Message from DG Jenalea Randall

I’ll admit it – I don’t always read the Rotary magazine that is faithfully delivered to my home every month. But with Jan. 1, comes a fresh crop of New Year’s goals. Not resolutions that are easily forgotten, but SMART goals to track and focus on over the next 366 days (2024 is a leap year!). And, SMART goal No. 1: READ THE ROTARY MAGAZINE EACH MONTH!!!
So, I open the January edition and am immediately drawn to the inside cover and the message from Rotary International President Gordan McInally. The inside cover features the 2023-24 logo of Create Hope in the World and this message:
When we nurture peace, opportunities, and one another, we help heal the world and create lasting change. Let’s create hope by:
  • Confronting stigmas, expanding access, and raising awareness about the importance of mental health
  • Fostering understanding and strengthening connections through virtual exchanges
  • Unlocking the power of girls and women around the world.
As we all look forward to a fresh new year, we also must recognize there is heartbreak close to home and on the other side of the globe. 
As Rotarians we have the tools, network and resources to nurture peace. We must do our part to help heal the world whether it is in our own Northeast Kansas communities or lending our voices to support efforts internationally. No matter what may motivate you, look to Rotary to help you be a builder of peace and compassion and explore these resources:
New Years – and New Years SMART goals come and go, but our bond as Rotarians will last a lifetime and build lasting positive change. I’m looking forward to 2024 and all that we will accomplish together!
Jenalea Randall
District Governor, 2023-24
Member, Topeka South Rotary

Club & District News and Events

Rotary and Polio Plus
Dear District 5710 Polio Eradication Warriors,
Pleased to report that there were NO new Wild Polio cases in Pakistan or Afghanistan during December 2022 and we are in the Final Race to make 2024 the year we finally defeat the Wild Polio Virus.   
As the year closed there were only 12 cases in these two endemic countries compared to 30 cases at this same time in 2022.  See our “Countdown to History”.  Remember that after the last case of the WPV occurs the World Health Organization will monitor for up to 3 years before declaring the Polio Virus eradicated. During that time, Rotary’s continued support will be absolutely necessary!
The other remaining challenge of the eradication task will be to eliminate the incident of Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus (cVDPV) paralysis cases. During the last week of 2023 the total number of these cases reached 428 cases, less than half of the almost 900 cases that occurred in 2022. In last months newsletter, we provided a detailed description of the causes of cVDPV and the promising success of the NovelOPV, so please look back to last month’s Polio Report to become familiar with this key part of Ending Polio.
Looking back from this Half-Way point in the Rotary Year, many of our District 5710 Clubs continued to work toward both setting and achieving their annual Polio Plus Funding Goals, including special events surrounding World Polio Day.  A great second opportunity in the coming year for supporting Polio Plus will occur the last week of April as we celebrate World Immunization Week, remembering that it was in April of 1954 that Jonas Salk announced the success of the Polio vaccine.  So, if your Club hasn’t set its goal or planned your annual Polio Plus funding event, start the new year by making that a priority now! An easy way to make those Goals a reality is to encourage as many members as possible to become members of the District’s Polio Plus Society.
And as a special reminder to the leadership teams of each of our clubs; be sure as your incoming President Elect and Board begin budgetary planning for the Rotary 2024-2025 that Polio Plus is included as a high priority.  With every Rotarian’s help, “TOGETHER, WE END POLIO”!
And “We are…This Close” as shown in our “Countdown to History”
Call/email me for help / (913) 200-0514 ~ / Jim Arnett, Polio Plus 5710 Chair  
Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update
Week Ending 30 December 2023
Total number of wild cases in 2019:  176
Total number of wild cases in 2020:  140
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2021: 6
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2022: 30(20 in Pakistan!)       
Total # of wild poliovirus cases in 2023: 12(6 in Pakistan!)
      (compared with Total of 30 for the same period in 2022)
Total number of Circulating Vaccine Derived cases - 2023:428
 (vs. totals in 2020: 1113; & 698 in 2021, with 876 in 2022)
Please Donate @ 
Save the Date for PETS 2024
Save the Date—Presidents-Elect!!!
Our PETS is scheduled for 21-23 March 2024 in Salina, Kansas.
The PETS committee is working hard to make this a fun and informative event…stay tuned for more information and our Pre-PETS Zoom date!
Questions, email Tamara @
RYLA 2024
Happy New Years Everyone, 

Carla Wiegers and I are excited to announce that RYLA 2024 is ready to go! 

