Posted by Tom Hansen
For more than 90 years, the Rotary Club of Kansas City has been rallying all corners of the community to help thousands of kids attend camp. The club, whose members are among Rotary’s first People of Action, gave the first donation to The Rotary Foundation 100 years ago.   

Club 13, as it is locally known, made the first donation to The Rotary Foundation, $26.50 in 1917, and its members continue to model Rotary’s passion for taking action and bringing ideas to life.

In the 1920s, Robert Gees, then president of the club, recognized the need for a summer camp for needy boys after the closing of a Boys Hotel in the city with a similar mission. Buying a heavily wooded tract near a canyon and stream, he placed it in trust, granting exclusive use to the club provided that it always be used for youth activities.

Four Rotarians and a bank representative serve as trustees today, upholding those conditions and ensuring sustainability.

The facility evolved into a special needs camp in the 1940s when Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts began using it for Scouts with disabilities. That focus broadened a decade later to all children with disabilities. Today, Scouts of all kinds use the camp on weekends when school is in session while special needs organizations and Scouts with disabilities have exclusive run of the wheelchair-accessible facilities for free all summer.

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Kansas City Club Brings the Town Together! Tom Hansen 2017-05-31 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen


If you would have told me a few years ago that I’d be lugging 15 bags of cement in the high mountains of Cusco, Peru, to help local villagers, I would not have believed you.

It sounds a little cliché, but Rotary has helped me come so far, in so many ways. It’s helped me grow as a person in ways I never thought possible. It’s brought joy back to my life.

This was my second service trip with the Rotary Club of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, within a short period of time. Traveling so far away from home with many hours in a plane and airports is not necessarily my idea of a good time. Further, having what seems like just come back from an amazing trip to India and new friends there, not to mention the incredible work we did, then turning around and getting on more planes might seem crazy to some of you.

But I can tell you it’s totally worth it! Seeing people who have nothing makes you appreciate everything. Being able to learn from them and learn that your project is going to be duplicated in other pueblos as a success story is beyond belief. Working in very hard conditions at high altitude with our Rotarians friends here at the Rotary Club Julio J. Delgado Cusco and our own members creates a bond like no other.


Serving With Rotary Tom Hansen 2017-05-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

Rotary International has been working with its partner ShelterBox to provide relief to flood victims in Peru. 

Since February, flash flooding and mudslides have damaged and destroyed thousands of buildings, including homes, schools, and churches  in several countries in western South America.

Rotary and Rotaract in Peru have reported widespread destruction there. A ShelterBox response team is working with local authorities and Rotary to assess the damage and determine how to help people in the northwest region of the country.

The floods in Peru have killed more than 100 people. According to the Los Angeles times, relief agencies estimate that 700,000  people have been left homeless.  Heavy rains are expected to continue for the rest of the week. 

Where flood waters have receded, they’ve left behind a thick layer of mud. This can lead to serious health problems and irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, ShelterBox officials say.

Rotary and Shelterbox Tom Hansen 2017-05-12 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

When was polio last in Europe? If you guessed 2002, the year the region was certified polio-free, you’re wrong. 

The last time polio affected a child in Europe was 2015. Two Ukrainian children were diagnosed with paralytic polio, and that likely means that many more were infected and didn’t show symptoms. At least one Western news outlet deemed the outbreak “crazy” — but the reality is that no place on Earth is safe from polio until the disease is eradicated everywhere. 

Ukraine had fully vaccinated only 50 percent of its children against polio, and low immunization rates are a recipe for an outbreak. In this case, a rare mutation in the weakened strain used in the oral polio vaccine was able to spread because so many children had not been vaccinated. To stop it from progressing, the country needed to administer 6 million vaccines through an emergency program. 

“Rotary was there at the beginning of the global effort to eradicate polio,” says International PolioPlus Committee Chair Michael K. McGovern. “It would be unfortunate if Rotary isn’t there at the finish line. We’ve done too much; we’ve made too much progress to walk away before we finish.” 


Why Rotary is investing in zero and beyond Tom Hansen 2017-04-17 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

Hundreds of Rotarians applauded as a 25-foot recreational vehicle rambled toward the Fess Parker hotel, a palm-lined resort on the Pacific oceanfront in Santa Barbara, Calif.  

