Monday, September 29, 2014

RYLA Reports

“We’re this close” to eradicating polio from the world say students from left, front row (kneeling):  Shannon Sizemore and Katarina Aikens, students at Snow Canyon High School.  Middle row: Stacy Britt, New Generations Committee Chair of St. George Rotary Club; Kaitlin Price and Kayla Greer, both students at Dixie High School, Christian Case from Snow Canyon High School, Brooke Meadows from Dixie Middle School and RYLA facilitator Mindy Case.  Back row:  Hayden Heinz from Desert Hills High School and Richard Isom, RYLA parent and SGR club secretary.  

TODAY IN ROTARY members of SGR, meeting at the Best Western Abbey Inn, were treated to an outstanding program including a Rotary Minute by Durant McArthur reading from his father PDG Eldon McArthur's memoirs about meeting with the LDS First Presidency to discuss polio eradication.  Today members and visitors also saw Jim and Margaret Coleman present two of their children – Julie Coleman Theurer of Redmond, Washington and Dean Coleman of Leesburg, Virginia – with Paul Harris Fellows moving the Coleman family "this close" to being a “100% PHF family.”

The remainder of the program was devoted to hearing reports from 6 of 15 students from Washington County who attended RYLA in Heber City on the weekend of September 18-20.  Selected through a rigorous application process for their leadership ability, these young men and women, ages 14-18, called their RYLA weekend, “excitingly cross-cultural, awesome, life-changing and inspiring.” 

Among the fall leaves, students had the opportunity to “Aspire to Something Higher” through leadership activities including public speaking and learning about other cultures through interaction with Rotary exchange students from around the world.  According to one young attendee, “we also learned everyone can be a leader … and everyone can be a follower.”  Another noted, he had learned to be a “better leader and a better person” through the program.

Mindy Case, who attended as a facilitator with her two children, noted, “it was definitely not a vacation.  We were up at 7 a.m. and worked and played hard until 10 p.m.”

Every RYLA program, which is under the direction of the each Rotary district, covers the core topics of fundamentals and ethics of positive leadership, communication skills, problem-solving and conflict management, Rotary’s purpose and service in the world community, building self-confidence and self-esteem and the elements of community and global citizenship.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rotary Summer Party

More than 70 Rotarians and family members enjoyed the great summer evening of Thursday, September 25 "down on the farm" at the home of Phil and Renee Hall.  Entertainment was outstanding, with poetry by Dan McArthur and music provided by Jim Coleman on his guitar (accompanied by Rotary children) and the talented Sizemore kids performing as "Beans and Wheels."  Dinner included steaks grilled-to-perfection by Meat Master Terance White, coleslaw from Albertson's Deli, bread sticks from the Pizza Factory, and delicious cupcakes from 25 Main Street Cafe.  The children had a great time emptying a piƱata filled with candy and everyone enjoyed the chance to explore Phil's farm.  Thanks to everyone who came out and to all who helped make this another enjoyable Rotary social event.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Here's What We've Been Doing

July 7      The installation of new officers is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of SGR.  Janet O’Riley – our club’s 84th president – is excited and enthusiastic about her new role and about goals and activities planned for the upcoming Rotary year.  This will also be an opportunity to look back on the successes of RY2013-14 and express thanks to outgoing officers Phil Hall and Nick Lang for their service to the club and the community.  It is also a time to show support for Janet and those who will continue to move SGR forward as we “Light Up Rotary” in the coming year.

July 14       Durant McArthur and Collin Davis will explain how simple it is for every member of SGR to become a Paul Harris Fellow immediately and how easy it is to make a significant difference in the world by supporting TRF.  And, while they have the podium, Collin and Durant will also share plans for their assigned areas in the upcoming Rotary year!     

July 21      Today's meeting will be an introduction of this year's board members.  We heard last week from immediate-past-president Durant McArthur and Collin Davis who have all the info you need to support our club, our district and Rotary International through The Rotary Foundation (TRF).  This week you will hear what Janet O’Riley, Richard Isom, Terance White, Sheldon Banks, Kolby Traveller, Nick Lang, Stacy Britt and Linda Sappington have planned - so get ready for another Rotary year of outstanding meetings, lots of "service above self" and fun activities! 

