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Rotary District 7610 includes 58 clubs and over 1,960 members in North and Central Virginia


Rappahannock Supports Families of the Wounded Fund

Apr 22, 2024 | Club News, Rappahannock

Dietmar Weselin

The Lawnmower Guy
Dietmar Weselin with wife Mary Lou
Member of the Rappahannock Rotary Club

families of the wounded fund logo

Dietmar Weselin has been a Rotarian since 1976. At the age of 13-1/2 Dietmar began his eight-year journey training as a guy who “builds things”. In my interview with Dietmar it is clear that he shields his brilliance with modesty. Dietmar told me to avoid any exaggerations, but calling this man brilliant is no exaggeration.

In the Chip Willis year of 2008 our club took on a project to support an organization in Midlothian, Virginia to provide support for families with soldiers being treated at McGuire Clinic in Richmond. The organization, Families of the Wounded Fund, provides assistance for family members with a loved one in the Richmond VA hospital. Many of these soldiers are treated for serious head injuries incurred in battle.

Naturally a spouse would wish to be close to their loved one, but this can be an expensive venture. Over the course of 16 years the Families of the Wounded Fund has served 740 families and provided $5,750,000 in funding. One hundred percent of the donated funds go directly to the families. There is no overhead because the fund is fueled by volunteers.

In the meantime Rotarian Dietmar Weselin was busy sailing the Caribbean and the South American coast. People in Argentina still speak of Dietmar to this day. Forgive me, Dietmar, for exaggerating.

Once Dietmar finished sailing his lovely bride, Mary Lou, told him to find something to do because she wasn’t going to make his lunch. Enter “The Lawnmower Guy”.

Over the past twelve years Dietmar has single-handedly taken on repairs of small engine machinery such as mowers, blowers, and weed eaters with all proceeds from efforts being given to Families of the Wounded Fund.

Annually Dietmar estimates that the repair of broken or no longer used power equipment generates $1,800 yo $2,500 per year for this cause. Dietmar is quick to point out that Marty Miller sells 70-80% percent of the refurbished equipment through Marty’s Classic Car internet site.

Dietmar also repairs and services equipment for folks. He only charges for parts and instructs his customers to make a direct donation to the Families of the Wounded Fund. Dietmar estimates that these services generate about $1,000 per year.

Need some work done? Got equipment getting dusty? Dietmar to the rescue!

Through the years this one man show has probably generated more than $30,000 towards a good cause. This is “Service Above Self”.