Two Rotarians, two Rotaractors, and a district governor on board the RV had just concluded a 2,400-mile road trip that originated in Seattle nearly two weeks earlier, stopping for service projects in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona. (There was also a kickoff party in October in Hawaii.) The road trip helped link Rotarians with charitable organizations in their home communities, encouraged clubs to partner with their crosstown counterparts, and illustrated the scope and value of Rotary.

After a brief welcome, more than 400 Rotarians, some with spouses, piled onto buses and followed the RV to two Boys & Girls clubs in Santa Barbara where they hoisted paintbrushes, sandpaper, hammers, and rakes to revitalize the youth centers. (Local Rotarians, along with members of Interact and Rotaract, met separately to refurbish a third club, in Carpinteria.) Dozens stayed behind at the hotel to fill 400 backpacks that would later be given to the children. The point: a potent display of the power of Rotary.

“I was amazed,” says Jeff Henley, vice chairman of Oracle Corp. and a governor of the national board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, who watched the mob of Rotarians give a center a face-lift by painting the hallways and gymnasiums, adding storage lockers, weeding playfields, and refinishing picnic tables.

Driven to Serve Tom Hansen 2017-04-04 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

For more than 110 years, Rotary members have been addressing challenges around the world. 

Grassroots at the core, Rotary links 1.2 million members to form an organization of international scope. It started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.

Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.

Rotary members have not only been present for major events in history — we’ve also been a part of them. Three key traits have remained strong throughout our history:

We’re truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today, members in nearly every country work to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.

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Celebrating Rotary's Anniversary Tom Hansen 2017-02-27 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

Rotary International

Apply for a master’s degree or professional development certificate fellowship and study at one of our six Rotary Peace Centers.


The Rotary Foundation turns 100 in 2016-17! Our Foundation stands at the forefront of humanitarian service, having supported thousands of projects to provide clean water, fight disease, promote peace, and provide basic education — as well as the historic project dedicated to eradicating polio worldwide.

2018-19 Rotary Peace Fellowship Tom Hansen 2017-02-21 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

By Past TRF Trustee Carolyn E. Jones, Chair of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace

It seems there are a whole bunch of Rotary members who aren’t content in merely being just members and want to make a greater impact. These members have decided to organize, specialize and focus their efforts on one specific area like water and sanitation, microcredit, or health. By the time they come up with a name, it is so long that they simply call themselves Rotarian Action Groups (RAGs). One day, I went online and stumbled across the Rotarian Action Group for Peace’s website and knew I wanted to join right away.

Peace RAG is a group of Rotarians, their family members, program participants, and alumni working together for the purpose of advancing peace throughout the world. The RAG formed in 2012 as a group focused on providing a network of resources to further the peace and conflict resolution work of Rotary members around the globe.


Peace is Possible Tom Hansen 2017-02-21 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen
RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley urged incoming district leaders to seek gender and age parity and protect the environment in announcing the 2017-18 presidential theme Rotary: Making a Difference at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.
2017-2018 Rotary Theme Announced Tom Hansen 2017-01-31 06:00:00Z 0
Check out’s modern, new look Tom Hansen 2017-01-31 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Tom Hansen

By Stephanie Witkowski, Rotary Club of Honolulu Pau Hana

At 28 years old, I decided to become a Rotarian, because Rotary changed my life.

I grew up in a small town in Oregon, USA, and was a young leader in my school. When I was 15 years old, I applied to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event in Rotary’s District 5110 to learn more about myself and what leadership meant to me. During that amazing week-long experience, I learned not only about how to be a better leader for my school and community, but about Rotary itself. 

One of the things I learned about Rotary was the organization’s commitment to international service through the Rotary Youth Exchange program. I had always dreamed of learning about another culture through an international experience with students my age. So when I was 17 years old, I applied to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student. In District 5110, they have a wonderful tradition of selecting the student’s host country for them, and then SURPRISE! In 2005, I was off for a life-changing year in Slovakia.


