Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano joined Rotary officials at Bellevue Park Tuesday for the official renaming of Shore Drive (between the park’s west entrance and the Ontario Forest Research Institute) to Rotary Parkway.
The move comes after city council approved the street renaming in honour of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie’s 100th anniversary year.
Provenzano joined the official unveiling of the Rotary Parkway street sign, and presented Rotary officials with a second Rotary Parkway street sign for display in their office.
“Bellevue Park is a gem of our city. I personally believe it’s one of the best municipal parks in the province of Ontario, if not the country, and it would not be what it is without Rotary,” Provenzano said.
The mayor acknowledged Rotary’s donation of over $300,000 for recreational equipment at Bellevue Park.
“I think it’s very fitting that one of the two entry points into Bellevue Park is named after your club and recognizes the service of your club, because it’s been a tremendous contribution to our community, and you are examples of leadership in our community, and I thank you for that,” Provenzano told Rotary officials in attendance.
“A street sign is an action or a gesture that provides direction. It identifies here, in our city, our club’s presence in this area which Rotary has supported with more than $300,000 over the last 30 years. The park, the sensory playground, the splash pad, reminds everyone of Rotary’s involvement in making this park a beautiful and peaceful place for recreation for all ages, for all citizens,” said Robert Carricato, current Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie president.
Carricato thanked Melinda Mills, past Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie president, for first suggesting the street renaming in honour of the local club, and thanked the community at large for its support of Rotary fundraisers.
“Raising the public image of Rotary is one of the most important things we’re focused on right now... people of the community see Rotarians are people of action and for those of you gathered here today, we thank you for understanding that,” said Jennifer Jones, Rotary International past vice president.
The first Rotary Club was established by community-minded individuals in Chicago in 1905, with local Rotary clubs quickly starting up around the world.