Dedicated to friendshipWith the Superior Rotary approaching its centennial, the club that puts service above self was looking for a gift to give the community in celebration of a century of service.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
With the Superior Rotary approaching its centennial, the club that puts service above self was looking for a gift to give the community in celebration of a century of service.
Wisconsin’s oldest Rotary Club — formed and chartered in April 1912 — found a way to honor not only the citizens of Superior, but a longtime friendship with the citizens of Ami-Machi, Japan, Superior’s sister city.
And Wednesday, the Rotary dedicated the friendship garden that started in 2010 and was finished this year with the help of a $25,000 donation from the Superior Rotary.
The friendship garden — honoring the Japanese culture of Ami’s people — was among the protocols developed by the sister cities. While the people of Ami finished and dedicated their garden, the Superior Forest” in 2004, Superior was trying to find a site and develop its garden honoring the friendship, said Rani Gill, a member of Superior’s Sister City Commission since its inception in 1995.
The location, in Billings Park’s little known third point, was approved by the city’s Parks Commission in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2010, when then-Mayor Dave Ross dedicated $25,000 in city funding to the project that construction finally began in the Japanese-style garden.
Then last year, then-Rotary President Tom Wondolkowski approached the city with a proposal to finish the garden.
With a $25,000 contribution from the Superior Rotary, the second and final phase of the garden was complete.
“This was a three-way partnership — with the city of Superior, the Sister City Commission and our Superior Rotary,” Bender said. “It is appropriate that the Rotary participate in this because our most basic tenant is service above self … It is our hope that this garden is a place to find peace and solace for individuals and families in our busy lives.”