CONTRIBUTED BY DENVER SOUTHEAST ROTARY CLUB
On Thursday, July 11, the Denver Southeast Rotary Club celebrated its changing of the guard in terms of the club’s leadership. Current President Karen Loeb passed the gavel to incoming President Greg Hoskinson, following a year that included numerous service projects in the local community as well as abroad, amounting to over $100,000 spent, in addition to acquiring new members and increasing the number of Rotarians making annual financial commitments to the Rotary International Foundation.
Much of the meeting held at the Madden Museum in Greenwood Village was dedicated to acknowledging the hard work of Club Foundation Trustees, Club Officers, and Club Chairpersons. In a volunteer organization such as Rotary, those who assume such leadership roles plus chair various committees are invaluable, overseeing the many service projects and youth activities sponsored by Denver Southeast Rotary. Shari Lutz headed the Community Service committee where funding and volunteerism included support of the Denver Santa Claus Shop, a Boy Scout program, Bags of Fun for critically ill children, Abuse Prevention Training put on by Denver Children’s Advocacy Center, a Family Dinner and training support for Cross-Purpose (an organization devoted to helping those in near poverty received job training and placement), Holiday food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Bereavement Bags for patients and their families at Porter Hospice, support for Guitars for Troops, Food and Clothing drives for the Denver Indian Center, Constitution Pocket Books for Campus Middle School, support for the World Affairs Challenge for Youth, winter coats for students at Place Bridge Academy, and relief funds for those who suffered from the recent Nebraska floods. A multi-year signature project of this club has also been led by Past President Jim Stambaugh, which brings various after-school programs to Strive Academy-Ruby Hill Elementary School, in conjunction with Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation.
Rotary is an international organization, so there were also many projects abroad that the club championed and supported, led by Ed Meyer, Chair of the International Service Committee. Support was provided for projects in Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Kenya, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico. Projects included maternal health support, dental services, literacy support, water filters, Project Cure hospital equipment, mobility devices, water wells, and disease prevention.
Many programs are also specifically targeted for youth, a committee led by Fred Shaw. Hilton Martin chaired the Membership committee, while Lou Anne Epperson chaired the Member Engagement committee. She and Cheryl Radke managed a Young Achievers program where two students from West Middle School and Campus Middle School are honored every quarter for their overcoming significant obstacles in achieving success at school.
One of the club’s main fundraising projects is its annual State of the State luncheon with Molly Bloom as guest speaker. This project was led by Larry Bass, with over 660 attendees. An annual golf tournament chaired by Bill Donahue also helps fund the many projects the club undertakes.
New officers under Greg Hoskinson’s presidency will include Treasurer Bonnie Thomas, Secretary Dinesh Weeraparagee, Past President and Foundation Chair Karen Loeb, Evenings Club President Jessica Anderson, and Director of Programs and Administration Jan Lovelady. Committee chairs are: Ed Meyer (International Service), Tim Hartwig (Community service), Courtney Cowgill (Membership), Megan Siebert (New Generations), Richard Swomley (Fundraising), Fred Shaw (Youth Services), Christa Reich (Family of Rotary and RI Foundation co-chair with John Bohan). President Hoskinson is particularly focused on how to attract and retain younger members using less traditional methods of communication, while maintaining engagement in both local and international service.
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