Rotary Co-Sponsors Peace Forum

The Downtown Topeka Rotary was a co-sponsor of the Peace Forum at Kansas State University on February 23, 2013. The Forum sponsors were the Manhattan Konza Rotary Club and Manhattan Rotary Club. Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka, challenged all Rotary clubs to sponsor at least one peace forum during the 2012-13 year. Tanaka established “Peace Through Service” as the theme for Rotary International and asked Rotary clubs worldwide to host Peace Forums discussing how their respective communities could effectively contribute to peace and conflict resolution. Our club surpassed the challenge by sponsoring or co-sponsoring a total of six Peace activities.
(continued page 3)

We are tremendously excited to bring back the Downtown Topeka Rotary Club newsletter. This issue is just the tip of the iceberg. Look for in depth coverage of the many activities and projects beginning with our May - June issue.

GSE Team to Visit from East Africa
Rotary Co-Sponsors Peace Forum GSE Team to Visit from East Africa Club Announcements Message from the President RYLA Scheduled Venture Rotarian Update We have a busy month coming up packed full of exciting events! From May 9-12, we have a Group Study Exchange ( GSE ) from District 9200 East Africa, containing five individuals all within the Public Health Field. District 9200 is comprised of six East African countries Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Five Professionals are; Team Leader - Carine Abeja-Apunyo, Team MemberLatifa Abdallah, Team Member Jacob Opido, Team Member- Daniel Mugerwa, and Team Member- Nakalanzi Aminah. Here is a quick peek at what is in store for them when they arrive! First when they arrive Thursday in Topeka from Manhattan, a tour of the capital building and meeting with Gov. Brownback. After the tour and meeting, there will be a welcome Reception at Blue Moose. Host families and club members are invited. Hors d’Oeuvres will be served and cash bar will be available. After dinner and drinks the team members will go home with the host families for dinner or (continued page 3)

Club Announcements

We are back. It’s been a few years since we last published the newsletter of the Topeka Downtown Rotary Club. Sometimes a little bit of downtime is good. It gives you a chance to reflect on what was done right and what could have been done better. It also gives the chance to polish and refresh and discover ways to make things better. We think we’ve done it better and we hope we’ve made this newsletter the best it can be. The first thing you probably noticed is the design of the newsletter. We want it to be crisp, clean and something we think you will be proud of. The stories inside are going to reflect the many activities and projects of the Topeka Downtown Rotary Club and complement our website, Facebook, Twitter and the weekly announcement. This issue is just the tip of the iceberg. We think you will enjoy our new publication. RYLA Scheduled for June 2-6 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy) is scheduled for June 2-6 at the University of Kansas. The deadline for submitting applications is April 1, 2013. High School Students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors for the 2013-14 school year and are ready to explore and develop their leadership potential are eligible. Applications and information brochures will be on the tables.

From the President
by Blanche Parks, President It’s a Great Day to Be A Rotarian! And it is an “honor” to serve as the President of the Downtown Topeka Rotary for 2012-2013. What an exciting year we have had! I am proud to say one of my major goals was to bring back the Rotary Newsletter to our club. Thanks to Greg Hill, and Ann Palmer the newsletter is now a reality. This is the first edition of exciting newsletters to come. The Downtown Topeka Rotary has a rich heritage and reputation. This year has been action packed and I am so proud of our members who are true examples of Service Above Self. My year started by attending the 103rd Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, where I heard 2012 – 2013 RI President Sakuji Tanaka advise clubs of the International theme of “Peace Through Service”. It was an honor to attend the convention and I came back inspired to set my goals for the year and begin my exciting year as President. I gathered my outstanding team of Rotarians and we started to set the plan in motion. We met with District Governor Kevin Tubbessing and discussed our goals and objectives for the year. One thing I love is how Downtown Topeka Rotarians will step up to the plate to meet any challenge. Our club has participated in an action packed year of activities that focus on the Rotary mission and focus. In the next issue of Service Above Self, we will highlight many of our accomplishments over the past year and talk about many new and exciting projects we have upcoming later this spring and summer. Blanche

The Rotary Club of Topeka (Topeka Downtown Rotary Club) publishes Service Above Self six times a year. The newsletter is distributed to members of the club and to other organizations throughout the community. Editor-in-Chief - Greg Hill Photographer - Ann Palmer Contributing Editor - Jamison Law

