The Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo is waking up Okra Man from his year-long hibernation ahead of the 49th Annual Okra Strut this weekend. Each year, volunteers from The Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo sign up for various tasks to bring Okra Man to the big event. A trailer is acquired to pull Okra Man in the parade, the generator is fueled up and the celebration begins. This year, the local Rotary Club is ramping up the fun. Members from the club, whose motto is “Service Above Self”, will walk with Okra Man in the parade to bring awareness to their various service projects in the community. For example, each week they deliver meals to shut-ins in the area through the Meals on Wheels program. They also maintain the cleanliness of Farming Creek Road through the Adopt a Highway program. Just two weeks ago, they picked up litter from Goat Island along with the Interact Club from Dutch Fork High School. Interact is a way for students to get involved in Rotary and community service prior to graduation.
As in previous years, members of the Rotary Club will be stationed with Okra Man in the park. They will happily take your picture with Okra Man and if requested, tell you more about what the club does in the community. If you feel inclined, you can make a donation when you stop by to see Okra Man simply by dropping a few dollars in their donation jar. The money raised this weekend will be donated to the ongoing fight to End Polio in the world. Jessica Granade, the Club President for 2023-2024 shares, “What’s exciting about the money we raise this weekend is how its multiplied. For every dollar donated, Rotary International matches that dollar. Then the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches that same dollar 2:1. This means that every dollar donated turns into $4 towards to the fight to End Polio. When I first joined Rotary, I had no idea Polio was still being battled around the world. I was surprised and proud to see what Rotarians have done to eradicate this terrible disease and believe I will see it fully eradicated in my lifetime.”
The Club’s Slogan for this year’s Strut is “Not Medi-Okra” and you’ll find them wearing t-shirts with Okra Man’s photo on the front and “Proud Parent of Okra Man” on the back. To learn more you can go to lakemurrayirmorotary.com.