RLYA is a high school leadership conference designed to give high schoolers the chance to develop leadership skills, while learning about the things we do as Rotarians on both an international scale, as well as in our communities. 

Now is the time to start looking for some students who might be interested! Past participants have included: General Student Body, Inbound Students, Future Outbound Students, Interactors. Our goal is to reach: 100 participants! 

Some FAQ you might have: 

  • RYLA will take place June 2nd - June 6th at the University of Kansas
  • The price is now: $400 a student  (we suggest the student pay $25 of that) 
  • Carla and I will send confirmation emails out to the participants themselves. 
  • When you commit to the camp, you have to be there from the time registration begins until Graduation. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS 
  • Application and more information should be posted on the website soon, but in the meantime, reach out to either Carla or I. 
While we still have your attention, we are bringing back the Rotary Lunch where anyone in the district is welcome to come join us. All Rotarians, Past RYLA Participants, Parents, EVERYONE is welcome to join us. If you would be interested, please reach out to me
If you need anything else from us (presentation, questions, etc.) please contact us:
Daisy More (Manhattan Konza) 
(913) 340-2782 
Junction City to Topeka
Carla Wiegers (Leavenworth)
Topeka to Leavenworth
District Training
We have some great news! The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) has approved our grant request so those District 5710 Rotarians interested in attending these Leadership Courses may do so at no expense. As we have mentioned in the past, The KLC Leadership Path will influence the way you manage yourself and others in both your professional and personal lives.  The number of scholarships/seats allotted to our District is confirmed.  We have 25 spots that can be used for When Everyone Leads or Your Leadership Edge and 5 spots that can be used for Lead for Change. We highly encourage you to follow the registration link and use the appropriate promo code below to reserve a spot now!
The promo code for 2024 is Rotary2024 (case sensitive) and registration is open for 2024 programs.
A reminder: Please let us know if your club is interested in hosting (providing a conference room/site) a February RLI (Rotary Learning Institute).  We intend to keep a hybrid design: Friday a Zoom mtg from 5:30-8:30 PM, and the in-person session on Saturday from approximately 8:30 AM-5:00 PM.
We look forward to continued collaboration in Rotary Learning and Professional Development opportunities throughout 2024.
Yours in Rotary,
DeEtte Lombard and Ellen Bogdan
District Learning Co-Chairs
Update on our Global Grant Scholar Mattie Vandel
This past winter the District 5710 Global Grant Scholarship Committee selected Mattie Vandel for a scholarship. Mattie Vandel, from Weston, MO., attended Kansas State University and majored in Anthropology. After graduation, she worked abroad and in the U.S. for four years.
Mattie applied to and was accepted to a unique Global Studies master’s program through Humboldt University in Berlin. Her Global Studies program is a two-year program where they study in Berlin for a while, then go abroad to various locations to study.
Mattie studied in Pretoria, South Africa during this past fall semester. She finally was able to connect with the Hatfield Rotary Club on October 25th and another club soon after that. See a picture of Mattie with fellow students at the University of Pretoria and a Pretoria Rotary Club (attached).
Mattie returned home in early December for the Holidays and spoke to the Manhattan Rotary Club on December 21st
In mid-January, Mattie will go to India to attend a 10-day Global Winter School as part of her Global Studies program.  In late January, she will go to Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for spring semester.
Thanks to our Scholarship committee, to District 5710 leadership for funding and restarting the Global Grant Scholarship, and for those clubs who help find good candidates to apply.  It is exciting to have these excellent scholars studying abroad and representing District 5710.
Steven M. Graham, Chair
Education and Scholarships Committee
Rotary District 5710
Anti-Human Trafficking Committee Update

Mark your Calendars: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is on January 11, 2024. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign encourages the public to wear a blue item of clothing and post a photo using the #WearBlueDay hashtag on social media. It doesn’t matter if it’s a selfie, group photo, or video — just be sure to wear blue and invite others to do the same!

