Theme: Building Communities, Bridging Continents
The theme for our Rotary Year 2010-2011 was Bridging Continents and Building Communities. What a true statement of what Rotary stands for.
We bridged continents through sponsoring a Group Study Exchange student Brenna Jensen, who went to Bangalore India, with a team led by club member Ron Kelemen. We continued on with our strong Youth Exchange program. We welcomed Kanna Murashige, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sapporo West, District 2510. She was a delightful exchange student. She loved dance and excelled in her studies at South Salem High School. Our outbound and STEP programs flourished as well.
We worked hard on strengthening the club’s foundation so that the earnings from the permanent fund can be used to do our Good Works in our community in the future. We held our first Foundation fundraiser with a dinner in honor of the late Marv Abeene and raised $2,000 for the Foundation. It is our goal to have an annual Foundation fundraiser each year. We were blessed with an anonymous donation of $50,000 to our Foundation this year. We gave a number of small grants during the year to very worthy non-profit organizations.
Our goal of $25,000 to The Rotary Foundation was almost met, with good participation once again by those in our club that support The Rotary Foundation.
We built strong bonds by having more presence in the area on community service projects. We assisted senior citizens with their yard work in the fall and the spring, and got involved in several other cleanup projects. We are working on having a more pronounced presence in Salem as a club that is available to help when help is needed.
Our membership remained very stable, and we focused on mentoring our new members to better settle them into our club. We continued with our fun Fellowship events through Firesides, road tours, and dinner groups.
We formed an Interact Club at South Salem High School, and are working on forming one at North Salem High School. We had wonderful Students of the Month throughout the year, and enjoyed hearing of their goals for their futures.
We had another successful Rotary Food Drive, Tree of Joy project, Salvation Army Bell ringing, Elephant Ears Booth receipts and continued to examine the best way to raise funds for our major projects. We also had another year of great programs!
We chose Willamette Academy as our major project to help purchase computers and other technological equipment. Willamette Academy is a special program to assist those under-represented students advance to a higher education and realize their dreams.
As always, our World Community Service Committee committed themselves to spending our club’s funds on very worthy projects internationally, including assistance to the disaster that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.
We had another year of a Club That Gets Things Done. We are a club with purpose and passion and a club that makes a difference in the world.