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The Rotary Club of Westerville is joining with two other stalwart community organizations to support an upcoming event for an important cause.

Rotary Club President Brandy Deichert announced the plan to join in the effort with the Westerville Education Challenge and The Big Bus, in an email to Club members July 8.

The Club will stage a Fill The Big Bus Middle School Food Drive, and incorporate it into the Westerville Education Challenge’s Night of Hope 5K, set for the evening of Aug. 24 at Westerville North.

“Basic needs must be met for students to thrive and hunger should never stand in the way of their success,” Deichert said. “Inspired by the heartfelt concerns of middle school staff about food insecurity, we launched the Fill The Big Bus Middle School Food Drive to take steps to ensure no student worries about their next meal.”

“Together, we can make a significant impact on their lives and create a brighter future for Westerville.”

Deichert said the coordinated effort grew from conversations with Minerva Park Middle School Counselor Jill Huck and Minerva Food Service Manager Lauri Jones.  They mentioned a fill the bus food drive, and further conversations with Rotarian Tracy Davidson – also a Westerville school board member and board member for both The Big Bus and Westerville Education Challenge – grew into Fill The Big Bus Middle School Food Drive.

About WEC and Night of Hope

An all-volunteer organization that started in 2009, the Westerville Education Challenge has supported more than 10,000 students through scholarships, mentoring clubs, grants for teachers, programs such as Challenge Day and mental health and wellness initiatives.

More than 1,500 community volunteers and 40 corporate and community sponsors partner with WEC and their contributions include thousands of volunteer hours and more than $400,000 in donations.  WEC’s Night of Hope 5K, 1 Miler and Family Fun Run raises funds for a variety of initiatives and programs that support student wellness and mental health in Westerville City Schools, including:

  • The Hope Squad suicide prevention program
  • Parent Prep workshops
  • Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) program at the district’s five middle schools
  • LINK Crew program, launching at all three high schools this fall
  • Care for Twinkle, a district Canine Companions facility dog based at Westerville South High School
  • Annual WEC-sponsored scholarships for high school graduates

This year, WEC’s 3rd annual Night of Hope 5K, 1 Miler and Family Fun Run on Aug. 24 will honor those lives lost to suicide, and work to raise mental health awareness in the community. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m., and the 5K begins at 6:45 p.m. Register for the Night of Hope here. More information on the event is available here.

Bring donations to lunch, or the Night of Hope

Rotarians can bring donations to Fill the Big Bus to club luncheons in August, or bring them to pack the actual Big Bus, at the Night of Hope Aug. 24 — which will conclude the food drive.

Requested food items include Ramen noodles, granola bars, fruit snacks, pasta, rice, mac & cheese, mini marshmallows, and instant oatmeal.  They will be used to stock the Neighborhood Bridges pantries in Westerville middle schools.

“We look forward to providing the Rotary Club of Westerville’s support for Night of Hope and to filling the Big Bus with food donations,” Deichert said.

The Rotary Club of Westerville

Founded in 1959, the Rotary Club of Westerville is a service club of business professionals and leaders working to improve our community and larger world. We are part of Rotary International. Find out more at Contact the Club and learn how to join at Read more about the Rotary International organization at

Interested in joining?

The Rotary Club of Westerville is accepting applications for new membership.

The best way to pursue membership is to contact an existing Club member, and attend one of our lunches or events as her or his guest. Members of the public also are welcome to attend our events on their own, to see what our service club is all about. If possible, please give notice of your intent to attend a luncheon or social by emailing

We hope to see you soon!

Contact Us

Rotary Club of Westerville
P.O. Box 595
Westerville, OH  43086-0595

Where We Meet:
The Medallion Club
5000 Club Drive
Westerville, Ohio 43082

Thursdays at noon (with Occasional off-site, evening socials)



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