Indicators of Human Trafficking   (From DHS Blue Campaign)

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking.

•         Has a child stopped attending school?

•         Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?

•         Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?

•         Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?

•         Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?

•         Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?

•         Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?

•         Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?

•         Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?

•         Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?

•         Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?

•         Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?

•         Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

The Rotary Foundation 
Happy New Year from your District Foundation committee! As we start another calendar year, I wanted to share a few pieces of information that are currently in process with your District Foundation. We have received all of the club funding for the global grant for Guatemala and are currently waiting for Rotary International to fund the remainder from three districts and the World Fund. This grant will focus on Disease Prevention and Treatment for the Patanatic region. There are several of our clubs involved in this grant and we also have some support coming from our neighboring District 5680. We are now in the process of planning a trip to this region of Guatemala in April from the 13th – 21st. I will send out an opportunity for our 5710 Rotarians to join us for this trip as soon as the details are confirmed.
You have already heard about the global grant that is being led by Jennifer Montgomery in Kampala, Uganda in other articles and newsletters.  Your Global Grants committee is now looking at other opportunities in Ghana, Uganda, and Guatemala with other possibilities blooming. It is our goal to utilize our District Designated Funds in a way that benefits as many people as possible. I look forward to sharing more information on these potential grants in the future.
Please save the date for April 6, 2024! This is when we hold our fourth annual Gathering For Good. Our committee met last month to discuss details this night’s event. As before, this will be a silent and live auction. We decided to change our event to theme night with this year’s being “The 80’s”. We will have a DJ spinning the tunes and encourage all of our attendees to dress in their favorite 80’s outfits. This year, the Gathering For Good will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton in Lawrence and our auctioneer extraordinaire, Charlie Moon, will be returning to lead us through the live auction. This event, as before, will be a very fun filled night with all the funds raised going to The Rotary Foundation Annual fund in the name of the person purchasing any item that is available. I hope you plan to attend this year. You will not want to miss it.
So far for this Rotary year, we have, as a district, given 30% of what we contributed last year to TRF Annual fund and 36% to Polio Plus. We are halfway through year. It would be great if we could match or exceed our numbers from last year. Your District Foundation committee is dedicated to helping our members with various ways of contributing to TRF and with various ideas for projects that can benefit from those funds.
As always, thank you very much for all of your support for TRF. We are truly impacting and enhancing lives with our efforts!
Rotary Peace Fellowship
Katrina Lewis served as a Rotary Peace Fellow in 2012. She now serves as an Associate Professor and Director of Environmental Design and International Programs in Interior Architecture and Industrial Design at Kansas State University. The following is a summary of her experience. 
"I received the honor of being selected as a Rotary Peace Fellow for professional studies in peace and conflict resolution at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, during the summer of 2012. It was a life-changing experience and what I appreciated most was having three months of dedicated time to focus on and study peace and conflict resolution. Recruiting Peace Fellows connects directly to the larger mission of Rotary and its members—this exposes many more to the great things Rotary and its members are accomplishing."
Endowment & Major Gifts Update
GREAT First Half of the Rotary year!!
For the first half of the 23-24 Rotary year District Rotarians made two new major gifts and one significant endowment contribution, and a couple became new Endowment Benefactors. It’s a great start for the year and now we need to finish up strong.
One of the major gifts was from a Donor Advised Fund and thus highly tax favored treatment in December. It is time to start thinking about 2024 taxes now, so the decision to make gifts to the Rotary International Foundation Endowment (or annual fund or Polio) from taxable or tax preferred assets or techniques can be made wisely.
Everyone’s situation is different and I would be pleased to visit with you personally about how to get the most bang for your charitable buck. While cash or check are still greatly appreciated, a lot of times some other gifting technique is better for you and your income tax return.
Recent visits to Emporia and Manhattan Clubs prove how awesome and generous Kansas Rotarians are. I would be pleased to attend your club meeting to talk about the Rotary Foundation, Endowments and Major Gifts.  Call me at 785-267-8782 (daytime work) or  (same) to connect and get energized about the Rotary International Foundation.
Rotary International professional Lizzy King (1-847-866-3017 or is also eager to visit with anyone about making a major gift or funding the Rotary endowment.
District 5710 Membership Update

