Club is looking for outbound exchange student This past weekend the Rotary District 6290, which Rockford is part of, sponsored a conference for all inbound exchange students for orientation, learning, and a chance to get to know each other. The event was held on beautiful Walloon Lake at Camp Daggett, Petoskey, Mich. Rockford’s inbound exchange student from Germany, Julius Loebbecke, attended along with the Rockford Rotary Exchange Officer, Tony Astras. Also attending were 34 other inbound exchange students from 22 different countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. The conference included training workshops for the Youth Exchange program presented to over 20 Rotarians from the various clubs. One unique situation that our district has is that our district is international in that it crosses over into Canada. Consequently, there were inbounds being hosted by clubs from Sault Sainte Marie, Blind River, and Wawa, Ontario in Canada. These international students (all of high school ages from 15 through 18) have an excellent support system not only of their school, but of all Rotarians, their clubs, their communities, and these students who are bonded together in this experience. This system continues. There will be additional conferences for these kids at the Kettunen Center in Tustin in November, in Wawa, Ontario in February, again at the Kettunen Center in April. Finally, before their departure home there will be a multi-district multi-state final conference at Calvin College with over 1,000 students. These students will consist of the inbounds leaving, our outbounds getting ready to leave, and rebounds which had been previously in the Exchange Program. Rockford Rotary also has an opportunity upcoming for new outbounds for the school year beginning in 2011-2012. Rockford Rotary has an opportunity for a prearranged exchange with the group’s “sister” club in Germany, where Julius is from. In addition, Rotary offers opportunities available to other countries as well. Not everyone might qualify, but an earnest desire is a prerequisite. The student also should be in the top fifty percent of their class. There is some financial help available to those that may need it. This program is one of the best kept secrets of Rockford. Rockford […]
Working together, the Rockford Lions and Rockford Rotary clubs teamed up for their second annual free health screening on Saturday, March 27 to serve the clients of the North Kent Service Center. The Rockford Reformed Church once again provided the venue for this screening of hearing, vision, blood pressure, podiatry, dental and pharmaceutical. Volunteering their services beside club members were Dr. Michael Kelley, podiatrist, and Dr. David Fischer and Dr. Brian Wilson, dentists. Blood pressure screening was in the hands of RN Jill Erickson. The Rockford Lions Sightmobile housed the vision and hearing screening conducted under the direction of Dr. Chad Jackson, optometrist, and Dr. Karen Jacobs, audiologist. Available for use throughout Western Michigan, the Sightmobile is maintained by the Rockford Lions for the use of fellow clubs and area communities. Both the Rockford Lions and Rockford Rotary clubs exist to serve their communities and the needs of others. It is only through the generosity of neighbors supporting the clubs’ fundraisers that they are able to provide services such as this health screening—and they thank you.
Several new members have chosen to join the Rockford Rotary club over the past several months. The group has about 50 members and meets weekly at the Community Cabin on Monroe Street in downtown Rockford on Tuesdays at noon. One of the new members is Jim Hale. Hale is married to wife Helene and father of three children, Caleb, 4, Cora, 2, and Lynnae, 4 months. “We enjoy spending time together as a family and with friends,” Hale stated. “Currently we attend Blythefield Hills Baptist Church and enjoy being part of the Rockford community.” Hale is the vice president and branch manager of Mercantile Bank of Michigan. “Rockford Rotary is a great way for me to get plugged in to our community and give back where I can,” Hale said. Rotary is a service organization that is world wide and responsible for both local and international projects. Area professionals are welcomed to find out more about the Rockford group of Rotary, individuals who donate time and energy for a wide variety of causes.
Rotarian Pete Kruer gives new Rotarian Don Kurylowicz a warm welcome. Rockford Rotary is a service organization that meets weekly at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street, Tuesdays at noon. Business people who are interested in finding out more about the club are always welcome to visit.
Sweetheart Splash, art event benefit local families in need Sandy Waite, director of the North Kent Service Center, recently visited Rockford Rotary Club to thank the service organization for generous donations made over the years. She said need requested from the center is at an all-time high and each donation helps a local family that is in financial difficulties. “In 2005, your generous donation of $10,000 was designated to be used by our clients who needed assistance in paying utility bills,” she said. “Money spent on our clients utility needs in 2006 and 2007 was $3,938 and $5,717, respectively, with the balance of $759 used in January 2008.” Waite said the Rockford Rotary donation of $500 in 2008 was used to purchase a variety of meat averaging 50 cents per pound. The donation allowed the center to buy approximately 1,000 pounds of chicken, sliced hams and other meat to stock the food pantry. In 2008 the center distributed 739,000 pounds of food. The 2007 Art Gala, jointly organized by four local Rotary groups including Rockford’s, and held in the Wolverine World Wide corporate offices, raised $17,000 for the center. That money, Waite said, was used for operational expenses, such as the building mortgage, electric, heat, waste removal and gas for company vehicles. Waite reported that utilities for the center are approximately $30,000 per year. “Your donation helps keep our facility up and running so we are able to service our families,” she said. In the past four years, Sweetheart Splash, also a Rockford Rotary event, raised $10,790. “As you can see, there is always a financial need here at the North Kent Service Center,” Waite said. “The Rockford Rotary has played a significant role in allowing us to continue ‘Helping Our Neighbors in Need.’”