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  Las Vegas Rotary Club History

The following information was assembled over the decades of the Las Vegas Rotary Club existence.  Establish on April 5, 1923, the Las Vegas Rotary Club has grown from a small group of prominent citizens to more than 130 members today.  

 
 

 

 

 

 

        It was 1923, and Las Vegas was slowly emerging from a crippling railroad strike, which hit the community in 1922 and almost wrecked, the town’s economy.  On April 5 of that year, Rotary was born.

        Les Saunders, who came here from Southern California to take over as manager of the Chamber of Commerce, sowed the seed.  Seventeen others joined him to form the club’s charter membership.

        The charter members were Dr. William S. Park, the only dentist in town at the time; A.A. Hinman, a lawyer; Walter Bracken, Union Pacific representative; C.E. “Pem” Pembroke, a merchant; Harry Blanding, a butcher and owner of a large “ranch’ on West Charleston where the Presbyterian Church now stands; William H. “Bill” Pike, founder of the Cragin and Pike Insurance Company and owner of the only theater in town; Bill Ferron, pioneer pharmacist; W.S. German, Union Pacific employee and former city commissioner; Cyril S. Wengert, banker; James Cashman, auto dealer; Dr. Roy W. Martin, pioneer physician and surgeon; Jack Heaton, an employee of the Union Pacific; Bill Beckley, haberdasher, Ed W. Clark, banker; Sam J. Lawson, power and telephone company; O. K. Adcock, haberdasher; and Mel Riley, real estate man.

        At that time Las Vegas was a sleepy railroad town.  Moving along Fremont Street from the Union Pacific Depot, you would run out of town when you reached Fifth Street.  The block from Fourth to Fifth, on both sides of the street, was occupied by the then elaborate homes of the Ferrons, the Brackens, the McNamees, the Squires, the Norrises, and several more whose names have been erased by the ravages of time.

        There was no glamour along the street such as there is now.  Where the Golden Nugget now stands, on the corner of Second and Fremont, was the E.W. Griffith Building, which housed the post office and a hotel upstairs.  Next door to the post office was the Majestic Theater owned by Pike.  Across the street, the site of the present Horseshoe Club was a vacant lot with the remains of an old foundation covered over with willows.   Where the Fremont now stands was another vacant lot, and on the southeast corner Bill Ferron owned the White Cross Drug Store, with the telephone and power company office in the real on Second Street, and Dr. Park’s office on the second floor.

        The business district started fading into residential area about midway between Third and Fourth.  The cross streets between Ogden and Bridger were all residential.  Third and Fourth Streets were occupied mostly by “company” houses, the Union Pacific having built them for their employees prior to the strike.

        The Rotary club actually was formed on February 23, 1923.  The founders met in the Chocolate Shop at 203 Fremont, which now is a part of the Golden Nugget.  The Rotary Club of Las Vegas was chartered on April 5 and designated as Club Number 1401 of becoming the first baby Rotarian fell to C.P. “Pop” Squires.  “Pop” was the Las Vegas Postmaster and also publisher of the Las Vegas Age.  He was the editor of The Wheel for some 30 years, and in his later years was made a special honorary member for life for his  outstanding and unselfish service to the club and the community.

        The Las Vegas Rotary Club won its first honor and distinction by attending three district assemblies (San Jose in 1924, Fresno in 1925, and San Diego in 1926) with 100 percent in attendance. 

To those in the membership today, that may not appear to be much of an accomplishment.  However, in 1924, ’25, and ’26, it was considered quite a feat.

        During the 20’s, there were no paved highways from here to anywhere.  Dirt roads, rut-filled and dusty, moved out of Las Vegas in two directions – north and south to Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.  A trip to Reno by car was almost unheard of, and the road to Needles and Kingman was not much better.  There was no Boulder City, nor Henderson.  Las Vegas was practically isolated.  Anyone needing to go anywhere went by train.  A few hardy souls risked the rigors of the desert by car, but their friends at home considered them real daredevils.

        Shortly after the club was formed, the Chocolate Shop closed, and the meetings were moved to the “Beanery”, the Union Pacific dining room just north of the present station.  The Beanery was about the only place in town to eat satisfactorily, and even then, some days, the food was pretty bad.  It is strange commentary that today Las Vegas is considered one of the gourmet’s delight, for back in the 20s & 30’s, one hardly could find a satisfactory place to eat in town.

        The next meeting place was forced on the club by progress.  It came about in 1938 when the Beanery was torn down to make way for the new and modern depot.  So the club picked up its knives and forks and moved to the Kiva Club.  This establishment was in the basement of the Apache Hotel, built by P.O. Silvagni on that vacant lot where the foundation and the willows were back at the beginning of the club.

        El Rancho Vegas, which was built by Tommy Hull in 1941, outmoded this meeting place and the club moved its meeting place out on the “Strip.”  Rotary moved again in 1944 to the Last Frontier, where the weekly meetings were held in the homey Canary Room until 1957.  Then there was a great deal of shopping around until the club became “permanently” settled in the Tropicana.

        Since it was chartered, the Las Vegas club has been in five districts.  Originally, it was in District 2 until 1937, and then it was placed in District 107.  Then in 1949, the district was divided and the club went into District 1670.  A few years later, in 1953, District 160 was divided into three districts and the club was placed in 160C.  In 1956, the club was placed in District 5300, under the re-zoning of the districts throughout the world, and we still remain in that district.

        Rotary was growing, along with Las Vegas.  Both the city and the club were looking forward to the start of construction on Boulder Dam, and the community had grown from a population of some 2,000 in 1923 to some 5200 in 1930.

        The Boulder Dam Bill was signed in 1929, but before construction of the dam could be started, a railroad and a highway had to be built.  Morrison and Knudsen was awarded the contract for the railroad, and the LeTourneau Construction Company was awarded the contract for the highway from the railhead in Boulder City to the dam site.  The big LeTourneau dirt moving equipment, which is used wherever highway construction or heavy mining is done these days, had its start on Hoover Dam, for the LeTourneau Company designed the equipment used at Hoover Dam and it was the largest ever made up to that time.

        Six companies were contractors on the dam because the job was so big that one company could not handle it alone.  Frank Crowe, construction engineer, put together a merger of six companies to do the job, with himself as the chief.  The companies were Utah Construction, Pacific Bridge and Building, C.F. Shea and Son, Bechtel and Kaiser, Morrison and Knudsen, and McDonald Kahn Company.

        As the construction proceeded and Boulder City was built near the dam site, members of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas saw an opportunity to expand, and a survey of the possibility of establishing a new club there was undertaken under the leadership of K.O. Knudson, a principal of the old Fifth Street Grammar School, who carried through the sponsorship and founding of the Boulder City Rotary Club.

        The Las Vegas Rotary Club has recorded many “firsts”, but probably two of the most remembered occurred in 1927 and 1931.  It was in 1928 that the first long distance telephone service was inaugurated out of Las Vegas.  Up to that time the only service

outside of Las Vegas was via the Union Pacific telegrapher’s key.  Telephone service was confined to some 100 or 150 subscribers who had hand cranked phones in their homes or offices.  However, Ed Clark, who was then president of the telephone company, worked out a schedule whereby long distance service became available to the subscribers, and the first long distance phone call was made from Clark at the Rotary meeting to the Mayor of Reno, E.E. Roberts.  It also might be of interest to note that among other phone calls, which were made that day, was one from A.E. Cahlan, a former president of the Rotary Club, to his brother John F. Cahlan, (later to become a member) who was living in Reno.

        The second occasion may have been the foundation for the demotion parties, which have become to familiar to Rotary.  It was in 1931, shortly after beer was legalized.  During Prohibition, only 3.2 alcohol content was legal.  Then Roosevelt was elected and he decreed regular beer to be legal.  There was a great hue and cry in Las Vegas at the time, and the whole town was anxiously awaiting the first shipment.  Charles Dimock, a member of Rotary, and Al Cahlan, also a member, cooked up a deal whereby Dimock was to supply the beer for the Rotary meeting and Cahlan would act as

bartender.  The only problem was nobody knew how to open the barrel.  There wasn’t a bung starter in town and no bung to fit in the bunghole so the beer could run out.  Finally, the problem was solved.  A wooden mallet was resurrected and one of the speakeasies found a long unused bung, and the party was on.  That party almost destroyed the Rotary Club, because such community leaders as those in Rotary were considered above any mundanely act as a beer bust.  But the furor blew over before too much damage could be done.

        The first project of the Las Vegas Rotary came only a few years after the club was formed.  Word was received from Overton that a youth there had been run over by a mower and both of his feet had been severed.  Emergency action saved the boy’s life, but it appeared that he would be unable to walk for the rest of his life.  The boy was four years old at the time.  Through services donated by the numerous doctors in the club and donations of cash from the members, the boy was sent to Los Angeles, where artificial limbs were fitted.  As the child grew and the new limbs had to be supplied, Rotary members continued to care for the youth until he was grown.

        Some time later, it was determined that Notre Dame football team might stop off in Las Vegas on its way to Los Angeles for a game with U.S.C., if a proper practice field could be supplied.  So the Rotary Club, along with several other organizations, contributed to install turf on Butcher Field, which up to that time, was only a dirt field.  Notre Dame didn’t stop here for practice, but several other college teams did as they traveled to L.A. for football games.  Later, it was determined that lights would be needed for night football at the high school, so the Rotary Club donated the money to install the lights.  The lights stand there today as the result of the Rotary investment.

        During the first decade of its existence, the Rotary Club had nine presidents.  Les Saunders left for Los Angeles shortly after taking office, and Bill Ferron, who served in 1923 and 1924, replaced him.  Then A.A. Hinman succeeded him, and Frosty Mildren, a doctor who had a clinic on South Second Street, across the street from the courthouse, took over.  He was succeeded in turn by Fred Hesse, long-time Mayor of the city, who in turn gave up the gavel in 1928 to Dr. F.M. Ferguson, an M.D. who had recently arrived in Las Vegas.  Then followed Dr. William S. Park, Charlie Dimock, Leo A. McNamee, and Al Cahlan.  During the terms of these men, Hoover Dam had started and Las Vegas was on its way. 

        In 1933, Doug Dashiel took over as president.  He had come to Las Vegas as an athletic coach, succeeding Francis Butcher who died in a tragic fire in 1930.  Dashiel took over a position, which was vacated by a local hero, and stepped into his shoes quite successfully.  Under his regime “The Big Red” was born when Dashiel’s Las Vegas High School football teams rolled over competing teams in Nevada, California, Utah, and Arizona. 

        Marion Earl, attorney, and Dr. Martin served in 1934 and ‘35 respectively, and the Rotary Club kept pace with the rapidly growing city. In 1936, under K.O. Knudson’s  term, “big time” gambling came to Las Vegas. Prior to that time gambling had been confined to smaller clubs like Harold Stocker’s Northern Club and another smaller club operated by Joe Morgan.  But in 1936, there was a

terrific earthquake in Los Angeles politics, and Mayor Frank Shaw was recalled.  Shaw had four ardent supporters, and among these four, gambling, prostitution and other vice activities were reportedly parceled out.  Guy McAfee and including Tutor Scheer, Farmer Paige and Chuck Addison headed the four.  Nobody ever was able to pin any sign of guilt on these boys, but the word was out in Los Angeles that they not only controlled Shaw but the town as well.  So, when the moralistic earthquake hit, McAfee and partner headed for greener pastures - Las Vegas to be exact.  They negotiated for the lease of the Bill Beckley Corner and promptly turned it into the Pioneer Club, the first exclusive gambling institution in Las Vegas since the Meadows, built by the Cornero Brothers in 1931.  The Meadows was out where the Montgomery Ward complex now stands and was an elaborate set-up.  After McAfee and his pals began operating the Pioneer, they began to spread out and bought the store where O.K. Adcock operated his business and established the Frontier Club.

        Shortly thereafter, things also were happening on the “Strip.”  Tommy Hull’s venture was such a success that a Texas theater chain owner, R.E. Griffith, built the Last Frontier, the most elaborate resort hotel in the Southwest, and installed Bill Moore as operator.  The Frontier became the “home town” hotel, and every night the dining room would be crowded with local residents.  Marriages, births and anniversaries customarily were celebrated wither in the Canary Room or the big dining room, named the Ramona Room. Cocktail and bridge parties at the Frontier were the thing to do.

        Then came “Bugsy” Siegel and the Flamingo.  One of the biggest openings ever, started the Flamingo off.  The local people mingled with movie stars, gangsters, and just plain people the night the spot opened.

        Rotary always has participated in the development of the city of Las Vegas.  The club created several small parks in the community when it was made known that the city was unable to come up with the funds for such facilities.

        It was also during the term of K.O. Knudson that Hoover Dam was finished, in 1936, and President Franklin Roosevelt came out to dedicate it.  After the dam was dedicated, Jim Cashman, U.S. Senator Key Pittman and Claude Mackey decided that the President should see what the latter’s agency and the WPA, was doing in the State of Nevada.  Much to the consternation of the Secret Service man in charge of the President’s safety, Roosevelt was taken into the Charleston Mountains where Mackey displayed the road building work that was going on.  The only trouble was, they took the automobiles up the roadway so far they forgot they had to turn around.  When they were ready to start back down the mountain, there was no space wide enough to make a turn-around.  So they unloaded the President, and while he stood watching the 20-minute process, the chauffeur finally made it by inching the car around a little at a time, backing up and then repeating the process.

        Following Knudson in the presidency were Frank Gusewelle, the Texaco dealer and later County Commissioner, Tom Connally; Archie Grant and Otto Underhill.  It was during Underhill’s term that great expansion came to Las Vegas.  Tommy Hull had recently completed his El Rancho Hotel, thus starting a tourist boom; and shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Flexible Gunnery School was started out at the Western Air Field, which is where Nellis AFB now stands.  Western and the Army Air Force shared the field for the duration of the war.

        As was only natural, airmen were commonplace on the streets of Las Vegas, and the Rotary Club was instrumental, along with the Chamber of Commerce, in staging several Christmas parties for the cadets training at the base just before leaving for combat duty in the South Pacific.

        And then, at the end of Underhill’s term and the beginning of Bryan L. Bunker’s, the United States decided to build Basic Magnesium at Henderson.  This was especially important to Rotary because one of the club’s later presidents came from the Basic plant.

        Following Bunker came Cy Wengert in 1942, and it was during his term that the Rotary District governor was greeted by the three Southern Nevada clubs – Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Caliente.  Somewhere, the Caliente Club sneaked into the fold without any record having been made of the event.

        In 1943, Fred O’Donnell, of the Rancho Grande Creamery, served as president, and Frank Case, general manager of the Basic plant, followed him.  Vic Shurtliff, a grocer working for Safeway, followed Case.

        It was under Wengert’s term in 1942 that the Rotary Club built a number of Boy Scout huts that were constructed in the park behind the post office, that has now become Squires Park.  It was also during this time that a large fireplace was constructed in the recreational building at the Lee Canyon Scout Camp, which boys and girls used alternately during the summer months in their camping programs.