The Service Companion Club
A Way Attract More New Members & Retain More Members
And Other Membership Ideas
I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas full of joy with friends and family!
Halfway thru this 2023-2024 Rotary year – some questions to ask you:
  • Does your Rotary Club want more members?
  • Would your club like to do more service projects?
  • Does your club want younger members?
  • Would your club want more women?
  • Does your club want to look more like your community?
If your answer is YES to any of these questions, you should consider starting a Service Companion Club!
So, what is a Service Companion Club?  It is an extension club of your existing Rotary Club!  Click on the following link  to download the Service Companion Club Fact Sheet from Rotary International.  You will learn more about how a Service Companion Club can help your club grow, thrive, and be able to help more people improve their lives.
To learn how a club in our district recently started a Service Companion Club, click here:   You can read how Shawnee Rotary Club immediate past president, Matt Zimmerman and his team started their Service Companion Club, Shawnee in the Evening.  You will find out how the Shawnee RC not only increased their membership but also brought some members back who recently had to resign.
Meanwhile, lets see where our district stands regarding membership at the Rotary year halfway point …
Our district membership is at 1,933 Rotarians - a net increase of 38! We inducted 86 new Rotarians and readmitted 16 since July 1st.  On the other hand, our district also lost 63 Rotarians since the start of this Rotary year.  Club leaders, please ensure you understand why they left. 
Twenty of our clubs gained members with 7 of these having a net 10% or greater increase in membership.   Congrats to all these clubs and let’s ensure our new members become actively engaged Rotarians who will have fun while serving others and meeting new friends!   
How are these clubs gaining members?  Consider the following three keys to attract and keep more members by Emily Tucker, Supervisor, Regional Membership Development at Rotary International:
  1. Make sure your club experience is delivering what people want. Rotary International leaders continually state that the care and comfort of your members is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of your club.
  2. Tell your story so well your community knows what you’re doing. How well do you know the folks at your local news outlets? Do you consistently send them stories about all the wonderful community support your club does?   Our district has put together a template to effectively tell your story along with how to effectively approach your local media.  eMail me at I will be glad to send this to you.
  3. Be thoughtful about who’s missing from your club and work to establish genuine relationships and partnerships with vocations not represented in your club? Do you invite those from these vocations and other non-Rotarians to participate in your service projects?
Please do not hesitate to contact our District Membership Team with questions and to ask for our support to help your clubs grow.   That’s why we are here and that’s what we do!
Best wishes to all of you for a very healthy, fulfilling happy 2024!
Rotary History Moment
"Friendship was the foundation rock on which Rotary was built and tolerance is the element which holds it together." Paul Harris - 1948.
With the new year dawning, we face new challenges and through them, opportunities.  This year bids fair to be a political brawl, and all year from the primaries through the probably inevitable post-election challenges to take us through the next Christmas season.  At least if history is any guide, it probably won’t be genteel, either.  Fortunately, as Rotarians, we are part of an organization with over a century of experience living with this and adapting to it.
Our governing documents reference board decisions dating as far back as 1916, with several updates since, regarding how Rotary International engages politics.  Our Constitutions, both RI and the Standard Club Constitution are clear: corporately, as an institution and as clubs, we don’t.  We don’t endorse candidates, parties, political questions – however much we are encouraged as individuals to be involved in our communities, including the ever-messy realm of retail politics.
But we shouldn’t be wearing our Rotary pins when we do so, and we should leave it at the door when we enter our meetings and events and projects. 
As David Forward expressed in his history of Rotary, “A Century of Service:”
“Rotary has always approached peacemaking systematically – it has sought to break down the barriers that cause people to point fingers at one another, By trying to understand people’s points of view and reaching across lines or race, religion, and culture to become partners in service to all mankind, tensions are reduced and friendships are increased.” [Chapter 17, Rotary, the Peacemaker]
1994-95 RI President Bill Huntley, from England, thought that Rotary succeeded for three reasons. [Century of Service, “Conclusion.”]

