“Back on the road again” as the song by Willie Nelson goes! The hospitality and fellowship I have encountered have been wonderful! I have “K-nighted” many people along the way to go out and do good deeds in the world.
The first visit in September was to the Chandler Horizon club. The board meeting was held at Soo-San Stevens Clark’s home, where she treated all of us to a Persian dinner that was delicious. Thank you Soo-San! This club supports an interact club at Chandler high school, send students to RYLA, a hole in one golf tournament, participate in the 9/11 Healing Fields at Tempe Town Lake. An interesting thing they do is awarding the “sinner of the year”. Whoever gets the most fines for “sins” gets the privilege of holding onto a white toilet seat for a year (also put around the person’s neck). Kristel Patton, club president, just had a baby about 2 weeks ago, and was at the club meeting 5 days after giving birth! Way to go Kristel! This club is a singing club!
The next club I visited was Phoenix East. For a small club, they do a lot of projects and programs. They have a great alliance with the Balsz school district, where they provide dictionaries to several classes, a Christmas party, back to school shopping and a vision program for the children. This club is supporting a global scholar from South America, who is going to school in New York! I think we have a future Rotarian here!
The second week, Tonya Watson, DGE, accompanied me to the Scottsdale Sunrise club, where we had a very informative board meeting, followed by a terrific Italian dinner at Pasta Brioni’s. Thank you! This club engages in many activities, but their signature project is “Special Day for Special Kids”, (in March) which they have been doing for over 30 years. This is a fun day at the McCormick Railroad Park for special needs children. I had the privilege of working this event last March, and it was a truly amazing event. The club fundraises for this event by putting on a golf tournament.
We have our first “Knights and Lady of the 5510 Round Table”! I visited Phoenix Squaw Peak club, where I K-nighted all 12 members present—11 men and one woman. For a small club, they support many projects and programs. First off, they are sponsoring 2 Interact clubs—one at Desert Vista and one at Herberger Youth Academy on the west side of town. Kudos to this club for working with our future Rotarians! They raise funds by conducting a football raffle and a golf tournament! They also have a member who just turned 91, and has 30 years of perfect attendance in Rotary—Marshall Roberts! Congratulations!
Chandler club was next, where I proceeded to “knight” the board! Now this club has its own “rotary round table”. This club recently adopted a new club mission statement—“positively transforming lives, together”. That is terrific! It says it all! They have been hosting a Chandler High School Track Meet for over 75 years! That is amazing! The club awards a very unique trophy each year call “Battle of Arizona Avenue”. Rival high schools, Chandler and Hamilton compete each year in a football game, winner takes the trophy. What great PR for this club and Rotary.
My last visit for the week was Mesa West and their board of directors. With the recent merger of two clubs into Mesa West, everyone is adjusting to adding 20 plus people. These new members have been put right to work, making them feel welcome and a part of the club. This club engages in several international and local projects. Their claim to fame is being the only club in the district with a “snowy chairman”. The club owns a snow cone machine and uses it to raise monies for their various projects. It is for hire to any club in the district! They have the honor of being the highest annual giving club in the district for 2014-15.
The fourth week of September, I visited two clubs–first Phoenix Arcadia. This club has reinvented itself by moving to a trendy new restaurant, called “The Henry” where many young professionals stop for coffee, network and work on their computers. This club has sparked interest with the clientele here. They have brought in 2 new young members recently. They are now “rebooting” to get going with projects and programs. This club should be commended for thinking outside the box, and re-energizing the club.
The second club was Mesa East. This club supports many youth programs—RYLA, Youth Exchange, Sunshine Acres, an Interact club at Red Mountain, and another one they are trying to start at Skyline High school. An interesting program is “Fix the Hurt”—a play put on by high school students, portraying problems teenagers may encounter. They also support project “Cure”, and Helen’s Hope Chest—clothes and accessories for foster children.
That’s it for now. I will be back on the road again next week, to visit more clubs, see and hear about more amazing projects and programs and continue my “K-nighting”. I will report on these clubs in the next newsletter!
Dear PDG Barbara and PDG Ron,
We thank Rotary District 5510 for your contribution of $5,000 in DDF and Mesa East Rotary Club for contributing $5,000 for grant 78241. South Sudan experienced seven months without a case of Guinea worm disease. Last month, two cases were found in the entire country. We are hoping that no cases were found in August. The Rotarian magazine highlighted projects in South Sudan. In spite of the challenges of a civil war, we finished the job! I am traveling to South Sudan to visit the communities impacted by our project with Rotarian Tim Wilborne on November 5, 2015. A peace deal has been signed and we are hopeful for the future. We will see as many of our new boreholes as it is safe to visit. It is so important to strive to do the impossible. We were able to get the job done, but it took Rotarians like you with a dream to believe that the impossible could be possible.
We provided clean water to desperate communities in need of safe water to drink. We also helped to eradicate Guinea worm disease in every community where we located a new or repaired borehole (well). The summary of what we accomplished is below:
Matching grant 78241 drilled 16 new boreholes including two that were mechanized boreholes and we repaired 46 existing boreholes in Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria states. The mechanized boreholes were in Rajaf and Kator. This is effectively 18 new boreholes. Our goal was sixteen new boreholes. We accomplished the impossible during a civil war! The Juba Rotarians led by Makoy Yibi have been very dedicated and inspirational. One of the boreholes was funded by a Rotarian from District 7570 outside of Rotary Foundation funding so that the project could start at the beginning of the current civil war. Matching grant 78241 as approved by the Rotary Foundation trustees and funded by thirty-seven (37) Rotary Clubs from eight Rotary Districts in 2013.