        Max Kelch followed Shurtliff, and it was during his term in 1946-47 that the Las Vegas Rotary hosted the second conference to be held in Las Vegas.  Twelve-hundred registrants flooded the town, and considering the fact there were only three large hotels in the community at the time, housing became quite a problem.  However, the problem was solved when the people of the entire town opened their homes to the delegates and welcomed them like members of the family.  Part of this conference took place on top of Hoover Dam, and the governors of Nevada and Arizona were in attendance.  Dr. Lloyd C. Douglas, author of “The Robe,” gave the opening address.

        The major project of 1947 while Ed Ciliax was president was providing a mobile camping truck for the Boy Scouts.  This was an extremely expensive project, but it was completed, and for many years afterward the mobile truck was the delight of all Scout campers.

        In 1948, under Lorin Ronnow, a drive for the establishment of a library for Las Vegas was started.  The Rotary Club joined in wholeheartedly, and the final outcome of the drive found the Rotary contribution at $8,300 or more than $100 per member.  The Rotary Park, now Doolittle Park on Charleston Boulevard, was established through contributions by the club.

        It was during the terms of Ciliax and Lorin Ronnow that the Army Gunnery School was deactivated, in 1947, and reactivated in 1948.  It was thought for a while that the base was lost forever, but due to the efforts of  Senator Pat McCarran, it was saved and has grown to be one of the largest Federal activities in Nevada.

        In 1950, under the directorship of Allye Lawson, two new projects were started.  One was the custom of rewarding local high school students by having them attend the weekly luncheons; giving them a certificate and having them show their work to the club.  When the expansion of the school system built the high school population to fill several schools, the program had to be abandoned.  However, another was substituted when once a month a local teacher was honored at the club meeting.  This activity was later discontinued.  The other project started in 1950 was the foreign student program, originated by the American Field Service in cooperation with the State Department, whereby students of high school age are sponsored, brought to the United States and housed for a school year.  The Las Vegas Rotary sponsored its first student in 1950, and for several years accepted the responsibility for one student a year.

        It was during Harry Allen’s term of office in 1951-52 that the original “bug” was planted in Las Vegas.  It all happened because of the demotion party that was planned for him.  Allye Lawson, in order to get script material for Allen’s party, installed a recording device in his automobile in order to tape conversations in the car.  Allen was not aware of the “bug”, and Lawson and his cohorts got more than enough information for the party.

        It was during the term of Les Edwards, in 1952, that the big mushrooms began to grow out on the Nevada desert near Frenchman’s Flat.  It was in that year that the Atomic Energy Commission exploded its first nuclear device at the Nevada Test Site.  Since that time the NTS has been one of the major industries in this area.

        In 1953, also under Edwards – when it was determined that Henderson and the Basic plant were going to be permanent, having escaped cannibalization at the hands of the General Services Administration – the Las Vegas Club sponsored and brought into being the Henderson Club.  It joined with Las Vegas and Boulder City in presenting fine examples of Rotary, its aim and objects.

        Under the presidency of Wayne Kirch, 1953-54, the well remembered but now sadly missed inter-city program with the Vernon, California club was begun.  Many memorable meetings were held both in Las Vegas and Vernon, and for many years it was a highlight of the Rotary year.  The first District Conference of Rotary was held in Las Vegas during Kirch’s term.  The Rotary Club also gave great impetus to get the Nevada Southern University, now the University of Nevada Las Vegas, established in Las Vegas.

        George Bowman was president of the club in 1954-55 and instituted a very successful “Vocational Service Table” program under which each week, several Rotarians hosted a guest employer, employee, competitor or customer.  The 4 Way Test was also intro-duced into the school system, and road signs calling attention to the Rotary meeting were established on all roads leading into Las Vegas.

        As 1955 was the Golden Anniversary of Rotary International, a gala dinner party was held in Las Vegas with many districts officers present.  The club also sponsored an inter-city visit to Tonopah, with 15 members and their wives attending.  Other similar visits were made to Reno, Yerington, Sparks, Fallon, Carson City and Minden.  In addition, the club started an improvement project for Hyde Park with an initial donation of $1700.

        It was 1955, under the regime of Spence Butterfield, that a cooking shelter, costing $2,500 was donated to the Girl Scouts at their camp in Foxtail Canyon, adjacent to Lee Canyon.

        During Walter Hunsaker’s term of office, 1956-57, several projects were started which lapped over into other president’s terms.  However, the Rotary Club had been meeting at the Last Frontier for many years and suddenly found the hotel sold and under the process of remodeling.  So the club was forced to move to the Royal Nevada, where they remained for a portion of the year.  When the Royal Nevada began remodeling, another move was forced.  This was the end of an era for Las Vegas, for the two original and pioneer hotels, El Rancho and the Last Frontier, were out of business and a whole new regime took over.  In this 1956-57 term, Tommy Underhill and Hunsaker started a classification survey looking toward the formation of a new club in North Las Vegas, which came about later.  The initial phase of the plans for the Rotary Park was started, and this also lapped over into the term of Ted Brandt, who followed Hunsaker in office.

        Julian Moore’s term, 1958-59, was described by Julian himself as “one of frustration.”  The high point, however, was the chartering of the North Las Vegas club during his term.  Moore said he proposed a split in the membership so a new Las Vegas club should be formed.  He suggested a new method of nominations for officers of the club and proposed a new method of introducing members and guests.  He was several years ahead of his time, but eventually the club adopted most of his proposals and went on to great things.

        Ray Culley’s year in 1959-60 was highlighted by the completion of Rotary Park, adjacent to Hyde Park Junior High School, and the District Conference in Las Vegas with the Altadena Club host.  This event was held at the Convention Center in April.

        Culley was followed by C.T. Harris, and in 1961 Ollie Gardner took over.  The outstanding event in his term was the donation of $1,500 to the YMCA for athletic equipment.  That year the International convention was held in Tokyo, and the Otto Underhills, Vail Pittmans, Jack Cherrys, Hank Hydes, and Ollie Gardners represented the Las Vegas Club.

        Thomas Underhill served the Las Vegas Rotary Club as president during the years1962-63.  Vern Willis took over in 1963 and with the assistance of his Rotary spouse, Helen, worked out the actual design for the “Las Vegas Rotary Greets the World” curtain that graced the stage of all meetings until 1998.  One-half of the curtain was paid for by J.K. Houssels, Sr. through a fine which was set up in advance, and the rest was paid out of the fine funds during the year.

        A change in the by-laws also was initiated that created a new method of electing officers and also permitted overlapping directors.  The change also enlarged the Board and included the past president for one year.  It was under Vern’s term that the first Christmas party for Rotarians and their children and grandchildren was held.  The demotion party was held at the Crockett Ranch, thereby establishing a tradition.  During Vern’s year a grand tradition of Las Vegas Rotary had its beginning.  At the suggestion of William Carlson, a member of the Nevada Southern University (UNLV), 101 Nevada Centennial Silver Medallions were purchased.  The first of these medallions was given to that member of the

university’s 1964 graduating class with the highest scholastic record.  The year of 1964 was not only the state’s 100th birthday, but also the year of the first graduating class for the university.  Since that time, one of the medallions has been awarded to a UNLV student each year.

        Ward Wengert was president in 1964-65, and during his term the Rotary curtain was hung for the first time, the new Southwest Las Vegas Rotary club was sponsored, and the Las Vegas club achieved 800% in The Rotary Foundation.

        The year 1965-66 put William Southard on the hot seat, and it was during his term that the first official visit of an international president was recorded by the Las Vegas club.  R.I. President C.P.H. Teenstra visited the local club on December 39, 1964.  During his visit he presented the charter to the Las Vegas Southwest club.  The Rotary Club Foundation was established in 1965 to provide funds for scholarships, awards, grants to institutions of higher learning, and community service projects.  The club provided $1550 to the special education program at UNLV.

        The first Interact Club sponsored by the Rotary Club became a reality in Vegas High School.  The Las Vegas club also received its first place District Award for Avenues of Service, International Projects, Student Sponsorship and Housing, and the outstanding Christmas Gift Program.  The second place Paul Harris Award was received for effort and achievement in the area

of community service.  The project was the vocational training program at the junior high level.

        Dr. Vince Sanner served the club during the year 1966-67, and his regime also was marked with great activity.  Rotary conducted a book drive that brought in a total of 1000 books for the James Dickinson University Library.  A great deal of Vince’s effort as president was directed toward the betterment of the university in Las Vegas, and the program reflected the growing stature the institution was taking on in the community.  The club voted to donate $2,500 for the furnishings of the Boy Scout headquarters building that had just been completed.

        Walt Wehner came into office to serve the Rotary Club in 1967 and 1968.  The community was continuing to boom as new hotels were being built and the economy continued to boom.  Walt attempted to develop a balanced program, which would feature more Rotary and at the same time include enjoyment for both the members and their families.

        Las Vegas co-hosted the District 5300 conference with Vern Willis as co-chairman for the event.  The silver-dollar medallion plan for the speakers was developed.  Also the club sponsored an inter-city visit to Caliente.  A “warm-up” dance looking forward to the fiftieth anniversary was held, and a spring golf tourney was staged.  All in all, it was quite a year.  The club also achieved the 900% niche in The Rotary Foundation.

        Others who served as presidents after Wehner were Dr. Bob Robinson, Harold Wandesforde, Mark Mielke and Dr. Harold Boyer.  During Mark’s 1970-71 term, the first drug information project was undertaken by the Club along with a major motion

picture to raise funds for this ongoing project.  An international visit by the Tiajuana, Mexico Rotary Club escorted by the military attache’s in charge of such events.

        It was Angelo Manzi’s privilege to serve as president during the Golden Anniversary of Rotary in Las Vegas, which occurred in 1973.  Most of Ange’s efforts were directed toward making the event a memorable one, and he succeeded very well.  The Golden Anniversary celebration itself was held on Thursday, April 25, at the Sahara Space Center.  Florence Jones Cahlan, Rotary spouse of John F. Cahlan, was the principal speaker and gave a very interesting resume of what life was like in Las Vegas when the Rotary Club was founded.  While the Golden Anniversary was only one segment of the very successful career of Angelo as president, everyone felt it was the outstanding one.  Angelo also assumed office about the time ground was being broken for the “world’s largest resort hotel”, the MGM.  This only served to show the world that Las Vegas was still growing.

        Keith Ashworth’s term, 1973-74, saw many changes develop in the Las Vegas Rotary Club.  After some 15 years meeting in the Tropicana Hotel for weekly luncheons, the most drastic of changes came about when the Rotary Club moved into the showroom of the Landmark Hotel.

        The crippled children’s program also became a reality, and the board of directors voted $500 for the improvement of facilities at Lorenzi Park for use by the handicapped.  The explorers segment of the Boy Scout program also received a donation of $500 from the club, and a $500 donation was made in the form of a scholarship from the foundation for the Dana Marie Lull scholarship.  Five other scholarships were awarded to schoolchildren in the school system. 

        Because of inflation and the fact that dues had not been raised for some time, the board voted to increase the yearly dues so that the club could operate in the black.

        Elmer Vacchina, who was elected to the presidency for the year 1974-75, was unable to even start his term as he was transferred to Reno before he could assume the presidency.  And so, Bob O’Connell was elevated to the post.  However, before Vacchina departed for Reno, he set the wheels in motion for the formation of a new club in the area.  It came to fruition some time later when the Paradise Club was given a charter.  Also while Vacchina was awaiting ascendancy to the headman’s spot, the club received recognition from the district convention when The Wheel, the bulletin of the club, was awarded a certificate of merit as one of the outstanding papers in the district.

        It was during President Bob O’Connell’s term that the Bicentennial program was launched.  A Constitutional Congress was staged under the direction of Dean Cummings and his committee, and representatives of the various schools in Clark County participated in the event that brought forth a “Constitution” drafted entirely by those in attendance.  It was a huge success and drew praise from District Governor Barney Ingram.

        A bus acquired for the crippled children’s program, and coordinated with this was the formation of a Boy Scout unit for the handicapped.  Dr. Gordon Tobin headed the committee in charge. 

        Territory for the new Paradise Club was ceded during the O’Connell term, and it became the only club that was chartered in the district during that year.  Walt Wehner was chairman of the committee in charge of the formation of the new group.  President Bob also whipped up great interest in the district conclave in Colorado, and the largest attendance of recent years was present at the sessions.  Two busloads of Rotarians and their spouses were in attendance.  The hospitality room set up by Jim Corey and Scott Wallace was the hit of the convention In addition, The Wheel, co-edited by John Beville, John F. Cahlan and Ray Germain was awarded top prize as the best in class of all the district bulletins.

        The year of Don Ashworth, 1975-76, was marked by the celebration of the nation’s bicentennial, and through programs developed within the Las Vegas Club, Rotary was able to play its part in the observance of the important birthday.  The outstanding program was the Constitutional Congress, the brainchild of Dean Cummings, which brought representatives from all of the various high schools in the area together to prepare a new Constitution for the United States to meet the changing times over the past 200 years.  This project was considered of such importance that it received notice at the RI Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois that year.

        The 25 Club, the “Rotary Club within a Rotary Club” was established and proved to be another of the outstanding accomplishments of Don’s year.  The club is designed to provide the new members with a more intimate look at Rotary, as well as to provide the neophytes with a sense of fellowship.

        David F. Welles (1976-77) followed Don, and the program for his year was to set up a closer rapport among the other clubs in the Southern Nevada area as well as closer association with the district clubs throughout Nevada and Southern California.  This campaign was highly successful and resulted in the assigning of the district assembly, the zone conference and the district conference in Southern Nevada.  This came about when Dave and several other representatives from local clubs joined together to crash the political “inside” of the district and assert the Southern Nevada picture where never before had it been accepted.  The foundation for the rapport among the Southern Nevada clubs was set up at the first countywide picnic that was held at Sunset Park with the Las Vegas Club as host.

        One of the highlights of Jim Corey’s regime as president of the club (1977-78) was the contribution the group made to the Clark County Library.  Under Jim’s leadership, “fine” money collected from the various members during the year was placed in a fund to provide books for the library, and some 200 books were placed on the shelves of the institution.  Each member’s name is on a nameplate of the book he purchased.  Jim was proud of the fun and fellowship that was generated during his term, and most of the donations, which had been made in previous years, were continued.

        The club also provided a picture and plaque for the Maxwell Kelch Room at the Boy Scout headquarters in memory of the late Rotarian who devoted so much of his time to civic enterprises.

        In July of 1978, the Las Vegas Rotary Club came under the leadership of Darrell Luce.  The outstanding event of his year came in January of 1970 when Clem Renouf, the President of Rotary International, honored his area with his presence at a special dinner given at the MGM Hotel.  At his gala affair, the R.I. President spoke about his new 3-H program, and the Las Vegas club, as well as other Southern Nevada clubs, made a large donation to this worthwhile venture.  Darrell’s other outstanding accomplishment was the beginning of a “scholastic recognition” luncheon to honor the outstanding scholars from all the high schools in Clark County

.  This very successful event included most of the other clubs in the area and was attended by over 135 honor students.