1. “We cross boundaries.  Look at District 1160 - there is one district for all of Ireland, where strife has boiled for generations.”
2. “We talk at all levels because of the quality of our members – kings, government officials, and business leaders.  We have entrée into the US White House Oval Office and the United Nations.  Local club presidents can talk to city councilors.  Rotary has a say in affairs of the community.”
3. “We’re trusted.  Our history covers 100 years of faithful community service, and our badge has become the emblem of integrity.  In Istanbul, Turkey, for example, Rotarians were called in as the arbiters in industrial disputes.”
As someone who had been living in the silo of the US Army since literally before I was born, I looked forward to joining Rotary to expand my horizons and interact and come to understand all the folks I had been manning the ramparts to protect.  To get out of the very real bubble military service puts you into.  I had seen what it did for my father, who, like me, had been a career soldier.  And it worked.  I worked, and  had lunch with, learned from (and maybe taught) people who had never lived like I did and I’m pretty sure had never voted as I did.  My mentor as I went through the process of learning to be a District Governor was someone who had lived a very different life than I had, and who looked at life through a very different lens.  And I am still blessed by that experience.  We both knew we were different.  But we focused on what we had in common.  And left the rest at the door, for other venues and groups.

Why am I bringing this up?  In addition to the upcoming political crazy season, my own club has recently had some drama along these lines, and as someone who values consensus I talked to a lot of people in my club, and learned quite a bit about exactly the fact that we all have so much in common causes us to assume that we have *everything* in common.  And how that can create a subtle hostile environment in your club.  We have a long-time member (20+ years) who almost quit the club in her first month because she  joined us right after an election, and sat at tables with members who were making great mock of the results, and crowing about the wins.  These established members ran in different political circles than our newcomer.  And our new member was uncomfortable, and didn’t feel welcomed, but in fact, felt alienated.  She approached our President and stated an intention to quit.  He asked her to “Wait, and let me take care of it.”  And he did, reminding our membership that some things were best left outside the meeting room, and that you shouldn’t assume that everyone was like them…” 
As noted in the quotes above, keeping that in mind is a good thing.  Consider – how many members have you lost or never gained, because your club has an unconscious partisan vibe to it?  Or a religious leaning?  Think about it.  It’s rarely obvious and in-your-face.  It’s almost always subtle and unconscious. And it takes a continual awareness to keep a lid on it.  Especially in this era of social media.

In our clubs and our service – focus on what we have in common, not what divides us.  Trust me, as a Mizzou grad, I can tell you Rotary in Eastern Kansas can be a hostile environment – yet you did allow me to be District Governor, so, clearly, some sins can be forgiven.  If you wonder about it – let the 4 Way Test and Object of Rotary be your guide.
Invitation to Apply for One-Day Positive Peace Workshop: Rotary International Pre-Convention

District 5710 is a Global Peacebuilder District – many members may not know that, but that really means it’s a superstar district in the Rotary peace world. As a Rotary Peace Fellow sponsored by District 5710, and working for Rotary International now, I know what an honor this is; and would love to see more members of District 5710 engaging in Positive Peace and the strategic partnership with the Institute for Economics & Peace (which I manage).

