Fort Yuma Rotary,
 
What a great year!!  I have throughly enjoyed my year as president of The Rotary Club of Fort Yuma.  
We celebrated our successes at the annual Trip to Nowhere last week and, WOW!!!, did we have fun.  Thanks to everyone that came and especially those that helped put the trip together.  I gave out some awards and said thank you a lot.  Maggie Cummings has become a wonderful Rotarian and we hope to get much more out of her in the years to come.  She has already brought two people into the club and served on several committees, while participating in all of our projects.  She is our Rookie of the Year for 2014-2015.  The incomparable Kelly Boyd was our Rotarian of the Year.  I cannot express my appreciation for what she does for this club, not only by serving on committees, but handling much of the “behind the scenes” work.  As president, I could always count on her to help out with whatever crazy notion I might have.  The only thing I couldn’t ask her to do this year was get the awards plaque to the final destination of the Trip to Nowhere, because she was THE ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR.
 
 
 
We started the year off with Back to School shopping at the first of August.  We were able to clothe and supply school supplies to 32 children on a small budget thanks to the hard work of our committee led by Yara Nash.  Several members represented Fort Yuma at the district conference in Tucson in September where I was able to present our past school projects and talk about our next one.  In October, our first major fundraiser of the year took place.  Thanks Kortnee to another successful PUTS.  Golf at night is fun.  
 
November was a planning month because December was awesome.  Our major project at Carver Elementary was becoming bigger than anyone could have ever expected.  Dan Tortolano did a great job planning and executing that project.  We put together a project with help from our community partners that was valued at an estimated at over $70,000.  Big thanks to Renee Dinwiddie and BCBC of Arizona on the Carver Project.  We also helped out 25 youth in our community with living challenges by treating them to a Christmas Shopping spree thanks to the efforts of Nora Bonillas and her team.
 
January brought on RYLA.  We sent 11 kids to RYLA and several senior counselors from our club.  Dana Lopez helped out on the local level, while Kieth Boyd ran RYLA for District 5500.  Our biggest fundraiser of the year was coming up quickly and, yet again, Fort Yuma showed the City of Yuma how to throw a party.  Our Mardis Gras on Main Block Party was put on by Annette Lagunas and her team in February.  Another great success with music, food and fun.  
 
In March, we asked Bruce Jensen to paint a map at OC Johnson Elementary.  He did and did an awesome job almost single handedly (big shout out to, not then, but now member Steve Cummings as well).  April was beer month.  Our Penitentiary Pint Fest in its second year was a huge success.  Big thanks to Xanthi Panos and her team.  Beer in prison is fun.
 
May and June have been about taking a breath and giving away the money we raised to various non-profits around our community.  We are doing just that through scholarships, headed up by Sara Determan and Kevin Smith, to our youth and we are continuing to make donations to several non-profits in the area.
 
I also don’t want our year around efforts to go unnoticed.  Nora Bonillas and Kevin Smith worked with Interact Clubs at the local schools.  Charlie Balch started an e-rotaract club at NAU-Yuma.  Tammy Pilkington helped schedule all the speakers and picked out books to give as gifts in our speakers names to a local elementary school.  Karen Ferguson headed up our membership committee and did a great job with recruiting and facilitating the process of membership.  Rona Stubbs stepped in and helped out with Foundation and helped us to meet our goal of $10,000 of giving.  Brad Sackrider helped manage our international efforts this year by traveling to Africa and writing a global grant for a water project.  I probably have left some people out and I apologize, but know that each person in this clubs efforts have helped to make it the greatest Rotary Club in the world.  
 
I cannot express the admiration I have for the members of this club.  It has been my honor to help lead the club this year.  It was a great year and I could not have done it without the help of the officers and board of directors of this club.  I am looking forward to becoming a worker bee again for a while.  Xanthi will do a great job because we have an awesome club that knows how to get things done.  
 
Thanks for a great year.
D
 
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