        During the 1970-80 presidential period, Albert H. Purdue led the club.  Bert was fortunate to have been president during the seventy-fifth anniversary of Rotary, which coincidentally was also the seventy-fifth anniversary of the City of Las Vegas.  Programs appropriate to the two birthdays highlighted the part of the Las Vegas Rotary Club played in the growth and development of the city.  During Bert’s administration, the club continued its work in the development of the Joe Shoong Park for the handicapped, and increased its total donations to The Rotary Foundation by one-third.

        A highlight of Bert’s year was the acquisition of title to a city owned parcel originally set aside for park purposes under agreements worked out between the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Rotary Club.  This acquisition has given the club a substantial source of funds, for the property has been leased to private enterprise for a period of fifty years.  The funds made available by the lease have been pledged to youth projects.

        Michael Hoover led the club during the 1980-81 Rotary year.  During his year as president, Mike saw the fruition of his

previous efforts to establish a Rotary playground for the handicapped, with the dedication of Joe Shoong Park.  During this year, money was also raised for a sun shelter at Rotary Park, which was sponsored by the Las Vegas Rotary Club in the mid-fifties.

        In district competition the Las Vegas Rotary Club was awarded first place for community service and third place for both youth leadership and international service.  Mike gave special attention to membership and saw the club membership read 208

during his year; a membership record.  He also pushed for support from the members for The Rotary Foundation.  The club placed number one in the district as a result of his efforts.  Ten members became Paul Harris Fellows during the year, and 20 sustaining members were added to the list.  At the end of the year, the club proudly reported 38 Paul Harris Fellows and 30 sustaining members.

        Donald L. Aikin served the Rotary Club of Las Vegas as its president during the year 1981-82.  Prior to his term as president, he had served four years as the club Treasurer, and one year as Vice President.  During Don’s year, most of his efforts were directed toward The Rotary Foundation, a carryover from previous year.  Attention in this area had been neglected with few Paul Harris Fellows to our credit.  Don accepted the challenge and began to create interest and enthusiasm in the Paul Harris Fellowship.  During his year alone, $14,300 was raised for The Rotary Foundation.

        Also during Don’s term, eight members of the 25 Club erected the barbecue pit with the help of some City of Las Vegas employees.  An award was won for the club through their efforts during the district conference.  Another innovation occurring during the year was the changing of the format of the weekly publication, The Wheel.  For this effort, the club was again awarded a trophy for excellence in its presentation.  A highlight of the year was when Marion Earl was awarded the Outstanding Rotarian of the Year, an award richly deserved by an Outstanding Man!

        Joe Buckley served as president for the Rotary 1982-83 calendar year.  While Las Vegas was suffering the effects of a national recession, the members of the club shifted into high gear to fill the financial and service voids created by the recession.  $105,163 was raised to support the youth summer employment, to purchase a van for the Seniors Meal-On-Wheels program, to provide scholarships for the community college and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, to sponsor a 25 week community service television program, as well as provide support for the Salvation Army and other youth programs.  Of the total amount raised, the club made its largest contribution to The Rotary Foundation in the amount of $19,000.

        It was a year of club fun, fellowship and friendship, and a gala event was put on, celebrating our 60th Anniversary as a member of the Rotary International family.  District Governor Bill Ryan and his wife, Judy, were honorary hosts and supported the event like many other projects during our Rotary year.

        As a sign of unity and friendship among the Rotary Clubs of Las Vegas, Moapa, and Caliente, Liz Buckley suggested the planting of a Paul Harris Friendship Tree in the Las Vegas Rotary Club Park.  All clubs supported the concept and District Governor Bill Ryan dedicated the tree.  The District Conference was held in San Diego at the Hotel del Coronado in April of 1983.  At that time President Joe Buckley was presented Club Youth, Community and International service awards for the club’s projects during the year.

        Irwin Kishner was president in the year 1983-84.  Irwin’s theme was “Make It Work.”  Irwin served the club on the Board of Directors for thirteen years, including eight of which he was secretary and one year as Vice-President.  His main focus was community and club service.  The club reached out to the community taking on the financing of an addition to the Opportunity Village facility for handicapped and retarded persons.  In addition, Child Haven, a home for abused and abandoned children, was revitalized with financial contributions, as well as “hands-on” help from both the Rotarians and Rotary spouses.

        With tremendous effort on the part of scholarship chairman, Keith Bassett, our Rotary Club began awarding scholarships to deserving high school seniors.   Past President Dr. Harold Boyer initiated the Rotary Orientation College, which will service all clubs in Southern Nevada.  Our members moved along in the direction of hosting the Rotary International Convention in 1986 in Las Vegas under the chairmanship of President Kishner as Host Club Chairman.  This project was the result of ten year of Irwin’s effort.  Our club through President Kishner, was awarded at the Rotary District conference, Rotary International President, William Skeleton’s Presidential Citation; first place award, out of the 47 clubs in the District, in the “Club Service” category; and second place award for the club bulletin, The Wheel, under the editorship of Tom Carns.

        James Cashman III took over the helm of the Las Vegas Rotary Club in July 1984 and guided it rewardingly through the 1984-85 year.  His stated goal at the beginning of his term was to combine fun with service for every member, a goal that he achieved.  The meetings were enlivened by his keen sense of humor, and the special events during his year were designed to meet the needs of the varied interests of the membership, which was not easy for a club with over 200 members.  There were ski trips, golf tournaments, dances and variety programs.  Every member was encouraged to participate in club service activities, and the response was gratifying even to the demanding Jim.

        What came to be known as the “Opportunity Village Project” was completed during his year.  With Jim ever present, landscaping and painting crews made up of willing Rotarians donated days of effort to the building and grounds of the refuge for handicapped children.  In addition, the club granted over $25,000 to a variety of community service projects.  Also, during Jim’s year, Career Clubs were organized and funded at two local high schools in cooperation with the Explorer Division of the Boy Scouts.

        During the 1984-85 Rotary year, the club’s contribution to The Rotary Foundation topped all other clubs in District 5300.  An amount exceeding $29,000 was contributed.  For the first time the club reached 100 percent participation in the Paul Harris Fellowship program.  All members became either Paul Harris Fellows or sustaining members.  Much of Jim’s time and that of many members were given to preparation for the International Convention to be held In Las Vegas during the 1985-86 Rotary year.  Jim led a contingent of Las Vegas Rotarians, as well as members of other Southern Nevada Clubs, to the International Convention in Kansas City.  A special booth was manned during the entire convention, and a party was hosted for Rotary leaders from throughout the world.  The contingent came home with the satisfaction of knowing that the pre-registration for the Las Vegas Convention was the highest in history and grateful for their financial and volunteer support of clubs not only from District 5300, but 519, 532, and 533.  Certainly Jim’s term can be called a banner year in the records of the Las Vegas Rotary Club.

        Michael Meyer was the president during the 1985-86 Rotary Year, which became a memorable year in the Las Vegas Club’s history.  Between June 1 and June 4, 1986, Las Vegas was the Rotary Capital of the world when 20,000 Rotarians from 102 countries came to Southern Nevada to attend the 77th Annual Convention of Rotary International.  Needless to say, the focus of Meyer’s presidency was preparing for this historical event.  In cooperation with other Southern Nevada Rotary Clubs and led by an executive committee consisting of Michael Meyer, Irwin Kishner, Keith Bassett, and James Cashman III, all goals were met.  The Las Vegas convention was considered one of the best in the history of Rotary.             

        It was during the presidency of Michael Meyer that Past President Joe Buckley became the first Southern Nevadan to serve as a Rotary District Governor. 

        During the 1986-87 Rotary year Douglas Peterson served as president.  This was the year the club became “big time.”  From the point of view of service, it can be truly said that Doug had “the best year yet.”  During the year more than $145,000 was given or set aside for scholarships, grants and The Rotary Foundation.  Of that, more than $35,000 was given as community service grants to select charitable organizations.  $14,000 was given as university scholarships; $46,000 was transferred to The Rotary Foundation for Paul Harris Fellowships, and for the first time the club established a Las Vegas Rotary Endowment fund with an initial payment of $50,000 to continue to provide scholarships and other charitable giving in future years.  This grand total of $145K was due primarily to the success the club experienced as a result of hosting the international convention and the fine work done by its executive

committee.  The $46K given to The Rotary Foundation was comprised of $25K in proceeds from the auction, which was chaired by Jerry Lee and Bernie Menke, $15K in fines and the balance in individual contributions to The Rotary Foundation to be applied towards Paul Harris Fellowships.

        With the international convention now history, there was more time for fun.  President Doug reinstated the out of town golf trip that was arranged by Phil Pechman but won by President Doug!  Doug also continued the annual boating outing at Lake Mead, which was arranged by Dr. Jim Jones and George Brizendine.

        The president of the club in 1987-88 was M.J. Wiens, Jr., known affectionately as “Ted.”  Under Ted’s chairmanship, the regular meetings were livened by a quiz program, which he instituted.  His questions directed at individual members elicited few correct answers and were the source of over $25,000 in “fine” funds.  The members helped Ted surpass the club’s PolioPlus goal of $115,000 by $100,000, which was a good indication of the support he received as president.  Local charities were not neglected.  Even though over $200K was pledged to the PolioPlus fund, $34, 000 was provided for local projects.  Ted’s year was appreciated not only by the Las Vegas members, but also by District 5300.  The Las Vegas Club received both the District 5300 Governor’s Award and the Club Service Award.

        Keith Bassett was the president during the 1988-89 Rotary year.  The meetings were enjoyable, with good programs and much humor coming from Rob Moore and Dan Russell, both of whom served as Sergeants-At-Arms.   One of Keith’s primary goals was to get the Board of Directors totally involved in the operation of the club.  He began with an all-day session prior to the beginning of his term.  All directors were assigned their responsibilities and given the authority to carry them out.  With their total involvement, all functions of the club were carried out in a superb manner.

        Under the direction and excellent efforts of Irwin Kishner, Chairman of Community Projects, the club became involved with the City of Las Vegas and contributed $18,000 for equipment in the children’s area of Gowan Park.  This area of the park has been named “Las Vegas Rotary Club Kid’s World” and is actually a park within a large park.

        The District Conference was held in Las Vegas in April at Bally’s Hotel.  Our club, along with the other Southern Nevadan clubs, hosted home hospitality on Thursday evening as well as the closing Sunday Brunch.  This district conference was considered one of the most successful conferences in years.

        One of the key programs implemented during Keith’s year was a review of membership and classification areas of the club to ensure quality membership in the future.

        The PolioPlus campaign concluded with our club finally raising over $223,000.  In addition to completing the PolioPlus pledges, the club contributed over $22,900 to The Rotary Foundation.  This again, was one of the largest contributions of any club in District 5300.

        Kenneth E. Miller (Ken) assumed the presidency of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas for the 1989-90 Rotary Year.  Under his leadership the club celebrated its sixty-seventh birthday and moved into the last decade of the twentieth century stronger and more prestigious than ever in the world of Rotary clubs.

        The over two hundred Las Vegas Rotarians met or surpassed every goal, not the least of which was the submission of over $29K to The Rotary Foundation.  Over $27,000 was dispensed for a number of community service projects.  In addition, scholarships aggregating more than $11,000 were given to students attending UNLV, and CCSN (Community College of Southern Nevada).  The community service program took on an international flavor with the award of an ambulance to the Ensenada, Mexico Rotary Club to provide ambulance service for a section of the lovely Baja California North/South highway.

        Sixteen organizations and individuals shared the community service donations, not including the university scholarship recipients.  When the value of the time of the typical Las Vegas Rotarian is considered, an amount in value much greater than the cash contributions of the club was donated in specific hands-on projects.  Members contributed uncounted hours of their time in projects as diverse as installing playground equipment and shrubs at Joe Shoong Park and at the Wayne Bunker Park, to taking handicapped persons to a UNLV football game, and being involved with a Rotary sponsored naturalization service.

        With the hope of keeping alive knowledge of the successes and failures of the club’s yesteryears for new administrations, the past presidents were organized into a subsidiary group during Ken’s year.  The By-Laws were changed to include a member of the past president’s group on the Board of Directors.  There was time left over for play during Ken’s busy year.  Golf tournaments, group trips to other clubs and athletic events, a standout Christmas party,

Son’s and Daughter’s Days, Secretaries Day and Valentine’s Day programs all added to the fun of being a Las Vegas Rotarian.

        Jim Gamett, owner of the Las Vegas Laundry, assumed the presidency of the Las Vegas Rotary club in July 1990.  During the year his commitment to community services led to several projects of note.  Chairman John Henry Hoffman organized the first annual Handicap Social at the YMCA in December.  The club members provided food and entertainment for a large group of handicapped adults, who spent a Saturday morning in activities interacting with Rotary members.

        Youth scholarships, which are given annually by our Club for academic excellence, were augmented this year by the first annual music scholarship given to our club’s entry in the District Dan Stover Memorial Music competition.  This scholarship was instituted to increase interest on the local level and in the arts.  Also, a special project of President Jim’s was completed in the summer of 1991.  This was the purchase by the club of the Elbert Edwards book and memorabilia collection from the Edwards family.  The club donated the Edwards collection to the UNLV Special collections library, and the Edwards family used the money from the purchase to establish a scholarship fund at the Boulder City High School.  This project was funded directly by Rotarians in the club who volunteered to participate to help complete the project when it appeared that no money was going to be available in the final budget.

        Finally, the very first inter-club softball match was played at Cashman Field before a Stars game.  This match pitched the prowess of the 25 Club against the wily veterans with the Vets snatching the victory on the last inning heroics of “The Old Guard” (The Rotary board of Directors).  Followed by dinner at the stadium for participants and spectators and then the Stars game, the event promises to become an annual feud between the old, the new, the black and blue.

        Rob Moore served as president of the Las Vegas Rotary Club during 1991-92.  He enjoyed the distinction of being the first, third-generation president of our club.  He followed his father, Julian Moore (1958-59) and his grandfather, Leo McNamee (1931-32).  Rob lived by his theme for his Rotary year:  “We’re not here for a long time, just a good time.” 

        Under Rob’s leadership, and with the guidance of his Board of Directors, a $7,500 contribution was made to establish the Las Vegas Rotary-George Crockett Aviation museum, which is to be housed at McCarran Airport.  In addition a most capable committee worked to complete an accessible playground for disabled children located within Sunset Park.  During Moore’s year, the Past Presidents were motivated to take on the project of replacing the Rotary curtain.  This was no small undertaking, and the project was well underway by the end of the Rotary year.  It was the opinion of the majority of members that they will remember Rob’s year as one of having the most outstanding programs in the long history of Rotary, thanks to the work of Caty Crockett.

