Theme: Rotary Shares
The Rotary International Theme for 2007-2008 put forth by RI President Wilf Wilkinson was “Rotary Shares.” The Rotary Club of Salem took this theme to heart and its inverse, “Share Rotary.”
The Club put a major emphasis on membership growth, through the recruitment of new members and the retention of existing members. We inducted over thirty new members from diverse occupational backgrounds, and experienced solid growth for the year. The Club made good progress in its goals of recruiting younger members and a balance between men and women. Board Member, Geoff James, and Committee Chair, Linda Wooters, provided excellent leadership in this area.
Along with membership retention and growth, the Club put a special emphasis on International Projects. A group traveled to Simferopol on a friendship exchange, and this led to our helping with a water project at a special needs school there. President Elect Ron Kelemen traveled with the District 5100 team to Indonesia and this led to our helping with two water projects there. Board Member, David Deckelmann, and Committee Chair, Conrad Stieber, provided excellent leadership in this area, and the work of President Elect, Ron Kelemen, was invaluable.
Our Good Works projects included a yurt for the OSU/Marion County Extension Outdoor Education Facility, a playground surface for the new Family Building Blocks facility in West Salem, and an emergency travel fund at the Mid Valley Women’s Crisis Center. We raised the money for these projects with our Raffle and Presidents Ball. Board Member Teresa Lulay, Committee Chairs, John McCulley, Charles Price, Michele Gray, Suzi Bicknell, and Roger Kirschner led the way with these projects.
As a large club, communications and club operations are an important component of our success. Rick Gaupo took over our Rotogram Newsletter and made it better than ever with greatly improved graphics and detailed coverage of club events. Board member Vin Searles oversaw Bell Ringers, Greeters, Publicity, Cashiers, Roster publication, Invocations and Music. Our club is proud of our tradition of opening every meeting with a song and an inclusive prayer.
This was a good year for Club Fellowship. We devoted several regular meetings to fellowship activities, which were very well received. A portion of the Club took a back road tour to Crater Lake Lodge and back. The Fellowship Committee under the leadership of Renee Campbell was greatly involved in the success of the President’s Ball. Board Member Patricia Callihan-Bowman oversaw Fellowship as well as high functioning committees including Firesides, President’s Orientation, Featured Rotarians, and Rotary Minutes.
Elephant Ears sold well this year. This tradition provides good fellowship as well as funds for some of the Club’s projects, including literacy committee activities. Our area golf tournament supports literacy projects as well. The Literacy Committee, chaired by Eric Kittelson, continues to win awards for a wide variety of projects. Board member, John Shirley oversees this area of Club service.
Once again, the Club pursued Community Service projects with its longstanding Rotary Food drive, Salvation Army bell ringing, our Christmastime Tree of Joy project and quarterly Blood Drives co-sponsored with First Presbyterian Church. Board member, Andrew Anderson supervised these committees, all of which performed at a high level.
Under International Service, the club also organized its support of the Rotary International Foundation. The goal for the club was $100 per member or $19,000. The club did more than its share at $25,000 and Salem Rotarian, Mike Carrick, matched the rest of the club for a total of over $50,000, best in the district, by far. Jim Booth and Dawn Bostwick lead our RI Foundation efforts.
Rotary Club of Salem has consistently supported youth programs. Board Member Greg Millard supervised Youth Exchange and Interact. We enjoyed our inbound student, Marcello Ventura from Brazil. Our outbound student, Julia Prow, had a marvelous experience in Argentina. Interact clubs continued to perform well at both North and South Salem High Schools, where Amy LeFore, Mike Ferris, and Collette Rennie advised them.
The Rotary Club of Salem succeeds, in part, because we have high expectations of our members and a long tradition of putting “Service Above Self.” Club leadership consisted of President, Tim Nissen; President Elect, Ron Kelemen; Secretary, Ron Rubel; Past President, Lois Mulrooney; and Treasurer, Chuck Swank, as well as the nine Board members and Bulletin Editor mentioned in this summary. With over forty-five committees, it is beyond the scope of this history to mention everyone, but they all did their part to demonstrate that “Rotary Shares.”