Roseburg Rotarians honored with River Forks Park benches

Two longtime Rotarians were honored with red benches at River Forks County Park last week.

by Roseburg News-Review Reporter Carisa Cegavske

Feb. 22, 2022 — Two longtime Rotarians were honored with red benches at River Forks County Park last week. Retired businesswoman Georgia Stiles and Perry Murray, the retired former owner of Murray Electric, were surprised with the honor at an appreciation event for the Roseburg Rotary After 5 Club on Thursday at the park.  The event was hosted by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and the Douglas County Parks Department.

The club had installed six new park benches at the park’s all-inclusive children’s playground, with the installation completed in January. The Rotary’s annual benefit auction funded the $4,000 project. The entire playground was also funded and built by the Roseburg Rotary, back in 2015, and cost more than $200,000.

The benches honoring Stiles and Murray were painted red to highlight the fact that they were instrumental in bringing the playground to the park.  Stiles has dedicated four decades to community service with the Rotary Club and was one of the first women to join it in the 1980s.  She told county officials she felt something had spurred her on to get the playground done. In a twist of fate, she was soon to have a great-granddaughter who was born with disabilities and would be able to enjoy the playground.

In addition to his volunteer work with the Rotary, Murray volunteers as an assistant coach for the Umpqua Community College women’s basketball team. Members of that team attended the ceremony Thursday.  Rotarian Scott Hendy initiated the bench project in October, with Douglas County Parks Director Mark Wall. Hendy said in a press release that the benches are a special way to enhance the park and honor Stiles and Murray, who he said are “invaluable in this community.”

“The idea behind Rotary is service above self, to solve the world’s problems one friend at a time,” he said. “I’ve been a member for 45 years, and have found that serving others comes back tenfold!”  Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman expressed gratitude to the Rotary members who worked on the project. He told them Thursday that the benches will allow families to enjoy the park more comfortably.  “Our community is strengthened when hardworking and forward-minded citizens like you come together in goodwill to enrich our communities,” he said.