The Gardendale Rotary Club recently made life a little easier for a Gardendale woman.

Clara Edwards walks with the aid of a walker, and it was nearly impossible for her to leave her house because of a tricky stoop at her door.

“I’m bad about falling, which is why the doctor wanted me to get a walker,” said Edwards. “The step down from my kitchen door was too hard to handle.”

The club heard about Edwards from a friend of one of the members, and another member, Gary Bailey, went to her house to see what she needed.

“The concrete around her door was all broken up, and there was no way for her to walk on it,” said Bailey.

Bailey and the other club members decided to build a ramp from her kitchen door to her yard. Edwards is retired, so she couldn’t afford the ramp on her fixed income.

“Rotary’s all about service projects,” said Bailey. “We do fundraisers throughout the year, and people give because they know it’s all going to projects like this.” Lowes in Fultondale and Marvin’s Home Improvement both gave discounts for building supplies to the club.

The club teamed up with other volunteers, including a men’s group from Gardendale First Baptist Church. One of the church’s volunteers was a contractor, and Bailey said he was a big help in planning and building the ramp. The workers finished the ramp in less than a day; Bailey said volunteers showed up on Edwards’ doorstep at 7 a.m. and finished at around 1 p.m.

“I really appreciate what they did. It was a blessing to me,” said Edwards.

Bailey said the Rotary Club is made up of businessmen and women who participate in local, national and international service projects.

“Rotary is about giving back to the community,” said Bailey.

The Gardendale Rotary Club’s next project is to renovate the teacher’s lounge at Mt. Olive Elementary School.

“We like to get involved,” said Bailey. “We don’t like to hire other people to do the work for us... we want to be hands-on.”

In addition to their local projects, the club has also donated money to help with the relief efforts when Haiti was devastated by earthquakes earlier this year. They have also given money to numerous projects in the rainforests of Peru. Bailey said every chapter of the Rotary Club is currently working toward eliminating polio.

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