Club Assembly Updates Rotarians
In our last meeting of November, the Rotary Club of The Woodlands had a Club Assembly to recap some of the work that goes on behind the scenes with our dedicated Rotarians.
Jay Knighton kicked things off with a review of the work being done Internationally.
-Youth Exchange: Dawn Keating has long been the champion of this program, but with her family participating next year she needs to step down. Fortunately, new-comers Adria Salas and Rachel Werner will be taking the reins to continue this program. Jay and his wife have previously hosted a student and found it to be very rewarding for not only the student, but them as the host family. For those thinking that they need to have kids the same age, nothing could be further from the truth. Usually two host families are needed per year.
-Nicaragua Project: This project is one of the first for which we received a District Grant and continues to be a favorite of many in the Club. Spearheaded by Mike Jensen and Brian Lopera, this project provides layette bags for new mothers in the impoverished area around the area that has become to be known as The Children of the Dump. Along with Wolfgang Manz and Benito Alvarez, the team annually does about 150 of the bags that are added to other District shipments to the area. Normally these mothers have to walk 20-40 miles to the hospital and can only be admitted on the day they are giving birth. Through this and other Rotarian support there is now a facility that allows these mothers a place to stay before delivery and for a period of recovery.
Theresa Wagaman spoke about the Club's Community Restoration efforts. In the past Community Outreach participation has been pretty strong. Unfortunately, Community Restoration not as well supported. Theresa and the Board is interested in understanding what it is that the membership would like to do and who is interested in participating. Habitat was brought up as a possible option – a day or a whole house. Angel Reach, Foster Kids who have aged out of the system; helping Veterans in the area (ramps, home restoration, etc) or even a program to decorate rooms of children at TX Children’s were all brought up as possible ideas with the plan that we will look at hosting one big event in both the Spring and Fall.
Natalie Saikowski gave an update on the 40th Anniversary Clock Project, our legacy project proposed by past-president Bill Friebel. The proposed clock design was presented to the The Woodlands Township and while it was initially approved without the Rotary Cog Logo, the Club is requesting an exception to the Township's request to not have the logo present.
Natalie also gave an update on the Mentoring program that the Club has long supported at Halley Elementary.
The program has not been expanded to include Wilkerson Intermediate and Know Jr High. With only ten Rotarians currently participating, there is plenty of room for more volunteers to support this great program with 30 minutes of their time per week and with the new schools being offered you can now look to help a child anywhere from kindergarten through 8th grade.
Additional updates were also provided:
- Ann Wolford presented on the Rotary Foundation. This arm of The Rotary Club of The Woodlands was established as it's own non-profit to allow for tax-deductible contributions to be made. All the funds from the Wine Dinner go to the Foundation with 60% used support our Scholarship program and international projects and the other 40% go to the Foundations permanent fund which is intended to allow the Rotary Club to perpetually fund our activities. With the very large, and generous matches that we get from Rotary International our investment in projects can go much further.
-End Hunger Now - on January 21st the Club will be participating in a food packaging project in place of our normal lunch programs. Starting at 11:30 and running until 1:30, our goal is to package 10,000 meals. David Zimmerman is chairing this event.