Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rotary in the Canyon of the Gods


On a spectacular October 25th morning – aka “Worldwide Rotary Day” – 13  Rotarians from SGR and another 4 from DSR along with 8 family members and friends and 2 RYLA youth gathered in the red rock splendor of Tuacahn.  Together we enjoyed famously delicious breakfast burritos and a couple of hours of service stringing Christmas lights in anticipation of the holiday season in the “Canyon of the Gods.” (the lights will go on following Thanksgiving on Friday, November 28). Special thanks to Tuacahn’s two Kevins – CEO Kevin Smith and groundsman Kevin Lounsbury; Gil Trujjillo for making sure there was plenty of good food for hungry workers; former Rotarian Don Pendleton and his BIL Wayne Harris for bringing out the cooking gear; and, all 27 willing volunteers who took time from other responsibilities to join in this “service above self” project.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

All Clubs Welcome DSU President Biff

In Area 15’s first All Clubs Day this year, members of SGR, Dixie Sunrise, Red Rock, Hurricane Valley and Zion Canyon Rotary Clubs gathered to network and socialize and to hear from Dr. Richard (“Biff”) Williams, who will be inaugurated as the 18th President of Dixie State University on October 23.   Egor Shulman, president of Red Rock Rotary presented a check in the amount of $500 for the Guatemala stove project expressing his wish, “all the members of our club could travel there with you.”

On his continuing “listening tour” since taking the helm, President Williams followed a spirited Horseplay with Rick Schofield at the podium.  Born and reared in Brigham City, Biff and his family return to the Beehive State after many years pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Lifestyle Management at Ricks College, a Masters in Athletic Training from Weber State University and a PhD. In Athletic Training Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.  For several years, he served as Provost (“no one really knows what that means,” he quipped during his presentation, “but it sounds important.”) at Indiana State University where there was “a strong emphasis on community engagement for hands-on experiences.”  Why did he decide to apply for the position in Southern Utah?  “My in-laws live here so you know how it is … ‘happy wife, happy life.’”  He also recognized what he describes as a huge potential for the future of DSU and “it was a great fit for me!” 

As DSU grows, “we are in a position to chart our course .. and we’ve got to get it (the strategic planning process) right.  Students will come and go, but the community's vision for the university lasts forever.”  

According to the new president, “enrollment is on the rise, but is limited by a serious need for more student housing.” Plans for the future of the university include construction of a 350-bed dormitory, a second story addition of 75 offices at the Burns Arena, and a human performance center.  A University / Town Task Force to create the “Best University Town in America” is being organized with a focus on technology, health care and human performance, “but we must be creative in our expansion, including offering the best in online education.”

As he and his family have been learning about DSU, he noted multiple times saying, “who knew” about the programs already functioning on campus.  The President and DSU's outstanding faculty and staff look forward to adding to what his predecessors have put in place and creating stronger community partnerships because “WE” are Dixie!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

District Governor's Visit



2014-15 District Governor Mike Wells and his wife Karlene (Tooele Rotary Club) shared their enthusiasm for Rotary and for RI President Gary Huang's theme for 2014-15 of “Light up Rotary” at the regular weekly meeting of SGR on Monday, October 13.  DG Mike spoke of his love of youth - and of Rotary's excellent youth programs and told of his experiences taking more than 200 youth to build houses in Mexico.  

He spoke of the importance of staying on course with RI’s goal to eradicate polio from the earth by 2018.  Currently, only 3 countries in the world had any new cases in the past twelve months:  Nigeria (6 new cases), Afghanistan (5 new cases) and Pakistan (nearly 100 new cases).  In short, “we are this close,” he reminded members.

He invited members to attend any and all “conferences, institutes and conventions” to develop a deeper understanding of Rotary and how this organization is changing the world.  

Finally, he encouraged everyone to attend the District 5420 conference in Mexico during the week of June 8-15. “We will work on about 60 projects each day until noon … then play all afternoon until it is time to fiesta each evening,” he said of the plans for this exciting event to help the people of Puerto Penasco.  More information - or to register for the conference - can be found on the website at www.districtfiesta2015.com.  Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference thru Rotary!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hirschi Reports on Economic Development

TODAY IN ROTARY Scott Hirschi, Executive Director of Site Select Plus, updated members and guests of SGR on the status of Washington County’s economic development.  Noting SGR is “the premiere civic club in the county due to its quality of membership,” he graciously accepted the club’s 2014 Vocational Service Award for his efforts to bring jobs and careers to the citizens of the Washington County.  

His presentation then shifted to a “shameless promotion” of What’s Up Down South, upcoming on January 15, 2015 at the Dixie Center.  Scheduled presenters include Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, U. S. Olympic Gold Medalist in Skeleton Noelle Pikus-Pace  and breakout sessions including the business of import/export, residential real estate, social media and marketing. 

He noted “the first economic development project in the county was the Cottonmill.”  In modern times, a sleeping bag company provided over 100 jobs at a time when Washington County was struggling to keep its young people employed here.  He spoke of the importance of having healthy value-added manufacturing companies here (“those which manufacture products here which are purchased elsewhere”) such as Virocon and the Walmart Distribution Center – at one time the largest building in the state of Utah.  He also stated the importance of diversity in the marketplace which strengthens economic health.  “Washington County is decidedly diverse with no dominant industry in a community which has consistently maintained a 6% growth rate for the past 45 years … and is expected to have 650,000 residents by the year 2060."

“There is lots of interest in Washington County by businesses looking at us.  There are also lots of businesses we will be announcing soon.”  When asked about the loss of such businesses as Blue Bunny, he noted, “our diverse economy will help us address those step backs, but our future is very, very encouraging.  Family Dollar is still hiring and expects to reach 400 employees soon.  Viracon is back ‘with a vengeance’ and the Industrial Brush Company has 22 employees (they brought with them) who are making 175% of the average wage in our community.  All of that is good for all of us!”

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 these two 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.