CHESTERVILLE — The Chesterville Rotary Club’s annual grain project has yielded more dollars for the community yet again.
Each year, the endeavour sees stalwart club members Stan and Betty Vanden Bosch at Vanden Bosch Elevators oversee the alternating production of either corn or soybeans at no direct cost to the club, which gets to keep the profits for community projects. This year’s crop — it was soybeans in 2017 — garnered just over $6,655, Stan Vanden Bosch, club treasurer, announced to applause as the local Rotarians gathered for Christmas dinner Dec. 18 at the Nelson LaPrade Centre.
The veteran farmer couldn’t help but note that wet weather and weaker commodity prices conspired to drive this year’s tally down a bit.
“I think over the years, we’ve raised somewhere close to $150,000 [in total],” he proudly remarked.
The effort involves several principal donors around the community who all contribute something to make the crop a success, year after year. “We have a lot of people to thank to make this happen,” Vanden Bosch pointed out, beginning with landowners Frank Heerkens, Dawna Whitehead and April and Craig Wheeler. The Vanden Bosches and their sons plant seed donated by Fife Agricultural Services on the combined 18 acres situated around Chesterville. “We’ve been able to twist some arms, and we really don’t pay anything out and only collect the money,” the treasurer happily observed. He highlighted the example of Dennis Fife’s company by acknowledging that each of the donated units of seed — seven or eight of them — would have otherwise cost $250 apiece if not donated by the North Stormont businessman.
Club President Martin Derks lauded the Vanden Bosches themselves for their part in the initiative. “The organizing, planning, spraying, harvesting, collecting a cheque, selling it, everything. Thank you, Stan and Betty and Vanden Bosch Farms,” said Derks, also thanking their sons Greg and Brent, who have bought the business from their parents. A smiling Betty Vanden Bosch said her boys were too “shy” to attend the dinner to receive the club’s accolades for themselves.
“This is a big thing to keep the Chesterville Rotary going,” Derks observed of the annual grain project fundraiser. The dollars help pay for “all of the things” the club has become associated with, the president said, pointing to such examples as the village’s slew — and recently expanded inventory — of lit-up decorative snowflakes as well as the new accompanying Merry Christmas sign. The lights were all created by Industrial Stainless in Chesterville.