A photograph of one of the last cases of Guinea worm disease in the world is attached. One day soon we can pray that children in South Sudan will only know peace and not be sick from a three foot long parasite that grows in your body for one year before it emerges out of the skin. Thanks for a wonderful partnership!
Walter Hughes, Jr.
Union Hall, Virginia
Let’s face it Rotary is struggling. Rotary is losing its relevancy in today’s modern world especially when the average age of a Rotarian is 58 years old. The organisation has struggled to adapt to fit into changing generational expectations.
As the world’s leading service organisation, Rotary needs to be at the cutting edge. It needs to retain the core Rotary values but show the world how professional development, volunteering, leadership and networking can be achieved through one flexible, acessible, engaged and active organisation.
How do we make Rotary relevant again? We have to Rethink Rotary starting at the club level. I found myself spending a lot of time pondering this dilemma, so I decided to take action. Rethink Rotary was created with the vision of providing a space where we can have a conversation on how to make clubs and ultimately Rotary more relevant and engaged.
Learning the ropes in Rotaract
Originally from England, I got involved with Rotary through Rotaract when I moved to Canada to attend University. During my time with the Rotaract Club of Victoria, I served as co-president and chaired various committees. When I wasn’t active with the Rotaract club, I was working hard towards a BSc in Linguistics. I graduated with honours and a presidential citation in 2013.
What do I do now?
After graduating, I faced the question that many graduates ask themselves: “What do I do now?”. Passionate about nonprofits and Rotary, I realised that I always approached these amazing organisations from the standpoint of how can they market themselves better or how can they increase their online content to become more successful. It seemed perfectly logical especially with my linguistic background, to develop my skills as an online content manager and brand marketing advisor for nonprofits and small companies. My work includes developing websites, creating and managing social media accounts and co-ordinating marketing strategies. This includes understanding how social media works and what makes a post stand out against others.
Hang on, something isn’t right here!
In 2014, while still active in Rotaract as past-president I started thinking about my future in Rotary. I noticed a big problem, there were plenty of Rotaractors who, once they graduated or felt too old to continue in Rotaract, just left the Rotary family never to return. Why weren’t they joining established Rotary clubs? Why was there such a disconnect between these clubs and younger potential members? So along with a fellow Rotaractor, I decided to start a new Rotary club; one which focused on being flexible, economical, active and accessible for all who wanted to join Rotary. I was able to use my expertise to develop a new look Rotary website www.victoriarotary.com for the club which focused on being an advertising tool rather than losing its message by being both a member focused and advertising brochure website.
Rethink Rotary is formed
During my time creating and tackling the reasoning behind creating the club, I felt the need to be documenting my experiences and research just to preserve it for any Rotarians out there who might be interested in working on changing their clubs. Using my expertise with online content management and brand marketing, I created Rethink Rotary. First, came Twitter @rethinkrotary where tweets are based on encouraging all Rotary clubs and Rotarians to start a conversation by questioning how they and their clubs do Rotary. It has been a fantastic way to engage with other Rotarians and clubs who are questioning, challenging and implementing changes. Through twitter exchanges and emails with Rotarians and Rotary clubs all over the world, it appeared that people were looking for help but didn’t know where to turn for the right Rotary specific advice. To be of more service, I decided to launch a Rethink Rotary blog where I can use my knowledge and expertise to provide a go to site for Rotarians and Rotary clubs looking for advice about changing how their club works, improving their online content and brand marketing.
I love to hear from Rotarians and Rotary clubs. Reach out to me personally for a chat, engage with a Rethink Rotary blog/tweet or ask about the services I provide. Contact me either via firstname.lastname@example.org or use my contact form. For us to work to make Rotary relevant to the world we live in, we have to start a conversation. Now’s the time!
Still time to get involved in the USA-Mexico Friendship/Global Grants Exchange & Rotary Foundation Conference
Sedona, Arizona – November, 19-22 2015
Special Guest Speakers:
Paul A. Netzel, Rotary Foundation Chair and Trustee & Susan Doxtator, TRF Latin American Regional Grants Officer
For the past 15 years Rotarians from several districts have come together on an alternating basis meeting each year in either Mexico or Arizona. Interested clubs, their members and district leaders, bring projects, talk about needs, and target those areas and grants that can be funded. They also bring commitments for both cash and District Designated Funds to enable selected projects to take place. And Oh yes!…they have a lot of fun as well. Social events and work projects take place during this event and I can promise you that very few people leave rested…there is just too much work to do and fun to have.
This year for District 5510 and 5490 this event features our Rotary Foundation Day. We have 2 very special speakers coming to bring us up to date on all that is going on in our Foundation and the impact that it makes in not only the lives of others but ours as well. If you cannot make the entire conference, why not just make the 90 minute drive up and spend the day with us on Saturday and you can be back at home in time for dinner…that is the time that Barb and I eat!
So after 15 yea
rs does this conference really do any good? Let’s just look at the last 3 years efforts;
Total grants (projects completed)-29
Total project value $1,341,039.00
Projects include burn treatment equipment, community gardens, water tanks and fresh water filtering, wheelchairs, economic development and community development.
And no…all the money does not go to Mexico-in fact $468,656.00 came to us in Arizona, the last grant providing clean water for Yarnell Arizona. That figure works out to 35 percent of all monies raised.
This link USA-Mex Reg 2015 provides a basic outline of the event and schedule and explains how to register. If you do business in any parts of Mexico( like Rocky Point) or if you or your club would like to help offset some of the expenses of the conference a sponsorship form is enclosed as well. USA-Mex Reg 2015
Become a part of a 15 year history that brings together Rotarians from different countries for the common good-and make some new friends.
PDG Abe Feder-602-622-7289—email@example.com