        Robert L. Forbuss (Bob) became the Las Vegas Rotary Club’s sixty-ninth president when he took office in 1992.  His year was particularly successful in the money raising activities of the club.  Not only were the customary donations made to youth, educational and civic concerns of Las Vegas Rotarians, but through Bob’s effort and the cooperative members, Las Vegas Rotary led all clubs in District 5300 in contributions to The Rotary Foundation. 

It is noted with regret that Bob’s demotion party could not be held at the Crockett Ranch, which for so many years was the beautiful setting for Rotary demotions.  In the name of progress a new expressway is to violate one of Vegas Valley’s most delightful sites.  It is to be hastily added that his demotion party was a great success at a new location at the Silk Purse Ranch.

        Gary Martin assumed the Rotary Club presidency for the 1993-94 year.  Just a few months later the Aviation History Museum at McCarran Airport became a reality.  As a contributor of over $15,000 to the museum project, the Las Vegas Rotary Club co-hosted a grand opening reception at the museum for all Southern Nevada Rotary Clubs and prominent local citizens and dignitaries.  During Gary’s presidency the Ambassadorial Scholarship program was revived in our club, and a worthy recipient was selected to attend Oxford University in England (Walter Andonov).  Also revived during Gary’s year were relationships with the other area Rotary Clubs by participation in the Presidents Round Table meetings.

        It was the privilege of the club to have yet another District Governor nominated and elected, and Ken Miller represented our club as well as District 5300 in 1995-96.

        In addition to the aviation museum, community service projects included the new Ronald McDonald House and the KNPR Blind Reading Program.  The annual auction once again produced record-breaking dollar amounts that went to keeping us as District 5300’s top contributor to The Rotary Foundation at Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston, IL. Added to the auction this year was a raffle for a Ford Explorer.  The raffle raised over $12,000, which was added to our local foundation funds for community service programs.  Intertwined with the success of the projects accomplished during Gary Martin’s presidency are lasting memories of the social even “firsts” including the Angel Park putting tournament and the Mt. Charleston Christmas Party.

        July 1994 John A. Smith (a real person, and not the man whose name you have seen on many hotel and motel registers) assumed our club’s presidency.  After years of planning, the club received a new curtain for the stage at Harrah’s.  The curtain displays a large Rotary Wheel and over 500 club banners from around the world.  Special thanks were given to Gene Charles and Mike Meyer for their efforts in securing a majority of these club banners.  During this year, John changed the distribution of the weekly drawing, designating 50% to the weekly winner, with the other half going to The Rotary Foundation in the winner’s name.  Gene Charles effectively straightened out the club’s records of contributions to The Rotary Foundation and through use of existing, unallocated club funds; a number of Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded.

        Community Service received special attention during 1994-1995 through the donation of $7,500 to Habitat for Humanity.  This cash contribution along with many hours of donated labor by members helped provide a deserving family with their own home.  Under the direction of Dr. Bill Stephan and Jim Tucker, nearly 100 Las Vegas elementary school children received a new pair of shoes and three pairs of socks through the club’s newly established “Happy Feet” program.

        The club’s first Interact Club was established at the Advanced Technologies Academy.  Under Sharon McNair’s leadership, the club was active in their own meetings, and they attended several of our club meetings.  The Interact Club members worked with our members on hands-on projects and completed several successful fundraising projects at their school.

        John’s year as president ended with the traditional demotion party at the Silk Purse Ranch.  Following dinner and the special program produced by Joe McNamee, John experienced the traditional dunking in the grove’s lagoon.

        The traditions of Las Vegas Rotary saw many new twists in 1995-96, as Caty Crockett became the club’s first female president. Two major goals for the year were improving fellowship and service opportunities.  With Steve Casey as membership chairman and Bert Purdue as orientation chairman, we increased our membership by 13, to 175 members.  The head table was rearranged to recognize a 25-club member, senior active and a visiting Rotarian.  Guild Gray produced a column each week for the Wheel called “Lest We Forget” which recognized the accomplishments of many past and long time Rotarians.

        Some new and some traditional social functions highlighted the year.  From a September Tailgate Party at a UNLV football game, and outstanding Christmas party at TPC, to a President’s Day weekend ski trip in Brian Head, Utah.  Our traditional softball game at Cashman field became a challenge match with the Southwest Rotary Club, who was soundly defeated under the able coaching of David Boyer.         

        The annual auction was renamed to honor the memory of long-time auctioneer Jim Corey and was held at the Desert Inn.  The event raised $19,000 to refurbish 2 cottages at Child Haven.  Club members spent one Saturday repainting one of the cottages.

        Our major community project, headed up by Tom Krob and Tom Thomas with the able assistance of Tom Akers, was a cooperative effort with the Clark County School District to establish a program where outdated computers could be donated by corporations and reprogrammed for use in school resource centers.

        A master calendar for the club events was expanded to include events for all the Las Vegas clubs in order to foster increased fellowship between the clubs in Southern Nevada.

        We adopted a series of continuing resolutions, which will augment the By-Laws and help carry on traditions and customs of the club.  Our Ambassadorial Scholar, Walter Andonov, was off for his first year of study at Oxford.

        After many years at Harrah’s, the club relocated to the newly redecorated Desert Inn showroom in April.

        Cliff Beadle co-chaired a very successful District 5300 conference for District Governor Ken Miller at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel along with Ted Henderson.  Las Vegas Rotary was honored with an outstanding club banner as well as a presidential citation and the Governor’s Award in recognition of our efforts in the four avenues of service.  Joe McNamee again hosted the demotion party at the Silk Purse Ranch and entertained the members with an updated video history of Las Vegas Rotary and vignettes of famous women in history that ended with a new twist on the traditional dunking ceremony.

        After co-chairing the 1996 District conference (not a requirement to be president), Cliff Beadle assumed office as the 73rd President of the Las Vegas Rotary for the 1996-97 year. 

        The Tailgate Party at UNLV’s first home game was joined with the Southwest Club.  Operation Santa Clothes was kicked off based upon Bob McBrien’s idea to help kids in need.  Bob organized a Christmas shopping spree for nearly forty Las Vegas area children at J.C. Penney’s and talked JCP into discounting their prices so that our dollars would go for more clothes for the kids.  Forty Rotarians, spouses and Interact students took these kids shopping and then brought them to our weekly luncheon.

        The auction and a raffle were combined with our annual Christmas party, which was held at the Las Vegas Country Club.  Musical students from the Las Vegas Academy entertained us.  The raffle and auction netted approximately $15,000.  Tom Krob and Jess Holmes oversaw this.  Don Aikin again oversaw an area wide Rotary Super Bowl Party.  No one remembers who played in the football game, but everyone knows that more than $10K was raised for The Rotary Foundation.

        At the meeting on the Thursday before President’s Day, the Past Presidents of the Las Vegas Rotary Club were honored.  Twenty Past Presidents were in attendance and provided the rest of the club with memories of their year.

        Eleven Las Vegas area high school students were awarded scholarships to either UNLV or CCSN.  Jim Clark and his committee evaluated nearly forty requests for financial assistance.

        The 25 Club challenged the main club to a putting contest at the Angel Park putting course.  It was no contest as the main club team, led by Capt. Scotty Wetzel with assistance from Rob Moore, Joe McNamee and Tom Krob, defeated the 25 Club team of Steve Linder, Bob Potter, Philippe Jaramillo, and Stephen Brock.

        The Southwest Club was again challenged for the annual softball game at Cashman Field.  The Southwest Club responded to their stinging defeat from the prior year by bringing better “ringers” and squeaked out a narrow victory, 24 to 20.

        The Board of Directors adopted a continuing resolution to establish the “Service Above Self” Award to honor Las Vegas Rotarians who exemplify the concept of Service Above Self through their years of service to the Las Vegas Rotary and District Service.  The annual demotion party was held for the fifth consecutive year and President Cliff was debunked in a dunking tank.

        Ralph Rohay took over the helm of the Las Vegas Rotary Club in 1997-98 to become its seventy-fourth president.  The year saw the club continue Rotary’s proud tradition of community involvement under the leadership of George Tate with members helping out with the Clark County Health District’s Immunization program and expanding the “Happy Feet” program to bring shoes to disadvantaged students.

        Bob McBrien and Don Loyd expanded on Operation Santa Clothes to help kids in need. Fellow Rotarians Lt. Col Jim Sullivan of the Salvation Army and Tom Miller of Catholic Charities helped Bob and Don plan a great day for some deserving youngsters.

        Once again Don Aikin took over the challenge of running a Super Bowl Party and, once again, it was a success as over $5,000 was raised.  Kathy Dalvey Bonar took three local Interact Clubs under her wing and organized a trip so that twelve students could go to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award).  Cliff Beadle worked hard to pull off an elegant 75th Anniversary Party for the Las Vegas Rotary Club in April.    Caty Crockett and Cliff also entertained the group with a hilarious oral history of the club.

        Once again, the Las Vegas Rotary Club played host to all of Clark County’s high school valedictorians at the club’s annual ATS luncheon.   Jim Clark and his committee evaluated many deserving graduating seniors and awarded at total of fifteen scholarships to UNLV and CCSN at another lunch meeting to honor these students and their parents.

        Ralph’s Rohay’s 1997-1978 year was capped off by the creation of the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation to raise funds for the benefit of the community, thanks to the tireless efforts of Bob McBrien, Bryan Lowe and many other club members.

         Ralph’s demotion party was held at the Silk Purse Ranch where he was tried, found guilty, and executed by a water gun firing squad.

        Dr. Jim Jones began his 1998-1999 year with a theme: “Rotary Grows Through Fellowship.”  He immediately assigned himself the Official Greeter of the Las Vegas Rotary Club. 

        Dr. J. was very fortunate to have a well-seasoned board of directors to handle the business of the club, and this they did with great expertise.  District Conference in Palm Springs was well attended and our club hosted the most successful hospitality suite at the meeting.  Also at District conference we presented a check for $8,900 to District Governor Lee Mothershead for The Rotary Foundation in honor of Past RI President Cliff Doctorman, the largest donation of any club in the district.

        Again Bob McBrien and committee expanded the Operation Santa Clothes program for needy children; Kathy Dalvey Bonar took 18 high school students to RYLA, over 200 valedictorians from local high schools attended the ATS (Academically Talented Students) luncheon.  The club provided scholarships for Las Vegas area high school graduates.

        Jim’s year ended at his demotion party at the Silk Purse Ranch where he was “extracted” from his throne (dental chair) by Bert Purdue, Ralph Rohay and Bert Blevins.

        The passing of the millennium for the Las Vegas Rotary year was filled with service and fellowship.  Tom Thomas enjoyed serving as President with a hard working Board of Directors and the exemplary efforts of Kathy Frakes, Club Executive Secretary. Most of the club members participated in one or more of the activities during the year with numerous notable accomplishments. Kathy Dalvey Bonar, sent off 20 students to RYLA and recognized wonderful student efforts in the Four Way Speech Contest, the Dan Stover Music Competition and the Valedictorian Recognition Lunch.  Bob“Santa” McBrien and Don Loyd expanded Operation Santa Clothes project to other Rotary Clubs in the area and touched the lives of 80 children at three participating J.C. Penney stores.

        Jim Tucker turned The Wheel into a multi-color, multi-page program, which has set the standard in our district.  Steve Linder lead the club in community service with work at Opportunity Village.  Ken Sparks and Jim Hunt had the club up to speed in International Service with a successful candidate for the Ambassadorial Scholarship.  Club Service Director, Ted McAdam, and his Program Chair, Michael Ballard provided excellent programs with visits from two U.S. Senators, the Governor, and three Majors.  LVRF, Inc. President, Bill Stephan kept the money flowing into the club’s foundation (LVRF, Inc.), while the club also earned top District honors for the largest donations, per member, to The Rotary Foundation.  To top that off, a record five members were named as Major Donors of The Rotary Foundation at Rotary International.

        The club made a major move from its home at the Desert Inn Country Club, only three months before it was announced the Las Vegas icon would be closed and torn down. 

Tom Krob became Las Vegas Rotary’s 77th president for the 2000-2001 year beginning a new century for Rotary.  The Club’s move to Lawry’s the Prime Rib Restaurant from the Desert Inn allowed the club to reduce dues and sparked a new interest in Rotary giving.  The club donated over $58,000 to Community Service Projects for the year to support 18 projects under the leadership of grants chair Nikki Sobkowski and our Club Service Above Self Recipient, Steve Linder, Hands on Projects included two Habitat for Humanity houses and Operation Safe Streets for Opportunity Village.  The club adopted Walter Bracken Elementary School, giving over $4,000 in mini grants to its teachers and arranging for trips for the students to UNLV Basketball and Baseball outings with mentoring from our club members.  Ned Phillips arranged for our club to participate in a new district leadership program for teens, TLC (Teen Leadership Camp).

        Over $31,000 was given to The Rotary Foundation including two matching grant projects coordinated by Kathy Dalvey Bonar:  1) Hydra Form Blocks in Kenya and 2) a much needed hearse for a village in India.  Our club was awarded a Rotary International Presidential Citation and received the District Governors Award for Contributions to Rotary International.  Ted Wiens was recognized as an Outstanding District Rotarian.

        Carl Brunson’s excellent programming allowed for an increase in membership and visitors to our club.  Our annual Kiwanis/Rotary Thanksgiving Food Drive Program again netted a winner for Lt. Col. Jim Sullivan’s Salvation Army under the exceptional can counting skills of Bert Blevins.  Susan Ziobro replaced Kathy Frakes as the club’s Executive Secretary and kept Tom and the club current with our international and community activities, especially through Rotary International’s move to communications through the Internet.  The club’s spirit of fellowship was evidenced by the great participation in Jim Hunt’s Tailgate party, Steve Casey’s Ski Trip, Jim Tucker’s Putting Tournament, and Russ Swain’s Softball Challenge.  The year ended with a move of the demotion party from the Silk Purse Ranch to Kazem Fathie’s home for a traditional debunking of Tom in Kazem’s swimming pool.

        Jim Hunt took over as President for the "Mankind Is Our Business" 2001-2002 Rotary Year, and both new and veteran members certainly took the responsibility of providing "Service Above Self" as very serious "business".  More than $124,000 was raised and distributed through Club and Rotary International Programs. Members had 115 opportunities to participate in hands-on projects, meetings, and fellowship gatherings that made 2001-2002 one of the most active years in our Club's history.

        Highlights included the success of the "100 Wheelchairs For 100 Southern Nevadan's" Program. The event was made possible by a benefit performance of the "Honky Tonk Angels" at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino that featured Jim's wife Lori Hunt (a.k.a. Lori Legacy) who is one of the stars of the show. The sold-out performance raised more than $28,000 that enabled the Club to purchase and distribute 120 wheelchairs to those who could not afford one, but also allowed the club to donate $10,000 to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, Inc.

