Our inbound youth exchange student from the Philippines had her first pumpkin carving experience. She and her host mother shared this" mother-daughter first." Joy reported that it was great fun and she was about to start on her second pumpkin.
The Hills Were Alive….
On Saturday, April 19 Depot Park was buzzing with the sound of rakes as members of Cub Scout Pack 499 were joined by their parents and members of their sponsoring Clarkston Rotary Club to ready the park for spring. The weather was perfect, and the group filled a record-beating 76 bags of leaves and twigs. (The previous record was 36 bags.) The park clean-up is an annual event for the Cub Scouts and Rotary. The two-hour work session was followed by pizza and pop and a chance to enjoy the sunshine and the equipment at the park. Good Job Scouts!
In November, two Clarkston Rotarians went to Africa to help Rotary keep it’s promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio from the face of the earth. Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty of the Clarkston Rotary Club traveled with a team to Ethiopia to deliver polio drops in response to the recent outbreak of the virus in the Horn of Africa. Global efforts to eradicate polio have made impressive progress over the past decade. When Rotary began the fight in 1985, polio affected 350,000 people, mostly children, in 125 countries every year. Since then, polio has been reduced by more than 99 percent. In 2012 there were only 223 cases anywhere in the world.
I want to thank you again for all your support of ShelterBox. I am attaching a link to an 8 minute update of the good work your donations did in 2013. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests.
Last Monday’s downpour couldn’t dampen the spirit of SCAMP goers and their families as they enjoyed the annual picnic put on by the Clarkston Rotary Club. For years, the first event of the new Rotary year, which begins July 1, has been providing an evening picnic at Independence Oaks Twin Chimneys. Along with the hot dogs, potato salad, coleslaw, watermelon, and cookies, the students and their families were treated to the antics of Bingo the Clown, a face painter, and music by The Men Of Grace. “It’s a chance for the families to get to know the other SCAMP goers and their families. We really look forward to it,” one mother said of the picnic. It’s a favorite of the Clarkston Rotary members, too.
Clarkston Rotarian Jeff Lichty was honored with Rotary International's highest recognition, the Service Above Self award.
As Rotary’s highest honor for individual Rotarians, this award recognizes up to 150 Rotarians annually, worldwide, who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.
Jeff has held multiple Rotary offices at the club, District and Zone levels. He has practiced humanitarian service by participating in National Polio Immunization Days in India, on eyeglass medical missions to Grenada and Peru and by visiting a Rotary-USAID water and sanitation project in Ghana, West Africa, in order to help raises funds to complete the collaboration project.
Congratulations Jeff! We already knew you live Rotary, and now Rotary International has said it knows it too.
After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease, but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all. It is a window of opportunity of historic proportions.
Reaching the ultimate goal of a polio-free world presents ongoing challenges, not the least of which is a hundreds of million dollar funding gap. Of course, Rotary alone can't fill this gap, but continued Rotarian advocacy for government support can help enormously.
As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.
"If we all have the fortitude to see this effort through to the end, then we will eradicate polio." - Bill Gates
Clarkston High School’s robotics team, Team RUSH (Respect Unity Spirit Heart), unveiled its latest robot at the 2013 Team RUSH Open House, held on Monday, February 18 at 6:00 PM at the Clarkston High School, in the CSMTech (Clarkston Science, Math and Technology) Academy. Joe Liu, our Youth Exchange student from Taiwan, is a part of the team. In the photo he is shown on the right working on the robot with fellow team members (from left) Jason Markesino, Andrew McLatcher, Kristijian Dodik.
As we've heard many times, Rotary's main focus is to eliminate polio worldwide. Since 1979 Rotary has been trying to accomplish this feat. In Vancouver, British Columbia iOctober, Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty joined other Rotarians from Canada and the Eastern US on a walk to call attention to our efforts.
On Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1, members and friends of the Clarkston Rotary club were on Clarkston street corners selling the Goodfellow edition of the Rotary newspaper to raise funds for the children of Clarkston. 100% of the donations raised were then spent to provide Clarkston area school children with new winter boots and shoes, hats, mittens or gloves the following weekend. More than 100 volunteers devoted time and energy to the Clarkston Rotary Club’s Goodfellow newspaper sales and “Shoes for Kids.”
The donations collected from the two days on the streets, as well as donations from the Clarkston Women’s Club, has helped 425 Clarkston schoolchildren this year. We at Rotary are thankful for the groups involved. Oakland Woods Baptist Church provides support and use of their church on the day of the distribution. The Clarkston Lions provide Project Kidsight, a free pre-school eye examination. The Clarkston Area Optimist Club have joined with their Opti-Socks program.
