NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ -The oldest service club of the three Plainfield's will hold their most important annual community service project on June 6 at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield.
Long a mainstay in supporting the North Plainfield and Plainfield communities, the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield will offer an afternoon of friendly but determined competition to young 12, 13 and 14 year-old athletes from area middle schools.
"This invitational meet is the longest-running meet of its kind in the entire state," said Michael Townley, director of the meet. "We have offered this meet as a service to area youth since 1923, except during World War II."
Rotary club members and their friends serve as the officials at the Meet. They are also supported by members of the Interact Club at North Plainfield High School. Interact is the youth-based service club sponsored by Rotary International.
"Interact is a great club of enthusiastic students who are interested in doing good deeds for others," said Roberta Smith, Rotary president. "They help us with a number of our service projects and activities throughout the year, and host quite a few activities of their own to benefit North Plainfield residents. We are proud of them and of all that they accomplish throughout the year."
Ninety years of track and field meets has drawn many thousands of participants, including Olympic decathlon champion and former Plainfield resident Milt Campbell. “We recognize that participating in our Track and Field Meet was but one step in Milt’s long and successful drive to achieve his decathlon championship,” said Townley. “In fact, our Club was proud to be one of the many community groups that financially supported his Olympic trip.”
According to Townley, each year the Club members learn something new about the athletes that participated in the Meet. “One of the seniors we interviewed at Plainfield High for our scholarship awards two years ago commented that not only did she win a medal at our Meet, it was also her first formal track event. It influenced her to go on to star on the PHS track team, and led to her decision to run track in college.”
Schools invited to send athletes to this year’s Meet include North Plainfield Middle School, Plainfield's Maxson Middle School and Hubbard Middle School, the Valley View School in Watchung, South Plainfield Middle School, and four other area schools.
Medals will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in all events except the relays, where ribbons are awarded to second and third place finishers. If the past is any indication, medals or ribbons will be earned by athletes from every school that is registered.
“Our Club looks forward each year to this special service project,” said Townley. “Rotary International’s motto is 'Service Above Self'. We truly enjoy providing this service to these fine young athletes and presenting them an opportunity to win medals or ribbons for their athleticism.”
The Track and Field Meet is open to the public. The Hub Stine Athletic Complex is located on Randolph Road in Plainfield. Anyone wishing to volunteer assistance to the Rotary Club should contact them at PNPRotary@gmail.com or call 908-822-1441.
For additional information:
Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield
Michael Townley, Meet Director