Rotarians Use Technology for Social Good

Mandy Sheldon Lynn, Lieutenant Governor and District Executive for District 5710 joined Lawrence Central Rotary to demonstrate how to access and use Rotary’s various technology tools.

Rotary District 5710’s website provides the information Members need to learn about:

  • District/Global grant applications and management
  • Rotary leadership contacts
  • Club information
  • Speaker ideas
  • …. and much more

By logging in, Rotarians have access to even more, such as managing their profile and information, and directly contacting fellow Rotarians.

Rotary has also gone mobile, with a ClubRunner App, making it easy for Rotarians to find Clubs to visit as they travel and directly contact members in their own Club. These tools make it easier for Members to communicate and partner on fulfilling the Club’s local mission and Rotary’s global priorities.

Jim Ogle Reminds, “Never Forget”

Jim Ogle presents Topeka Rotary flag to Lawrence Central Rotary.

Jim Ogle presents the Topeka Rotary flag to Lawrence Central Rotary.

History may often be “written by the victors,” said Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, but by adding in and telling the stories of  other voices, “we can come to terms with the impact it’s having on us now.”

That is the mission of Freedom’s Frontier, to help the regional community never forget the history that shaped us and this country.

Freedom’s Frontier covers and area of 29 counties in eastern Kansas and 12 counties in western Missouri. While not a National Park, the organization is affiliated with the National Park system and provides financial assistance and technical support to its 240 partners, including 150 historic sites and museum,. Freedom’s Frontier boasts 23 partner organizations in Douglas County alone.

This type of “collective wisdom,” as Ogle says, helps everyone tell better stories. Since many of Freedom’s Frontier’s partners have no professional staff, the organization is able to offer:

  • professional development opportunities
  • workshops, such as designing exhibits
  • scholarship opportunities
  • marketing and signage support
  • grant writing assistance

To date, Freedom’s Frontier has provided nearly $119,000 in grant funding benefiting Douglas County efforts.

Ogle is proud of more than his work at Freedom’s Frontier. As a long-time Rotarian, first joining in 1994 while living in Lexington, KY, he’s especially proud of the global impact Rotary has had on polio eradication. And here in Lawrence? He knows it’s the “15 or 20 minutes we spent at lunch making connections that make a difference.”

8th Year for Lawrence Central Rotary’s Community Bike Ride

Over 200+ riders and volunteers (a record attendance) came out Saturday morning, July 21st for the 8th annual Summer Larence Community Bike Ride at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum.

Lawrence Central Rotary’s annual event aimed at getting people out to enjoy the outdoors, by sponsoring the leisurely bike rides of various lengths starting from the Rotary Arboretum.

Sponsors from around the community and region help make this event possible, and one of the highlights of the event is that people in need of a safety helmet can be fitted on site. T-shirts and high visibility safety vests are also handed out to attendees so after the event when they are biking around the community they can be more easily seen.

If you missed this summer’s event the good news is that it will be held again this fall on Lawrence’s Eastside.  The Fall Community Bike Ride is scheduled for Saturday, Sept 15th starting from the Haskell Indian Nations Stadium Parking Lot.  The ride will be along the Burrough’s Creek Trail.  For more information check back or our social media outlets.

Here’s a gallery of pictures taken by Lynn O’Neal, Leilani Tuttle, and Tobin Neis.

Pictures from the 8th Annual Lawrence Community Bike Ride organized by the Lawrence Central Rotary Club. The ride began…

Posted by Ride Lawrence on Sunday, July 22, 2018

Doing What Needs to Be Done

There are eighteen different first responder groups serving Douglas County.   These are the people who do what needs to be done when others don’t even want to think about.

These people may be professionals or volunteers.  They include the 911 operator who keeps a suicidal person talking on the phone until help arrives; the patrol officer who gets the victim out of a car despite the danger of a gas line leak; the firefighter who risks a rescue from a burning house before the fire trucks arrive; and the sheriff who risks a gun shot in order to intervene in a domestic dispute.

Since childhood, Michelle Derusseau has admired first responders.  In 2010, she took time to attend the Lawrence Citizen’s Police Academy where she listened to the stories and participated in the type of role play training that professional police receive.

Now, Michelle expresses her admiration by serving as chair of the Valor Awards committee.

Started in 2011, the Valor Awards recognize first responders in Douglas County for their acts of bravery and selflessness in the work of saving lives.  Each September, all first responders and their guests are invited to attend an appreciation banquet where the Valor Awards are presented.  Community contributions fund the event as well as the proceeds from a Valor Golf Tournatment sponsored by Intrust Bank.




Lawrence Kids Calendar Sees Improvements

Jay Holley shares an update about Lawrence Kids Calendar.

Jay Holley shares an update about Lawrence Kids Calendar.

Lawrence Central Rotary knew taking on the Lawrence Kids Calendar was going to pay off, even if it meant more volunteers were needed. With an active membership, volunteers keep stepping up. As president-elect Audrey Coleman said during the July 27th meeting, “the field of nonprofit fundraising is crowded. With the Kids Calendar, we offer businesses a service they really need.”

Fortunately, that service is getting better all the time. Jay Holley shared a variety of updates with the club that the team of volunteers is focused on to improve the Lawrence Kids Calendar.

One recent change Holley is excited about is setting up a staging environment for the website. Among other things, this will give the administrative team the ability to test out and implement changes without potentially breaking or modifying the website’s existing functionality. Holley summarized, “we want to improve things without breaking things.”

The team is also looking at ways to increase site speed and performance, better manage and update all plugins that add functionality to the site, improve tracking options, and simplify the management interface.

Coleman elaborated on the initiative to generate a “Back to School Monthly Preview Guide” and ways Rotary members can get involved in promoting the Kids Calendar and selling listing promotions. As the Kids Calendar grows, so will the Lawrence Rotary Club’s ability to support and enrich daily living and opportunities in Douglas County.


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