Volume 65, Number 9

March, 2009

Stacking up Literacy

March is Literacy Awareness Month
Also: Members begin to use the new Facebook page to promote club events

Jim Richardson of Nation
Jim Richardson, an award winning photojournalist for National Geographic Magazine and a native Kansan, was the speaker at the Topeka Rotary club on Thursday, March 19, 2009. Richardson, who currently lives in Lindsborg, KS, is known for his depiction of small town life, particularly life in Cuba, KS, population 230, which he documented over thirty years. Richardson shared many of his photos and stories throughout the world, including his series on soil and light pollution. ―My challenge photographing this story paralleled the greater challenge faced by all humans: to understand that this humble Jim Richardson, a native Kansan and well known photo documentarian, was the guest speaker at the Topeka Rotary Club. stuff beneath our feet is the very stuff that makes life on earth what it is. The power of photo internship at the Topeka Capitalsoil to formulate the building blocks of life is Journal. In the intervening 15 years, Richardmiraculous,‖ he says on his website. son's work was published in many major publiRichardson began using a camera as a cations, ranging from Life and Time to Sports youngster on his parents' wheat and dairy Illustrated and The New York Times. In 1986 he farm north of Belleville, in north central Kansas. left a job at The Denver Post to begin a fullHe began experimenting with his father's sectime freelance career. ond-hand box camera, photographing the In honor of his work documenting Kansas life world of the farmstead for display at the North and for his landscape essay on the state's Flint Central Kansas Free Fair in Republic County, Hills in the April 2007 edition of National GeoKansas. In 1971, he abandoned his psychology graphic Magazine, Richardson was named major at Kansas State University to begin a 2008 "Kansan of the Year" by the Native Sons

nal Geographic Magazine

Click here or the image above to watch the video of Jim Richardson

and Daughters of Kansas. Richardson and his wife Kathy returned to their native Kansas in 1997, having lived 18 years in Denver. They now live in Lindsborg, Kansas, where they operate Small World: A Gallery of Arts and Ideas on the town's Main Street. For more information on Jim Richardson and his work, visit www.jimrichardsonphotography.com which includes both his work and his new blog where he shares the back stories, including many of the technical issues and the stories of the people he met along the way.

The Editor’s Blog

L

iteracy. It‘s something we take for granted. Whether it is reading the morning paper, a book or even this newsletter, reading is something we do everyday. Rotary has taken a positive step by partnering with country music Legend Dolly Parton ‗s Dollywood Foundation‘s Imagination Library which provides a book each month to children from birth until aged five. The program is designed to help in underserved areas. Today, the project which began in 1996, serves 47 states and has provided more than 15 million books. (see p. 6&7)

The Topeka Rotary Club has been involved with promoting literacy on a local scale for years. Rotary on the Web Each week, we donate a book to  Rotary International Avondale East EleWebsite— mentary School in www.rotary.org honor of the week‘s speaker. We also donate books  Rotary District 5710 through other projects like Ross Elementary School. (see photo p. Website— 10) www.rotary5710.org When we promote literacy, we promote learning. Preschoolers who are at least exposed to books are far more likely to finish high school and go to college. Reading also promotes family interactivity. (see District Governor Vickie Randel p. 11) This month we also recognize the work we have done for our youth in our community with the 3rd Annual Rotary Career Day at KATS. (see p. 10 & 14). Twenty community businesses were on hand to help provide career information to sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Topeka 501 schools. We also helped our community this month through a clothing drive to benefit the Topeka Rescue Mission. I commend the new member class for working together to make a difference in our community. (see p. 5). Hopefully the idea of the new member classes will continue for years to come. Have a great month, Greg Hill,

Rotary Club Website— www.downtowntopekar otary.org

Rotary International Foundation— www.rotary.org/ foundation

Twitter— www.twitter.com/ topekarotary

New member class helps serve community

M

Embers of the 20072008 class of new members of the Topeka Rotary Club took on a class project this year. The goal was to help them get more involved in their club.