        Other significant achievements included serving more than 100 needy children through the "Operation Santa Clothes" program that was once again spearheaded by Bob McBrien.  Steve Linder organized two Habitat for Humanity home building projects, as well as the "Safe Streets" & "Magical Forest" events that took place at Opportunity Village.  He also oversaw the program that made it possible for literally hundreds of local needy children to attend UNLV football and basketball games while being chaperoned by Club members.

        Another moment that will be forever remembered is how Club members responded to the tragedy of September 11, 2001 in true Rotary fashion. Within 48 hours of the attacks, a motion from the floor was made, seconded and passed that turned the weekly drawing prize, which was at a record high of nearly $8,000, into $10,000. The funds were then sent to the New York Rotary Foundation to aid the families of the men and women of the police and fire departments who heroically gave their lives to save others.

        The Club also enjoyed record attendance at many of the fellowship activities through the efforts of Steve Casey and many others.  Rotarians traveled to Cedar City, Utah for a play at the Shakespeare Festival and enjoyed food and fellowship at a UNLV tailgate party organized by Don Aikin. There were warm and friendly gatherings like the barbecue at the Mt. Charleston home of Bob Werner, a Brian Head ski trip reception hosted by Annee Nounna and a Calico Basin hike and brunch hosted by Janette Ford. Great times were also had by all at a golf tournament organized by Dr. Bill Stephan at the Wolf Creek Golf Club in Mesquite and at the annual Angel Park Putting Tournament chaired by Jim Tucker.  Janet Linder suggested and organized a new tradition of 25 Club Members by annually showing the Club’s appreciation to our weekly waiters and waitresses by putting on their aprons and skirts to “Serve The Servers” and others. 

        Two people received special individual recognition at the end of the year.  Carl Brunson served as co-chair of the Program Committee and either initiated or participated in so many of the Club’s fellowship, vocational and service events that he was presented the “Service Above Self” Award for 2001-2002.  And, Susan Ziobro was made an Honorary Rotarian for her outstanding efforts and going far above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Secretary.

        Nominated by Lamar Marchese, the Club received the prestigious "Outstanding Service Organization of the Year Award" from the National Association of Fundraising Professionals for 2001. Recognition awards of appreciation were also received from the Boys and Girls Clubs, Child Haven and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.  Also at District Conference, the Club received the "Outstanding Service Award" for 2001-2002.

        In storybook ending fashion, the year was capped with a $15,000 donation to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation's "Permanent Fund" and a debunking party that followed the "Wizard of Oz" theme.  Past President Tom Krob did a great job of organizing the event, which featured incredible costume and make-up work performed on Kenny Burt as the Cowardly Lion, Randy Donald as the Tin Man, and Russ Swain as the Scarecrow.  "There's No Place Like Home" and there's no place like the home of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas, Nevada.

        Jim Tucker took over the helm as President under the Rotary International 2002-2003 theme "Sow the Seeds of Love".  His objective was to carry on the great work of our previous club presidents by maintaining the level of community grants, hands on projects and fellowship events, while still aggressively supporting Rotary International permanent and annual programs funds in a year of economic downturn from the effects of September 11th, 2001. 

         Jim developed a Christmas Reverse Raffle fundraiser and with the help of Jim Hunt, Bert Blevins and Patty Monczewski the club raised $29,200 at our Annual Christmas party.  Ed Lepere was the grand prize winner of $10,000 and he generously contributed $5,000 back to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation.  This combined with reinstating the Super Bowl Board our club raised $15,447 towards its $36,000 three year Polio Plus Commitment.

        One of Jim's additional goals in his year of presidency was to update our Club Banner, improve the structure of our club database and digitize the club roster.  With the help of Janette Ford and her graphic designer the Club Banner and Roster cover were updated.  He also developed our LVRF, Inc.  "Two Ways of Giving" brochure.

        Our Fellowship events included Bob Werner's Alpine Picnic with C.T. McIntosh at the barbeque; Russ Swain’s UNLV Tailgate Party; Jim Tucker and Bert Blevin’s Putting Tournament;  Janette Ford's Calico Basin hike, Bert Purdue's Shakespeare party in Cedar City; Scotty Wetzel's NAFB tour; Steve Casey's Brian Head and Park City Ski Trips as well as Steve's Yucca Mountain tour.  Ted McAdams “Wright Flyer” project exhibition and flight at NAFB with Scotty Wetzel’s memorial flag in the copilots seat.  25 Club members Rodney Tucker & Jim Taylor stepped in for departing 25 Club President Patti Monczewski and initiate the monthly Friday night  “Happy Hour” fellowship get together at Gordon Biersch.

        In Jim's year our clubs membership opened their hearts and contributed $50,153 for Community Service; $9,136 to Vocational Service; $44,417 to RI Polio Plus and RI Annual Programs Fund and $9,075 to our LVRF permanent fund totaling over $112,500. Departed Rotarian Scotty Wetzel, who for his dedication to Rotary and acting as our liaison to Nellis Air Force Base, the "Wetzel" Award was established in his memory.  This award recognizes outstanding airman from Nellis Air Force Base and their families each quarter.

        Bob McBriens “Santa Clothes” program was an enormous success. Jim Hunt continued to find people who needed his wheelchairs.  Jim & Maude Sullivan concluded their 42 years of ministry with the Salvation Army.  Jim Joined our club in 1984.

        Jim Tucker’s Debunking party featured a Scuba Diving theme and was organized by past president Jim Hunt who had fellow members decked out in wet suits, snorkels and fins.  Foundation money was raised for the opportunity of  landing Jim in a dunking tank with a bullseye baseball pitch.  No better way to wrap up Scuba Divin’ Jim’s year end.

        Kathy Dalvey-Bonar, 2003-2004, was the 80th president of Las Vegas Rotary.  At each meeting Kathy reviewed a highlight of our club's 80-year history of dedicated service to our community.   In this "Lend a Hand" Rotary year our 158 members continually worked to fulfill our Rotary mission on all Avenues of Service. More than $234,000 was raised for projects of which $36,440 went to the Rotary Foundation. Our member's exceptional work earned for our club the District's top award - The 2003-2004 Governor's Award, Best Club of District 5300.

        A new emphasis of the year was the Family of Rotary Task Force.  Ty Hilbrecht and Paul Maffey created this committee to focus on members and families. Brock Fraser faithfully worked to recruit prospective members. An active 25Club trained new members who contributed to 7 club and community service projects, including help to build a Raised-Bed Herb Garden at Walter Bracken School. Other projects included Highway Clean Up, Serve the Server, and Alpine Picnic. Mike Ballard presented excellent weekly programs that provided interest and challenges for our members.

        Community Service was a major part of club activities supplemented by 3 District Grants.  Santa Clothes coordinated by Bob McBrien and Jim Hunt grew to 184 children with the cooperation from 4 other Rotary clubs, lunch at UNLV underwritten by Russ Swain. Other projects were the Thanksgiving food drive chaired by PE Steve Casey, Maj. Bill Raihl and the 25 Club, Safe Streets by Dr. Jim Jones, Students to Sports by Jimmy Navarro, Adopt-A-School by Dr. Kathy Mahon, Students from Rose Warren Elementary Deaf Child Program received “Sole Power” shoes from Santa coordinated by Mike Lubbe.  The Grants Committee chaired PE Steve Casey approved over $11K to local projects.  Vocational Service directed by Randy Boesch, added Kideract at Walter Bracken Elementary, Paul Freed chair, Mideract at Bridger Middle School and a new Interact at Liberty High School, Stephanie Benoit-Kurtz chair, in addition to the Interact at ATEC, Sharon McNair, Chair. A year-end Kideract Luncheon was organized by Janet and Steve Linder. RYLA was organized by Jim Kohl and TLC by Janet Linder.

        To celebrate Rotary's 2005 Centennial, our club made plans for a multi- year project of moving an original railroad cottage, for preservation, to the Big Springs Park, Karen Whisenhunt coordinator. For this Centennial project our club set aside $20,000.  Janette Ford organized a second Centennial project, a poster contest for 6th grade students, with our club's entry winning 3rd place in the District.

        Fellowship activities were great with 17 major events. Russ Swain organized our yearly UNLV tailgate party and also 2 Fremont/Las Vegas Rotary softball games. These games provided a win for each club.  Ed Lepere was chairman of our Roaring 20's Birthday party, Christmas party, Spring Mountain Ranch picnic, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Sweetheart Luncheon. Jim Tucker planned the putting tournament and debunking party.  Steve Casey organized Brian Head and Park City ski trips.

        In Vocational Service we added a new project, the District's Hensel Essay Contest, Stephanie Kurtz chair.  Dan Russell organized both the club and regional Four-Way Speech Contest. Kathy Mahon brought a Teacher of the Month to lunch.  At Nellis AFB we continued the quarterly award for Outstanding Airman, Ted McAdam chairman.

        Fundraisers included club raffles, 2 golf tournaments, a Stock Market pick, and a Super Bowl board. Bert Blevins worked with the PGA and created "Caps that Care" selling tickets for a chance to win a PGA autographed tournament hat and other prizes.  At Nellis AFB, CT McIntosh ran a Scotty Wetzel Memorial Golf Tournament. Golfers totaled 144, including a foursome of Rotarians from England.

        For International Service, Mark Daigle coordinated a project in Thailand providing fence and supplies for a school.  With SeaTac Rotary Club, in a Clean Water Initiate project in Bangkok, we provided water filtration for a community.  Our GSE candidate was selected for the team exchange to Soul, Korea.

        We planted a tree in Las Vegas Rotary Park to honor the memory of our valued club member and Past District Governor, Joe Buckley. Cliff Beadle coordinated the luncheon and program. Ed Lepere received the "Service Above Self" award as the Rotarian of the Year for organizing club activities, including the 80th Birthday Celebration where members and guests took a trip back in time to the date of our club's Charter, 1923, and the world of the Roaring 20's. He also organized 5 other fellowship events.  Special club recognition went to CT McIntosh, for his outstanding coordination and participation in many activities, and to Bob McBrien for his 8 years of dedication and direction with Santa Clothes.

        All of our good work was recognized by our Rotary organization. Las Vegas Rotary received The Governor's Award, Best Club of District 5300 for 2003-2004.  We received a First Place Award for Club Service Training & Organization, and a First Place tie for Club Web Site.  A Second Place Award went to Foundation Total Funds, and our Club Bulletin received the Third Place. Second Place Awards, Large Clubs, were presented to Vocational Service, Community Service, International Service, and Club Display:  Las Vegas Rotary received the 2003-2004 RI President Citation. Without a doubt, for all Las Vegas Rotarians, the place to be on June 6 was at the 2004 District Conference.

        This outstanding year ended with the traditional Debunking party at The Secret Garden. Using President Kathy's native state of Iowa as a theme, Past-President, Jim Tucker, planned an Iowa barn-raising with a BBQ followed by games, contests, prizes for member's creative farm-style costumes, and a video presentation.

        Steve Casey served 2004-2005 as the 81st President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club, the Best Club in District 5300.  The Club's theme for this very special year was "Do Good Things & Have Fun".  This was a most special and unique year because it was the Centennial Year for both Rotary International and the City of Las Vegas.

        Las Vegas Rotary Club used the occasion of Las Vegas' 100th birthday to "Celebrate Rotary", which was Rotary's Centennial theme, by preserving a Railroad Cottage as our Centennial Project.  Karen Whisenhunt chaired this $30,000 project.  Karen also scheduled daily events during Rotary Centennial Week in February, which included a birthday cake at the weekly meeting, a picnic in Rotary Park, teddy bears to children in the hospital, and the painting of a Centennial Mural at Bracken School.  Las Vegas Rotary Club participated in the Las Vegas Centennial Helldorado parade in May by driving classic automobiles provided by members Caty Crockett, Randy Donald, Barry Becker, and James Taylor.

        Those serving as Directors on the Club Board were Tom Axtell, Karen Whisenhunt, Randy Boesch, Randy Campanale, Kathy Dalvey (Past Pres.), Janette Ford, Brock Fraser (Pres.Elect-Elect), Ed Lepere, Janet Linder, Steve Linder, Russ Swain, and Ned Phillips (Pres. Elect).  Karen Whisenhunt was selected as Rotarian of the Year for her exceptional service to Las Vegas Rotary Club.  J.A. Tiberti, a member since 1946, received District 5300's Commitment to Service Award, the Club's Lifetime Achievement Award, and LV Rotary Foundation recognition for his many contributions over almost 60 years of membership in the Club.  Jim Tucker was presented with the Marathon Man Award for his many years of enthusiastic and unwavering support of the Club.

        Las Vegas Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees serving this year were Ty Hilbrecht (Pres.), Pat Goodall (V.P.), Paul Maffey (Secretary/Treasurer), Rod Harbaugh, Jim Holcombe, Sharon McNair, Club President-Elect Ned Phillips, and Club President Steve Casey.

        The business side of the Club was enhanced with the hiring of a bookkeeping firm to allow for the separation of the record keeping and custody functions.  This step was taken to assure that the assets of the Club and Foundation, which exceeded $500,000, were properly protected.  Richard Hanseen was a great help in this and served as the Club Treasurer.  Susan Ziobro continued as the Club's Executive Secretary.

        The 2004 International Convention was held in Osaka, Japan in May and attended by President Steve Casey.  Rotary's Centennial Convention was held in Chicago in June 2005 and attended by Ned Phillips and Karen Whisenhunt.

        The Club was fortunate to have so a many good programs during the year, which included among others: Frank Devlyn Past Pres. RI 2000-01, George Grove of the Kingston Trio, Congressional Candidates Tom Gallagher & Jon Porter, Congressman Jim Gibbons, Gen Stephen Goldfein Nellis AFB Commander, LVRF, Phil Kohn CC Public Defender, District Governor Roy York, Judge Lloyd George, Carol Vilardo of NV Taxpayers Assoc., and many more.

        In order to thoroughly "Celebrate Rotary", 12 social events were held during the year.  They included: Spring Mtn. Theatre, Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, and the Christmas Party, each organized by Ed Lepere; the Alpine Picnic, organized by 25 Club, Chef CT McIntosh, & Host Bob Werner;  several Monday Night Football Parties organized by the 25 Club; a Kingston Trio Concert in Mesquite; TWO Golf Tournament fund raisers, one in Nov. and one in May, each organized by CT McIntosh; Zion National Park Trip weekend outing organized by Bob McBrien; Brian Head and Park City Ski Trips organized by Russ Swain; Nellis Firepower Demonstration at the invitation of Gen Stephen Goldfein and organized by Ted McAdam; the annual Putting Tournament organized by Jim Tucker & Rich Robledo; and President Steve's Demotion Party at Secret Garden at LV Racquet Club organized by Past President Kathy Dalvey-Bonar.

        Club Membership grew to 165 paying members, plus 7 honorary members, at the direction of President Elect-Elect, Club Service Director, and Membership Chair Brock Fraser.  We were saddened by the passing of long time members Wing Fong (our favorite Song Leader), Dick Basile, and Ralph Litton.