— Boy Scout troop No. 199 helped with the sale of papers. Clarkston schools and local churches support the program by collecting new hat and glove donations.
A Walk for Peace
On the evening of September 21, some Clarkston Rotarians took part in a 5K twilight river front Walk for Peace along the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The event, held to coincide with the United Nations World Peace Day, was designed to spread the word about world peace. “The walk was designed to attract attention from regional and international media and to assist Rotary in enhancing its reputation as a world leader in the furtherance of world peace and conflict resolution.,” explained Joyce Jones, Windsor Rotary president and event organizer . Rotary International Past President Ray Klinginsmith and Rotary Foundation Chairman Wilf Wilkenson were among the honored guests. After the walk, the walkers attended a barbecue and a Peace concert featuring local artists including Jody Raffoul, Maria Connel and The Music Express. As many in the community may recall, Windsor was also the site of the successful 2008 Rotary World Peace Summit. This event is being hosted by the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland in conjunction with District 6400 and District 6380.
To quote annarbor.com, “One Rotarian can change a community. Connect more than a million, and we can change the world.”
On July first, 2012, Bart Clark will take over the reins of Clarkston Rotary president for the 2012-2013 Rotary year. Rotary changes all of its officers, including the Rotary International president, on July first, and they each serve for one year. Here Bart is given the President’s pin by outgoing president, Al Avery. Bart, in turn, gives Al, a past president’s pin during the formal induction dinner held this year at Mesquite Creek.
The new board of Directors is made up of Frank Rivers, Janet Thomas, Rick Miller, Mary Sloan, Al Avery, Harold Sutherland, Lisa Troschinetz, Joel DeLong and Bart Clark.
On July 16, the Clarkston Rotary Club again entertained students and their families from Clarkston SCAMP at a cookout and picnic at Independence Oaks. The Rotarians cooked the hot dogs and set out the potato salad, coleslaw and watermelon, while the students and their families enjoyed the bouncing house, face painter and Bingo the clown. This year The Men of Grace from Pontiac’s Grace Centers of Hope entertained the crowd during dinner. The SCAMP picnic is always the first Rotary activity of the Rotary year, which begins on July 1. It’s a favorite for all involved.
Rotarians Celebrate at Monday’s Meeting
Led by President Al Avery, Clarkston Rotarians joined Rotarians around the world in celebrating their successful efforts to raise $200 million dollars in order to meet the Bill and Melinda Gates challenge of eliminating polio worldwide. Rotary International began planning in the early 1980’s for one of the most ambitious humanitarian programs ever undertaken by a private entity. In 1985, it launched PolioPlus, a multimillion dollar initiative to immunize all the world’s children against polio. Rotary’s commitment was so great that the World Health Assembly resolved in 1988 to wipe out the disease that had killed and paralyzed for 5000 years. Clarkston Rotary enthusiastically joined in the battle.
Since 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine. Reported polio cases have dropped 99.8 %, from 350,000 a year in 1988 to fewer than 2000 a year today. Clarkston Rotarians Mary Sloan and Jeff Lichty participated in the effort by personally delivering the polio drops to children in northern India in 2005.
Since 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $355 million to Rotary International in the global effort to eradicate polio, issuing the challenge that Rotarians worldwide would raise $200 million by June 2012. That goal has been reached, and Clarkston Rotarians celebrated on Monday with a cake and a talk from District polio co-chair Virginia Barrons. The fight is not over. Polio is still endemic in four countries; India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan, although India just completed its first year without a new case reported. We can’t quit until the job is done and no new cases have been reported in the world for three years.
We have completed this round of funding, but the fight goes on and fundraising must continue.
As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere, including the United States, remain at risk. The stakes are that high.
It may have been 40 degrees, windy and snowing, but it didn't stop Clarkston Rotary members and Cub Scout pack 499 scouts and parents from cleaning up Depot Park. Dave Boersma, Cub Scout den leader and Clarkston Rotarian, arranged for the collaboration, and due to the combined efforts, the park looks great and can be enjoyed now that spring finally arrived!
Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary celebrated 100 years of service in 2005. The Rotary Foundation has awarded more than US$2.1 billion in grants, which are administered at the local level by Rotary clubs.
What is the purpose of Rotary?
Rotary clubs exist to improve communities through a range of humanitarian, intercultural and educational activities. Clubs advance international understanding by partnering with clubs in other countries. Rotary also encourages high ethical standards in all vocations.