Kathleen Williams, member of the Topeka Rotary Club and one of the organizers of the clothing drive, used the club‘s new Facebook page to promote the project.

That project came to fruition last month when the club held a clothing drive to benefit the Topeka Rescue Mission. Club members brought in dozens of bags of clothing which were loaded onto a truck and taken to the mission. "I really like helping out the community and keeping it local," Williams said.. "The Rescue Mission is a great organization." Williams, who is a financial advisor, joined Rotary at the invitation of her father, a longtime member of the Downtown Rotary Club. "The Rotary mission is to help people locally and globally," Kim Gronniger, a new member of the Topeka Rotary Club, told the Topeka Capital-Journal., "This was an opportunity for our new members to participate in a charitable activity that would benefit our community." Members gathered items point at the Ramada Inn. from their homes and brought them to a drop-off

Minutes from February Board of Trustees
Rotary Club of Topeka Officers
Secretary’s Report: Approved as presented. Treasurer’s Report: Accepted as presented. January 31 Membership: 198
PRESIDENT—Kirk Johnson PRESIDENT-ELECT—Terry Wages VICE-PRESIDENT—Gordon Lansford TREASURER—Gary Knoll SECRETARY—John Wall SERGEANT AT ARMS—Mike Locke Board Members David Beck Alvin Dvorak Glenda DuBoise Fred Gatlin Jennifer Haller Henry McClure Joy Moser Blanche Parks Susan Mauch Past President—Joan Wagnon
THE ROTOPEKA Editor—Greg Hill
Published Monthly by the Downtown Rotary Club of Topeka Downtown Ramada Inn, Suite 110 Topeka, Kansas 66607 Subscription $2.00 per year Periodicals Postage Paid at Topeka, Kansas USPS 471860 POSTMASTER: Send address change to Rotopeka 420 SE 6th, Suite 110 Topeka, KS 66607 Rotopeka deadline is two weeks prior to the first Thursday of the month

Resignation: was received from Jason Adair, accepted. New Member proposals: for Mark LeNeave & Dean Patel were presented, Joan moved to approve, Blanche seconded, passed. Leave of Absence Request: from Christel Marquardt was approved. Rotary Class of 2007-2008: chaired by Kathleen Williams will be collecting clothing for the Topeka Rescue Mission, Terry reported. Dedicated Fax Line: for our office to be shared with the District will be approximately $35 per month, District will pay half the cost. Terry moved to approve, Blanche seconded, passed. Improving the Sound System: at our weekly meetings will be discussed at our March meeting, Mike Locke will present a proposal. Book Distribution: to USD 501 third grade students was presented by Glenda, assistance is needed from club members in delivery of books. Career Day: Fred reported that we have funds for one $500 scholarship, usually give two. THS Interact Club: Susan reported that currently 5-6 members are participating. Golf Tournament Update: Henry reported will be May 7, our regular weekly meeting will be held at the course, hamburger/hot dog menu. Bangledesh Project: Blanche reported has been approved by International, waiting on the club there to complete their part. Next board meeting: will be March 11 at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, John Wall