        On the International front, the Club sponsored Team Member Erica Etienne on her GSE trip to Korea, Karen Whisenhunt established Twin Club relationships with Calgary, Canada & Tijuana Mexico, the Club received a personal report from Sorn Daigle (sister-law-of member Mark Daigle) on the progress of our International Project at a school in Thailand, the Club contributed to water wells in Mexico, and we had many International Visitors including those from Bulgaria, UK, Guatamala, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Monaco, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and Scotland among other countries.

        Locally the Club contributed to the community in many ways.  Operation Santa Clothes, thanks to Jim Hunt and Bob McBrien provided a happy holiday to over 220 kids.  Santa Clothes was recognized as an outstanding children's charity event by the presentation of a $1500 grant from Sam's Club.  Our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive joint lunch with Kiwanis for the benefit of Salvation Army was very successful.  Boyd Gaming sponsored show tickets for our quarterly Wetzel Awards to recognize deserving Nellis AFB personnel.  Ted McAdam, was responsible for organizing this event, named for member Carol Wetzel's father and former member, Col. Scotty Wetzel.  Grants were presented to Opportunity Village, Wheelchair Foundation, Boys Town of Nevada, Boy Scouts, and God's Word for Life.  Members again participated in and supported Safe Streets at Opportunity Village, Kideract at Bracken School, Interact at Advanced Technologies Academy and Del Sol HS.  The Club also sponsored representatives to RYLA, Interact Symposium, and TLC.  Many club members cleaned their closets and garages in support of the Yard Sale Club Fundraiser, which was organized by Janette Ford.  A special opportunity presented itself when the Vision Expo convention came to town.  At the invitation of Frank Devlyn, Past Pres. RI 2000-2001, a booth to inform convention goers about Rotary was organized by Karen Whisenhunt.

        The Club was well represented at District Conference with finalists in the Dan Stover Music Contest, the 4-Way Test Speech Contest, the Hensel Ethics Essay Contest, in addition to 9 District Conference Awards for Club activities.  Jim Hunt & Kathy Dalvey-Bonar each served in the position of Asst. District Governor and Tom Krob served as Executive Asst District Governor for District Governor Roy York.

        Ned Phillips, President 2005-2006 served as the 82nd President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club in the first year of the second century of Rotary.  During his term the Las Vegas Rotary Club exemplified the heart of Rotary, "Service Above Self". 

        Club Service was led by Directors Brock Fraser-Membership, Jimmy Navarro-Communication, Janette Ford-Fundraising, C.T. McIntosh-Fundraising & Fellowship, Russ Swain-Fellowship and their Committee Chairs.  With the help of Past President Steve Casey, a new Executive Director, Lori LaBarbera was hired to replace Susan Ziobro.  In April, Shawn Noorda was hired when Lori married and moved. Four Orientation & Induction ceremonies brought in 24 new members, a net increase in membership from 164 to 172.  The club enjoyed numerous fellowship activities: Soft Ball Challenge, Alpine Picnic, Shakespeare Festival, End of Summer Party, UNLV Tailgate Party, Holiday Party, Hairspray the Musical, Putting Tournament, and Demotion Party.  The Rotary Wheel and Roster continued as first class publications.  Many enhancements were made to our website.  Presidents, Matt Nelson and Erik Patrick led the 25 Club members who excelled at weekly meetings, highway clean-ups, Super Bowl Board fundraiser, etc.  Shaken by the death of C.T. McIntosh in March and J.A Tiberti in May, the fourth annual Golf Tournament successfully fulfilled these departed members dreams by raising over $35,000 dollars. An annual $2,500 scholarship was initiated to a deserving student each year in honor of the person(s) recognized by the golf tournament.  Josh Miller was chosen to fill the vacancy on the Las Vegas Rotary Club Board.  Jim Taylor, Josh Miller and Mike Ballard handled outstanding weekly programs. Ed Lepere and staff provided superb meals at Lawry's.  RI District 5300 chose President Ned and First Lady Marilyn as escorts and hosts to RI President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar's Las Vegas visit on May 3rd.  The club hosted a Southern Nevada Interclub Dinner in his honor with over 200 excited Rotarians in attendance, including two GSE teams and members from our partner club in Mexico.

        Community Service was led by Directors Janet Linder and Stephen Linder-Youth Projects, and Maj. William Raihl-Community Projects and their Committee Chairs.  Over 30 members put sweat equity into two Habitat for Humanity Houses in Henderson.  The club sponsored students and faculty advisors from Interact Clubs to the District 5300 Interact Symposium.  Several thousand cans for Salvation Army were donated and Kiwanis was beaten in our annual competition.  Three Junior High students were sent to Team Leadership Camp (TLC).  The Santa Clothes program clothed 268 needy children, fed them lunch and a day to remember at UNLV.  Las Vegas Rotary volunteers assisted at the Salvation Army holiday distribution center.  Members volunteered time at Opportunity Village for "Safe Street", the club donated Halloween candy, and members donated time at the "Magical Forest" during the Holidays.  Each quarter we recognized 3 outstanding Air Force personnel at Nellis Air Force Base with a Lawry's dinner, show tickets and/or a night at Coast hotels and a $50 gas gift card.  The adopted old railroad cottage (our Centennial project) was successfully moved to the Springs Preserve preserving an important part of Las Vegas history. A Proclamation from Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman, was received for our dedication to the community and the preservation of Nevada history.  The club adopted a Katrina Hurricane refugee family providing housing, furniture, household goods, a wheel chair for their crippled 4 year old, and more.   The club awarded our adopted school, Walter Bracken Elementary, with a grant for learning materials and donated books to their library.  We presented various community grants, to Opportunity Village, Happy Feet, Boys and Girls Club, Boys and Girls Town, Salvation Army, etc.  Our "Kids to Sports" Community Service continued to take needy children to UNLV sporting events.  We supported one Kideract Club, and three Interact Clubs, and helped a Middle School.  Our club sponsored 20 students to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).

        Vocational Service was led by Director Randy Boesch and his Committee Chairs.  The club helped sponsor the 4th Annual Safety Officers Recognition Event.  Our literacy project with the Las Vegas Freemont Rotary Club donated over 1000 books to Clark County Reads.  We held the Dan Stover Music Competition and awarded all six contestants with scholarship money.  The club held a successful 4-Way Speech Contest with all contestants receiving scholarship money and the winner placed 3rd at District Conference.  We hosted our annual Rotary Scholar Recognition luncheon and presented each attendee with a gift and certificate of recognition, and we presented the Nevada Centennial Medallion to the highest achieving scholar from UNLV.

        International Service & Foundation was led by Director Karen Whisenhunt and her Committee Chairs. Members continued to support the Rotary International Foundation and received Paul Harris Fellowship recognition. The club raised over $68,000 ($2000 from Rotary Club of Calgary, $2000 from Walter Bracken Kideract Club) for Hurricane Katrina relief. We participated in "Vision Expo" to promote Rotary with RI Past President Frank Devlyn.  We held fellowship visits with our partner club the Rotary Club of Calgary, and helped with their Calgary Stampede. The club worked on a joint project with the Rotary Club of Calgary and Rotary Club of Bangkok in Thailand in a matching grant program to rebuild an entire village that was destroyed by the tsunami.  A record raffle amount over $25,000 was won, the full amount donated by its winners to local charities and the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation.  The Las Vegas Rotary Club sponsored an Ambassadorial Scholarship applicant who was selected for 2007-2008 Ambassadorial Scholarship to study in South America.  Our club hosted the incoming District 5300 Group Study Exchange (GSE) team and club members served has host families.  Several members joined President Elect, Brock Fraser, at RI Convention in Sweden/Denmark.  We committed to building four houses for needy families in Mexico.  And, we rekindled relations with our sister club in Tijuana. We participated with District 5300 in matching grants to Uganda.

RI District 5300 Recognition

        The Las Vegas Rotary Club was recognized at District 5300 Conference in Palm Springs, thanks to the Past Presidents Representative on our Board, Caty Crockett, who spent hours reporting our accomplishments.  We took 2nd place in the district for the Most New Members. Our club received the District's "Premier Club Award", and Rotary International's "Service Above Self" Presidential Citation.

Special Year-end Recognition Awards

        Two "SERVICE Above Self" plaques and "Paul Harris Fellowships" were awarded, one to Craig Miller and the other to Connie Sanders who both championed our Golf Tournament fundraiser.  "Rotarian of the Year" award went to Cooley Butler, who worked tirelessly in our behalf every week.  "Making a World of Difference" awards were presented to, Jim Tucker-the Wheel, Roster, etc., Jim Jones-photographer, Jim Taylor-programs, Josh Miller-programs, Mike Ballard-programs, Ed Lepere-luncheons, Karen Whisenhunt -extra projects, Matt Nelson-25 Club President, Erik Patrick-25 Club President, and Richard Hanseen-Treasurer.  In addition, the Las Vegas Rotary Club Board members, Las Vegas Rotary Foundation Board members, and all Committee Chairs were recognized with a "Phillips Year" mouse pad.  The Las Vegas Rotary Club magnified their calling as Rotarians and each member received a "Thanks for a great year" magnifying letter opener.

        The dedicated members of the Las Vegas Rotary Club in 2005-2006 achieved new records and added new projects that were of benefit to the City of Las Vegas, to Clark County, to the United States of America and to the World.  It was a successful year for all concerned! 

     Brock Fraser served as the 83rd President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club for the 2006-2007 year. Guidance and direction for the Club was carried out by an outstanding Board of Directors. Several directors focused on Club Service: Membership Director, Matt Nelson; Communications Director, Josh Miller; Fundraising Director, Janette Ford; Fellowship Director, Ginger Anderson; and Public Relations Director, Jimmy Navarro. Five Orientation / Induction ceremonies were conducted during the year which 26 saw new members accepting membership invitations.  At the close of the year, membership stood at 186 plus our 8 Honorary Members.

     Fellowship activities abounded this year and included such favorites as the Alpine Picnic hosted by Deanna and Bob Werner and coordinated by the 25 Club. In August, Julie and Ed Lepere hosted an enthusiastic group of theater goers at their home in Cedar City prior to the production of HMS Pinafore by the Utah Shakespearean Festival. The Christmas party took place at Spanish Trail Country Club following our Santa Clothes event that morning. A group of 75 attended a production of Phantom at the Venetian. Later in the spring, through Pres Elect Elect Russ Swain's efforts, we met the Fremont Rotary Club on the diamond at Cashman Field - results again not worthy of comment - but, a large number of children attended the game as our guests and a generous donation was made to the Susan G Komen Foundation.  The annual Putting Tournament took place at Angel Park and the year was wrapped up with the well attended debunking party at Silk Purse Ranch.

        In the area of Community Service, Maj Bill Raihl worked with a revitalized Habitat for Humanity organization. Under Janet Linder and Phil Bevin's tutelage, the Club sponsored 22 students and five adult leaders to RYLA as well as four eighth graders to TLC.

     Our relationship with Walter Bracken Magnet School and Principal Katie Decker continued to expand and the mutual admiration and respect between the club and the school mushroomed. The annual grant totaled $4,500 this year and provided each faculty member at Bracken with $100 to spend for their classroom as they saw fit. This program which started close to a dozen years ago continued to be a big benefit to Bracken. Dr Kathy Mahon's relentless efforts to deliver books to the children continued this year, and were appreciated as always.  Not to be outdone, large contingents of Club members made several trips to campus to clean up, decorate, spruce up and paint.  Rich Robledo and Matt Rengel attracted numerous volunteers to a variety of events.

        Santa Clothes, brought to our Club several years ago by veteran Rotarian Bob McBrien, clothed 282 children with the help of an equal number of Rotarians and friends as well as cooperation with five other clubs in Southern Nevada and all three JC Penny's stores in Las Vegas. Co-chairs (and past presidents) Jim Hunt and Tom Krob continued to take this great project to new heights during the year.

        Quarterly recognition of deserving airmen at Nellis AFB continued this year with our Wetzel Award named for long time Rotarian Scotty Wetzel a retired Air Force Colonel. Twelve airmen were spotlighted at ceremonies on base as well as at our meetings.

        International Service and Foundation efforts were spearheaded by board member Karen Whisenhunt. In September Ambassadorial Scholar Michael Gordon arrived from Cape Town, South Africa. He quickly became a favorite of all - on campus and in Rotary both here and throughout the District. There wasn't a project or event that didn't benefit from his involvement.

        Relationships with our sister clubs bore fruit. We partnered with Calgary to help rebuild an Asian village destroyed by the tsunami. They, in turn, joined our efforts to obtain a matching grant from RI for the build out of a literacy center in Tijuana.

        Our Club committed $7,500 to the Corazon Super Build district wide project in and around Tijuana. A sizeable group of our fellow Rotarians spent a Saturday in May building one of the four homes in this venture.

        The inbound GSE team from central Europe spent a fast paced but exciting few days with us. John and Amy Stevens orchestrated the many details of their time here and engaged the help of numerous Club members and friends.

        Randy Boesch did a remarkable job helping coordinate the Dan Stover Music and Four Way Speech contests. Talented contestants represented us well all the way to the District level. In May, we hosted about 40 outstanding high school students and their escorts at our Valedictorian luncheon at which time we heard from University Chancellor Jim Rogers.

        Our annual tradition of bringing well deserved attention to the brightest graduating student at UNLV continued for the 43rd year with the presentation of our Centennial Medallion to Karen Slade by President David Ashley.

        Paul Harris Foundation contributions and recognition were coordinated admirably by Dr. Patrick Carlton. We exceeded our commitment to the District by 234%, more than tripling their expectation for a total of $54,550. Our commitment was augmented by eight Rotarians becoming Paul Harris Society members - committing to a minimum donation of $1,000 per year on an on going basis. Those going the extra mile were Dr Pat Carlton, Honoree Corpron, Joan Murdock, Ernie Freggiaro, Josh Miller, Tom Krob, Jim Tucker and Jean-Paul Rebillard. All in all, 71 members of our Club were recognized this year alone, as they reached milestones with their Paul Harris contributions.

        Our Permanent Fund within the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, led by President Rod Harbaugh grew from $601,000 to a closing value of $739,800 due to the generous contributions from our members, half of the Super Bowl board, half of the $21,000 weekly drawing pot and contributions made in memory and honor of family and friends. Additionally, several generous and considerate members made the Permanent Fund beneficiaries in their wills.  At year's end, an additional $25,000, the result of sound fiscal management of Club operations was transferred to the Permanent Fund.

        Once again this year, at District Conference in Rancho Mirage, California, we came away with more than our fair share of the awards and recognition. Under Jimmy O's leadership, and guidance from Board member Matt Nelson, we placed 2nd with 20 new members (behind Pasadena's 22). Our web site, designed and maintained by John Stevens took the coveted 1st place honors.

        Club excellence in all areas was rewarded with RI President Bill Boyd's Presidential Citation. District Governor Christine Montan recognized our efforts with the "Outstanding Club" award, the highest award of distinction presented at District Conference.

