February 2017 ARTICLE, ROTARY CLUB OF WESTON
Rotary Youth Exchange – a Family TraditionBy Pat Short Hornsby, Weston Rotarian “The first three months were the hardest,” says 16-year-old Vitor from Jaboatão dos Guararapes, a suburb of Recife, the capital city of Pernambuco state in northeast Brazil. Vitor, like almost 9,000 other students aged 15-19 from around the globe, is spending an entire school year in a foreign country with a new family, attending high school and becoming fluent in a new language through the Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) program. RYE began in the 1920s and grew significantly starting in the 1950s. The object of the exchange program is to promote peace and international understanding by totally immersing young people in the daily life of another culture. Vitor continues, “At first I missed my family and my friends and school in Recife. My host family is the best and I am doing great now. This exchange is making me more mature. I will be changed when I go back.” And that — for the thousands of Rotarian and host family volunteers who work tirelessly and passionately to support the Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship Program year in and year out — is precisely the point. Vitor, whose English is improving rapidly, is a sophomore at Western High School. Since August, he resides in Davie, Florida, with his host family, Keith and Renee Petron and their two sons. “Vitor is a very caring, respectful and conscientious young man,” says Petron, an active Rotarian. “He enjoys traveling and loves soccer, and has become a huge Miami Hurricanes fan. Above all, Vitor puts family first.” While Vitor receives daily care and support from his host family, he is also looked after by an extended Rotary family, including mentors, counselors and the entire 120-member Rotary Club of Weston. “Vitor is another fine exchange student in a long line of Rotary Youth Exchange students hosted by the Rotary Club of Weston,” says Joe Altschul, the club’s Youth Exchange Officer. “We’re honored to be able to host these wonderful young people from all over the world. They enrich our lives as much as I hope we enrich theirs.” In addition to attending school and extra-curricular activities, exchange students go to social events and trips with other RYE students from South Florida or the entire state, beginning with an August Orientation Weekend. In December, Vitor and dozens of other Florida RYE teens spent four days in Orlando visiting Epcot, The Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios and Animal Kingdom for the annual RYE Florida Disney Weekend. Other group outings include a long weekend at Seacamp in the Florida Keys. By the time June rolls around and they return home, the students have forged new friendships and family relationships that recognize no borders. RYE is a reciprocal program. For each student received, another local South Florida student is sent to a non-English speaking country in Europe, South America or Asia where other Rotarians participate in the RYE program. With the exception of airfare, insurance and incidental money, the entire cost of the exchange including room, board, schooling and most outings is provided by Rotary clubs and host families. The process for applying to become an outbound exchange student in this life-changing program starts a year in advance of departure. For information on sponsorship to become a Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship recipient, contact Joe Altschul at email@example.com.
Photo Cutline: Vitor and his host dad, Keith, mingle at a Rotary Club of Weston breakfast meeting.
February 2017 ARTICLE, ROTARY CLUB OF WESTON
January 2017 ARTICLE, ROTARY CLUB OF WESTONWeston Rotary Club annual golf tournament benefits college-bound seniorsBy Pat Short Hornsby, Rotarian Giving back is a big theme at the Rotary Club of Weston. Many Rotarians in this active service club when asked what prompted them to become a Rotarian reply, “Because I’ve been fortunate and it’s a great way for me to give back to the community.” The club’s annual Golf Classic gives back by supporting area youth with college scholarships. Last year, the 2016 WestonLawyers.com Golf Classic raised $100,000 to help graduating seniors achieve their dreams. In return, the club asks only that someday they, too, find a way to give back. Weston Rotarians spend weeks organizing this premier golf outing held at Western Hills Country Club. An exciting Drawdown Raffle Kickoff Party jump-starts the scholarship fund with approximately $20,000 in party proceeds going towards the main event. At the golf tournament, golfers enjoy 18 holes on the par 72 Robert Trent Jones course, a delicious buffet luncheon, awards, spectacular prizes and valuable raffle or auction items such as travel, golf or spa packages. Over the years, many area businesses have become loyal and generous sponsors of the Golf Classic, allowing it to grow to the six-figure event it’s become. Scholarships ranging from several hundred dollars to full two- and four-year rides have been presented to outstanding seniors from Cypress Bay High School and Sagemont in Weston, Western High School in Davie and HANDY. Scholarship recipients, selected from hundreds of applicants, demonstrate qualities of character reflecting Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” and are recognized at the club’s annual Scholarship Awards breakfast in May. The awards help deserving students defray expenses and continue their educations. Many of them return to Weston to visit the club, some join a Rotaract service club in college, and still others become Rotarians themselves as adults. “Awarding scholarships to area students fits perfectly with the Rotary Club of Weston’s mission to provide services to youth and families in our community,” says Michael Freedland, sponsor tournament co-chair. “We look forward to this every year because it helps so many people.” This year’s Rotary Club of Weston Golf Classic sponsored by WestonLawyers.com will be held on Monday, April 3, 2017. The field generally sells out quickly, so interested golfers should reserve a slot soon. If you or your business would like to sponsor, donate to or volunteer for this fun event that has become a Weston tradition, visit www.westonrotary.com for information on golfer registration and sponsorship opportunities, or email Michael@WestonLawyers.com
Rotary Club of Weston: Serving Others Is the Reward!Written by Jack Mannix, Community Service Chair of Weston Rotary
Perhaps like you, I’ve been fortunate enough to live in several different areas of the country over the years but none of those locations compare to all that Weston has to offer. Great schools, restaurants, beautiful surroundings, beaches nearby and, of course, exceptional weather. But for me, one of the most gratifying aspects of living in Weston is my membership in the Rotary Club of Weston.
Rotary is a worldwide organization with 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs, all of whom espouse the Rotary motto of “service above self”.
Our club has about 130 members and, like all clubs, our purpose is to do good in the world – and locally. Sure, we enjoy breakfast together weekly, our meetings always have compelling speakers and we develop long lasting friendships but the real satisfaction comes from serving others, contributing to the community and making a difference for those who are much less fortunate.
For example, every other month we feed the homeless and indigent at LifeNet4Families, a food cooperative in Lauderhill. We support organizations like the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, where mothers with addictions can go to overcome their challenges without being separated from their kids. We work with the Red Cross of Broward County and most recently helped install smoke alarms in many lower income homes in Sunrise. We contribute to and volunteer with the Harvest Drive, which provides food, clothing and other necessities to hundreds of families. We pay for internet access for the residents at the Veterans Administration nursing home in Pembroke Pines, so that those vets, who have given so much to their country, have a more enjoyable life. Also weekly Several Weston Rotarians work with children at an after school program run by Hope Outreach.
In addition, we hold several fund-raising initiatives yearly. Our annual golf tournament helps us generate over $100,000 in scholarships for local students and our annual Run for Tomorrow nets over $65,000 for other charitable support.
I’m perennially amazed at the dedication of the club’s members, yet we know anecdotally and from member surveys that the number one reason for membership is the ability to give back to this wonderful community and the local area. It’s a “payoff” for each of us that’s hard to describe but is richly rewarding.
If you’d like to see what the Rotary Club of Weston is all about, our website is at www.westonrotary.com or feel free to join us for breakfast and an interesting program on Thursdays at 7:30am at the Weston Hills Country Club.
