Community Service Opportunities

It's dictionary season for Rotary clubs throughout District 5495!!
A number of district clubs continue distributing dictionaries to third-grade students in their local school districts.
Delivering dictionaries has been a long tradition for members of the Peoria North Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Peoria. Members from both clubs gathered recently at Westside Signarama, a business owned by club member Ken Parsons, for a fun, social and "stickering" party.
Each dictionary contains a Rotary sticker that promotes the Four-Way Test.
Club members will begin distributing the dictionaries this week to schools throughout the Peoria Unified School District.
The Rotary Club of Verde Valley (Cottonwood) will become the second Rotary club in Arizona to host a Prom Closet event that provides free formal attire to high school students to attend their school’s prom.
"We are excited to offer a local Prom Closet this year at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood.  Working together with our four local Rotary Clubs, the Mingus Hope Center and the Mingus Interact Club, we are positive it will be a huge success,” said Lynette Prouty, president of the Rotary Club of the Verde Valley (Cottonwood).
The club will next spring host its first-ever Northern Arizona “mini” prom closet. Sarah Garrett is the club’s contact at Mingus High School and is the new outreach coordinator at the Hope Center and Community Family.
According to President Prouty, club activities so far have included:
  • Organizers have met at Mingus twice with the help of some Interactors to inventory what the club currently has for dresses and other items.  We need more long dresses, in a variety of sizes in more current fashion.  And we definitely need menswear.  We will also accept shoes and jewelry.
  • Sarah will be allowing students to come by the Hope Center during her hours at Mingus to pick out a dress for Homecoming (late October). She has taken the short dresses to the Hope Center.
Prom Closet Donation Drives: SAVE THE DATE!!! 
November 13 and January 29
The club will hold drive-through donation drives at Mingus High School from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. both days.  Volunteers are need from 9 a.m. to  3p.m.  West (upper) parking lot at Mingus High School on Camino Real side.
Prom Closet at Mingus - SAVE THE DATE!!!  March 5 and 12
The club is planning to open up to all Verde Valley high schools, Mingus, Camp Verde, Sedona, American Heritage.  We will need help from all Rotary Clubs to make this a success.  Please pass along to your club members.  It will be held at Mingus High School for two Saturdays prior to spring break. 
Prom at Mingus is April 2; I don't have the dates for the other schools yet.  Will be in touch with them soon.
The Peoria North Rotary Club has been successfully running Prom Closets in the Phoenix area and we are relying on their help to make this a success.  Thank you to Donnis Deever, chair of the PNRC Prom Closet.
"This Prom Closet event will be an opportunity to accomplish many wonderful things all at once! By simply donating your formal wear, you won’t only be helping a young person enjoy one of life’s memorable moments, but you’ll also be helping the environment,” said ,” said Sarah Garrett, Community and Family Outreach Coordinator at Hope Center at Mingus Union High School.
“A dress that can be worn a second or third time around means that fewer items are heading off to landfills. It truly is a win-win!”
For additional information, contact Lynette at
Several Rotarians in District 5495 have come together to conduct a district-wide “Week of Welcome” community service project this month to support asylum seekers and over 1,400 refugees, including 700 Afghan refugees relocating to Arizona in coming months.
The “Week of Welcome” will be conducted Oct. 23-30. Both individual Rotarians and clubs are encouraged to provide assistance in a number of ways, including donating new and gently used clean clothing, volunteering at the Welcome Center, providing books for refugee children and more.
The project was spearheaded by Past District Governor Nancy Van Pelt, a member of the Prescott Frontier Club and chair of the district’s Peacebuilders Committee; Kathy Mitchell of the Phoenix 100 Club, Judi Edmonds of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes and Diana Tacey of the Rotary Club of Gilbert.
The project team will work closely with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the organization responsible for coordinating the refugee and asylum seeker arrivals into Arizona. All refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Phoenix have been fully vetted by both the federal government and the IRC and have been granted appropriate legal status to enter the United States.
Seven hundred Afghan refugees will be relocated in coming months. All contributions and donations will benefit the IRC and the Welcome Center in south Phoenix, where many new Americans generally spend their first few days after arriving in the country.
We encourage Clubs and Rotarians to participate in the Week of Welcome in a number of ways. Please contact Kathy Mitchell if you or your club are interested in volunteering in any of the following ways. She will get you more details on how you can help and exactly what is needed. She is in constant contact with the IRC staff to be sure their needs have not shifted.
  • Donate new or gently used clean men’s and women’s clothing. The Welcome Center currently has plenty of children's clothing and their greatest needs are noted at the top of this list.
  • Donate new car seats or booster seats for children to safely be transported.
  • Volunteer with the International Rescue Committee.
  • Serve as a family mentor for a family new to our country.
  • Provide Target, Wal-Mart or Visa gift cards for families new to America so they can go to the store with their family mentor and learn what items best suit their family.
  • Make a cash donation to the IRC.
  • Provide hygiene products to be distributed to families who have newly arrived as asylum seekers or refugees.
  • Help set up apartments for newly arriving families (weekdays).
  • Adopt a family for the holidays.
  • Teach English to newly arriving families.
The Rotary Club of Mesa West's hands-on community service project for September took place on the 28th at Midwest Rood Bank's Mesa facility. 
Representing Mesa West Rotary were Dan and Colleen Coons, Wendell Jones, Dan Lamborn, Kayla Mudge, Scott and Shelly Romine, and Ray Smith.
The Mesa West crew worked with other community members. Together they repackaged bulk cereal (Apple Jacks) into 10-ounce individual portions.  The repackaged cereal is part of the weekend backpack project that provides low-income youngsters with food for the weekend when they don't have school meals. 
The large bin pictured is how the cereal is donated.  If you look closely you can see that it is 877 pounds!  The volunteers repackaged 2,000 servings during their shift.
Is your Rotary Club looking to do something new, different, and impactful?
Join the District 5495 Supporting the Environment Committee and your fellow Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact Clubs across the district on October 23 for a district-wide park cleanup at your local park!
Contact your neighbor Rotary Clubs, Interact Clubs and choose a park near you to clean up to help support the environment. This event will help spread awareness about the environment, our newest district committee, and forge new relationships among generations of people of service.
Be at a park near you October 23 to make a difference!
As people of action, Rotarians from the Phoenix 100 club are asking Rotarians in District 5495 to help collect new or gently used clean clothing for the International Rescue Committee (IRC)/Welcome Center, which assists asylum-seeking individuals and families to unite with their sponsors.
The Welcome Center currently has plenty of children's clothing and their greatest needs are noted at the top of this list.

