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’Chuckers helping to keep cold at bay for residents
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’Chuckers helping to keep cold at bay for residents

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Every Saturday from October through March, at the old Ragland Woodyard just west of the Courthouse in Goochland, Goochland Rotary members perform a vital service for the community. These folks are part of the Goochland Rotary Club Woodchuckers. Armed with chain saws, wood-splitters and pickup trucks they cut, split and deliver firewood to vulnerable families of the Goochland community that rely on wood to heat their homes throughout the winter.

The Goochland Rotary Woodchuckers have been active for over 16 years. The group evolved as a club service project to assist members of the community with their winter home heating needs. The wood supply they use is donated from private citizens and local companies in the construction and land development businesses.

“We are really fortunate to have the support of companies like Liesfield Contractors and others, who generously supply and transport wood to our work area at Ragland Woodyard,” said Rotary member Joe Morgan.

In an average year, the club cuts and splits between 100 and 150 pickup truck loads of wood and delivers them to client families that are referred to them by Goochland Cares.

“Last year, Rotary’s Woodchucking program helped more than 30 Goochland Cares families stay warm by providing firewood,” said Sally Graham, Rotary member and Executive Director of Goochland Cares. “These families cannot afford another heat source and depend on this wood to heat their homes. They include many elderly residents who are among the most vulnerable of our neighbors. Goochland Cares’ partnership with Goochland Rotary is a great example of how our community works together to meet our neighbors’ needs.”

The Rotary Club Woodchuckers also sell wood, and the proceeds from sales go directly to the club’s local foundation to fund other service projects in the county.

“In Rotary, our motto is ‘Service above Self’,” said Rotary Club president Dan Linnabary. “And this program not only offers us one of the best opportunities as a Club to directly provide for Goochland residents in need of heating fuel but also allows us to raise funds to contribute to other community initiatives.”

Woodchuckers operates from October through March. While the work is hard and the conditions can be challenging, the Rotary Woodchuckers enjoy the fellowship time together and the teamwork that the service project fosters.

If interested in volunteering or purchasing wood, please contact the group through its Fund-Raising Chair at the Club email: Goochlandrotary@gmail.com.

The Rotary Club of Goochland also offers businesses a way to advertise while supporting this service project. Sponsorship money goes to replacing and updating the equipment (chain saws, splitters, safety equipment, Etc.). A business magnet on the delivery truck identifies the sponsor as a proud member of the community, one who goes out if the way to help those in need. The business will also be added to the Monthly E Newsletter distribution list and be a guest at one of the club’s weekly meetings (held at the Richmond Country Club every Friday at 7:30 a.m.).

Sponsorships run annually from July to July and include a magnet (made locally at EZShip) proudly displaying the business or name.

Gold $500 14 x 14

Silver $250 10 x 10

Bronze $100 8 x 8

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