RCOR President’s Message for September/October

The Rotary Club of Oak Ridge has been quite productive in the months of September and October.  Many thanks go to RCOR member Don Tillar, General Manager of Centennial Golf Course, for taking the lead for the Golf Tournament Fundraiser that was held at Centennial Golf Course on Friday September 23rd. Don Tillar, his staff and the Rotary committee that worked with Don on this event, Jack Bailey, Jim Charles, Steve Fielden, and Pat Row, did a great job organizing our first (hopefully annual) golf tournament fundraiser!  $2,600 was raised to provide funds for our Oak Ridge Community Garden project.  Our club submitted a 2016-2017 District Grant (as a substitute for our delayed Women’s Shelter grant) which, if approved, will increase this amount to $5,000.  These funds will support the development of a community Garden, which is intended to be a safe, educational place for children and the citizens of OR to come together to grow fresh produce for local food banks and personal benefit.  The plan is to have 24 plots located near the Spurgeon Chapel AME Zion Church in the Scarboro Community, with 3 of them being used to grow produce which will be donated to local Church food banks.

We really appreciate all the golfers that came out to play, the sponsors and Chick Filet for providing the delicious lunch.  Because of our efforts, people in our community who are hungry and in need will be fed with healthy food grown with loving hands.  Once again, RCOR is exemplifying “Rotary Serving Humanity”.

One of our other community outreach programs is our sponsorship of the Interact Club at Oak Ridge High School (ORHS). Carol Welch and Mary Jane White are co-chairing our Youth Services Committee and have done a wonderful job working with the leadership at ORHS and encouraging students to join Interact this year.  Our club sponsored five ORHS students to Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) at Camp Nakanawa in Crossville, Tennessee.  RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth in a one-day, hands-on, leadership skills development program, which is open to outstanding High School Juniors with demonstrated leadership qualities. 165 students from 45 different Rotary Clubs in District 6780 attended RYLA this year-the best attendance ever!

To recognize September’s theme of “Basic Education and Literacy,” our club is participating in the Dictionary Project with the Sunset and Breakfast Rotary Clubs.  RCOR members will be handing out dictionaries to every third grader in the Oak Ridge Schools in October.  Dictionaries help children build a fundamental skill needed for literacy.  We teach them how to look up words they come across but don’t know.  Suddenly, the sentence that they didn’t understand, has meaning.  That is literacy!

On Saturday October 1st, we held the annual Street Painting Festival at Roane State Community College.  The weather was perfect and our festival was a resounding success, bringing in some $11,000 for scholarships for Roane State Community College.  Accolades to Melinda Hillman and Nancy Harrison for organizing this year’s festival and to committee members Tom Row, Adolf King and Jennifer Enderson for all of their support.  My personal thanks to all of the ROCR volunteers that gave of their time to ensure smooth operations.  And of course, we thank all of the artists that came out to share their talents with us in their beautiful chalk drawings and Jim Dodson for serving as our judge.

To recognize the fact that October is “Community and Economic Development Month,” State Senator Ken Yager and Mayor Warren Gooch spoke to our club about our state and our community.  Thanks go to our program committee (Tracy Boatner, Stacey Pratt and Darrell Akins) which has brought us an excellent array of speakers so far this year.  If you have any ideas of programs you would like to seek, please share them with our program committee.

Next month is Foundation month, so please take a minute to see if you have met the giving goals of our Rotary Serving Humanity Campaign, in which we ask every member to:

  • Give at least $126.50 to the Rotary Foundation
  • Give $40 to Polio Plus
  • Give $100 to the Community Fund

If you haven’t yet done so, November will be an excellent time to make your donations!

Thanks to all of you that have made and are continuing to make our Rotary Club a vibrant, action-oriented club.  We have already achieved so much in the first 4 months of this Rotary year and I look forward to continuing to do all that we can to Serve Humanity and make the world a better place for all of us.



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