Sculpting stories in the sand to raise money for education

Members of the Rotaract Club of Long Beach pose in front of signs during the sculpture contest.

Members of the Rotaract Club of Long Beach pose in front of signs during the sculpture contest.

By Katie Gaston, a member of the Rotaract Club of Long Beach, California, USA, and the 2013-14 Rotaract and Interact Committee

Picture a beach full of sun and sand. Now picture a giant whale rising out of the sand, and an equally impressive captain Ahab figure leaning against the whale. Further down the beach is a giant head with a pyramid on top, and a rather odd assembly of pipes and gears representing some kind of mechanical contraption.

These were just a few of the impressive sights from my Rotaract club’s recent two-day event, “The 81st Annual Great Sand Sculpture Contest.” 

Sand sculpture of Moby Dick. Photo by Jim

Sand sculpture of Moby Dick. Photo by Jim “Woody” Woods

In addition to displaying the creativity of some truly talented professional sand sculptors, the event raised money to promote reading and increase the public’s awareness of Rotary.

More than 15,000 people from all over Los Angeles County attended the event. Seven professional sand sculptors joined more than 30 community teams in building masterpieces that supported the theme “Sculpting Literacy in Your Community.” Four local news stations, (KTLA, CBS, NBC, FOX) covered our beach outing, and we got written up in a number of local papers and media outlets. We were able to give all of the money we raised to our local library foundation along with about a hundred donated books.

The event showed what can be done when a Rotaract club partners with its sponsoring Rotary Club, in our case the Rotary Club of Long Beach. Several key Rotary members used their professional skills and business assets to promote the event. A member who owns a public relations firm provided a robust list of media to reach out to. Our past district governor, who owns a trucking firm, rolled up with a 50-foot trailer wrapped with an End Polio Now banner.

In addition, a Rotary member who owns a restaurant provided free meals for volunteers and sculptors. We enjoy fantastic support from our local libraries through a partnership with the executive director, a Rotary member. And we basked in moral support from our host club through the whole process!

Are you a young adult age 18-30? Learn more about how Rotaract can empower you to take action in your community and develop leadership and professional skills

Source: Rotary Voices

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