At 23 years old, Gavin Craddock is the newest and youngest president of the Rotary Club of New Paltz, a group of local volunteers dedicated to lending a helping hand to the community and the greater world.
Craddock joined the club years ago with his uncle looking to help out and offered his assistance with simple tasks like cleaning up around the town or setting up for fundraisers. Since July of this year, he has and will be serving the club as its president for one full year.
“My goal is to keep doing good both locally and worldwide,” said Craddock. “Anything I or the club can do to help, we will rise to the challenge.”
Last year, the Rotary Club raised around $15,000 for Family of New Paltz to rent a building space in the local area in order to aid those members of the community in need of help while getting back on their feet and finding a job.
This past Friday, Oct. 23, the Rotary Club held their biggest fundraiser of the year, “Win A Bundle,” with a turnout of over 120 people and raised around $16,000.
“He is doing a great job,” said Matt Eyler, 44, current member and former President of the club from 2013 to 2014. “Gavin has lots of youthful energy and a laidback style. He is good at delegating responsibility and transferring his energy into the other members to get them to step up and take action.”
Eyler recalls Craddock as his “right hand man” during his presidency, someone who embodies selflessness and a willingness to help.
“The president keeps the club going,” Eyler said. “Gavin is not about change, he is about doing things better.”
In the future, the Rotary Club will be holding their annual holiday events for Thanksgiving and Christmas where they typically raise thousands of dollars, which goes towards feeding hungry families and children of social workers. Other efforts the Rotary Club has organized and executed is filling backpacks up with food and necessities every Thursday night and dropping them off at local schools for the children who need it.
According to Craddock, even an annual fishing derby is held on Father’s Day weekend at the SUNY New Paltz campus’ pond for children to participate in freely and earn prizes if they catch the bigger fishes.
Although there is no official Rotary Club at SUNY New Paltz, a group known as Roteracts, students who are interested in getting involved with the Rotary Club can simply seek out any club member, check out the website at newpaltzrotary.org or attend their weekly lunch-ins on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. They were held at Shea O’Briens, but since its closing the new location has yet to be determined.