Why I Joined Rotary Tom Hansen 2016-10-28 05:00:00Z 0
Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless.
The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne illnesses.
A ShelterBox response team of volunteers from Canada, England, New Zealand, and the United States traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, last week to assess the damage and decide how best to help people. ShelterBox, an independent charity, is Rotary's project partner for disaster relief.
Working with Rotary members, government authorities, and other relief agencies, ShelterBox is focusing on the cholera outbreak in the southern region of the island and emergency shelter. A shipment of ShelterBox supplies arrived in Les Cayes, in the south of Haiti, on Wednesday, which likely will be used to help health professionals screen and treat cholera victims.
"We hope to provide ShelterKits along with other crucial supplies like solar lights, mosquito nets, water purification units, and water carriers. All of which will help in the fight against cholera," says Chris Warham, chief executive of ShelterBox.
With wind speeds reaching 155 miles per hour, Hurricane Matthew is considered the worst storm to make landfall in Haiti in more than 50 years.
Rotary and Shelterbox on the ground in Haiti Tom Hansen 2016-10-20 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Fellowships’ annual activities support polio eradication efforts


Besides organizing projects related to their hobbies and recreational activities, many Rotary Fellowships demonstrate their commitment Service Above Self by supporting Rotary’s efforts to help eradicate polio. From championships and competitions to auctions and raffles, Rotary Fellowships incorporate fundraisers into their annual activities to raise funds for the PolioPlus campaign:

MarathonersInternational Marathon Fellowship of Rotarians
Every year, the avid runners participate as a group in a renowned marathon. This past April, more than 100 Rotarians and their friends joined more than 50,000 participants to run the Paris Marathon. The Fellowship organized an entire weekend of activities from a pasta and wine evening to an evening celebrating the groups 10th anniversary in the city where it first originated. Through the run, €4,000 EUR were donated by the Fellowship to Rotary’s PolioPlus fund.

The group will be running in the Budapest Marathon next October. Long and short distance runners are welcome to join.

Click HERE to read more!

[FROM RI] Rotary Fellowships 2015-06-29 05:00:00Z 0
Recycling Project Jill Quigley 2015-04-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
November is Foundation Month for the world of Rotary.  It is the time when Rotarians all over the world consider their contribution to Every Rotarian Every Year and the Rotary Foundation (TRF).  The 2012-13 EREY drive netted $115 dollars for work through-out the world. 
As we found out, the system is not perfect, especially the new ever-changing rules of the District 5710 Matching Grants program for this year.  But where the reputation of Rotary is concerned,  TRF is used as a model for other organizations through-out the world as a charity model that uses all its contributions  for projects, nothing for administrative costs. 
Rotary Minute Oct. 31 2013 Larry Williams 2013-10-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Our thirty years of working with the World Health Organization to eradicate polio has caused  this disease to decline to three countries and 120 cases of polio in 2012.  Our loose change jar on Thursdays is really helping.   That little bit each week adds up. 
Rotary Minute Oct. 23, 2013 Larry Williams 2013-10-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Twenty years ago, members of our club started a JoCo Rotary Charitable Foundation (CF). This makes it easier to give tax-exempt contributions for Humanitarian projects and to have money available to match fund grants through Rotary District and International project funds.
JoCo Charitable Foundation was funded by individual Rotarians who made contributions to the CF and the club putting 20% of fund-raiser proceeds into the fund each year.  Individual Rotarians often give, on the anniversary of their joining the club, the number of dollars for each year of membership.
Rotary Minute Oct 17 Larry Williams 2013-10-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Did you know that October is Rotary Vocational Service Month?  It is the month we celebrate the service we do when we are on the job.  Whether we are serving customers, teaching students, treating patients or working in commerce, the media or any of the countless other fields that we have in our classification list,  it’s the way we do our jobs that makes Rotarians special.  And we recognize that all vocations are worthy of respect.
Rotary Minute Oct 3 Larry Williams 2013-10-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
“Working with the people in the Guatemala village changed my life,” spoken by Abby, one of eight Interact students from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School who reported to the Johnson County Rotary Club last Thursday morning.
She was one of a team of students traveling with adult Rotarians to help poor villagers in Guatemala be more productive with the resources they have at hand.  They worked on health issues such as eye-testing, distributing eye-glasses, checking and installing in-home water filter systems and ground-breaking to bring a clean water system to the village.
Rotary Minute Sep 26 Larry Williams 2013-09-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Money is available each year to Rotary Clubs through District and RI Funds to do matching grant projects.  The Every Rotarian Every Year money is invested immediately. After three years, 100% of the donations becomes available for Rotary projects.
Rotary Minute Sep 19 Larry Williams 2013-09-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Water is a vital resource and Rotarians have been doing magnificent work to bring clean water supplies to people in developing countries.   Part of the clean water push has been the work on waste disposal that does not pollute the water in those same areas.   Wherever Rotarians work to clean water supplies they also work with Engineers Without Borders to keep the supplies clean and clean up the bad water sources.
Rotary Minute Sep 12 Larry Williams 2013-09-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
When you hear Rotary Foundation, don’t be confused. . . be amazed!   Over 2 billion dollars has been raised by Rotarians all over the world since the Foundation’s inception. And billions are being spent to help people all over the world.
The Rotary Foundation, founded in 1947 has now raised $2.9 billion for work in health, safety, inoculations for polio and HIV, peace programs, and disaster relief.  The money is given by the Every Rotarian Every Year drive, Paul Harris Fellows, Polio Plus fund-raisers and bequests.  Last year JoCo Rotarians sent $4072, or an average of $163 per member thru EREY.
Rotary Minute Aug 22 Larry Williams 2013-08-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Last Saturday,  John Ruo and I represented our club at the District 5710 Foundation, Membership and Leadership Seminar in Topeka.  The opening session was led by our new District Governor Gary Duggan and Zone Coordinator Dick Jones from New Mexico.
We are now part of Rotary Zone 27 which is made up of 15 Districts from Texas and New Mexico all the way north to Utah and Nebraska.  The Zones in Rotary work to assist and train  Rotarians in various parts of the world who live in somewhat localized areas.
Rotary Minute Aug 15 Larry Williams 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Our Rotary club is needing you.  Below is a list of some the things begging your involvement.

