Theme: Be a Gift to the World
Rotary International’s President, Ravi Ravindran, set the theme “Be a Gift to the World” for this Rotary year. Our Club had a great year making meaningful contributions in our local community and in the world.
Our Food Drive, holiday giving to the Tree of Joy and the Salvation Army, and blood drives were as strong as ever. Again this year we sent two aspiring young leaders to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. We lined up host families to welcome pairs of teenagers from the divided nation of Cyprus. We sponsored a Rotaract Club, and maintained ties with an Interact Club at South Salem High School. We welcomed exchange student Nishka Ajmera from India, and followed the progress of Emani Price in Slovakia. Leah Borden was our short term student in Japan during June.
The Salem Area Trail Alliance (SATA) was selected as our major Good Works project. With the $30,000 awarded, they proposed to build a pump track for bicycles in Geer Park within city limits. We loved the idea of kids being able to get outdoors and play in their own neighborhood, testing their skills on a hilly bike track. Near the end of the year, we had a ceremonial presentation of the big check to SATA that was enthusiastically attended and featured on our Facebook page and website.
The Board of Salem Rotary Foundation made available $28,000 for the Club’s charitable projects around Salem. The Good Works Committee, led by Bruce Anderson, awarded $12,000 to nine worthy recipients for small grants and scholarships. These projects included an industrial-grade kitchen appliance at a homeless shelter; scholarships for would-be soccer athletes; and prescription medicine for low income patients. We continued to fund the Duval scholarship for a student at Chemeketa Community College.
As the year closed, the Board dedicated a second $15,000 seed funding for a major project in celebration of our Club’s 100th year in 2020.