The Arlington Rotary Club is supporting relief efforts to assist those displaced by war in Ukraine, and is dedicating its efforts to a longtime member who recently died.
The club recently donated $1,000 to an international disaster-relief fund in support of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries affected by the impact of the Russian invasion. It is part of a Rotary International effort that, to date, has raised about $4 million from its 46,000 clubs and 1.4 members worldwide.
Rotary District 7610, which includes Northern Virginia, has provided $30,000 in funding while encouraging its 56 members clubs and individual members to join in the effort.
“I estimate that Rotary members in Northern Virginia may be able to raise close to $100,000 by the end of April,” said Steve Klemp, president of the Arlington club’s charitable fund.
The Arlington club is dedicating its efforts to the memory of Hugh Heishman, an Arlington Rotary and District 7610 leader who died March 1 at the age of 88.
Heishman dedicated decades of effort to humanitarian causes.
“Hugh was a Rotary member for over 50 years,” Klemp said. “He embodied Rotary’s commitment to ‘Service Above Self’ in so many ways. This special kind of effort by Arlington members, and other clubs in Northern Virginia, is exactly the kind of action he would have embraced wholeheartedly.”
There are 52 Rotary clubs in Ukraine. That country’s city of Ivano-Frankivsk is a formal Sister City to Arlington, and while not yet directly impacted by the war, is part of an area of western Ukraine that has seen the influx of millions of refugees fleeing battle zones.