Winchester Rotary Assists Foundation’s Efforts

Published 8:24 am Friday, March 4, 2022

Winchester Rotary donated money to a worthy cause, the Marco Shemwell Foundation.

“Marco Shemwell Foundation does a great job of spreading positive change in our community,” Janes said of the $200 donation. “Their birthday boxes program has provided more than 2,000 boxes to children and teens in our community. This is a blessing for Clark County.”

According to the Foundation’s website, Shemwell was a precocious 4-year-old boy who died after being tragically struck by a vehicle driven as he was waiting to cross the street with his family after a UK football game on Sept. 15, 2018. Marco’s injuries were not survivable. He died two days later.

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“It was an honor to share part of our story with the Winchester Rotary,” Shemwell’s mother Liz said. “We are truly blessed to have such wonderful support in our community. Our mission at Marco Shemwell Foundation is to bring hope, comfort, and healing by creating Marco Moments that leave ripples of positive change.”

Shemwell spoke of the Birthday Box program.

“One of the biggest ways we do that is through our Birthday Box program – where we fill boxes with cake mix, frosting, cards, candles, and gifts for every school in Clark County,” she said. “As a grassroots non-profit, we rely solely on donations and volunteers to accomplish this. The generosity of the Winchester Rotary will allow us to give more boxes for Spring and Summer birthdays to finish out the school year, and make strides in preparing for next year. Each box is so much more than the contents. Our hope is that they serve as reminders to students and families that they are loved, valued, and deserve to be celebrated!”

The Foundation was created to honor Marco Shemwell by creating moments that leave ripples of positive change.

“We knew that we couldn’t let Marco’s death only be a source of tragedy. We wanted to continue on in his memory, honoring his spirit, his joy and positivity by seeking to create our own ripples of positive change in the community,” foundation’s website says. “Marco was ours and we loved him, as did anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. After his death, everyone around seemed to have a story or memory about him that they wanted to share. We immediately understood that even though he was young, Marco had a gift for changing the perspectives of those around him — more than we could have ever imagined. He was charismatic, empathetic, and so engaged with the world and other’s experiences.”

Foundation described Shemwell as a precocious 4-year-old boy who loved BIG!

“Though Marco was small, he had a joy for life and a personality that would fill a room,” Foundation’s website says. “We called him our ‘sour patch kid.’ He could be mischievous, and then immediately melt your heart with his infectious wide smile, an ‘I love you,’ and a hug that would make your day. Marco was a talker — engaged and extroverted. He was thrilled to be four, adored UK sports, and Batman was totally his favorite superhero. If you asked him why, he would say, ‘Because he helps people.’”

In other Rotary news, Clark County Public Schools Superintendent Molly McComas will give a speech to the club during its weekly meeting on Friday. McComas leads a school system with around 5,000 students that includes a high school with top ranked boys and girls basketball poised to put points on the board in the state tourney.

“I always look forward to speaking with members of our community,” she said. “Two of Rotary’s objectives are to support education and grow local communities. So, I’m excited to talk to them about how CCPS is committed to meeting the needs of our community by creating, expanding, and promoting programs that match our community’s career landscape. Success of our future community and local economy is a direct correlation to the partnership and vitality of our public schools.”