Page 2

(GSE Continued)

they have the option to eat at The Blue Moose. Friday, the team will give a presentation to the Topeka South Rotary Club, followed by a day of vocational training at Stormont Vail, St Francis and the Marian Clinic. The team will have the night free to spend with host families. Saturday, the team will visit Overbrook and see a buffalo ranch and an apple orchard. After a long day Friday, a small retreat will be welcomed! Lunch will be provided. After Overbrook, the team will return to Topeka to visit the Kansas Museum of History. The rest of the day will be free to go shopping and spend with host families. Sunday the team will transfer to Lawrence and meet at the Eldrige Hotel for mid day R&R. Our goal while the GSE team is here in Topeka is to provide an educational experience and show the team what Topeka is doing within their fields of study. The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas. Arrangements made for GSE team are courtesy of; Gina Coffman providing tours of the Capital Building and The Kansas Museum of History as well as a meeting Gov. Brownback. Jamison Law providing welcoming Reception at The Blue Moose. Host families and club members are invited, cash bar will be available as well as Hors d’Oeuvres. Penny Morgan to organize Topeka South Rotary Club presentation.
(Peace Forum Continued)

President Blanche served on the Manhattan conference planning committee. Larry Dimmit served as a panelist on a panel session titled, “Humanitarian Assistance Projects”. The keynote speaker was Mary Eisenhower, Granddaughter of Former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. She is President & CEO of People to People International. This organization is dedicated to “peace through understanding”. The purpose of the Peace Forum Members of the Topeka Downtown Rotary Club who was to help educate and height- attended the peace forum posed with Mary Eisenhow(Left to Right) Stan Martindell, Eugene Williams, en awareness of people of all er. Mary Eisenhower, Blanche Parks, Betsy Schlossman, ages, backgrounds and interests Jodi Ladner (outbound student to Chile) and David regarding peace related issues. Beck. Larry Dimmit and Jamison Law not pictured. Participation in the event helped to empower attendees with new knowledge and understanding of how each of us can contribute to a more peaceful world through their local, state and international community. Session topics included peace related student and citizen exchanges and study abroad programs, peace related service and projects abroad, peace and conflict resolution in our schools & communities, peace advocacy groups and efforts, peacekeeping matters related to diplomatic and military service. At the request of the Downtown Topeka Rotary, City of Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten proclaimed February 23, 2013 as Peace Day in the City.

Board of Directors
President - Blanche Parks President Elect - David Beck Vice President - Chris McGee Secretary - Susan Mauch Treasurer - Alica Snavely Seargent-at-Arms - Stan Martindell Past-President - Anita Wolgast Topeka Rotary Club Foundation President - Roger Aeschliman Rotary Foundation Fund Raisers - Eileen Caspers Membership Chair - Larry McCoig Club Administration - Brady Robb Community Service - Eugene Williams Vocational Service - Rehan Reza Club Service/Public Relations - Marie Pyko New Generations and Youth Service Nancy Daniels Executive Administrator - Ruth Reynolds

Page 3

Venture Rotarians Update
Venture Rotarians are non traditional members who focus on community service projects. The majority of these members are under 30 years old. This past January, Venture Rotarians, helped low income local high school students with free class pictures, in a program called the Senior Pic Project. Currently, the group is working on a project called SoleMates in conjunction with Topeka South Rotary who created the idea, and Payless. The overall goal is to teach kids the importance of volunteering and receiving good grades. Each child has to record his or her volunteer time at their school to become eligible for a pair of shoes. The project is made available to Venture Rotary by the Foundation and the grant money they awarded to the project. In order for Sole Mates to operate properly, we need the help of the community. We need 120 volunteers, there will be six sessions each with twenty children. The projected start time for this project is mid April- Early May. Also within Venture Rotary, another project is currently in the making. Here, the idea is to bring together a population of retired Topeka residents and the children of the HOPE Center by reading. Barry Feaker, spoke about Poverty in Topeka and needs of the Rescue Mission/Hope Center. This project will require the volunteer to commit one hour of his or her time once a week, reading to the residents. Transportation to The Hope Center provided by McCrtite Plaza and Brewster Place. The projected start date is June 1st. For other inquires please contact Curtis Sneden or Jessica Goubeaux

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful