Community Service Opportunities

A room at the Phoenix Dream Center has been recently remodeled to serve as a room for victims of human trafficking, all thanks to a global grant spearheaded by clubs in District 5495.
 
Room 304 at the Phoenix Dream Center will serve as a quiet respite for human trafficking survivors.
 
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale served as the host club for the grant. Also participating were:
 
Rotary Club of Mesa West
Rotary Club of Prescott
Rotary Club of Prescott Frontier
Rotary Club of Scottsdale Sunrise
Rotary Club of Sun City
Rotary Club of Sun Lakes
The Mama Army, Inc.
Rotary Club of Thunderbird
Rotary Club of Verado
Xalapa Manantiales (District 4185)
Macuitepetl y Clubes Unidos
Rotary Club of Villa Park (District 5320)
 
Mesa West Rotary Members and friends of our club have been filling shifts as Salvation Army Bell Ringers at the Bass Pro Shop in Mesa.  
 
Nick Taylor, who is the Supervisor of Club and District Support for the Americas for Rotary International is shown on his shift with his wife, Iris and their children. Nick is able to handle his RI responsibilities from his home in Mesa, even though RI headquarters is in Evanston, Illinois.  PDG Lucinda General is also shown in the top row of photos.  In the bottom row, on the left, is Carla Krcmarik and her friends.  On the right bottom is Jack Rosenberg with two of his grand-nieces. 
 
Mesa West Rotarian Don LaBarge has been able to schedule volunteers to fill four to five 2-hour shifts each day since the day after Thanksgiving and will continue through Christmas Eve. 
The Rotary Club of Goodyear Pebblecreek held its Annual Holiday Food & Book Box packing and distribution December 16. This event has become a signature project of the Rotary Club of Goodyear PebbleCreek. This project was started 15 years ago with the Avondale Elementary School District No. 44, then we added Litchfield Elementary School District No. 79 to serve more families in the West Valley. This year, 80 boxes were delivered!
 
The Peoria North Rotary Club once again supported Wreaths Across America, a national campaign that aims to place a wreath on the grave of every United State veteran. In Arizona, the club purchased and placed wreaths on the National Veterans Cemetery in North Phoenix.
 
Club members joined literally thousands of other volunteers at the cemetery on Dec. 16 to take part in a ceremony honoring our nation's veterans, and to lay wreaths on the graves. According to Lee Smith of Wreaths Across America, 2023 was the most successful and memorable National Wreaths Across America Day in history at Arizona National Cemetery. In all, 18,000 wreaths were placed on graves, covering nearly 25% of the graves at the cemetery.
 
Volunteers are needed for Wreath Retirement Day on Jan 6, 2024, at 9:00 am.
 
The event details are posted on the FB WAA page. A record number of wreaths will require a record number of volunteers to honorably retire the wreaths. Carts, wagons, poles and other carry devices are allowed and encouraged to expedite the cleanup process.
 
A short Wreath Retirement Ceremony and briefing will be held at 9:00 am in the front of the stage. Park near the visitor center in the center of the cemetery.
 
Volunteers will not be picking up anything other than the live WAA wreaths. All other items will be left in place. Gloves and water are recommended.
 

Dozens of gaily wrapped gifts provided by Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks will brighten this holiday season for five families and two students in need.

In the past, potential recipients have been nominated by local organizations. Items furnished by the club have included beekeeping apparel, hiking and camping gear, kitty litter, clothes, toys, books, art supplies and household goods. Transportation to Phoenix to visit an ill family member was another previously granted wish.

This year Red Rocks Rotary will be partnering with Verde Valley Sanctuary to provide needed items and toys for those either in residence at the domestic violence shelter or those who are transitioning back to independent living. These families will also each receive a Walmart gift card. Two students enrolled in the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District and identified as needing assistance by Assistant Superintendent Deana DeWitt will also be part of the gifting project.

Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks’ Holiday Wish List project started in 2011. Since 2016, it has worked in cooperation with the Sedona Chapter of Toys for Tots which provides three toys, a book and stocking stuffers for each child in the program. Kids ages five and younger also receive a cuddly stuffed animal.

This year’s families are comprised of five single-parent adults, both men and women, and 10 children ranging in age from 3 to 17 years. The two boys referred through the school district are in the third and sixth grades.

Rotarians Donna Hawk and Kathryn Stillman donned their elf caps and completed the basic shopping. This will include a trip to the Toys for Tots distribution site on Tuesday, December 5 to select toys based on the children’s ages and interests that were provided to the club. Legos, Barbies, art supplies and electronic toys dominate the wish list. Other club members will join in to wrap, tag and deliver the gifts to Verde Valley Sanctuary staff and Mrs. Dewitt who will place them in the hands of the recipients.

 

Rotarian Rob Schaefer, spearheading the Veteran’s project for the Rotary Club of Sedona Village, proudly announced the tremendous success of the Veteran’s Raffle held during four US holidays in 2023 at Clark’s Market. The fundraising initiative yielded a remarkable $12,133, all dedicated to supporting veterans at Prescott’s Veterans Hospital.

Rob Schaefer expressed his gratitude towards the community and recognized the outstanding contribution of P.J.’Village Pub. A generous donation of $1,010 was made possible by server Bobby Jurgensen, who selflessly contributed his tips. This amount was then matched by PJ’s owner John Ehalt, showcasing the community's united effort of support.

The history of the Veterans Raffle traces back to First Lieutenant John Cornelius, a distinguished member of the US Army. Lt. Cornelius, who served in WWII in North Africa, Italy, and the Middle East, initiated this fundraising raffle approximately 19 years ago. Having earned 2 bronze stars in combat, Lt. Cornelius dedicated himself to the cause of supporting Veterans Hospital patients by providing daily incidentals not covered by the US Government.

Following Lt. Cornelius's passing in 2017, John’s friends continued the raffle tradition. In 2020, Cathleen, John's daughter, approached the Sedona Village Rotary Club with the opportunity to expand the raffle under the Rotary umbrella.  Club member Phong Vu, who served as a Major in the US Marine Corps, assumed leadership of the raffle in 2020. Upon Major Vu's death in 2022, Club member Col. Rob Schaefer, US Air Force, Ret, assumed responsibility for the raffle, along with the Club's other veterans activities.  The Club presented the Veterans Hospital $10,000 for the funds raised in 2022.          

Cathleen and her husband, John, continue to play an integral role in the success of the raffle, actively working to secure prizes and support the initiative. The Sedona Village Rotary Club expresses its gratitude to all contributors and pledges to continue its commitment to supporting veterans through impactful projects like the Veterans Raffle.

 
 

Prescott Sunup Rotary Club members celebrated the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Prescott by donating 100 "Kids Birthday Party in a Pan" kits to representatives of the Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank during a presentation at the Hassayampa Hotel on November 15. 


The kits include cake mix, frosting, candles, a happy birthday card, banner and balloons, all packaged in a foil cake pan, and were an idea proposed by Sunup Rotarian Lisa Doherty, in response to President Laura Vanderberg's call for service projects that meet a need and give back to the Prescott community.

President Laura and Lisa Dougherty, the Project Chair, officially presented the Kids Birthday Party in a Pan packs to Prescott Community Cupboard Board Chair Lee Danaher.   The project enables struggling families being served by the food bank, to still celebrate their child's birthday with a card, a cake and balloons.