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Sharing smiles, once vaccination at a time
Rotary Club of Great Bend encourages COVID vaccinations with Smiley Faces
Michael Mayhill, manager of Waters Hardware at 1649 K-96, stands by a crop of Smiley Faces that are being distributed by the Rotary Club of Great Bend. The Smiley faces and signs that say "Vaccines Save Lives" are part of a campaign by the club to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. - photo by Travis Hendryx

Rotary Club of Great Bend is responding to the COVID-19 crisis with a unique attention-grabbing display of smiles. Smiling Faces was conceived to help draw attention and maintain a focus on the need for getting a COVID vaccine. 

The “Smiley” kits were purchased through a grant from the Kansas Leadership Center and designed to help spread the word to get vaccinated said Lee Musil, Rotary Assistant District Governor and a former Vice President of Rotary Club of Great Bend. “This is to raise awareness and also serve as an educational effort to urge people to get vaccinated,” Musil said. “The whole idea of the Smiley Faces came from DeAnn Sullivan, who serves as our District 5680 Trainer.”

Kits of 8-10 smiley face signs and two rectangular signs are available to be temporarily set up at events, in the yards of supporters and in other locations throughout Great Bend to draw attention of passing motorists and urge them to “Get Vaccinated” to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The displays will be installed and rotated by volunteer Rotarians throughout town on a regular basis,” said Sullivan, who serves with Rotary Club of West Wichita.

“People can’t see a smiley face without smiling themselves and that happy moment is sorely needed in these days of isolation and quarantine,” added Rotary District Governor-Elect Fred Heismeyer.

Other Rotary Clubs in District 5680 are also participating in the campaign. Rotary District 5680 consists of more than 50 clubs that serve central and western Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. 

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe and in their communities. More than 35,000 clubs provide service to others; promote integrity; and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.

Smiley kits are available for loan by contacting Michael Mayhill, chairman of the local Rotary Smiley Faces project, at 620-792-4301.