Donated items can be dropped off at the Phoenix Rotary 100 Club office, 501 E. Osborn Road, Monday - Friday from 9 am to 5 pm by Friday, October 22. Please call 602-604-8221 ahead to ensure someone is available to receive your donation.

Alternatively, if you are unable to drop off your donations, two Phoenix Rotary 100 club members have stepped up to collect your donated items from your home if you are in Maricopa County. Please email Kathy Mitchell or Lisa Beohm by Friday, October 15, to coordinate pick up of your donation.
The All Veterans Memorial located on the grounds of the Prescott Courthouse was re-dedicated Sept. 28 during a ceremony featuring several members of the Prescott Sunup Rotary Club.
The Prescott Sunup Rotary Club is a partner sponsor of the memorial, and several members played a key role in its creation, first dedicated in the 1980s.
The life-sized bronze statue was sculpted by Artist Neil Logan and cast by Thumb Butte Bronze. The statue stands on a granite base made from granite rock acquired from the same quarry used to construct the Prescott Courthouse.
The names of Yavapai County servicemen who lost their lives or remain missing in action from every American conflict since World War I are etched on a plaque placed on the base.
Members of the Sunup Club provided for the landscaping surrounding the monument and remain responsible for its upkeep.
Rotary Club of Scottsdale is planning a very important event for Monday, Nov. 8 at the Scottsdale Rotary Park.
Club members will raise and lower 13 flags to honor each of the fallen heroes we lost at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 26.
Each flag will be sent to their families. We will unveil a new plaque on the front wall of Unity Plaza at our park. We wish to invite all active and retired military, and anyone who wishes to join us to honor our military and pay respect to our national heroes.
The club plans to feed everyone who attends. For information, email Richard Signeski, president of the Scottsdale Rotary Foundation at
Scottsdale Rotary Park is an eight-acre oasis in the heart of Gainey Ranch. The park was built by members of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale and then donated to the City of Scottsdale. The park features lighted walking paths, a children's playground, a greenbelt, picnic ramadas, a restroom facility and the world's first plaza designed in the shape of the Rotary symbol.
In 2002 the Rotary Club of Scottsdale added Unity Plaza and the Spirit of Unity Flagpole to Rotary Park.  These were a Rotary International Centennial Project in commemoration of RI's 100th Anniversary in 2005. 
Today, the Scottsdale Rotary Foundation continues to offer naming opportunities (paver bricks, flags, tree plantings, playground play equipment... at Unity Plaza.  For more information, contact the President of the Scottsdale Rotary Foundation.  The Foundation also makes copyrighted plans available to other Rotary clubs interested in building Unity Plazas of their own.
Rotary Plaza is located at 7959 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale, AZ.  This is approximately one mile south of Shea Blvd. and one mile east of Scottsdale Road, on the north side of Doubletree Ranch Road at Gainey Ranch Road.
A crew of Mesa West Rotarians and family members had fun preparing and serving dinner Aug. 31 at Paz de Cristo in Mesa. 
The individuals who benefited from their work enjoyed a delicious meal.  Most of the food used to prepare the meal was donated by local grocery stores and restaurants, so it was a very nice meal. 
Second helpings were not allowed, but before leaving, those who attended were given "clam shells" to fill with leftovers.  They were also given bags with water, peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, etc. so each diner really received three meals. 
The crew from Mesa West included Pam Cohen, Chuck Flint, Robin Harris, Wendell and Sandra Jones, Chris and Mike Krueger, Lola McClane, Jim Schmidt, Ray Smith, Jay and Melissa Stuckey, and Steve West who brought his granddaughter, Carolyn, and son, Russell.