6

Message from the President
By Kirk Johnson, President Dear Fellow Rotarians, The recent warm weather has fostered lots of outdoor activities! I‘ve recently seen neighbors mowing their yards, kids playing soccer, and after a winter of running indoors, I‘ve enjoyed several recent outdoor runs. Springtime is also filled with a number of opportunities to participate in Rotary activities. I hope that you will consider involvement in some of these events, designed to foster friendships, help others and to fund humanitarian efforts. Topeka Rotary Golf Tournament - May 7th. This event is designed to raise money as our part of the Gates Foundation matching grant. If you golf, please join in the fun and invites some friends to form a team. There are also opportunities to help with the tournament or be a sponsor. See Henry McClure if you have questions or are ready to volunteer. District Assembly and Conference – May 1-3. The District Assembly helps prepare incoming club and district leaders for the upcoming year . The District Conference advances the objects of Rotary through fellowship and serves as a forum for a discussion of matters important to Rotary Clubs. Registration forms can be found at the District‘s website, or will be available at club meetings. Fireside Chats – watch (and listen) for announcements about upcoming Fireside Chats. Fireside Chats are informal gatherings designed to advance friendships among Rotarians. Group Study Exchange – the Exchange Group from the Philippines will be in Topeka from April 7 th -12th. There are still opportunities to help with this effort. Even if you only have a few hours to spare, helping with the Group Study Exchange is a great way to experience a different culture and make international friends. Contact Staci Williams if you would like to help. Thanks – to Richard Ross for coordinating our entry for the District 5710 Educator of the Year Award. The award is designed to honor educators from kindergarten through grade 12 who exemplify excellence. Thanks also to all who helped with the annual distribution of dictionaries to 3rd graders in District 501!

T

Upcoming Programs
March 26—John Peck—Lawrence Rotary Club—Some Water Problems in Kansas and India April 2—Cindy Miller, Alzheimer’s Association—”This n’ That” about Alzheimers April 9—Suzanne MacDonald—Topeka Correctional Facility Running Club

Rotary works with entertainer Dolly Parton
By Arnold R. Grahl Rotary International News

C

ountry music legend Dolly Parton and Rotary clubs may seem an unusual pairing, but their shared passion for promoting literacy more than bridges any perceived pop culture gap.

Rotary International today announced a groundbreaking collaborative arrangement with Parton‘s Tennessee-based Dollywood Foundation to promote early childhood reading. Under the agreement, Rotary clubs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are encourRotary International is focusing on literacy during the month of March. Country aged to support the Dollywood clubs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are encouraged appropriate book each month to children from birth until age five, so that pare Foundation‘s Imagination Library (photo from Rotary.org) program, which provides an age-appropriate book each month to children from birth until age five, so that parents and other family members can begin reading to them as soon as possible. The program is especially valuable for children in underprivileged and working class families for whom children‘s books might be an unaffordable luxury in today‘s uncertain economic climate. Local Rotary club participation could include promoting the program within the community, helping to identify and register the children, and paying for the books and mailings. The average annual cost is $28 per child (CAD$60 in Canada; £24 in the U.K). ―In today‘s world, literacy is a basic requirement for success in life,‖ says Rotary Foundation Trustee John Germ, of Chattanooga, Tenn. ―For decades, Rotary clubs worldwide have supported literacy and numeracy programs for children and adults, and this collaborative relationship with the Dollywood Foundation will help lift our literacy effort to the next level by promoting early childhood reading.‖ ―I am thrilled about our partnership with Rotary International,‖ says Parton, who developed a personal love of books growing up in rural Tennessee, where she saw firsthand the toll illiteracy

n to give children a head start on reading
can take on families. ―Rotarians love kids as much as I do, so I truly believe we can do something extraordinary together to help even more children love to read and succeed.‖ Once a child is registered with Imagination Library, the Dollywood Foundation sends the child one book a month, beginning with ―The Little Engine That Could.‖ The books are chosen to match the typical childhood development stages. Appropriately, the final title is ―Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come.‖ Since its launch in 1996, Imagination Library has provided more than 15 million

y Legend Dolly Parton has partnered with Rotary to promote early childhood reading. Rotary to support the Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library program, which provides an ageents and other family members can begin reading to them as soon as possible.

books to preschoolers. According to the Dollywood Foundation, research shows that preschoolers exposed to reading are more likely to look forward to starting school, do better in class, read at or above grade level, and finish high school and go on to college. The program also helps to strengthen families by encouraging positive interaction between parents and children through shared reading. About 115 individual Rotary clubs already participate in Imagination Library. That number will quickly triple with the addition of all 204 Georgia Rotary clubs, the first to sign on under the new agreement. Working through the Georgia-based Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, their goal is to extend Imagination Library into all 159 counties in the state. In all, there are about 10,400 Rotary clubs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the nations covered in the new agreement. Worldwide, Rotary has more than 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographical areas. Since 1985, more than 16,000 Rotary clubs have supported literacy and numeracy programs throughout the world. For more information, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com or www.rotary.org.

