Newport Rotary feeds Samaritan hospital staff

Staff at Samairtan Pacific Communities Hospital were treated to one free meal each courtesy of the Rotary Club of Newport on Monday, April 20. (Photos by Jeremy Burke)

On Monday, April 20, the Rotary Club of Newport kept spirits bright and stomachs full all day long at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital.

“The rotary club of Newport wanted to thank all of the hospital employees for being on the frontlines of this COVID-19 crisis, and so they wanted to purchase breakfast, lunch or dinner for a 24-hour period,” said Ursula Marinelli, executive director of the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation and a Rotarian who served as the liaison on this project.

Beginning in the first minute of April 20, Rotarians were ready and able to purchase one meal for each employee who came to eat in the hospital cafeteria, which continued until 11:59 p.m. that night.

“The employees were so excited about it. They loved it,” Marinelli said. “They get very excited when things like this happen because it really shows that the community cares about them and it just makes them feel really good.”

In addition to serving up good eats for the hospital staff, the Rotary Club of Newport also donated $2,000 to the Pacific Communities District Foundation for the patient support fund.

“We use that fund to help patients with transportation to medical appointments or nutritional supplements, prescription copays — things like that,”

The club has also donated $500 to the Foster Parents Program and committed to donating $1,000 for the next three months to the Food Share of Lincoln County.

“Rotarians just do what we can to help the community,” Marinelli said. “It felt like we needed to step up during this crisis and help people with basic needs, make sure the healthcare workforce knows that we’re behind them.”

Rotary is an international service organization with more than 34,000 clubs around the world and an estimated 1.2 million members. Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community’s business and professional men and women. Rotarians develop service projects to suit the needs of their individual communities. Some of those projects in Newport have included building Newport Literacy Park next to the library, training local school personnel and police regarding human trafficking, fundraising for the Seafood and Festival and more.

“We’re just going to continue to monitor needs in the community and help where we can,”

If anyone has a specific idea of how the Rotarians can help the community, Marinelli suggested that they reach out to any Rotarians they know, or contact Rotary Club President Julie Hanrahan at [email protected]

To learn more about the Rotary Club of Newport or becoming a Rotarian, visit http://www.newportrotaryclub.org.

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