Theme: Create Awareness, Take Action
Rotary International’s theme, “Create Awareness, Take Action,” was further embedded when District 5100 had the rare opportunity to host the Rotary International Institute in Portland, with RI President Frank Devlyn serving as keynote speaker.
Support for youth in general and the Salem-Keizer School District continued by fulfilling our 2-year pledge to fund new grand pianos for both North and South High Schools, and we again proudly sponsored the All-City Concert. Salem Rotarians remain in awe of Students of the Month who come to us with impressive credentials. Further in the educational arena, the Preserve Planet Earth Committee established an innovative community garden and educational venue for Highland Elementary students, and it is a pleasure to recognize true heroes in our club who serve as mentors to kids needing a positive role model. RC of Salem again sponsored RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), this year with two candidates.
RC of Salem was able to respond to other community needs through the help of our Good Works Committee. The board endorsed the committee’s recommendations and awarded grants to: Skyball Alphabet House; Richmond Elementary Soccer program; Skyball (Salem-Keizer Youth Basketball); RIF (Reading Is Fundamental); and a self-esteem project for middle school students.
In addition, our Foundation granted $6,500 from its endowment (using only income) for Salem youth opportunities. The fund now stands at approximately $135,00 and growing through outright gifts and our club bellringers that raise $7,000 to $8,000 annually.
Because many business owners and corporate heads want to support the ideals of Rotary, but cannot attend regularly, a groundbreaking tool toward membership enhancement began with the development and initiation of corporate memberships.
A well-received program came under the heading of Club Assembly. Not having been done in a long time, if ever, the so-called Roundtable Conversation was an informal survey, facilitated by a number of members who led discussions at individual tables at a regular weekly meeting. The results became known as “the good, the bad and the ugly,” providing leadership a means for future planning.
Food Share and our holiday Salvation Army bellringing, both staple club activities, remained strong and productive.
The use of e-mail and the Internet became a No. 1 communication method. Rotogram editors were able to instantly send weekly program and club announcements for timely reminders. To aid on-time delivery, the editors have plans to make the Rotogram available in its entirety via the Internet or fax.
On the international front, we said hello and goodbye to two exchange students and participated in our third involvement with CCI (Center for Citizen Initiative), and American/Russian partnership. The World Community Service committee was able to provide $1,000 each for two international ventures in Honduras, the micro-banking and stove projects. Our Paul Harris fund drive brought new Paul Harris Fellows, as well as sustaining members, into the fold. While RC of Salem is not yet a 100% Paul Harris club, it is a goal which we should continue to pursue.
Elephant Ears sales at the Salem Art Fair and the annual auction were again our major income sources. With board approval, the auction committee hired a professional auctioneering service to upgrade this event from several angles, and was not disappointed with the consulting insight and expertise provided.
Members enjoyed several strictly fellowship opportunities, including a fall wine tour and trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. As Always, however, every project and meeting is an opportunity to enjoy the realm of Rotary and experience the satisfaction of Service Above Self.