July 28      Don’t know where to start with your personal goal to diet and exercise?  Today’s speaker, Trevor Smith, manager of the DRMC Live Well Center, will discuss the shift, in our current culture, out of the disease paradigm and into a multifaceted wellness model.   Come learn what it takes to Live Well in 2014 and beyond!

August 4     WCSD Superintendent Larry Bergeson will share his position on the controversy surrounding Common Core / Utah Common Core!  If you are a worried parent or a county or state delegate who has been approached by numerous “concerned citizens” you will want to bring your questions for the Superintendent about Utah education’s current “hot topic.”

August 11     Is the economy in Washington County still flatlined or are things picking up? Construction in the area would indicate things are getting better but Southwest Utah economist Lecia Langston from the Department of Workforce Services, has all the  facts and figures.  Come hear, from her professional standpoint, what’s really happening in Washington County’s economy.  

August 18     The 42-year-old Five County Association of Governments is one of the community’s “best kept secrets” but impacts the lifestyle of those in Washington, Iron, Beaver, Garfield and Kane County every day.   Do you know the amazing projects we enjoy each day, which began at the   5CoAOG?  Executive Director (and fellow Rotarian) Bryan Thiriot will present an update on new and longstanding projects, which makes Southwestern Utah a great place to live and work!

August 25      “Know Yer Ro” will feature three of our newest Rotarians … Stacy Britt, BJ Cox, and Lynn Beecher.  We already know them as Rotarians but this will give us the opportunity to learn more about them as kids, family and business leaders. 

Sept. 1           Labor Day (NO MEETING)

Sept. 8          Tuacahn’s Executive Director of Development Jeff Fisher explains the proposed RAP tax (Recreation, Arts and Parks Enhancements) which, if approved by Washington County voters, will mean an increase of 1/10 of 1% of Sales Tax.  Similar to Salt Lake County’s ZAP (Zoo, Arts and Parks) and Cache County’s RAPZ (Recreation, Arts, Parks and Zoos) taxes, this program will likely go before voters on the November 2014 ballot to benefit established and new Arts and Recreation programs throughout Washington County.

Sept. 15       Ted Dodge, a nearly-new member of SGR, will share his experiences with the Incaperina project in Senahu, Guatemala.   This 5-year-old humanitarian project, in partnership with the non-profit Charity Anywhere organization, provides complete nutrition to expectant mothers and their newborn infants for only $1 per week.

Sept. 22       Carol Hollowell, Director of the new SwitchPoint Shelter and Resource Center will share the organizational structure and plans for the facility created, in a partnership with the City of St. George and more than a dozen government agencies and non-profit organizations, to help the homeless and others struggling to make ends meet.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Merry Christmas, SGR

SGR’s traditional Christmas party was held on Thursday evening, December 5 on the 3rd floor of the St. George Art Center.  Approximately 60 were in attendance and all enjoyed delicious food, lively conversation and outstanding entertainment provided by the Dixie Strings.  A silent auction, organized by Linda Baker, raised about $800 to be used for SGR projects.  Thanks to Cindy Loeber, who chaired the event and all those who contributed their time to set-up and clean-up, and donated items to be auctioned for fundraising.  Merry Christmas, one and all!!!

Tree Planting is Service Above Self

Members of the St. George Rotary Club went above and beyond in their efforts to provide “service above self” on a cold, rainy Saturday, November 23.   Along with several employees from the City of St. George’s parks and recreation department, SGR along with friends and family members gathered along the banks of the Virgin River for a tree planting service project – although what we planted could not technically be called “trees” – they were more like sticks in the mud!  City employees got the jump on us and had the project nearly completed by the time everyone arrived, but there was happy comradry and the reward at the end of our 20 minutes of service was another delicious outdoor breakfast prepared by our own Chef Gil Trujillo! 