One Hundred Years of Doing Good in the WorldBy Pat Short Hornsby, Weston Rotarian At the 1917 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, RI President Arch C. Klumph proposed an endowment "for the purpose of doing good in the world." The Rotary Club of Kansas City responded with a gift of $26.50. One hundred years later, The Rotary Foundation has raised over $3 billion for life-changing projects around the globe, including polio eradication efforts. The Rotary Foundation is the charitable arm of Rotary International. The Foundation’s first gift was $500 to the International Crippled Children’s Society in 1930. Rotary had become a proponent and supporter of the organization, and continued that support to help build what we know now as The Easter Seals Society. Through generous giving by Rotarians and friends, the Foundation today provides support for 35,000 Rotary clubs worldwide to carry out sustainable projects in the areas of peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention, clean water and sanitation, literacy and basic education, maternal and child health care, and growing local economies. Rotary’s polio eradication effort began in 1979 in the Philippines and since 1988 includes partners such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the CDC in Atlanta and, later, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has committed $2 for every $1 raised by The Rotary Foundation for polio eradication. As recently as 1988, polio was still present in 125 countries, paralyzing 350,000 annually. Today, through the efforts of The Rotary Foundation and world partners providing 2.5 billion immunizations, 99.9 percent of the disease has be wiped out. In 2016, there were only 35 reported cases in three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan). Rotary is committed to keeping its promise of a polio-free world and will continue education and immunization efforts until all remaining endemic areas are certified polio free for three years. You can learn more about this international undertaking at www.endpolio.org. The Rotary Foundation’s Centennial Celebration kicked off at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Korea and will culminate at the June 2017 Convention in—where else—Atlanta! A birthday bash of epic proportion is planned, as thousands of Rotarians from dozens of countries convene to celebrate the fellowship of Rotary and 100 years of doing good in the world. Centennial giving goals of $300 million are well on track as individuals, corporations and Rotary clubs support The Foundation with generous gifts of time, expertise and funds to provide meaningful, sustainable service in every corner of the globe. The Rotary Club of Weston has been an avid supporter of The Foundation since the club’s inception. In addition to individual gifts, a large portion of the proceeds from the club’s annual Rotary Run for Tomorrow is earmarked for Foundation giving. Last year, the club contributed approximately $60,000 to The Rotary Foundation in addition to its local service projects. In June, many of the club’s members will travel to Atlanta to join in the celebration. For more information about The Rotary Foundation, or how your business, school or organization can get involved in the global effort to eradicate polio, contact club Foundation Chair Margarita Lartitegui at firstname.lastname@example.org.###
TRF Polio Immunization Photo 1: credit © Rotary International/Alyce HensonAtlanta Convention Photo 2: RI President John Germ and Judy look forward to The Rotary Foundation Centennial Celebration at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta.
The Weston Rotary Club is preparing for the 19th Annual Run for Tomorrow 5K and Half Marathon race event, and accompanying Fun Fest, will be held on Sunday, December 11, 2016, at Cypress Bay High School.
“There are a number of changes to the run for this year,’ said Frank Walker Weston Rotary Chair of the run. “Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital returns as the title sponsor. The medals this year are beautiful die-cast and the shirts provided will be dri-fit shirts, great for south Florida running. You can have a great time and make a difference in people’s lives at the same time.”
The Run for Tomorrow Half Marathon course and the 5K course is USATF certified, and winds through beautiful Weston, FL, starting at Cypress Bay High School. Friends, families, and kids of all ages are invited for the 1-Mile Family Health Walk and Mayor’s Challenge Cup, which starts at 9:00 AM and is not timed. For online Runner/Walker Registration information, visit http://www.westonrotary.com/run-for-tomorrow/. Day-of registration opens at 5:00 AM with the ½ marathon starting and 6:20am and the 5k starting at 7:30am. The Fun Fest will be open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, featuring health and wellness vendors and businesses from in and around Weston showcasing their products and services.
Students attending elementary schools in Weston who wish to participate in the Mayor’s 1 Mile Challenge Cup can get information at their schools or on the Rotary website. The school team with the highest percentage of participation wins the Mayor's 1 Mile Challenge Cup, a cash prize, and bragging rights until next year. Registration is available online at http://www.westonrotary.com/run-for-tomorrow/.
This year’s Title Sponsor is Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital with the City of Weston and
Cypress Bay High School as presenting sponsor. Proceeds from this community and regional event go to the Weston Rotary Club’s local and international charitable, health, and educational projects, which include: Gilda’s Club, HANDY, Harvest Drive, Hope Outreach, LifeNet4Families, Sandy Nininger Jr. State Veterans’ Nursing Home, Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, Broward Education Foundation and Rotary International’s fight to end Polio.
In 2015, approximately 1200 Run/Walk participants and 2,000 visitors attended the Run for Tomorrow and Get Fit Fest event. Over 600 elementary school students participated in the Mayor’s Get Fit Challenge Cup plus more than 300 student and adult volunteers.
For more information about Run Sponsorships, Fun Fest exhibitor space or advertising opportunities, contact Run Chair Frank Walker at 954-434-2244 or Email Frank@frankinsures.com.
About The Rotary Club of Weston
The Rotary Club of Weston consists of over 120 local businesses, professional, and community leaders united in fellowship, high ethical standards, and the motto of “Service Above Self.” The club meets at 7:30am for breakfast every Thursday at Weston Hills Country Club. For more information about the people and projects of the Rotary Club of Weston, visit www.westonrotary.com or contact Gaye Stewart-Loudis email@example.com