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Karen’s Korner, Vol. 1

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Welcome to a new Rotary year, and thank you for being a part of our Rotary family. For those who do not know me, I am Karen Russell, president of the Campbell Rotary Club, serving Willow Glen, West San José, and Campbell. From time to time, I will write an article or missive to keep you up to date on what we are up to… or other random thoughts.

I have just returned from the Rotary International Convention in Toronto with a much greater understanding and appreciation for what Rotary is doing around the world. The biggest realization I had while in Toronto is that Rotary is about more than eradicating Polio. Yes, we are so ridiculously close that Rotary International (RI) is now preparing their own five-year plan and looking towards their next BIG goal for the world.

Rotary actually has five areas of focus, and they are all interconnected: disease prevention; clean water and sanitation; maternal and child health;  literacy and education (I heard Laura Bush speak on this topic); and community development. Each plenary session during convention focused on one of these areas and how it was related and connected to the others.

Over the past year, our club has participated in a strategic visioning process, and we are in the process of creating an action plan for our club’s five-year vision. Here’s a look at what we’ve developed…

Our Vison
The Rotary Club of Campbell, Willow Glen, and West San José is the “go to” service club for the Campbell, Willow Glen and West San José areas and is known for serving the underserved on our communities and for its annual chili cookoff to fund its philanthropic activities.

Our Mission
How we will achieve our vision:

  1. Membership: We will have a strong, involved, and active membership of 60 members consisting of 70% business owners, with a 50-50 gender balance. We will provide educational and interesting programs for our members. 100% of our members will participate in giving to the International Rotary Foundation every year as well as our Club Foundation. Our annual PolioPlus campaign will grow into a public music festival.
  2. Club Service: Simplifying our new member process, we will have a three-year leadership development program for all members and create a process for all members to have the ability to bring forth service project ideas to the club.
  3. Vocational Service: We will develop a scholarship program for students wishing to enter the trades or other non-college routes to careers,  a mentor program for young people in our communities, and  better branding and other Rotary “swag” to create a higher awareness of Rotary in our service areas.
  4. Community Service: We will develop a strong Rotary Community Corps to give members, potential members, and friends in the community the opportunity to participate on multiple and ongoing service projects. We will partner with other Rotary Clubs in our area on service projects, and develop a “big”, sustainable service project that is ongoing.
  5. Youth Service: We will continue to offer competitive scholarships to local students for college and/or vocational education. We will expand our annual backpack program to benefit one or two other organizations in addition to Uplift Family Services and co-sponsor two Enterprise Leadership Conferences each year in conjunction with other Rotary clubs.
  6. International Service: We will collaborate with other Area 8 Rotary clubs on International service projects, and with four (4) other Rotary clubs in India and El Salvador to provide clean water systems and hygiene in three (3) countries.
  7. Fundraising: We will explore other fundraising opportunities in addition to the annual Chili Cookoff, such as obtaining corporate sponsorships of at least $20,000 per year and auctioning off civic leaders.
  8. Public Awareness: Our club will march in every parade in Campbell and Willow Glen, improve our branding and public relations in Campbell, West San José, and Willow Glen, and have a club booth at all Campbell and Willow Glen festivals and events.

It is a big vision, and I invite our entire community to become a part of it.

In service,
Karen

World Roundup

Around the Globe

Digital Village Project

Year in Review 2014-15

We started the year off with a huge dispute over Hooter’s and ended the year with a mild debate over scooters! And in between, we lost more members than during any year in recent memory. But through it all, we provided tremendous service to our community.

This year, Campbell Rotarians:

  • Served over 2,000 meals to our homeless neighbors at Home First
  • Supported the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and served breakfast to dozens of cancer survivors and their caretakers
  • Helped collect several dozen units of blood at our annual “9-11 Memorial Blood Drive” helping to save untold numbers of lives
  • Packed and distributed hundreds of backpacks for needy children to help them get their school year off on the right foot
  • Donated $1,500 worth of supplies to the teachers of nearby Rosemary School
  • Got together each month to enjoy each other’s company at Thirsty Thursday events
  • Supported veterans who attend West Valley College
  • Supported local business associations in both Campbell and Willow Glen by volunteering to help at their wine walks and other events
  • Contributed over $13,000 to The Rotary Foundation, helping Rotarians reach out to people all over the world
  • Helped clean up Los Gatos Creek Trail
  • Helped celebrate Campbell Library’s 100th Anniversary
  • Put on a very successful and fun-filled golf tournament
  • Took part in Rosemary School’s Fall Health Fair
  • Supported two new Rotary Clubs getting off the ground here in District 5170
  • Hosted and supported a Polio Plus Piano Concert featuring Debbie Davis
  • Volunteered at Octoberfest, Boogie on the Avenue, and Dancin’ on the Avenue
  • Supported the WGBA at their Beer Walk
  • Provided books for “Books 4 Treats” (even though the event got rained out)
  • Donated, collected, sorted and handed out toys to needy local children
  • Volunteered at a local “Shop with a Cop” event in San Jose
  • Bagged and distributed holiday meal packages
  • Supported three area Interact Clubs
  • Volunteered at Campbell’s Carol of Lights
  • Had a great time at our Holiday Party
  • Welcomed RI President Gary Huang when he visited the area
  • Cleaned up Campbell Park
  • Took part in the Martin Luther King National Day of Service
  • Conducted another fabulous Enterprise Leadership Conference for dozens of area high school juniors
  • Read Dr. Seuss stories to children at Rosemary for Read Across America Day
  • Attended Celebrate Campbell in support of Cindy Method, our Rotarian of the Year
  • Marched in the “Bunnies & Bonnets” Parade in Downtown Campbell
  • Attended District 5170’s Annual Celebration
  • Took part in Great American Litter Pick-Up
  • Attended a local Business Expo
  • Helped build a new playground near Sherman Oaks School
  • Feted PE Mason and Zibby at a “Wedding Shower”
  • Attended Rotary U
  • Lent support to another Rotary Club in fulfilling it’s international project
  • Helped evaluate 8th grade projects at Campbell Middle School
  • Sponsored 2 middle school students to Science Camp
  • Planned, prepped and carried out our best “Valley Flavors” event to date
  • Supported our own club Foundation
  • Heard many, many wonderful speakers at our regular meetings
  • Supported an applicant for a Rotary District Scholarship
  • Awarded 2 scholarships to local high school seniors
  • Sent high school leaders to RYLA
  • Purchased a Shelter Box for use in international calamities
  • Helped plan our club’s future at Club Assemblies, and…
  • Hopefully had some fun along the way!

Wow, we’ve had a busy year. I thank you for all that you’ve done in support of Rotary and it’s ideal of “Service Above Self.” Tomorrow begins a whole new Rotary Year. Our club has much to be proud of and much to look forward to. Under the leadership of incoming President Mason McKown, I know you will be just as supportive and helpful as you have always been.

That’s what makes the Rotary Club of Campbell such a special club.

– John Shannon