Our One-Day Positive Peace Workshop is just prior to the RI Convention in Singapore and takes place on May 25, 2024 from 9 am – 5pm. It is free to attend! Further information and details can be found in the (short) application: If you are a member of District 5710 interested in peace in any way – this is for you! Happy to answer any questions at my email:

Emporia Rotary
On December 6th, the Emporia Rotary Club, along with Evergy’s Green Team, were able to help revamp the playground area at SOS, Inc. – a non-profit that empowers and advocates for those affected by sexual and domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, child abuse, and neglect. We were able to remove all the old mulch that was in their play area, level out the area, and add new, rubber mulch. It was a great day to serve our community.
Junction City
Leavenworth Rotary
Bell Ringing and Dictionary Deliveries Kept Us Busy during the month of December.
In support of the Salvation Army, Leavenworth Rotary members rang bells 10 days beginning on the day after Thanksgiving.  Thanks to our bell ringers, we were able to cover 95 hours of bell ringing; special thanks goes out to President Nominee (VP) Caroline Webster for taking the lead on bell ringing for our club!
We delivered over 650 third grade dictionaries in our local communities (Leavenworth (Xavier Catholic and Saint Paul Lutheran included), Fort Leavenworth, Lansing and Pleasant Ridge School Districts).  The kids were as excited as ever to receive their personalized dictionaries (thanks to the Pleasant Ridge High School Business Class/Future Business Leaders of America).  Special thanks goes out to the Dictionary Chair, Brian Wepking, for taking the lead on Third-Grade Dictionary business for our club!
The Rotary Club of Leavenworth wishes everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year --- here's to 2024!
Upcoming for Leavenworth:
Leavenworth High School Interact Club Valentine's Day Rose Sales - February 2024
Irish Stew Dinner - 11 March 2024
Manhattan Rotary
District Summary for December 2023
Over the last few months, the Club welcomed new members Lori Feldkamp, President and CEO of Big Lakes Developmental Center, Narmadha (Meenu) Mohankumar, former Rotaractor and now employed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Michael Heylin, a retiree in Manhattan.
President-elect Randy Peterson presented our Cup Money BIG CHECK to Karla Hagemeister, Executive Director of Flint Hills Breadbasket. This support allows her to leverage bulk food purchases at costs well below grocery store prices.  Over fifty families a week benefit from the Breadbasket.
The Rotary Student of the Month program began anew when President Mitzi introduced, Ryan Thein, and his parents Patrick and Anita. The Konza and Manhattan Rotary Clubs will encourage these students to apply for Manhattan and Konza Rotary Club Merit Scholarships funded by district grants and the Clubs to be awarded in April/May.
In the final meeting of the year, Mattie Vandel, Rotary District 5710 Global Grant Scholar, spoke about her experiences working on a Global Master’s degree at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. Mattie thanked the club and district for her Global Grant Scholarship award and recognized Ryan Klataske and Steven Graham, for their mentorship and support. Mattie resumes her studies in India and Thailand in January. You can view her presentation via the Club Facebook page.
On December 21, we celebrated the holidays and the 101st birthday of the longest-serving Rotarian in the District, C. Clyde Jones. He joined Rotary in 1958. 
Manhattan Konza Rotary
December was a festive and eventful month for Manhattan Konza Rotary. On the afternoon of December 9th, 17 Rotarians rang the Salvation Army Bell outside Hyvee. Even Santa made an appearance! 
From November 17th through December 11th, our club collected gifts for the Junior League of the Flint Hills Adopt-a-Family program. We were able to cover the wishes and needs of two families this year.
On December 15th, we had our annual holiday party, ugly sweater competition, and 2024-25 board elections. Mark Rose won the coveted trophy for his sweater, and the club nominated Di Hinrichs-Toburen as our next President-Elect. Di will serve as Club President in the 2025-26 Rotary Year.
Overland Park South Rotary
December for Overland Park South Rotary Club means that we get the opportunity to bless children in need  with the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for their families. This year our members assisted 60 kids with their holiday shopping lists, contributing 115 volunteer hours in the process.  During this one evening event, the club spent approximately $4,100 in total by giving each child a budget of $75 to spend on gifts for their families. 
This is an annual event that OPS Rotary does for the children who reside in the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility of KidsTLC in Olathe.  Each of the children that reside in this facility have emotional or behavioral issues that prevent them from living with their families.  Approximately 90% have a history of childhood trauma. 
