FREMONT ROTARY ACKNOWLEDGES PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
by Kirby Lindsay
Begun as the Fremont Fun Club in 1999, the Rotary Club of Fremont rarely strays far from its roots. In one hectic meeting held October 27, they honored the past, celebrated the present and encouraged future generations of Rotarians. While no small feat for a small club, they also managed to make it fun.
The Award Goes To…
Rotary International encourages clubs to dedicate the month of October to vocations, including presentation of a vocational award. When deciding on this year’s recipient, the Fremont club chose also to honor, “one of the essential people that gave this club life,” explained club president, Jean Withers. According to Susan McCloskey, a Fremont Rotarian and B.F. Day Elementary School Principal, this award is given to companies, or individuals, who exemplify a community service ethic – like John Rose.
Long-time member, and past president of the University
Sunrise Rotary Club, Rose agreed to serve Fremont Fun Club as inaugural president, to help launch the ‘after hours’ Rotary club (that meets Tuesday evenings at 5:30p.m.) Rose, who talked enthusiastically about retirement, someday, when he could ‘live the Rotary life,’ lost his battle with leukemia on July 19, 2009. Rose “didn’t just believe the [Rotary] motto ‘Service Above Self,’ he went beyond it,” according to his son, Jeremy Rose, who attended this presentation with his sister, Mindi Ruffin, and her husband and two children.
In recognition of a life dedicated to Rotary ideals, Fremont Rotary has named their annual award ‘The John M. Rose Vocational Award’. For 2009 they bestowed it upon the Windermere Real Estate Lakeview Office, for their generosity of time and service, especially in support of B.F. Day.
According to McCloskey all Windermere associates give one entire work day to community service projects. She reported having had 20 – 30 volunteers turn out one day in June to help in classrooms, toil in the school’s Friendship Garden, and/or clean up the playground. “Some make all the birthday crowns for the year,” McCloskey explained in awe, “they will do absolutely anything for the teacher.”
Additionally, a Windermere grant helps defray costs for an annual science outdoor education program for 4th & 5th grade students to Olympic Park Institute. They’ve also granted funds to summer camp programs and the after school tutoring program. Individual Windermere associates also give time throughout the school year to tutor, during the school day and after.
Withers presented the award to Linda Tallahan, Managing Broker for Windermere – Lakeview. Then the Rose family presented a book titled Cowboy Ethics in deference to another source of their father’s pride – his Montana roots.
While The Children Play
In case this sounds like a calm, somber meeting – held, as all Fremont Rotary meetings are, upstairs at Hale’s Ales Brewery – the children had been encouraged to come in Halloween costumes.
Children? At Rotary? Yes.
The club recently hired ‘Nanny Glo,’ a grandmother who works full-time as a nanny in the Fremont neighborhood. “Having childcare for our kids means our younger members can choose to join an after-hours Rotary Club,” Withers explained. Adults and children eat dinner together, then the youngest members adjourn to ‘RotaryLand’ with Nanny Glo, while the adults hear speakers on local and/or international issues, conduct Rotary business or present the John M. Rose Vocational Award.
While it may make meetings more raucous, and more lively, it also means visitors will never mistake this for anything other than what it is – a gathering of the Fremont Fun (Rotary) Club.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.