Rotary kicks of 4th Secret Santa

Rotary members met on Monday to discuss the Secret Santa project. Pictured in the front row, left to right: Jon Ahrendsen, Melvin Waldon, and Carla Kem. Back row: Mark Skogerboe, Deputy Adam Nerlien, Police Chief Steve TerHark, Rachel Johnson, Deb Prehm, Belva German, Whitney Davidson, Sherri O’Brien, and Elaine Kolb. Photo by Kacey Ginn

While the Clarion Rotary Club takes part in many service projects, both local and international, in December, they start working on a special project for Christmastime: their Secret Santa project in cooperation with local law enforcement.

This will be the fourth year the club raises money to split between the Sheriff’s office and the Clarion Police Department, who divide it in envelopes for the officers and deputies to hand out, typically looking for people they know could use a little help around the holidays.

“Bad things happen to everybody in life,” said Adam Nerlien, deputy with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s nice to give back to the community, and it’s nice to help out.”

Last year, the two law enforcement agencies gave out about $750 total in $20 amounts. This year, early donations are almost up to $700 already, and the Rotary hopes to be able to raise up to $2,500. To make giving easier, they’re also using a GoFundMe page ( so people can donate online.


For the full story, see the December 7 edition of the Monitor.