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One of the more active service organizations in Avery County is the local chapter of Rotary International. Rotary International is a worldwide organization consisting of over 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs all of which are devoted to the ideal of service above self.
The Avery County Rotary participates in many charitable efforts throughout Avery County including the creation and ongoing maintenance of the playground at Cannon Memorial Hospital, scholarships to Mayland Community College, the purchase of electronic books for Avery County schools, donations to Grandfather Home, 4H, the YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, regular Adopt-A-Highway cleanups in Newland, and a developing new partnership with Lees McRae College as well as many other efforts to make our community a better place to live and work.
The local chapter also contributes to service and charitable efforts around the world through Rotary International. One of the main goals of Rotary International in conjunction with the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF has been the eradication of polio throughout the world. Another global effort is the Shelter Box project which focuses on bringing relief and temporary shelter to survivors of disasters worldwide. Finally, in addition to the creation of scholarships for young people to travel and study abroad and many other programs, Rotary International also has been active in the purchase and distribution of almost 1 million wheelchairs around the world for those in need who do not have the means to purchase them.