What does Rotary Do?
The next time you are asked what our club does, remember all the wonderful projects we have helped make a reality. Here are several of those projects:

3rd Annual Rotary Career Day
Friday March 13, 2009 Downtown Rotary held the 3rd Annual Rotary Career Day at Kaw Area Technical School (KATS). Again this year all six middle schools in USD 501 sent at least a bus load of youth from 6th, 7th and 8th grade. A number of other classes from other USD 501 schools and individuals attended for a total of about 350 youth attended. A number of Rotary members stopped by or assisted with six to ten Rotary members helped for extended time. KATS students and group of young women from Highland Park also assisted. ―Mike Welch‘s vision has become a process that can be repeated annually,‖ said Fred Gatlin, the club‘s organizer for the event. ―It is our hope that we have touched many middle school youth and broadened their options‖. This year we had a lesser number of exhibitors but more programs from KATS participated and more active involvement from the exhibitors. We feel comfortable that we are now prepared to expand to more schools. We are considering moving to a later date for better weather, if we can find a date that will allow us reach out to more school districts. ―We appreciate the continuing support of the Rotary Club,‖ Gatlin said.

Christmas in April Help with TARC Winter Wonderland Dictionaries in School Dental Screenings Scholarships for Washburn Students Florence Crittenden Services RYLA Vocational Day for Junior High Sponsor Ambassadorial Scholars Christmas Bureau Sponsor East Avondale Activities Polio Reconstructive Surgery— India Cataract Surgery—Pakistan Ambulance Project—Bangladesh Medical Team—Panama Shelter Box Books for Peace Corp Volunteers And Much, Much More

Club donates books to Ross Elementary School

Of the things we think, say or do:
Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

10

Message from our District Governor, Vickie Randel
Over the years I have received many books as gifts, and I have valued every one of them. The first one was given to me by a family friend when I was 12 years old. I still have it, in the bookcase in my living room, within easy reach. It is The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford. I love this book today as much as I did the moment I unwrapped that wonderful present. March is Literacy Month in Rotary, and the power of literacy is our focus. District Literacy Chair Kathy Gross recently received a letter from RI President D.K. Lee. President D.K. referred in the letter to the nearly one billion people in the world who lack the ability to read or write. Rotarians have been engaged in helping extend the gift of literacy to the world for years, and Literacy remains one of the key emphases of Rotary leadership. In our district, we have many excellent programs that focus on literacy, including the Books for Kids project that many of our clubs participate in, and the lovely practice that several clubs have of giving a children's book to their weekly meeting speakers, asking the speaker to inscribe the book, and then donating it to a local school library. Without the ability to read and write, people are nearly powerless to improve their position in life. They are dependent; they are virtually imprisoned, locked within the small world of their immediate surroundings. They have no means to know of the larger world beyond, and dreams of that world do not live in their imagination. With the gift of literacy, an impoverished mother has a better chance of earning money to support her family; a father can teach his children vocations and crafts; a child can read, and dream, and explore the world in her imagination, even if not always in fact. With the gift of literacy, people can forestall oppression, can protect their rights, and can avoid exploitation. With the gift of literacy, dreams can be made real. Let's all try to think of ways to expand our reach in helping people in our communities and our international partner countries spread the gift of literacy as far as we possibly can. Doors begin to open when an adult or child learns to read and write, and when they do, they will never again be closed D i s trict Literacy Chair Kathy Gross recently received a letter from RI President D.K. Lee. President D.K. referred in the letter to the nearly one billion people in the world who lack the ability to read or write. Rotarians have been engaged in helping extend the gift of literacy to the world for years, and Literacy remains one of the key emphases of Rotary leadership. In our district, we have many excellent programs that focus on literacy, including the Books for Kids project that many of our clubs participate in, and the lovely practice that several clubs have of giving a children's book to their weekly meeting speakers, asking the speaker to inscribe the book, and then donating it to a local school library. Without the ability to read and write, people are nearly powerless to improve their position in life. They are dependent; they are virtually imprisoned, locked within the small world of their immediate surroundings. They have no means to know of the larger world beyond, and dreams of that world do not live in their imagination. With the gift of literacy, an impoverished mother has a better chance of earning money to support her family; a father can teach his children vocations and crafts; a child can read, and dream, and explore the world in her imagination, even if not always in fact. With the gift of literacy, people can forestall oppression, can protect their rights, and can avoid exploitation. With the gift of literacy, dreams can be made real. Let's all try to think of ways to expand our reach in helping people in our communities and our international partner countries spread the gift of literacy as far as we possibly can. Doors begin to open when an adult or child learns to read and write, and when they do, they will never again be closed.