Club members meet at a local Wal-Mart with KidsTLC children and staff and are paired up with a child and a staff member to purchase the perfect gifts for their family members and the club picks up the tab at the end of the night.  FInally we met in the WalMart breakroom to help the kids wrap their gifts.  It is so much fun to spend this evening with the kids and to see how much pride they take in picking out and wrapping gifts for their loved ones.
Overbrook Rotary
Roger T. Aeschliman was a guest at the Overbrook Rotary meeting in November.  His presentation of General Patton was truly remarkable (see info below)
The Overbrook Rotary Club also held their annual Christmas Party on December 12th at the Rock Creek Cafe in Overbrook.  A wonderful meal was served, and a good time was had by all.
Known as “Old Blood and Guts” General George S. Patton, Jr. was the most successful Army Commander in all of World War II and one of the greatest military leaders in all history. Yet he was haunted by mistakes, most notably when he slapped two soldiers in Sicily for what he believed was cowardice. He was nearly sent home in disgrace. CoreFirst Bank & Trust Vice President Roger T. Aeschliman will provide a true to life reenactment as General Patton as the General apologizes to the troops for these slapping incidents. This is an emotionally powerful presentation of war at its worst and best, and a stunning historical review. WARNING: intense imagery of war, wounds and death and profane language.
Shawnee Rotary
Adopt A Family: This year's family was a Mom and five children; the children are excellent students at a local elementary school. Their list was mostly "basic needs" and not "wants",  including a highchair. After all the donations were made from Rotarians and the Shawnee Big O Tires, the Shawnee Rotary Elves went shopping to find the perfect gifts. Some of the gifts included warm boots for all the kids, and at least one warm outfit; we supplied the family with the basics - shampoo, deodorant, lotion, towels, personal hygiene, and food. They all got socks; underwear; a Santa bag filled with art supplies; and each received a special gift that they specifically asked for. The gifts were delivered on Monday, December 18th.
Growing Futures Early Education Center.  On December 13th, seven Rotarians assembled Winter Break Bags at Growing Futures. Each bag had the ingredients to make a spaghetti dinner (sauce, spaghetti, parmesan cheese, the book "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs", a child's chef's hat and apron) that enabled the children to help make a meal for their families. After unpacking boxes and setting up an assembly line, the group assembled 192 bags that were given out to the families that evening. Growing Futures received one of the Fall grants from the Shawnee Rotary Foundation. The items for the Winter Break Bags were purchased with the grant it received.
Topeka Rotary
December was a busy month for the Rotary Club of Topeka. Our members delivered several hundred coats and shoes to elementary schools in Shawnee County for their clothes banks. Forty members rang bells and helped raise thousands of dollars for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign. The Club teamed with the Marine Corps Reserve and donated over 100 toys for Toys for Tots.
The Rotary Club of Topeka always has great programs! Last month University of Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff and Kansas Lieutenant Governor David Toland were two of our distinguished speakers.
Western Johnson County
Our club kicked-off the holiday season volunteering at the Johnson County Christmas Bureau Holiday Shop on Tuesday 12/5.  This year over 20 club members and friends volunteered their time to help assist shoppers with "shopping" for their items and handing out things like books, toys, groceries, and MUCH more!  Each year, the JCCB provides these items for thousands of low-income folks in our Kansas City community.
We also held our annual club holiday party on Tuesday 12/12.  This year’s dinner was at Garozzo’s Ristorante in Overland Park.  Along with good food and fellowship, we celebrated our club accomplishments in 2023 which included welcoming 5 new club members in 2023, volunteering for many organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Shawnee Neighbors Helping Neighbors, raising funds and coordinating food drives to help non-profits like The Golden Scoop, Harvesters, Shawnee Community Support Team and MUCH more!
As Club President, I'm proud of the great work our small club does in the Kansas City community and the commitment of each of our members to Rotary's motto Service Above Self!  The selflessness of our club members is second-to-none and I'm excited to see the great things we're able to do as we head into 2024!  THANK YOU to each of our club members for being amazing Rotarians!  - Matt

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