It is not too late to attend the free Leadership-Membership-Foundation Seminar this Saturday at Washburn University.  District 5710 officers have a great line-up of speakers and programs to teach you more about being a Rotarian.  It is from 8:15 am to 3:15 pm at the Washburn Student Union. Lunch is free.  (Can you name three of our club members who attended Washburn?)

A competition has been organized among club committees to see who can make a $25 donation get the most books for the bucks from each committee.  Bring your ideas to the next meeting.  Joe Morris has already leveraged $25 into 100 books for kids.  However it will be the committee’s total that will win the prize. (Do you know how many books have been collected in the past 5 years?)
Rotary Minute Aug 8 Larry Williams 2013-08-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jill Quigley
Take the Book Collection Challenge!
Get creative…how many children’s books can you collect for $25?
Who can participate?
Each Rotarian who commits $25
What is the Challenge?
A competition to determine which committee can collect the most children’s books/person
When:  From August 1 to December 1
Kids' Book Collection Challenge Jill Quigley 2013-08-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Seeing what other Rotary clubs are doing for service projects is very enlightening.  The Hutt Valley Rotary Club sponsored a health education for people who work with teen pregnancies, infant malnutrition and other child health issues. 

The Lucena South Rotary Club screened 50 people over age 40 to test for bone density associated with osteoporosis.  A pharmacy served as sponsor and a local doctor gave a lecture to those gathered on the causes and treatments available. 
The Rotary Club of Landen  spent two months with high school students in research and preparation and divided them into teams to debate subjects such as school uniforms, local language politics and youth civic engagement.  The public was invited to the debates.
Rotary Minute Aug 1 Larry Williams 2013-08-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
We’re just three weeks into the new Rotary year and things are hopping.  The first week was a very effective Club Assembly with lots of plans being worked.  On the second week, a fine program on the Gift of Life through organ transplants was presented. 
Rotary Minute Jul 25 Larry Williams 2013-07-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Isn’t it great having the Rotary “new year” begin in July?  We need something to think creatively about in the middle of the summer.  Before retirement, some of my best teaching ideas came when I was sitting by the lake or enjoying the beauty of nature. We have the same opportunities with Rotary if we will take a little time to pause and think in the summer.
Rotary Minute Jul 18 Larry Williams 2013-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
Happy Rotary New Year!!
Thursday will be our first meeting of the new Rotary year of 2013-2014 with many new possibilities to serve our community and the world.  Just think what an impact you will have at our club meetings and in service for the next few months. 
Thursday, the 11th, is our first meeting under the leadership of president and chairman of the board, Gail Ochs.  Let’s all get out and support her and her new board.  Here are some things to bring to Thursday’s meeting.
A Rotary Minute Jul 11 Larry Williams 2013-07-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams on Jun 26, 2013
Johnson County Rotarians have a lot to be thankful for.  It has been a good year, this year of 2012-2013. Thanks go to a wonderful Board, hard-working officers and all of you dedicated members.  
Shirley has done a great job as president in bringing us some new ideas and insights.  Her project of Loose Change for Polio was a real winner.  To this date we have collected right at $900 in coins and dollars. The Board decided to make it an even $1,000 to RI Polio Plus from the Rotary Club of Johnson County for this year.   
