2005-2006, Spencer Taylor

Theme: Service Above Self

In this 101st year of Rotary International, Rotary International, and Rotary Club of Salem returned to an emphasis of the original theme of Rotary, “Service Above Self.” By emphasizing the Internationality of Rotary Membership this year, our club has shown that Rotary’s goodwill is not limited to local action alone or to those who are already in the club, but instead extends to the far reaches of the globe and welcomes new members who share Rotary’s ideals.

Rotary Club of Salem received numerous awards recognizing our club’s international and local service. These included the Zone 23 and District 5100 Literacy Awards, the District 5100 World Community Service Award (with special club-led projects in both Ghana and the Dominican Republic). As well, recognition for having the #2 Paul Harris Drive in District 5100 ($23,500.00 to continue the Polio Eradication effort that is near completion), and District 5100’s Presidential Citation (for membership growth, service projects, and foundation contributions). Several of these awards are unprecedented in our club, particularly the Zone 23 Literacy Award and the World Community Service Award (because before this year we had not led a project as a club). Zone 23 of Rotary International covers a 5-state region, including California, a state that by itself would be the world’s 7th largest country. Our club’s literacy leaders deserved the recognition both this year and in prior years as well.

Clau Vargas, our club’s inbound youth exchange student from Mexico impressed us with her friendliness, maturity, openness to new things and with a 4.00GPA at South Salem High School (an achievement that is almost unheard of for an exchange student). Bryn Silverman, our outbound youth exchange student to Guatemala has regaled us with her e-mailed stories, experiences, and her progress.

Our club welcomes 31 new members in 2005-06. These outstanding new members have become involved in our club’s committees and directly in our club’s key fundraiser, the Raffle Ticket Sales. Furthermore, our club adopted what we hope will be our “signature event” after over 85 years of not having one. The First Annual Salem Rotary President’s Ball, a black tie formal event, took place with 182 people in attendance on June 3rd at the new Salem Conference Center. The President’s Ball celebrated our club’s support of our incoming Club President and our Raffle Drive. We yielded approximately $54,000 in Raffle Sales and at the President’s Ball; we had $4,900 in Event Sponsorships, $6,200 in

Premier Auction proceeds, and $1,800 in our Interact Club’s Diamond Raffle Ticket Sales. These funds have funded our major Good Works Project, the Teen Court Program, which has an amazing record of accomplishment of a 66% reduction in the repeat crime rate among first time youth offenders.
Our club also welcomed several outstanding programs this year including former Miss America/Miss Oregon Katie Harman, former Governor John Kitzhaber, former Governor Barbara Roberts, and former Secretaries of State Phil Keisling and Norma Paulus.

Our club made several important decisions this year, including adopting the President’s Ball as our signature event, refining our Raffle Ticket Sales effort, a significant re-structuring of our board, and the decision to return to our historic meeting site, which is now the new Salem Conference Center. The Mission Mill served our club well for 3 years, but ultimately, the board, after considering the results of a club-wide survey, decided that our future was best served by returning to the core of Salem’s downtown business district.

Rotary International’s core values are service, friendship, honor, and doing business with service-minded people. Salem Rotary and Rotary International have commenced the second century of “Service Above Self” with these core values still guiding our vision.