'Peaches for a Purpose' raises $30,000 for Golden Rotary

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There’s no sweeter way to help one’s community than with a Palisade peach fundraiser.

The Rotary Club of Golden hosted its annual “Peaches for a Purpose” pickup Aug. 20 at Golden High School. The event is the club’s biggest fundraiser, historically bringing in $30,000 that later goes toward scholarships, food insecurity projects and other club-funded activities.

“(The Rotarians) do a lot of good for the city of Golden,” longtime customer Paul Brennecke said of supporting the fundraiser every year.

Brennecke, who lives in Golden, has been picking up peaches from the Rotary for 15-20 years. This year, he got five boxes, saying he appreciated how easy the Rotary makes it to pick up the peaches.

This year, the Rotary sold 1,700 boxes, which is about average. Greg Elliott, the club’s peach committee chairman, said the fundraiser used to be more unique when it first started 30-plus years ago. Now, there’s more peachy competition.

Everyone loves Palisade peaches, Elliott commented, and the orchards reportedly had a really sweet crop this year.

The Rotary has partnered with Palisade-based Noland Orchards every year since the fundraiser started, and all the materials and locations are donated by the Rotary and its supporters.

Littleton’s Rick Hebert, who used to live in Golden and remains active in the Rotary, has volunteered at the pickup event for 14 years. He said appreciated an opportunity for camaraderie with his fellow Rotarians and other volunteers, remarking how “many hands make light work.”

This is only the Rotary’s second year using Golden High School for its pickup location. Hebert said it used to be at the Jeffco Fairgrounds, recalling how one year it rained all day and the Rotarians were soaked and muddy by the end.

This year’s weather was cloudy and cool, for the most part, which made loading the 20-pound boxes into customers’ vehicles much easier.

Both Elliott and Hebert said the Rotarians are always happy to help in the community however they can, and hoped more people would join their organization.

The Rotary Club of Golden currently has about 60 members and meets from 7:15-8:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rolling Hills Country Club. Anyone is welcome to join.

“This is like a second family for all of us,” Hebert said. “ … I can always count on them.”

For more information, visit rotary.org or check out the Golden Rotary's Facebook page.

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