From the Hualapai Mountains overlooking nostalgic Route 66, across a Golden Valley to the mighty Colorado River, “Rotary is Rumbling” throughout District 5495 Area One! We are a group of six clubs, including two satellite clubs, spread out across more than 50 miles. Starting with Kingman, Kingman Route 66 and Route 66 Satellite Club in the southern portion, and 40 miles to the north along the Colorado River is Bullhead City Rotary and, in Fort Mohave, the Laughlin Satellite Club with Laughlin Rotary on the state line in Nevada.
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When you’ve seen one Rotary Club, you’ve seen one Rotary Club!
This is so true with Area 1, which is so diversified in club size, programs, community service projects, a wide variety of major fund raisers and services to support our youth, communities and international projects. Here, you are about to embark on a journey across Area 1 to learn a little bit more about this exciting region of District 5495; enjoy!  
In alphabetical order, we’ll begin in Bullhead City, named after a magic rock shaped like a bull and submerged at the southern end of Lake Mohave at Davis Dam.
Bullhead City Rotary Club
Bullhead City Rotary meets each Thursday beginning at 12:15 p.m. at the Chaparral Country Club. Each meeting always includes a report on some project or fund raiser that is in the planning stage, about to happen or just wrapped up. Every dollar this club raises from their many events goes right back into the local community. They work year-round to improve the quality of life for residents of Mohave County. Projects include:
  • The creation of Rotary Park and its continued beautification and expansion to include additional soccer fields and baseball fields, which is where the annual “Slab-O-Rama” professional BBQ competition and the annual community “Burro BBQ” are held;
  • Scholarships to local high school seniors for college or vocational careers ($8,000 awarded in 2017);
  • Donating dictionaries to all of the Grade 3 students in the area;
  • Sending local high school students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards to participate in leadership camps and meet other high school student from all over the world;
  • Sponsor participation in Rotary Youth Exchange, the world’s largest exchange program for high school students;
  • Sponsor of the Interact Club at Mohave High School. Members of the Interact Club develop leadership skills and perform many local and international service projects, including their current project, Crutches for Africa, where the students are collecting crutches, canes and wheel chairs from the community for distribution in Africa for the disabled.
Upcoming Events and Projects:
  • January 19 & 20 – “Slab-o-Rama” World Famous Pro BBQ Competition.
  • April 4 through 7 – “Burro BBQ” – Bullhead City Rotary Park.
Laughlin Rotary Club – District 5495’s Nevada Connection
Laughlin, Nevada, puts the “try” in 5495’s Tri-State District. Meeting at Bumbleberry Flats Restaurant in the Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall, the Rotary Club of Laughlin is probably similar to many Rotary Clubs at its core – passionate about community, committed to helping youth and working together for the betterment of the world. Yet, like so many Rotary Clubs, Laughlin has experienced some changes in its membership numbers over the last 10 years. The Rotary Club of Laughlin may be a third of the size it was in the 1990s, however, that translates into all members pitching in on a fund raiser or service project. As a club member, non-participation is really not an option. Everyone either serves as a board member or as an officer while also chairing a committee. In addition, we have two club members serving in district leadership positions.
With their reduced membership numbers, their fund raisers are less labor intensive. No more parking lot-size 24-hour rummage sales, televised auctions or huge golf tournaments. But they’ve managed to find great new partnerships with the Laughlin resorts. They have two major fund raisers each year, the Nevada State Chili Cook-Off in January and the Porkin’ on the River barbeque competition in March. These cooperative endeavors allow them to share the workload and proceeds with another local charity. Another source of revenue is the four Wishing Wells along the hotel corridor river walk. They’ve been in place since the club’s inception and currently generate $400-$600 a month in donations while promoting Rotary’s message.
Laughlin Rotary has been awarded a $2,000 district grant for a sustainable community service project to reduce the harmful effects of bullying through the creation of a special place on the campus of Laughlin Jr/Sr High School where students may seek peace through positive relationships. Similar to the Peoria Peace Initiative, this project is designed to address the devastating effects of bullying and self-inflicted harmful incidents that are prevalent in rural communities, much to the same degree as that in larger metropolitan areas throughout our country. Bullying transcends childish acts such as teasing, rough housing or joking around.
Having already received conceptual approval by officials of the Clark County School District, the Laughlin Rotarians, along with the Laughlin Interact Club and energetic community volunteers, will construct this peaceful space in a shaded area within the high school student mall area. Basic design is a paver and concrete surface area of approximately 200 sq. ft. with heavy-duty metal park benches to be painted in school colors. In the center will be a tall square "peace pole" adorned with a peace message in four languages on each side surrounded by a brick planter with irrigation for a seasonal flower garden. Upon completion, Rotary and the community will come together to celebrate as the Interact Club will take "student ownership" and school leadership will assist with student orientation of its purpose and promotion of emerging "peacemakers."
The Laughlin Rotary Club is engaged with the Laughlin Jr/Sr High School and Bennett Elementary School principal. They are so proud that their Interact Club at Laughlin Jr/Sr High School received a Presidential Citation last year. This year, they are equally proud to have two Interact students selected as finalists for Youth Citizen of the Year as part of the annual Laughlin Community Achievement Awards. They are providing guidance and support to the Needles, California, Interact Club as well. In addition, the Laughlin club formed a satellite club in Mohave Valley with this year’s goal of completing their charter. For service projects, they will be constructing the Peace Initiative project at the high school campus and planting more than 25 trees in support of RI President Ian Riseley’s tree planting challenge.
As a Rotary Club, they may have a smaller presence at local community events, but they are there. Since their charter formed in 1990, there is one thing that has never changed about the Rotary Club of Laughlin; they are a friendly, welcoming group of Rotarians who support one another and like to have fun in whatever they do. Guests and visiting Rotarians often compliment them on their hospitality at the weekly club meetings at 7 a.m. on Wednesday mornings. But that’s just what you’d expect from a Rotary Club in the heart of Laughlin, Nevada.
Laughlin Rotary Satellite Club
Chartered on November 13, 2015, the Laughlin Rotary Satellite Club is now 14 members strong and very active in the Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley area along the Colorado River between Bullhead City and Needles, California. They meet on Wednesday mornings, 7 a.m. at Hooch’s Bar & Grill in Fort Mohave. Among their many activities and fund raisers are:
  • An annual golf tournament at Del Rio Golf Course in February;
  • Working beside Bullhead City Rotarians at the “Slab-O-Rama BBQ Competition event in January;
  • A Career Fair in October;
  • Clothe-A-Kid partnership with Walmart;
  • Year-round school supplies initiative;
  • Holiday Flag Program – placing American Flags at the homes of local residents each national holiday throughout the year.
The Satellite Club also recently sent funds to assist the hurricane disaster relief efforts for the gulf states and Caribbean islands. They also support the youth of the River Valley and Needles Interact clubs.
Due to article length constraints, please CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the entire article.