Saturday, November 21, 2015

SGR and the PDG

PDG Jim Coleman’s eclectic presentation on just about “all things Rotary” was preceded by the induction of SGR’s newest members Holly Laird, a recent “transfer” from Grand Junction, Colorado sponsored by Janet O’Riley and Steve Brough, Director of Commercial Banking for Zions Bank in Southern Utah sponsored by Linda Sappington.

Jim’s program focused primarily on his recent attendance at the Rotary Zone Institute in San Antonio, TX but was also punctuated here and there with a reading of a poem he wrote during the funeral service for Evan Woodbury:

I Know You Don't Want to Hear This
With wit and humor, both story and joke
Would come forth without a miss.
Fun and laughter came from all
With: “I know you don’t want to hear this.”

When Evan Woodbury stood in Rotary,
All present would expect a fix
After hearing those tantalizing words
“I know you don’t want to hear this.”

Evan delighted touching others—
There was always a gleeful twist—
When he uttered those branded words
“I know you don’t want to hear this.”

Now with the passing of this great man,
The St. George Rotary club will miss
Our Rotary friend and brother and the words
“I know you don’t want to hear this.”

He also performed a solo or two on his guitar.  This devout Rotarian, who joined SGR in 1984, then presided for six years over the Dixie Rotary Bowl, invited members to take part in a National Immunization Day in February in India and to attend the Zone Institute, held in October 2016 in Salt Lake City. 

“Rotary International has lost more than 50,000 members worldwide in the past five years,” he noted.  “We are in crisis so there are big changes coming.”

For more information, e-mail him at

Friday, November 13, 2015

SGR's 2015 Dictionary Project

Now in its 13th year, SGR’s dictionary project headed up by Reed Noble, is still going strong despite a concern in past years these paperback wordlists are passé, old hat, antiquated and no longer of value to students.  But last year’s survey of nearly all 3rd grade teachers in the Washington County School District found educators are still anxious to have dictionaries in every desk in their classrooms – a surprising response in our technology-driven world.

Since 2003 when our project started, SGR has purchased and distributed more than 20,000 dictionaries.  This year, 1629 3rd graders and 44 teachers in 72 classrooms (a total of 1673 books) were delivered to 18 of the district’s nearly 30 elementary schools (the other schools received dictionaries from Hurricane Valley, Dixie Sunrise, Red Rock and Zion Canyon Rotary Clubs). 

A district grant in the amount of $1800 picked up a portion of the cost-per-book of $2.50 while SGR paid the balance of $2400. Thanks to Reed for his continuing service to this project and to St. George Rotarians willing to take time out of their already busy days to deliver dictionaries to excited Washington County school children and their teachers.  Another successful St. George Rotary Club “service above self” project! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

SGR Visits TDC

The Tonaquint Data Center is Utah’s premiere disaster recovery and colocation solution for companies throughout the world, including Century Link, EMC, Zao and other Fortune 500 companies. TDC’S geographic diversity and robust connectivity provides unique and profitable solutions to clients looking for a safe and secure location and the ability to connect to the world.  With tight security (we had to leave ID at the front desk then collect it at the end of our meeting and tour), data is securely and safely stored against all possibilities.  This 28,000 square foot Tier 3 data center is the most expensive construction-per-square-foot between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and the largest power user in Washington County … where 65% of data traffic in Southern Utah flows.  TDC can accommodate the data storage needs of DRMC and DSU combined!

Thanks to all who arranged this interesting meeting and delicious lunch provided by “Just A Little Bite” catering.

Monday, November 2, 2015

SGR Learns of the Other White Meat

TODAY IN ROTARY Lowry Snow received his Paul Harris Fellow + 5 recognition for a fifth donation of $1000 to the Rotary Foundation.

Heather Christensen from the Utah Pork Producers Association spoke about “the other white meat” noting there have been a great many changes to the way pork is raised and marketed in the past 30-40 years.  It was in the 1970’s, when Americans became health conscious and rejected high fat pork in their diets.  As they ran, joined gyms and made healthier food choices, chicken became the meat-of-choice prompting pork producers to rethink the way the animals are fed, housed and prepared for market. 

The first pigs came to Utah with the pioneers in 1847, and by 2008 pig production had become a $170 million industry in the state.  Today, Utah is 15th in swine production in the United States and plays a significant role in the state’s economy.  In addition to the meat produced for consumption, the “leftover” parts are used in more than 180 different products, including yogurt, toothpaste, ammunition, concrete, crayons, clothing, shoes, paintbrushes, insulation and more.  Insulin from pigs is used to treat diabetes, pig skin is used to treat severe burn victims and pig heart valves are used to replace damaged or diseased human heart valves.

Pork producers in Utah and the rest of the nation acknowledge their responsibility to:

·                Produce safe food
·                Protect and promote animal well being
·                Ensure practices to protect public health
·                Safeguard natural resources in all practices
·                Provide a safe work environment consistent with our other ethical principles
·                Contribute to a better quality of life in Utah communities

For more information, contact Heather Christensen at

Monday, October 26, 2015

SGR Hears Update on Switchpoint

Hollowell and her husband Bob with U. S. Senator Orrin Hatch
Carol Hollowell, Executive Director at Switchpoint Shelter and Resource Center at 948 N. 1300 West, reported on the progress of her organization in its first year of operation.  Among impressive statistics, she noted the completion of a new 2500 square foot pantry building on their campus which provides food for an average of 2300 families each month.  Approximately 1800 individuals and families were sheltered at SwitchPoint in the past twelve months and plans are in the works for more emergency and transitional housing. 

Currently there are 18 dorm-room style accommodations available for overnight or longer stays for up to 130 individuals.  These accommodations include bunk beds and cots, a shower, and laundry services.  SwitchPoint also offers classes (GED, food handlers, etc) and 13 wraparound services each week on a regular schedule. 

Hollowell and her husband Bob recently returned from a cross country (San Francisco to Virginia) bike ride where they visited 19 of 23 shelters they had on their itinerary (“four we had planned to visit had closed their doors due to lack of funding” she noted).  “Like us, everyone of the shelters are struggling in two areas –long term funding and lack of affordable housing – especially for those with mental health issues,” said the Director.  At the end of the Hollowell’s ride, they met with U. S. Senator Mike Lee (“a champion for thinking outside the box”) who commended Switchpoint as a model for other communities across the country in dealing with issues relating to mental illness and homelessness, including a growing number of children in the Washington County School District categorized as homeless. “Lack of education is the biggest contributor to poverty,” states Hollowell.

How can SGR help?  Switchpoint needs “more of everything … more funding, more volunteers who can teach computer classes, serve meals, provide counsel and write grants.”  For more information, contact Hollowell at 435-627-4663 or by email to

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Light Up Rotary Tourney Another SGR Success

In the second year of SGR’s “Light Up Rotary” Night Golf Tournament fundraiser, nine teams came out to enjoy a fabulous dinner, 18-holes of play at the SunRiver course with lighted balls flying through the dark skies, and amazing support from SunRiver staff.  In short, every aspect of this event fun, fun, fun!

On the beautiful fall evening of Saturday, October 24, 2015, the team from Wall Beds by Wilding took first place, SGR’s own Alan Paige and his friends came in second and most of the 40+ participants took home prizes.  Chairman Lynn Beecher reports “it was a fun event with no problems, although one foursome hit balls into the pond and I had to go out to the #8 hole to sell them new ones.  It turned out OK, because I stayed there all night selling more balls as they went into the pond.”

Thanks to hole sponsors Ray Robinson (hole #4) and B&B Leasing (hole #7) for their generous support.  Kudos, too, to an enthusiastic, hard-working and “service above self” committee including Janet and Pat O’Riley (who “really know how to do it right!”), Alan Paige, Richard Isom and Lynn Beecher (who took his committee’s good ideas and ran with them). 

It was a really fun evening – “more fun than most people expected it to be,” says Lynn – the club made about $1000 and the committee is already planning for next year.  Get your teams together and come join us!

Monday, October 19, 2015

SGR Hears Mission of Charity Anywhere

L. Gordon Carter, Founder of Charity Anywhere Foundation and the 2015 recipient of the LDS Dental Academy Service Award, and his wife Susan Carter who serves as Charity Anywhere Foundation Vice President spoke today on the work and needs of their non-profit 501(c )(3) organization.   The mission of Charity Anywhere is to “give ‘ordinary people’ the life-changing opportunity to provide needed medical care, dental services and basic shelter to Anyone, Anywhere in the world while concurrently changing the mind and heart of the volunteer forever.

Gordon and Susan Carter in Equador
Charity Anywhere has organized service projects as close to home as Twin Falls, ID and as far away as Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Mexico. Charity Anywhere organizes dental and medical expeditions as well as construction and re-construction projects in four expeditions to Tijuana, Mexico every year at Christmas, spring break, the summer months and in the fall.  CA’s office in Quito, Ecuador organizes free dental and medical clinics, and most famously, a dental and medical expedition to the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador.

The Carter’s, whose personal and foundation motto is “I am my brother’s keeper,” have also been instrumental in meeting the needs of those living on the Navajo Nation, outside of Page, AZ supplying adult diapers, school books, gardening tools, coats and firewood through donations.

For more information, or to donate for the purchase of sewing machines and other needed supplies, see