Theme: Engage Rotary, Change Lives
The Rotary theme for 2013- 2014 was “Engage Rotary – Change Lives” and the Rotary Club of Salem did just that in big ways. We had members involved in the District level as the two Assistant District Governor’s for our area (Jim Booth and Renee Campbell), Youth Exchange positions, and the leadership for the District Conference in Salem (Linda Wooters and Ken Van Osdol). Many of our members also stepped up to make sure this was one of the most successful District Conferences ever. Moreover, to top it off at the District level, our club received an award for introducing more new members to Rotary than any other club in the entire District. That’s right, the entire District.
Our own projects in Salem, and internationally rounded out the year. Everything from blood drives, the dictionary project, Tree for Joy, fellowship events, having riders in the inaugural PoliPlus Bicycle ride put on by the Keizer Rotary Club, and celebrating the 25th Rotary Food Drive. Those are just some of the examples of what we did in the Salem area.
Internationally, we had inbound student Yusuke Nagaoka from Iyo, Japan, and outbound we had Alicia Munoz to India. We have been able to follow Alicia’s time thru a blog on our eBlast site. The International Service Committee was busy again working with various projects and were successful with clean water projects in Haiti. We provided funds for a Shelter Box, a truly amazing group of people, ready to go at a moment’s notice, to provide shelter for people in a crisis. Our Peace Builder Committee under the leadership of Val Keever brought us the Cypress Friendship Program. This is a program where Rotary is building peace one student and one family at a time. Very exciting.
In the fall, the Good Works Committee, under the leadership of Bruce Anderson, selected the Center of Hope & Safety as the recipient of our fundraiser. Committee members also felt that another project was worthy, this one a hands on project. The idea was no fundraising, but a time to share with each other as we become engaged to make change. St. Francis Shelter has an opportunity for us to do just that and Christian Bryant and Don Lulay are working to get this accomplished.
Our Good Works Fundraising and Celebration, under Lauren Jones, took on the task of accomplishing our goal for the fundraiser. In good old Rotary fashion, with the assistance of our charitable heart of our club, Salem Rotary Foundation, and the collaboration of the Center of Hope & Safety, we were able to help secure $ 60,000.00 for the Center of Hope & Safety and $ 40,000.00 for our own charitable works.
We missed the Elephant Ear booth at the Salem Art Fair this year. It all started in 1988 as a hot dog booth. Elephant ears arrived in 1989 and we had to borrow an electric French fryer from a Vancouver Rotary Club to start the journey. It was a good run as fundraiser and then as a fellowship event. However, with all good things, there is a time for change.
You as the Rotary Club of Salem certainly got things done. As one of our speakers said, dream big and never give in. We had big dreams and it is not just the end of a Rotary year, but the beginning of stories of how lives were changed as we, you, engaged Rotary.