It’s a simple ordinary tool that students have been using since its invention in the 1600s. But by January it has been worn down to a nub. That’s why members of Rapid City Rushmore Rotary are supplying several local elementary schools with more. Yes, it is the PENCIL!

Rushmore Rotary’s newly formed Community Action Committee selected this small project as a supplement to the club’s larger ongoing projects, such as raising thousands of dollars for the Black Hills Children’s Home and Storybook Island. The club members wanted more!

“We formed the Community Action Committee to focus resources on smaller service projects that can be quickly organized to meet urgent needs. In this case we found out that local school students needed pencils, so we took action,” stated Co-Chairs Dave Dolan and Todd Hyronimus. On Tuesday, February 18, immediately after the club meeting, 4 Rotarians delivered hundreds of pencils to three schools in Rapid City: Robbinsdale, South Park and South Middle. The principals and staff met us with smiles! More schools will be visited with the remaining collection, from over 2000 donated.

The committee discussed a long list of such projects to plan out for the future. They identified highway, parks and streams cleanups; items for food banks and shelters; teacher supplies; and the list goes on and on. This gives the club members opportunities to do good, while interacting with fellow Rotarians and serving the community in special ways.

“Belonging to a Rotary club provides members with an opportunity to give back to their communities and to connect with like-minded leaders and friends.” enthused Linda Peterson, Rotarian and Regional Public Image Coordinator for Rotary International.  “The club’s early morning meetings are dynamic and face-paced, so having time to meet with fellow Rotarians outside of the meeting and do good in the community promotes fellowship.”

Service Above Self is the motto of Rotary International. Our members believe our world becomes a better place when we give of ourselves to others. From grassroots, local community efforts, to joining Rotarians from around the world on international projects, Rotarians are proud but humble, to be making a difference in peoples lives.” President Gene Bilodeau states.

Rushmore Rotary meets every Tuesday at 7 AM at Howard Johnson Express hotel, located at 950 North Street. Visit the website for more information: