Category: Rotary International (page 1 of 10)

Sister Cities Bridges Communities and Hearts

Kelly Schultz, Megan Durner, and Joan Durner share the positive impact Sister Cities is making in Lawrence.

Megan Durner, incoming Senior in Lawrence, discovered her love for cultural exchange as a Freshman. Through the Sister Cities program Durner’s family hosted a student from Germany. It was such a positive experience, the family hosted again the following summer.

This summer Durner became the exchange student, traveling to Eutin, Germany, a Lawrence Sister City since 1989.

“Being in Germany is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” said Durner. “I truly learned what it was like to live in someone else’s shoes. I relished learning the differences and similarities in how we live.”

As soon as Durner received information about her Eutin host family, she started talking with her host sister. “By the time we met she felt like family.”

The whole trip felt like “something out of the movies,” said Durner. The students went to class, on day trips, and took in the beauty of the small lake-side town. 

2019 will mark the 30th year of Lawrence and Eutin’s history as Sister Cities. Kelly Schultz, from the Sister Cities Governing Board, shared an update on changes in the board’s structure.

The City of Lawrence has recently restructured several of its boards in order to improve efficiency and combine like-efforts. Sister Cities is now managed by a Governing Board and will continue to benefit from financial support from the City for operating expenses. While this has reduced the board size from 14 to 9, the change has provided greater autonomy.

Lawrence has three Sister Cities: Eutin, Germany, Hiratsuka, Japan, and Iniades, Greece. The goal of Sister Cities is to “Promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time.”

Schultz thanked Lawrence Central Rotary for their support of Sister Cities programming. “The goal of good international relations is something Rotary is very interested in. It’s also a way to assist students with an incredible educational opportunity. Sister Cities combines these two goals.”

Schultz encouraged the Club to send a Rotarian on the 2019 delegation to Eutin, celebrating the 30 year international friendship.

RI President Ian Riseley Greets District 5710

When Rotary International President Ian Riseley came to District 5710 on Wednesday, May 30, Lawrence Central Rotarians attended the reception.  Janis Bunker, Lee Anne Thompson, and Kate Campbell made the drive to Atchison, KS, for the event.

A performance by the Top Dogs Drill Team launched the gathering with rhythm and enthusiasm.

In addition to making comments from the podium, Riseley helped to honor recent Paul Harris Fellows from the District and unveiled a marker indicating that three new trees outside the Atchison YMCA were placed in response to Eiseley’s challenge to plant a tree for every Rotarian during his year in office.

Buy A Wreath – Make a Difference – Order Holiday wreaths & decorations now from Lawrence Central

Lawrence Central continues our annual fundraiser for the work we do every year. As in year’s past, we will be selling wreaths and other holiday decorations from Lynch Creek Farms and in Lawrence Central’s partnership with them, we receive 20% back from every sale to help fund the service projects we do.  Some examples of our service activities include:

We want to continue to do this work and more with help from you and all you need to do is simply purchase holiday decorations. You can do this by talking to any of our members or there’s an even easier way – visit our Lynch Creek fundraising website, peruse what they have, an order yourself!  We’ve even set up an easy link:

http://bit.ly/lcrholiday17

If you’re not comfortable with ordering online we totally understand – you can also call Lynch Creek direct toll-free at 1-888-426-0781 and please Lawrence Central Rotary Fundraiser #100925.

Lynch Creek is a family business that started in 1980, now transformed from selling a few flowers and vegetables at the local farmers’ market on the weekends, to a full-blown year-round business that ships throughout the United States.

We could go on about how great these wreaths are, but when we were at the Lawrence Rotary Club recently,  Jennifer Berquist stopped us and told us this,

“Last year, for the first time, I purchased several Lynch Creek items as holiday gifts. Those who received the evergreen gifts were so pleased and impressed with the quality. It is a huge seller for me that the Lawrence Central Rotary Club receives part of the profits. I will definitely place another order this year!” – Jennifer Berquist – Lawrence, KS 

Lynch Creek Farms have been amazing to work with and they care about the groups that sell their wreaths and decorations. Here’s a video about the business.

N.E. Kansas Rotary Clubs Raise over $38,293 for Heart to Heart Disaster Relief Efforts

The 45 Rotary clubs of Rotary International’s District 5710 (Including Lawrence Central Rotary) have come together to support Heart to Heart International’s disaster relief efforts in Texas and Florida.

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast of Texas with over 51 inches of rain, followed by the damage caused in Florida by Hurricane Irma, Rotarians opened their hearts and checkbooks to help. Rotary clubs have been involved with the Lenexa-based Heart to Heart International (HHI) since its inception in 1992. Many of their founders and some of their board members are Rotarians so there is a natural connection and interest in supporting their mission.

Initially, 5710’s District Governor Adam Ehlert asked that each of the 2400 Rotarians in the District give at least $5.00 which was matched with District funds. Ehlert said, “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of Rotarians in our District.” “To date, over $38,293 has been collected and an additional significant amount is given directly through the Heart to Heart’s website”. “Rotary International is the world’s most significant service organization, but we are not a relief agency. Heart to Heart is, and it’s our privilege to support them,” added Ehlert.

Rotarians have also been involved in assembling and packing hygiene kits for distribution to those involved in both disasters. Nearly 30,000 kits have been distributed in the affected areas and the need continues. In Houston, HHI plans on providing medical care for the next two to three months until regular providers are able to reopen their own clinics. Some of the HHI medical volunteers are on their second tour following a short break at home. These services are provided at no cost to patients.

Likewise, in Florida, HHI is the only organization providing emergency medical care to residents and responders in the area of Big Pine Key.

Rotarians and other volunteers collected donations at a recent T-Bones baseball game series at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Baseball fans including comedian Bill Murry (co-owner of the visiting St. Paul Saints) contributed to the effort. Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”, is exemplified by HHI’s, Ex. Director of Disaster Response, Sue Mangicaro, whose own condo in Naples, Fla. was flooded while she had responded to the Texas disaster. According to Jim Mitchum, HHI CEO, “She has not yet taken time to go home and deal with her own loss; instead continuing to lead our medical response on the Florida Keys.”

The District 5710 has 45 Clubs throughout Northeast Kansas, with some 2400 members. Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work impacts people at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. 

Inspired to Action at 2017 RI Convention and Peace Conference

No one can do it alone.

This theme inspired 40,000 Rotarians to action at the Rotary International Convention and the Presidential Peace Conference in Atlanta, GA, in June.  Lawrence Central Rotarians Janis Bunker and Kate Campbell described their experiences at the event.

  • Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, declared: We are interconnected, inter-related, and “caught in a network of mutuality.” For one to win, all must win.
  • Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, spoke of the moral imperative: Serve humanity and make a difference through direct action for results in people’s lives. To achieve prosperity and peace, no one can be left behind.
  • Philanthropist Bill Gates celebrated the successes of Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio.
  • James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola, described partnerships between corporations and organizations like Rotary aimed at bettering the world.
  • Andrew Young, civil rights leader, congressman, and former mayor of Atlanta, described Rotary’s role: The glue to hold society together and the grease to help the world grow and change.
  • Jack Nicklaus, champion golfer and Polio Ambassador for Rotary, believes that success comes from focus and concentration; knowing yourself; and taking personal responsibility.

In addition to the keynote presentations, numerous breakout sessions provided project ideas and resources to all who attended.

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