Welcome to our new members

Dean Patel
Dean was born in Ndola, Zambia and moved to the United States when he was 11. He has been living in the Unites States for 18 years and in Topeka for 4 years. He has been in the hotel industry for over 11 years. Dean and his wife are expecting their first child in September. Employment Background:

 

Started working in a hotel as a part time job while attending San Jose University

Started a successful technology branch called ABC Technologies with a partner in San Francisco, CA, but eventually ended up leaving to move closer to his family in the Midwest Found a hotel in Topeka, KS converting it to an Econo Lodge and successfully taking it to a platinum award winning property ranking at #5 from over 750+ Econo Lodges in the nation Topeka Involvement:

Currently a Vice President of the Topeka Lodging Association

Treasurer of Visit Topeka Inc.

12

Get Interactive
What’s the Caption?
We had a hard time coming up with a caption for this photo. So we decided that we‘d leave it to you. Here‘s the catch though. You‘ve got to leave it on Facebook. Just visit the Downtown Topeka Rotary Club website, follow the link, and share your caption.

Mark LeNeave
Mark LeNeave has returned to Kansas as CEO for Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital. Originally from Kentucky, Mark first came to Kansas when hired by Stormont-Vail Healthcare to serve as CEO for Wamego City Hospital in 1991. In 1995, he accepted a position with QHR (a hospital management firm) and served as CEO for City of Milan Hospital in Milan, TN and most recently Elbert Memorial Hospital in Elberton, GA. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Murray State University and a Masters in Health Administration from Saint Louis University. Mark is married to Julie and they have two grown children, Chance and Bailey living in Missouri and Georgia, and Madeline 14, who attends Washburn Rural high School. The LeNeaves have three grandchildren. Marks favorite and ―all consuming‖ hobby is sailing.

13

Students put their News Skills to the Test
Students at the 2009 Career Fair, sponsored by the Topeka Rotary Club, were not afraid to try out the art of news reporting for local CBS affiliate WIBW Channel 13. Nearly 300 students gathered for the event at the Kaw Area Technical School on March 13th. Twenty businesses, including WIBW , sponsored a booth at the fair. This is the third year the Topeka Rotary Club has sponsored this event. This story and video report by Caroline Porter can be found on the Topeka Rotary Club‘s Facebook page. To see the video report, visit the Topeka Rotary Club Website and click Facebook.

Photo courtesy of WIBW.com.

Meeting Makeups
Topeka West—Wednesday, 7 AM Marriott Courtyard, 2033 SW Wannamaker Topeka South—Friday, 7 AM— Kansas Room, Washburn University Memorial Union Topeka North—Wednesday, noon—Topeka North YMCA Board Room. 1936 NW Tyler.

14

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful