Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Interactors & Rotarians visit the Hopi Reservation for service to the community

A team of 17 Interactors & 8 Rotarians from multiple clubs around Utah had an absolutely amazing time on the Hopi Reservation this October teaching 15 Junior Achievement lessons to Hopi children, repairing 2 roofs and a wheelchair ramp. 

The Hopi people have invited Rotarians back so we hope for a possible spring trip. Special thanks to the Park City Rotary Club for planning. Enjoy the photos, but please don’t share them on social media out of respect for the Hopi custom.

PDG Shaun Michel was key in organizing the service trip.

Utah Rotary has a Peace Fellow!

A young woman from District 5420 (Utah) has been awarded one of 50 worldwide Rotary International Peace Fellow sponsorships for a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict resolution at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. The award, including tuition, room & board, and language instruction is worth over US$90,000.
“Elizabeth Gamarra is one of those rare individuals whose inner light and compassion guide her to create powerful and significant ways to serve,” says Salt Lake Rotarian Mike Deputy, District Peace Committee Chair in the endorsement letter.  “Her intuitive need to do good was established early and is clearly her lifelong path. The faster she receives training at a high level, the more quickly she will rise to doing truly great things in this world.”
Elizabeth has already done some great things with her life.
Born in Lima, PerĂº and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, she receive a Bachelor of Social Work and then a Masters from the University's College of Social Work with an emphasis in Global Women’s Health. Her accomplishments are broad for someone so young:

·        Elizabeth founded the non-profit, “Generations of Latinos,” the Academic Journal for Mentorship Across Cultures and Disciplines and the MentorMe® Project - platforms to help thousands of students seize best education, career and activism related opportunities. Now, with an online network of 1,000 tutors and mentors, students have won more than $1 M USD in financial aid and scholarships. 
·         Her work as Utah’s Student Activist Coordinator for Amnesty International USA, researcher at the Center for Research on Migration and Refugee Integration (CRMRI), and founder of the non-profit Generations of Latinos in Higher Education, have provided her a broad and comprehensive understanding of the challenges rooted in integration, conflict, economic inequality, and education; particularly in communities of color.
·         Elizabeth is a former TEDxSaltLakeCity speaker: A Uniting Journey of Perspectives: Human Mobility,” and most recently spoke at the University of Oxford Consortium for Human Rights on climate justice and eradicating poverty.
·         Her contributions have been recognized through Diversity and Equity University of Utah Award, the Outstanding Researcher Award in 2015 and 2016, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Graduate Award, the Utah Young Philanthropy Award, and most recently the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award through the Utah Human Rights Commission.  
·         Elizabeth is currently on a Fulbright Grant  to teach and do research at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) University of Madrid and Segovia in Spain.
After graduate school, she looks forward to continuing the advancement of human rights and wishes to work on the design of new and viable policies that can lead developing countries, such as her own, down a path of equal opportunity, growth, and justice. She hopes to pursue a Juris Doctorate and a Latin Legum Magister (LLM) in Human Rights, focused on capacity building for refugees and peace
building efforts within host and neighboring countries.
Elizabeth writes in her application, “My culturally diverse background has filled me with pride to never forget where I come from and reach back to help those around me through the doors of opportunity.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All Clubs Luncheon goes all out to celebrate 30 years of women in Rotary

District 5420 (Utah) celebrated 30 years of women in Rotary on Saturday, October 7, 2017 with a well- attended and inspiring All Clubs Luncheon at the Noah Event Venue in Lehi.

Rotary International Past Vice President Jennifer Jones was the key note speaker, telling stories of her first days as a woman in Rotary and celebrating the service and connectivity of Rotarians worldwide. She also moderated a panel of Utah Rotarians – Stephanie Velasco, Penny Atkinson, DG Beverly Christy, Canice Harte, and Jana Hart – who discussed ways to engage and grow membership.

The District’s newest Paul Harris Fellows were recognized, District Youth Chair Miriam Barth spoke briefly of the importance of mentoring youth through Rotary, and 23 female Rotarians in our District were recognized by their clubs (click here for brief bios) and awarded beautiful wooden plaques handmade by Richfield Rotarian Brent Thorne.

Much thanks to the All Clubs Luncheon committee: Linda Baker (St. George Club), Jayne Barnett (Millcreek Club), Randi Jackson and Pearl Wright (Salt Lake Club), Therese Milad (Sugar House Club), and Christina Miller (Park City Club). Special thanks to Paula Bell (Dixie Sunrise Club) and Laurie Summers-Pisani (Millcreek Club).

Thanks also to the event sponsors: Rocky Mountain Power, America First Credit Union, Jayne Barnett of The Group Real Estate, and Planning Pathways. 

District Governor Bev Christy introduces Past RI VP Jennifer Jones

Past RI VP Jennifer Jones addresses Utah Rotarians

Panel discussion with Utah Rotarians

Attendance was great!

Some of the female Rotarians recognized by their clubs

More photos!

23 Utah women recognized by their clubs as part of our celebration of 30 years of women in Rotary

All Clubs Luncheon on Saturday October 7 featured the first woman to be Vice President of Rotary International, Jennifer Jones. Her visit with our District was inspirational. These 25 women inspire their Utah Rotary Clubs every day of every year. Please read their brief bios. Here are Rotarians who are role models for all of us, examples of  'Service above Self' who lift spirits and increase our impact locally and internationally.

Brigham City Club: Tere Moore

Tere has gone to Peru with a wheelchair project, she has gone to India to help with vaccinations, and she has gone to Ecuador with a water project. And last year as the club President, she spearheaded and has been the driving force behind Brigham City getting a Splash Pad, which should be finished next spring.

Cedar City Club: Sue Longson

Sue has made a huge difference in the Cedar City Club and the community. Very few – if any – give more service hours than she does. Sue is very active in the club and creates & sends out the weekly newsletter. She has served tirelessly on July Jamboree, the main fundraiser in the community. Rotary and its values are a priority in her life. She has helped with the club's Kenya project.

E-Club: Natalie Argyle

Natalie has put a lot of time and energy into building up young people in Utah. She chairs the committee that organizes RYLA, an experience that helps youth build leadership and a desire to serve others. She gives a lot of herself to help RYLA attendees have great experiences that expand their vision of life.

Heber Valley Club: Laura Camper

Laura has been a member of The Heber Valley Rotary Club since 1998. She served as President from 2012-2013. During that time she visited Cuba on a humanitarian project and found it to be a very humbling and life changing event.

During her 40 year employment for The Leavitt Group, she has served as Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and twice as Head Chair for the Wasatch School District Foundation. She has also served on the IHC hospital board for Heber Valley for 9 years

Hispano-Latino South Club: BiBi Escoto

Bibi has helped in the Diaper Mile Project for a senior citizens home in Irapuato, Mexico so these elderly folks can have diapers the whole year. She took her personal truck filled with furniture, clothing, and toys to the farm workers and their families in Santaquin and Geneva in southern Utah. Bibi has served on the Board of Directors of Poder Para La Familia Hispana for the past 6 years providing counseling to families with kids involved with gangs or the juvenile justice system. She is the President of La Linea Legal Para Los Hispanos, helping to bring awareness to the general Hispanic/Latino public about our state's laws and procedures through radio and television. She volunteers with The Salvation Army and helps hundreds of needy families through the Sub 4 Santa project during Christmas.

Holladay Rotary Club: Sue Vanderhoof

Sue has been Club President, International Service Chair, Foundation Chair, President-Elect-again. On the District level she has been Assistant District Governor, District Grants Chair and Global Grants Chair. These positions helped her gain a greater understanding of service through Rotary and to make friends with Rotarians throughout our District and in the World.

The thought of getting on a plane and traveling to a third world country never crossed her mind until she became a Rotarian. A trip to Ngala School for the Deaf in Nakuru, Kenya was supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience for but ten trips, and 15 years later it has become a way of life for Sue. She is a Paul Harris Fellow, a Paul Harris Society Member and a Major Donor to The Rotary Foundation.

Kaysville Club: Deb Hefner

Deb is the longest-serving female Rotarian in the club. She has been a member of Kaysville Rotary for over 6 years and Treasurer for the past 3 years. Deb participated in the annual fundraiser, the Fourth of July 5K with getting sponsors, race registration, and helping the day of the race. She helped the Dictionary Project with delivering to schools and making presentations to 3rd-grade classes. She has helped with Days for Girls annual sewing day. Deb helps arrange for speakers for club meetings.

Lehi Club: Jackie Meigs

Jackie has been active for many years in volunteering for the community, her church, women's organizations, and organizations her children are involved in. Jackie is married to Glen Meigs and the mother of 5 children, including 4 Eagle Scouts. She is a partner in Vanguard Marketing, Inc. a successful marketing and financial consulting company.  

She is active in Rotary, working to unite the club and making connections with the community.  She will service as the Lehi Rotary Club President during the 2018-2019 year.

Logan Club: Candace Berthrong

Candace is the Past President of the Logan club and remains active on the board. She joined Rotary Club of Logan Utah in 2010. She served as Club Secretary from 2011-2013. She was awarded the Club Rotarian of the Year in 2013. She compiles information and photos for the Clubs Newsletter and Facebook page. Candace serves on the World Service Committee. She worked on the Mexican Agua Pierta Project for several years.

Midvale Club: Linda Brooks

Linda joined Rotary in 2000 and has been the President of the Midvale Club twice. She attended RYLA as a facilitator twice, including the first year the district started it. She is the mother of the youngest ever Rotary Club President in the district. Two of her daughters have been in Rotary. Linda has been on an international service project to Piedras Negras, Mexico. Linda worked with the Cedar City Club to start the first Rotaract Club at SUU.

Millcreek Club: Shannon Tilly

Shannon is a second generation Rotarian. She was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Spain and has hosted an Exchange Student for the Millcreek Club. Shannon is a Paul Harris Fellow. She chaired the club's Membership Committee during a period of growth. Shannon attended International Rotary Conventions in Lisbon and Atlanta. She is an OB-Gyn for high risk pregnancies.

Mount Timpanogos Club: Rebekah Snow Stanley

Rebekah Snow Stanley (a member in the under 40 category), serves as the Mount Timpanogos Rotary Club Administrator. Rebekah arranges and coordinates world-class speakers each week and sets up materials for club meetings. She manages the club Dictionary Project each year, scheduling the sponsors and donors for nearly 3,000 dictionaries to students at approximately 30 local elementary schools.

Orem Club: Deanna Rowen

Deanna was inducted a Rotary member on July 20, 2011. She was the Orem Club's first woman President. She has a passion for helping children and women in need.

Deanna spearheaded the clubs involvement with Interact's Puerto Penasco project and led a small Orem Rotary group to work on building a new home and playground.

Park City Club: Cathy King

Cathy works with non-profit organizations - 19 dedicated to animal welfare. She is the Executive Director of Canines with a Cause, a Utah based non-profit that trains service dogs to help military veterans suffering from PTSD.

She is a current club board member and the New Generations Chair. She is the Park City High School Interact Club Advisor. She is the lead organizer for the International projects and has organized the club’s service trip to the Hopi reservation this year. She is on the organizing committee for the annual auction which funds international projects – The Giving Tree Festival.

Richfield Club: Jackie Andersen

Jackie grew up in Richfield and is a true entrepreneur. She started "Crazy Lady Auto" which has been recognized as Utah's Used Automobile Dealership of the Year - twice. Jackie also started the very successful travel agency, Premier Tours. Her guided tours include LDS history sites, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, and others tours.

Jackie has been President of the Richfield Club twice, has unbounded energy and enthusiasm. Jackie's favorite service project each year is to cook and serve breakfast each Memorial Day at the Richfield Cemetery. Proceeds from the breakfast are used to purchase military flags for the Veterans Memorial and American Flags for Main Street.

Roosevelt Club: Polly Karren

Polly is the club’s immediate Past President and has been very active in club fund raising for many years. She says, "I love Rotary because it is a way my husband and I can serve our community together."  Because of her efforts, the local high school has adopted the 4-way test as their motto for the year. Polly is excited about the additional women that have joined the club in the past 2 years as they add a whole new dimension of service to the club. With her help, our club has created a way to help every charity in our community.

Red Rock Club: Pam Graf

Pam recently retired as the Foundation Director for Washington County School District where she worked for 20 years. She was also a member of the St. George Chamber of Commerce board of directors and later Chairman of that Board. She joined Rotary in 2009 and has loved the service opportunities it has offered. She has served as a board member for Leadership Dixie as well as the advisory board for State Bank of Southern Utah and Zions Way Hospice. She has been active in the Santa Clara Historical Society and was one of the original 5 who started Swiss Days in Santa Clara.

Pam is co-owner of The Orange Peel, a home grown smoothie and bubble tea shop that currently has 4 stores throughout the state.

Salt Lake Club: Safia Keller

Safia has been a member of Rotary for 8 years and held many leadership positions. She has been in charge of the club's Red Butte Concert fundraiser for 4 years. The concert has raised thousands of dollars for Polio Plus and the Salt Lake Rotary Foundation. She is a Paul Harris Fellow and a Richard L. Evans Fellow. She has co-chaired the Scholarship Committee for 5 years, served as a Vice President of the Salt Lake Rotary Board, served on the Parks and Environment Committee for 8 years and was the Chair of this committee for 3 years, and now serves as a Trustee of the Salt Lake Rotary Foundation.

Safia has a son with autism and works at the Columbus Community Center to assist individuals with autism, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities find and maintain meaningful employment. 

South Valley Club: Lori Bird

Lori is a Paul Harris Fellow, and a 3-term President of the South Valley Rotary Club. In addition to her community service through Rotary, Lori has served for several years as Chair of Draper Days, Draper’s annual festival featuring a large parade, 2 days of fun and concerts in the park, and a rodeo. She loves serving others and brings many opportunities for such service to the South Valley Club.

Lori goes out of her way to make you feel loved and she encourages all of us to live the mantra of 'service above self'

Spanish Fork Club: Julianne Roberts

Julianne Roberts is a valued member of the Spanish Fork Club, serving on the Board. She is quick to help with anything that is needed and is the Chairperson of the Dictionary Project each year. 

Sugar House Club: Margie Walz

Margie is currently the club's President Elect. Margie published the weekly Club Bulletin all last Rotary year. Margie organized the club's Membership Committee.She volunteered to Chair this year's Adoption Awareness Event, pulled everything together in conjunction with the Division of Child and Family Services, the Adoption Exchange, and club members. She volunteered to Chair next year's Adoption Awareness Event.

Tooele Valley Club: Lorina Bishop

Lorina wanted to reward Rotarians so she bought and cooked ribeye steaks and the club had a social called Ribeyes for Rotarians. She is one of the first people to volunteer for projects and assignments.

She lives in SLC but drives to Tooele and stays late, when needed, for projects. She is the President-Elect and Secretary this year.

Vernal Club: Donna Trotter

Donna joined the Williston, ND Rotary in 1983 as the first female member. She has been President, Treasurer, and Secretary of her club for 9 years. Donna served on the Library Board and Literacy Commission for Uintah County.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

St George Club Annual Golf for Literacy

Fellow Rotarians ... if you have ever been to St. George in October you probably know two things ... (1) our community is crazy busy with the 7500 participants in the St. George Marathon on the first weekend, the Huntsman World Senior Games (with more than 11,000 participants) on the first two weeks of the month, and the final performances of Tuacahn's summer theater season; and (2) the weather is PERFECT!!!

The 4th Annual St. George Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 26 is your chance to visit our community after the crowds have collected their medals and returned home and after our 156th triple-digit summer is a thing of the past!  

Get your team together and join us for a fun event for a good cause and in glorious October weather.  The price is right and the company is good, too!

Friday, August 25, 2017

The race against polio: clearing the hurdles, crossing the finish line

Scott Leckman, a highly skilled general surgeon, has been our District Chair for the Polio Plus campaign for many years. No stranger to daunting challenges in the operating room or to giving orders to overcome them, he was a natural choice to lead this effort and to recruit Rotarians to join him on his multiple missions to India to defeat the spread of polio in that enormous developing country of 1.3 billion people.

I was privileged to be one of his recruits. India had its last case of wild virus poliomyelitis in 2011. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it to be polio free in 2014. Scott and his Rotarian special forces absolutely deserve some of the credit for the massive and heroic immunization effort that led to the eradication of polio in this incredibly challenging environment.

The fight or the race, as I like to think of it, is not over. We could and should be in the last lap. Scott, however, has accepted a new challenge, to be our next District Governor. He has passed the Polio Plus baton on to me. I’m not a surgeon or a soldier. I was in the Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control during the Viet Nam War. My goal, then and now, is to eliminate infections that rob adults, children, and infants of their lives and livelihood. It’s an honor to be a part of the enormous willing, determined, and generous Rotarians who literally plan to run this awful disease into the ground. But it won’t be easy.

In India, every other country, even our own, we must maintain high levels of immunization in young and previously unimmunized children to protect them from the introduction of polio virus from a country where the virus is still endemic. There are now only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where this is the case. Fortunately, there have been only 8 cases in those countries this year, but that means there have been hundreds of asymptomatic infections in children who have acquired and may have transmitted the virus.

If eradication is to succeed there as it must, there are enormous hurdles to overcome. Much of the population is poorly educated and without access to diagnostic, preventive or clinical care. The governments have extremely limited resources and are unstable and ineffective in many parts of their countries.  Some local leaders are dubious or even antagonistic about an outside intervention. Closing this last gap will be especially hard and tremendously expensive. The effort to bring polio vaccine to infants and children in the small villages and cities of developing countries pays unexpected dividends. It often entails building clinics where volunteers and staff provide other vaccinations and clinical treatment.

On June 12th, global health leaders announced $1.2 billion in funding for polio eradication to 30,000 Rotarians at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. At this pledging event, Rotary committed a further $150 million over three years to the cause. The Gates Foundation agreed to match this 2 for 1 and contribute $300 million. This will help protect more than 450 million children from the virus each year through vaccination and disease surveillance. That must continue for several years even after no further clinical cases are identified. That will ensure that children are protected until we are absolutely sure that the virus has been eradicated from human beings and from water and sewage. The new Director General of WHO, Dr. Tedros, said at our convention:  “The end of polio is now in sight.  This is the most critical moment of covering the last mile. We must keep our eyes firmly on the final goal.”

Joining us in our effort, the leaders of the G20 committed in their first Declaration on Global Health, “to strive to fully eradicate polio”.  The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, emphasized the benefits of preventive measures for the people and economies of all countries, especially the developing ones. The eradication of polio is projected to lead to savings of US$ 20 – 30 billion by 2035, making it an example of the economic impact that can be achieved through a focus on health.

~ Jay Jacobson, M.D., Emeritus Professor, Infectious Disease, U of Utah School of Medicine, Assistant District Governor, Salt Lake City Rotary Club