Why plant this particular kind of tree?  Club president Durant McArthur shares his knowledge of the southwestern willow flycatcher ((Empidonax traillii extimus), an endangered songbird which makes its home along riparian (stream) areas.  Empidonax is Latin for “mosquito king;”  It was declared an endangered species in by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1995. It prefers forested areas around rivers and streams. The species is associated with cottonwood, willow, box-elder, tamarisk, Russian olive, water birch, and alder.  Our tree planting is to provide nesting and cover habitat for this endangered species.  The southwestern willow flycatchers build nests made of shredded bark, cattail tufts, and grasses, usually in the fork of a willow growing near water. The eggs, which are buff-colored and dark on one end, are laid from early June through early July. The average breeding pair will produce about four eggs in four days. The southwestern willow flycatcher is imperiled by fires, water projects, livestock grazing, global warming, brown cowbird parasitism, and replacement of native habitats by introduced plant species. It migrates to tropical areas for the winter.

So SGR now has a service history including club, community, youth, international … and birds!  Thanks to all who came out to support the project … and thanks to Sheldon Banks for organizing it. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Meet Tom Cover

Meet Tom Cover … husband, father of three, former Marine, retired banker, avid golfer and a Rotarian for more than 30 years!  He served in the Marine Corps 1961-1966,  including the Marine Corps Reserve.  As a banker, he started his career at First National Bank of Omaha where he worked for 10 years, then moved to Montana where he worked for Security Banks of Montana and Wyoming .  After ten years he became the CEO of Hawkeye Bank of Council Bluffs ,Iowa.  Seven years later the bank was sold to U. S. Bank and he then became CEO of Packers Bank in Omaha, Nebraska.  Another sale happened three years later  – to Wells Fargo – resulting in a move to Minnesota and a new assignment as CEO of Marquette  Bank.  When that bank also sold to Wells Fargo, he and his wife Carole moved to St . George where he worked 3 years for Wells Fargo, then consulted until 2009 when he hung up his pinstriped suit and green visor for golf, parties, travel … and whatever!  Tom still has a LLC Bank Consulting firm but would rather be golfing, participating in the Marine Corps League, the American Legion and helping in the creation of the SunRiver Veterans Honor Park.  When asked to share any interesting / serious of funny experiences in his life with his fellow Rotarians, the graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha replied, “Not in print!”  Can’t wait to hear his Classification Talk!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Anderson Celebrates Rotary Milestone

Elwin Anderson of Bloomington was recently recognized on the 22nd anniversary of his membership in St. George Rotary Club where he is also the club’s oldest member.  In fact, at nearly 102 years old, he is likely the most senior of any of more than 2000 members in 47 Rotary clubs in the Utah District – perhaps even the oldest in all of Rotary International’s worldwide membership of more than 1.2 million!  A true believer in Rotary’s motto of “service above self,” Anderson joined in 1991 and has served in a variety of assignments.  In 1998-99 – at the turn of the century – he was also elected Rotarian of the Year for his service to his club, the community and the world!
Although his health remains good, he is no longer able to serve in ways requiring strength and agility, but this centenarian continues to enjoy his weekly association with his club members and supports the goals of Rotary International through generous donations to Rotary International programs, including Polio Plus. 
Nicknamed “Andy” since childhood, he began his more than ten decades of life in the tiny community of Oasis (near Delta), Utah in March of 1912!  He spent his first 19 years on the family farm before taking on a variety of odd jobs up and down the Pacific Coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  In 1933 he began a career with Chevron, during which time he met and married June Diebold. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U. S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific.  After the war ended, he and June owned and operated a service station in California for several years, then changed careers to real estate. 
The couple retired to St. George where the real estate market was booming.  June passed away in 2008 and although he lost his "best friend and partner of nearly 70 years" Andy has maintained his good humor and his lifelong desire to support his community.  Thanks for all you have done for our club and our community.  We love you, Andy.