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Skaneateles Rotary getting in the spirit

The Skaneateles Country Club was filled Thursday Dec. 10 with approximately 200 people looking to give to a good cause.

The Skaneateles Rotary Club welcomed members and guests to its annual holiday dinner meeting at the club where funds flowed in to support three local charities -- Skaneateles Outreach, the Skaneateles Ecumenical Food Pantry and the Spafford Food Pantry.

According to Rotary President Doug Rutan, 40 percent of the funds go to the outreach program and to the Skaneateles food pantry while the remaining 20 percent is donated to Spafford.

The donations were preauthorized by the Rotary Club's board of directors during its meeting earlier this month.

"Last year we raised approximately $8,000 and we are hopeful for a similar result this year. The preauthorization by the board allows the disbursements to happen quickly, before the Christmas holiday," Rutan said.

While most people know and understand the role of the food pantries in the community, some may not know exactly what Skaneateles Outreach is for. According to Rutan, Outreach's mission is to provide information, referral and support on human services needs to town of Skaneateles residents and Skaneateles Central School District students and to assist local residents in the time of crisis.

Robin Jowaisis, emcee for the evening's events and committee member, said along with a family style dinner, the club also held a raffle of items donated by local merchant.

"The merchants really make this happen," Jowaisis said. "Someone may win a TV, someone may win a bottle of wine from Anyela's. ... It's a well supported event."

Skaneateles resident George Newton, who attended the dinner as a guest, said a very good friend of his first invited him to the get together in the 1960s. Since he first started attending, the event has gotten bigger and "a whole lot more people" are now involved, he said.

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