he said. “They had lots of fun, too. They camped, had barbecues, sang songs, had a really good time.”

When Rutan met with the Rotarians to discuss the needs of the Mohawk Valley campus, he said that he was shocked that they agreed to fulfill all of his wishes.

“We could never have completed all of this without them,” he said. “...We can barely keep up just doing the routine maintenance of what we have... I am amazed at what one club has done for this little rural school. We have so little but feel so blessed.”

Sarah Womer can be reached at swomer@yumasun.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.

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