        At our final meeting for the fiscal year on June 28 attention was focused on two ladies who both contributed immensely to the successes of the year; Shawn Noorda, our exceptional Executive Director and 'First Lady' Barbara Fraser who's support never faltered.

        "Rotarian of the Year" recognition was shared by two outstanding gentlemen without whose support, the year would have paled in comparison. Dr Patrick Carlton and Glenn Meier both stepped up above and beyond the call of duty and were honored with our highest award.

        2006-2007 delivered another exceptional year on the heels of several exceptional years, for this awesome congregation of Las Vegas Rotarians.  The year saw many, many accomplishments of which we can all be very proud.

Randy Campanale assumed the Presidency in July of 2007.

        Due to recent events, it became apparent that a leadership vacuum on the part of the larger clubs existed both in southern Nevada and the District that our club could uniquely fill. 

        Our Rotary club is the second largest in the District and the largest in southern Nevada.  The very large club in southern California generally chooses to go their own way relative to many projects.  Our Rotary club has traditionally supported minor area projects and developed and funded our own major projects. 

        Further, there appeared to be some small level of enmity toward larger clubs, primarily due to the substantially greater resources of larger clubs vs. smaller clubs.  

        District Governor Charlie Barr stated that Matching Grants, both internationally and for local projects, had gone largely unspent in the previous Rotary year. 

        An opportunity was thus presented, greater cooperation among all clubs, especially in southern Nevada, would present much greater effectiveness and thus more lives helped and saved.  Our club was uniquely positioned to provide that leadership.  We, however, needed to make some adjustments to exploit this opportunity:

        i       A very subtle change in our mindset of rightfully expecting and receiving credit for our worthy projects needed to transition to giving credit to other clubs if we could get them to work with us.  This entailed the belief that our good works were rewarded by our own knowledge of what we had done, not by the acknowledgement of other clubs or the District.  As Walter Payton said when asked why he didn't demonstrate after scoring a touchdown, "You have to act like you've been there before". Thus, our Club demonstrated the quiet strength and confidence in leading from the front and expecting results (read: Saving Lives) and leaving the plaudits to other clubs, especially smaller ones that rightfully could declare their accomplishments.

        i       While we have always had a close relationship with our District leadership, we needed to more completely align ourselves with this leadership to execute the higher level of cooperation we desired among clubs.  Fortunately, our District Governor had the same goal of saving more lives.

        i       We needed to recognize that other clubs had good, actionable ideas, especially on the International grants front.

        i       The Board of Directors, in conjunction with President Elect Russ Swain and President Elect-Elect Karen Whisenhunt, set a baseline of results that could become a new paradigm for our Club.  This baseline is "Lives Helped and Saved".  Historically, we informally measured our contribution to the world community by projects, i.e. the time, energy and money required for a successful outcome. Hopefully, this baseline will grow substantially from our final count for '07/'08.

Your Rotary Club, led by its Board of Directors, then set out to fulfill this mission.  Following are the results.

        Your Club actively promoted southern Nevada club accomplishments over our own.  The best example of this was the dinner with our Rotary International President, Wilf Wilkinson.  In his presentation of a special award to the J. C. Penney Company for our Santa Clothes program, Co-Chair Jim Hunt downplayed the Rotary Club of Las Vegas' initiation and fulfillment of this most worthy and beneficial program to give credit to the other clubs of southern Nevada for their work with us. 

        Michael Gordon's Literacy for All Campaign:  It was apparent that Michael has been adopted by our entire District.  Thus, his program to provide schoolbooks, written in the three primary languages of South Africa, to 12,000 kids was well suited to a District campaign rather than just our club.  With the approval of Distinct Governor Barr, this project became the first "District" international project.  Virtually all of the clubs in the District contributed, helped along by Michael's very hard work promoting it.

This also saved valuable resources for our Club that could be used for other worthy international projects.

        $1700 = $4900:  This concept was presented to the Presidents' Advance as a way to demonstrate the extraordinary leverage Matching Grants can generate.  Due to the overwhelming demand for Matching International Grants, clubs were limited to one grant.  Additional good works by any single club thereafter generated $0 leverage, but partnering with another club's unfunded matching grant generated the leverage shown above.  Your Club's significant contribution to the Mesquite Club's surgery table in India for polio victims is the best example of this partnership, among many including Mayan water cisterns, African mosquito nets, etc.

        A Dying _____ Child =?  This equation was presented to our Club and to the District Presidents.  It keeps our perspective clear: No matter what descriptor one puts in front of the word "Child", the answer is always "A Dying Child".

        Santa Clothes was truly a Southern Nevada Rotary event with 291 children clothed for the holidays.  Jim Hunt and Tom Krob again did a great job.

        Matt Nelson was ably assisted by Jimmy O, Cooley Butler and Past President Brock Fraser in the Club Service area.  We had another year of membership increases.  Lives helped/saved: 22.

        Josh Miller did a great job for Communications, assisted by John Stevens, Blake Boyer, Jim Jones and Glenn Meier. Lives helped/saved: 100

        Annee Nounna led us in our Fellowship Activities with great help from a number of people in the 25 Club, Ginger Anderson led the move of our Holiday Party to the LV Country Club, Rich Robledo handled the Putting Tournament and Brock Fraser did too good a job for the Debunking.  Craig Miller did an outstanding job with our Golf Tournament.

        Rich Robledo led an extraordinary team in the Youth Community Services section of Cheri Hickman, Karen Whisenhunt, Ginger Anderson, Sharon McNair and Chris Steely. Lives helped/saved: 1662.

        Major Raihl took our Community Projects sector to even greater heights, helped by President Elect Russ Swain, Ted McAdam and Kathy Mahon. Lives helped/saved: 550.

.               Jimmy Navarro led the Vocational Service area.  Christina Roush did a great job with the speech contest; Kathy Mahon again led the hosting of every Valedictorian in southern Nevada.  Shawn Noorda was great help for the Stover Music contest. Lives helped/saved:  33

        President Elect-Elect Karen Whisenhunt's year with International Service can only be described as exemplary.  She led a section with nine committees.  Pat Carlton again did a great job with Paul Harris Fellowships, Amy and John Stevens were great hosts for our visiting Group Study Exchange team from Australia.  Steve Parikh put together a brilliant project outfitting a girl's orphanage and school in India and then raised a substantial sum of outside money to fulfill it.  Bob Werner introduced our International guests in the many languages he speaks. We sponsored Christina DesVaux as an Ambassadorial Scholar to Uruguay.  Notable projects not mentioned previously are the SuperBuild in Mexico and the Microcredit program in Liberia.  Lives helped/saved: 11,806.

        UNLV Rotoract: Leadership provided by President Rachel Diehl led to fundraisers for Wheelchairs for Veterans, Care Packages to our servicemen and women in Iraq and a large contribution to the World's Largest Book Drive at the International Convention in LA.

        Your Club exceeded the $1,000,000 mark in total contributions to the Rotary International Foundation.  Many letters of congratulation followed this from our District as well as International.

        Richard Jost provided very strong counsel to the Board including negotiating with the Gaming Control Board regarding our weekly fundraising raffle.  Lamar Marchese led our fundraising efforts and performed other duties as needed by the Board.

        Ginger Anderson was named Rotarian of the Year for her substantial contributions of time, energy and leadership.

        Shawn Noorda's contribution to your Club as Executive Director cannot be measured.  She excels in all aspects of her job and goes very far beyond her official duties in service to us.

Thus were the accomplishments of your Club for the year '07/'08.  While we have much to be proud of, we are tempered with the knowledge that much yet needs to be done.  You helped or saved the lives of 14,173 people around the world.  This is now the number we all need to increase, year after year, to fulfill our mission as Rotarians: "Service Above Self"

.               Russell Swain served as the 85th President for the Las Vegas Rotary Club during the 2008-09 Rotary year. Our International theme for the year was "Make Dreams Real" and our club was able to accomplishment many great things despite extremely difficult economic times. Our membership shined during these tough times and followed the "Service Above Self" motto to make this year memorable. President Russ brought back the "Head Table" at the weekly luncheon, and awarded the "Make Dreams Real" Four Way Test Coin to a deserving member each week for their hard work and efforts on behalf of the club.

Three major accomplishments during the year were definitely impressive. First, our annual Santa Clothes program that amazingly provided clothing for 278 children this year. Chairman Jim Hunt, Tom Krob, Randy Donald, Gary Miller along with large number of club members, Rotaract members, friends, family, and several other Southern Nevada Rotary Clubs made this possible. A very special day of community service, giving to children in need and fellowship.

        Our annual food drive and joint meeting with the local Kiwanis Club was another big success during our year, with our club, after many years of falling short, showed up in a big way, collecting 101,006 cans vs. the Kiwanis effort of 24,624. The big winner was the local Salvation Army who was able to stock their shelves and provide for many during the holiday season. Craig Miller promised a victory early in the year, and made good with his word.

        Pat Carlton helped oversee and promote our effort to increase our Paul Harris Fellowship within our club, and he did an outstanding job. We had 55 New PHF's during the year, with over $80,000 in member donations. We also blessed with 47 multiple Paul Harris Fellowships, 13 Paul Harris Society members and 3 new major donors. Our total contributions from the Las Vegas Rotary Club to RI have now exceeded $1,111,358.

        The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation increased their donation to Rotary in support of the Polio Plus campaign to a total of $355,000,000. And RI must match that with a $200,000,000 from our membership. This challenge to our membership to raise the additional funds needed for the eradication effort brings the total goal to $555,000,000. Our club, in an effort to support the cause, had the Polo's for Polio with the help of Gloria Gorlin, and also had the Polio Pig nicknamed "The Swyner" to help raise additional funds.

        Several new projects helped us enormously were the Ladies Luncheon & later Men's Luncheon hosted by Annee Nounna, great food, fun and fundraiser for the club. Also, we held our First Annual Rotary Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament, put on by Doug Dalton & Randy Donald and a lot of fun was had by all. Don Loyd was the big winner.

        We held a successful Golf Tournament again, Thanks to Brock Fraser…. Our Annual Softball Challenge vs. the Fremont Rotary Club fundraiser & fellowship thanks to Chair Rich Robledo, Sole Power Award, Old Timers Program (Jerry Engle), Wetzel Award Quarterly (Ted McAdam) RYLA, Dan Stover Music Awards, 4 Way Speech Contest, hosted the International German Soccer Team again, Highway Clean Up (25 Club) Rotarians at Work Day at Salvation Army, Hensel Essay Award (Stephanie Kurtz) Valedictorian Lunch (Dr. Kathleen Mahon), Bracken Elementary & Principal Katie Decker.

        The fellowship events were Shakespearean Festival (Ed & Julie Lepere) hosted the BBQ., Brianhead Ski Trip (Annee Nounna), UNLV Tailgate (Rich Robledo & James Bradshaw), Alpine Picnic (Bob Werner & Deb Granda)

        Our club received Three Outstanding Awards from District 5300, and several Exemplary Awards and a Presidential Citation from RI. Our Club Awarded long time member Dr. Kazem Fathie with an Honorary Recognition for his many years of unselfish giving to the Las Vegas Rotary Club and Foundation.

        Our annual debunking party had a theme of I'm A........ IMA HUNTER, IMA BOATER, IMA, IMA IMA… Special thanks go to Immediate Past President Randy Campanale, Jim Hunt, Tom Krob, Randy Donald & Gary Miller.  President Russ was roasted appropriately, and the Rotary year of 2008-09 came to an end…..

        Karen Whisenhunt served as the 86th President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club during the 2009-2010 Rotary Year. The International theme was "The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands." Strong emphasis was given to the "Family of Rotary." Previous members, Rotaract, Interact, Kideract, Bracken Elementary and Rotarian spouses were invited to participate in various Club activities. "Family of Rotary" participation and awareness was increased tremendously throughout the year.

        The goal for the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation for many years has been to reach $1 MILLION in the Permanent Fund. Thanks to the hard work and persistence of Ginger Anderson, President of the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, and the Board of Directors that goal was met during the 2009-2010 Rotary Year. The Tiberti Foundation donated $250,000 in honor of long time member J.A. Tiberti.  J.A. dedicated his life to his community and the development of Las Vegas. Thanks to this donation, J.A. Tiberti will live in perpetuity in the Las Vegas Rotary Club.

        The Administration Committee was lead by Director Glenn Meier. Fellowship activities included: the Alpine Picnic; Shakespeare Festival; UNLV Tail Gate Party; Lion King Fellowship and Fundraiser; "Family of Rotary" Luncheons; Christmas Party and Auction; Children's Christmas Party; Special Luncheons hosted by Annee Nounna; Putting Tournament; Debunking Party; Golf Tournament and Auction and the newly-formed Cigar Fellowship, chaired by Jim Hunt and a huge success. Fundraising activities included: 2 Texas Hold 'Em Tournaments; Super-Bowl Pool; Dow Jones Pool; March Madness Pool and the Golf Tournament and Auction. Jim Tucker and Gloria Gorlin continued to produce a top quality newsletter "The Wheel" each week. Presidents of the 25 Club were Cindy Breck and Michael Gordon.

        The Membership Committee was lead by Director Richard Jost. A membership drive lead by Deb Harris was held with 17 prospective new members attending a special meeting. The meeting included a keynote speaker, Ross Miller, Nevada Secretary of State and a short overview of club activities. Twenty-two new members were inducted into the Club during the year with new members' orientations hosted at the home of Ned and Marilyn Phillips.

        One of the objectives of the Club was to improve Public Relations. Exceptional speakers were scheduled, thanks to Director Josh Miller. Rotarians were encouraged to maximize "Rotary Awareness" through existing Club activities. Cory Brooks, Sales Manager for the Blue Man Group provided tickets to various events, a great drawing card. Richard Reed created a new website for the 25 Club and a redesign of the Las Vegas Rotary Club. Craig Miller secured club recognition on the UNLV website and center court during a basketball game honoring our Veterans. Media exposure was accomplished through many activities including sponsorship of a boys' division at the Mayors Cup and 96 television spots on PBS Vegas in support of the Keeping Kids Fit Program.

        The Youth and Vocational Services Committee was lead by Director Randy Donald. Six students and club facilitators attended TLC; 11 students and club facilitators attended RYLA; 3 students performed at the club for the Dan Stover Music Contest; 4 students performed at the club for the Four-Way Speech Contest; 1 engineering student at UNLV received a $2,000 Tiberti Scholarship; and 176 Rotarians, Valedictorians and guests attended the Valedictorian luncheon.  Rotaract, Interact and Kideract members attended club meetings and participated in service projects and district trainings. Rotaract President Ed Haliwell was presented with a Paul Harris at the end of his Rotaract year.