Adding those dollars to the $1,000 raised for Shelter Boxes, the $200 to help Rotaract give water filters to Guatemala, the $3472 to the Rotary Foundation in our Every Member Every Year Campaign, the $5,000 for Higher M-Pact, and the in-kind donations of books for Head Start that brings the five-year-total to more than 26,000 Books for Kids, Johnson County Rotary has made an impact! 
A Rotary Minute Jun 27 Larry Williams 2013-06-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams
This is an important week for JoCo Rotary and it’s also a week to celebrate.  Friday is the Annual Banquet and it’s not too late to sign up.  Your dinner is already paid for; so all you need to do is pay for your guest.  Get your reservations in to either Shirley or Kim ASAP.  It would be a shame if you were not at our annual event where we count our blessings and look back and celebrate the many accomplishments of this past year.
A Rotary Minute Jun 20 Larry Williams 2013-06-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams on Jun 11, 2013
We are in the last two weeks of the Rotary year, so Shirley is probably counting the days and hours until Gale takes over the presidency.  Maybe there are things we can do to help in the last days of this year and in looking forward to next year.
A Rotary Minute Larry Williams 2013-06-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kim Johnson on Jun 04, 2013
I am so excited to begin work on Octoberfest! This year Higher Mpact will have a representative join us!

Our first meeting will be at  the Crowne Plaza where we normally meet for Rotary. The group can decide where the next meeting will be.
OctoberFest Planning Kim Johnson 2013-06-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Larry Williams on Jun 04, 2013
Have you ever heard of Rotaplast?  It’s a Rotarian founded, San Francisco based, international medical team.   Rotary Clubs partner with Rotaplast to help in special medical projects from repairing cleft palates to helping amputees walk all over the world.   
A Rotary Minute Larry Williams 2013-06-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 22, 2013
A letter from Shelter Box regarding Moore, Oklahoma. As you know, a devastating two-mile wide tornado has torn through Oklahoma City suburbs with winds of up to 200 mph, destroying neighborhoods and schools.
Shelter Box in Moore, OK Tom Hansen 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 22, 2013
Dear Fellow Rotarians: Wow, what a great organization! We are a part of something that is literally trying to make the world a better place and at the same time building better communities in which we live. Each of us has an opportunity to help to the best of our abilities. For some, that is more funds than time, for others, maybe more time than talent and yet for others, more talent than dollars. 
A Rotary Minute Larry Rumburg 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 13, 2013
Higher M-Pact seeks out high-risk urban youth ages 11-18 and intervenes by motivating and engaging them in intense, long-term mentoring and positive guidance to break negative patterns. Higher M-Pact helps these youth transform obstacles into opportunities and create a solid foundation for a successful future.  
Higher M-Pact Jill Quigley 2013-05-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 01, 2013
The COMMUNITY M-PACT AWARD was given to the Rotary Club of Johnson County by Renee’ Flowers at the 9th  Annual Inspired M-Pact Community Luncheon Westin Crown Center Hotel.  In front of 300+ celebrities and guests, club president Shirley Rahe received the award for the club.  As a club we have supported them for the past seven years.
A Rotary Minute Larry Williams 2013-05-02 00:00:00Z 0