The Wadesboro Rotary Club held an open house celebrating 20 years in the district Thursday night at the Rotary Planetarium and Science Center.
Attendees included Rotary Club members, planetarium staff and local Rotary leaders, including Chris Jones, governor of District 7680, assistant district governor Dean Martin, and Dale Nelson (D), candidate for N.C. House District 55, and others. Guests were able to browse the planetarium exhibits while enjoying the hors d’oevers by Just For You catering.
Wadesboro Rotary Club president Carly Little was pleased with the turnout for the “birthday.” Although the club has existed since 1927, it was previously in District 769 and has been in District 7680 for 20 years.
“The Rotary foundation has been very supportive of this planetarium,” Jones said. “[The event] has been wonderful. I really enjoyed touring the facility. I think it’s a great resource for Wadesboro and Anson County. [Planetarium director] Wendy [Efird] sitting here is very passionate about what she does. It’s obvious that she not only loves all the science here but she also loves the children.”
The Rotary Club provides funding for the planetarium and science center.“This was our centennial project,” Little said. “This is what we did to celebrate 100 years of Rotary. And all the fifth graders in Anson County are able to come here as part of the fifth-grade science curriculum.”
Efird said that the children love the planetarium. Funded by both the Rotary Club and the Anson County School district, the planetarium is used not only for the fifth-grade science curriculum but for summer camps and other projects in addition to general admission. The open house provided an opportunity to showcase several of the new upgrades the planetarium has made. “We’ve updated the animal room; we got a lot of new animals,” Efird said. “It’s changed a lot since I’ve been here. This is my third year here, and it’s changed a lot.” Other upgrades include “all-new animal habitats, three SMART tables, and an anatomy section.”
Efird, a retired assistant principal, loves the opportunity to work with the children. “The district gives me a lot of freedom to do what I need to do to really get the materials I need to make the activities exciting for the kids,” she said. Rotary grants provide even more opportunities. “Our Rotary Club gave half and the district gave half for the environmental area,” Efird said, indicating a 50 x 55-foot picnic area with eight picnic tables and two fire pits, which she said provides an area for the children to make s’mores and grill hot dogs.
The planetarium is one of several projects the Wadesboro club sponsors in addition to blood drives, collecting school supplies and more.
The Rotary Club has a barbecue Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the National Guard Armory on Anson High School Road. Plates will be $8, with the options of chicken or pork and to eat-in or take-out. Delivery will be available for bulk orders; all proceeds will be used to support further Rotary Club projects.