The Community Services Committee was lead by Director Matt Nelson. Santa Clothes was lead by Jim Hunt.  Thanks to Club members, Rotary Clubs in Southern Nevada and a $3,000 grant by the Rotary Club of Calgary, a record 305 children shopped for much needed clothing. Clubs support with existing programs included: Students to Sports - taking children to a basketball game; Goodie Two Shoes - fitting children with shoes; Sole Power Award - giving shoes to needy children on behalf of weekly speakers; Salvation Army canned food drive - donating a total of 134,031 cans of food; Salvation Army Xmas Toy Distribution - providing volunteers for distribution days; Wetzel Award - presenting service people with awards and recognition; Opportunity Village - providing volunteers to man the Magic Forest; Walter Bracken Elementary - providing $50 teacher grants to each teacher; Wheel Chairs for Children - with a matching grant from the Wheel Chair Foundation, provided 15 wheelchairs to children in our community; Veterans to Sports - with members contributions and a $3,000  grant from the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, 1035 Veterans and families attended a UNLV Basketball game; American Red Cross - providing a $3,000 grant to purchase mannequins; Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada - providing a $3,000 grant to purchase a PA system; PBS Vegas - providing a $5,000  grant for the Keeping Kids Fit Program. 

        The International Services Committee was lead by Director MaryAnn Avnet. Under World Community Service, lead by Steve Parikh, the Club contributed to a matching grant with the Mesquite Rotary Club to purchase an Ambulance in India. We also contributed $2,500 with an additional $2,500 in District Designated Funds towards a $100,000 grant with our partner Club, the Rotary Club of Calgary to provide mosquito treated netting to 14 African Nations. The Club participated in SuperBuild providing $1,000 towards building 3 houses in Mexico. Members hosting a team of 16 boys from Germany for the Mayors Cup.  We endorsed a young lady, Carly Chang, for the Youth Exchange Program, who will study abroad for one year in Germany. As part of the Disaster Relief Rotary Action Group (DRRAG), when disaster hit in Haiti, Club members were there to help. Thanks to members, the "Family of Rotary" and a $3,000 grant from the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, donations to Haiti included $3,500 to ShelterBox USA, $2,310 to the American Red Cross and $3,450 to the Salvation Army. Rotaract donated $500 and Kideract donated $1,000, both towards ShelterBox USA.

        The Foundation Committee was lead by Director Paul Maffey. Our club is number one in the District for participation in The Rotary Foundation (TRF) programs. This year we hosted 2 Ambassadorial Scholars from South Korea: Min Jin Kim and Jin Young Huh. We also endorsed 3 outbound Ambassadorial Scholars with 1 student, Melanie Reed selected by the District. We endorsed Chantelle Doerksen as a World Peace and Conflict Resolution applicant, the first for our Club and first for the District. Members hosted a team of judges from Kazakhstan as part of the Open World Program and participated in activities for GSE. Total contributions to TRF were $51,016, the highest per member in the District. The Club awarded 38 multi-Paul Harris and 51 new Paul Harris Fellows, including 11 as part of the "Pay it Forward" initiative by chair Michael Gordon. Anonymously, members contributed to help other exceptional members complete their first Paul Harris. In return they were asked to "Pay it Forward" in the future to other deserving Rotarians. Past President Russell Swain became a "Level 1 Bequest Society Member. Paul Harris Society members included: Jack Benter, Diane Carlson, Patrick Carlton, Franz Czeisler, Tom Krob, Joan Murdock, Matt Parkins, and Jim Tucker. The cost of a PolioPlus vaccine is 60¢ and the concept used to solicit contributions throughout the year. Thanks to members, the "Swiner" Polio Pig, and "Rotary Awareness" outside of the Club, 17,404 lives were saved through PolioPlus.

        At District Conference held at the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, the Club was presented with the Presidential Citation; 3 Outstanding Awards; 5 Exemplary Awards; additional recognition for Membership; Disaster Relief in Haiti; and dedication to The Rotary Foundation.  Tom Whisenhunt was presented with the Unsung Hero Award for support and service to the community through Rotary. 

        The debunking party hosted at the beautiful home of Kazem and Brigitta Fathie had a Canadian Theme with 146 people in attendance. Russell Swain led the committee and sent President Karen up the river without a paddle. Jim Hunt was presented with a Distinguished Service Award for years of service to the community. Pam Samuolis was presented with a Spouses Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to the "Family of Rotary." Executive Director Shawn Noorda was honored and presented with a Paul Harris Fellow, flowers and cash in appreciation for her endless dedication to the club. Michael Gordon was presented with the Rotarian of the Year Award for his continuous commitment to the Las Vegas Rotary Club.  Thus ended the year for the third female President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club!

Tom Axtell became the 88th President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club following the well earned debunking of Karen Whisenhunt.  Axtell and the Board opened the year with goals centered on the Rotary International theme of Building Communities, Bridging Continents and eight club objectives; (1) improve social interaction among all members; (2) expand fund raising support from non Rotarian resources; (3) achieve record member participation in local service activities; (4) deploy online and social media tools to support membership and philanthropy; (5) promote understanding of international service programs; (6) create awareness of the historical impact of our club's members on Las Vegas' development; (7) establish policies to govern Foundation investments and endowment distributions, and (8) increase membership.

President Axtell began each meeting with a short, humorous, and occasionally obscure narrative weaving historic and cosmic events into a homily on Service Above Self and the impact of our club on local and international human need. Extended non programmatic periods for social conversation among members at the lunch tables were a part of every meeting.  Jim Tucker coordinated printing of the Roster and Wheel.  Gloria Gorlin redesigned the Wheel and provided weekly editorial leadership. Mike Ballard, Carolyn Sparks and Michael Gardineer recruited thoughtful program speakers, who were thanked with a Sole Power donation of shoes and socks for a needy child coordinated by Mary Westbrook.  Many song leaders opened the meetings, but few equaled Jerry Engel's ambitious multipart choral rounds conducted from a ladder.

The 25 Club under the leadership of Richard Reed and James Hooban supported the social interaction goal by sponsoring an extended series of social events at resorts every third Thursday evening.  They also invited "seasoned" members to address their monthly meetings, and toured behind the scenes Rotary exhibits at the UNLV Library as the guests of Patty Iannuzzi. The Red Rock highway cleanup committee was ably led by Larry Rouse who never let a Rotarian pick up garbage without an orange vest. 

David Thorson and Kari Ayers led an energized 25 Club committee committed to maintaining the club's three year "streak" by securing more cans than the Kiwanis Club for the 55th annual Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive to benefit the Salvation Army.  They embraced the goal of broadening non-Rotarian community support by creating an online donation web site that drew national and international support, placing coin collection cans at hundreds of locations in the valley, and encouraging members to solicit their business vendors. Kris Jex arranged for a can placement in every branch of US Bank. The many efforts paid off as a record 203,237 cans were secured!  When added to the Kiwanis collections, the Salvation Army received 260,630 pounds of food for needy Las Vegans at Thanksgiving.

Not to be outdone, Jim Hunt, Tom Krob, and Randy Donald led the Santa Clothes committee to record fundraising and record participation in the Holiday shopping event at J.C. Penney stores in three malls. The committee secured a large grant from the Englestad Foundation and used online marketing to secure additional new support which, when added to member donations, allowed the clothing allowance to be increased to $200.  A record 307 needy children received clothing and shoes, an introduction to college with student athletes, plus a luncheon address by the University President, Neal Smatresk.  

Mary Jane Wirges led the International Service Committee.  To increase member awareness of the club's international involvement a large world map with our service projects and student placements was created for display at every meeting. Steve Parikh and his committee approved our participation in two RI projects that received matching funds from RI Foundation and the local Rotary Club.  A neonatal Intensive care unit was funded at P. D. Hinduja Sindhi Hospital in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The project had a total cost of $27,103.  A second project in Shimla, Himachai Pradesh, India funded personal hygiene and clean water resources at eight schools serving 2,500 children. It involved construction of toilet facilities and sanitation systems plus water filtering and storage systems at a cost of $20,765.

Matt Christian and Karen Whisenhunt organized several days of activities for the Open World - Rule of Law event for visiting judges from Tajikistan culminating in a club dinner at the home of Bob and Deanna Werner.  Russ Swain organized transportation and housing for German youth participating in the Mayor's Soccer Cup.  Russ and Bryan Land filled the same function for young professionals from Egypt visiting Las Vegas on the Group Study Exchange. The club funded four Rotoplast surgeries for Guatemala children with cleft lips or cleft palates. Mary Ann Avnet joined the Rotoplast mission as a non medical support specialist and gave the club a stirring report on her experience. Amanda Hurst and Michael Gordon traveled to South Africa where they donated blankets from the club to a shelter serving the homeless. With the encouragement on disaster chair Major Robert Lloyd, the club also made a special collection to provide Rotary "Shelter Box" tents and cooking supplies for the earthquake victims in Haiti.

The club was honored to secure prestigious fully funded scholarships from Rotary International for deserving Las Vegans.  Karen Whisenhunt, David Kreamer, and Caty Crockett, assisted these students through the highly competitive application process. Chantelle Doerksen, a Peace Corps alum who was working at the Las Vegas Lung Association, won a prestigious RI World Peace Fellowship. She addressed the club prior to her departure for a year's study in Argentina. Amanda Reed, a UNLV Masters student in Geoscience, won a prized RI Ambassadorial Scholarship. She was funded for a year's graduate study in Ghana. She spoke to the club about her development of low cost fog harvesting technology to secure water for a village in Cape Verde, West Africa. We also placed Carly Chang as an International Youth Exchange student. Her Rotary host parents were in Copenhagen, and she traveled extensively throughout Europe with them.

Glenn Meier's Administration Committee achieved a high level of social interaction by organizing many events for fellowship and fundraising. A well attended Alpine Picnic was chaired by Deb Granda and hosted at the Mount Charleston retreat of Bob and Deanna Werner. Three Cigar Fellowships organized by Jim Hunt and Tom Krob raised significant funds for the Foundation. James Bradshaw coordinated the UNLV football tailgate. Annee Nounna hosted the Winter Ski Trip at her beautiful mountain home. Ginger Anderson led the Holiday Party committee that planned an elegant evening at the Red Rock Country Club, with a productive fund raising auction organized by Carolyn Sparks. March Madness and Super Bowl pools were organized by Craig Miller, and Glenn Meier made money for the Foundation as all participants -- except Stuart Levy -- lost money during a poker tournament at the new Aria Resort. Bruce Quinn chaired the annual golf tournament which not only raised funds for the club, but added financial and counseling assistance for returning veterans with traumatic brain injury or missing limbs to its philanthropic purpose.

Richard Jost's Membership Committee brought in 19 vigorous new members. Although this represented the largest number of new members recruited by any Southern Nevada Rotary club, it was not enough to cause overall club growth.  The persistent recession crippling the Nevada economy caused 21 members to resign or seek leaves of absence.

The Public Relations committee plowed new ground in electronic communications. Richard Reed revamped the club's website adding timely meeting information, event details, and online giving opportunities. Jim Jones, Gloria Gorlin and Bob Barnard provided weekly e-blasts with photos from the prior meeting and humorous pictorial commentary. Deb Harris activated a club Face Book page, and introduced many members to the emerging world of social media. 

President-Elect Elect Randy Donald chaired an active Youth and Vocational Projects Committee that provided life changing guidance and experiences to hundreds of local youth. Kidderact, Midderact, Interact, and Rotaract Clubs were active at Bracken Elementary School, Bridger Middle School, Del Sol High School, Advanced Technology Academy, and UNLV.  James Bradshaw, Rich Robledo, Chris Steely, Cindy Breck, Sharon McNair, and Mary Ann Avnet served as liaisons for these groups.  Rich's work on these Rotary projects introduced him to a teacher whom he married the next summer. Gwen Hall organized a troupe Teen Leadership Camp (TLC) with a record number of participatants. Bill Stieren and Jim Hooban coordinated the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) weekend in Idewild, California.  Cindy Breck recruited participants for the 4-Way Speech Contest. Gary Miller conducted the Dan Stover Music Contest.  Kathy Mahon coordinated volunteerism at Bracken Elementary, our adopted school.  Annual cash grants to teachers for classroom supplies were doubled, and Club members judged science projects, read to kids, participated in career day, donated books to the library, and assisted with special projects.  The annual progress of the children in the school continued to climb at very high rates.  Kathy Mahon also oversaw the annual Valedictorian Luncheon honoring a student from each valley high school who achieved both personal scholarship and a record of extra curricular community service.  

Mary Ann Avnet chaired the Local Community Service Projects Committee.  Chris Steely and Steve Linder organized the quarterly Wetzel Awards for three Nellis service personnel selected by the commander for high achievement in military and community service. Recipients names are inscribed on a plaque at the base and all receive and an evening out with transportation, dinner, and a show funded by the club. Deb Harris arranged for the club to sponsor a night watching the 51's baseball team for two dozen Rotarians and 200 Nellis service men and women.  Jim Hunt worked with social agencies to find needy children and adults who received donated wheelchairs from the club.  Cindy Breck recruited Rotary volunteers for the Opportunity Village Magic Forest fundraiser. Deb Granda organized holiday food service support for the Salvation Army. Sharon McNair's grants committee reviewed grant applications and with assistance from James Kohl, made awards to the LV Rescue Mission, Boy Scouts, Spread the Word Nevada, Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, and West Care.

Paul Maffey chaired the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation. The board selected an investment firm to formally manage the Foundation's endowment funds and established formal investment guidelines. President Axtell recommended adoption of "best practice" nonprofit disbursement policies for the Permanent (endowment) Fund that would base charitable giving on a rolling three year average return on investment to avoid the effects of extreme swings in market valuations.  This approach was adopted by the board. The board also adopted an advanced funding policy that will allow future Presidents to have more certainty about funds available for the club's philanthropic projects. Additional members notified the Foundation of their inclusion of a gift to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation in their estate planning.  Michael Gordon made a Herculean effort to achieve the first ever 100% Paul Harris membership for the club. This was accomplished in May when 14 first time Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded.  The Foundation reported cumulative member donations of over $1,258,000 to the Rotary International Foundation, an equal amount in our local Foundation, and over $30,000 in cumulative gifts to the Gates Polio Plus Challenge.

At the 2011 District 5300 conference in La Jolla, the Las Vegas Rotary Club received Exemplary Awards for Membership Retention and Vocational Service, and Outstanding Club Awards for International Service and Community Service.  RI Presidential Citations for Overall Club Activities and 100% Paul Harris Membership were also received. At the conference many club members were recognized by District President Roger Schulte for service to the district: Pat Carlton for serving as Deputy District Governor; Russ Swain for district leadership on the GSE program, Michael Gordon for efforts to locate alumni of Rotary scholarships, Mary Ann Avnet for RYLA, and Steve Parikh for international projects.

President Tom's demotion was organized by an excessively enthusiastic committee led by past President Karen Whisenhunt and held in an upscale trailer park befitting committee's estimation of Tom's year of service.  Having worn a "cheese head" in a club meeting after the Green Bay Packers won the super bowl, the theme and dress was farm oriented as he was prepared to go "out to pasture". A trivia quiz pitting him against Bob Fisher dressed as an over caffeinated Elmo, and Edy Seaver dressed as a salacious Big Bird led to repeated point losses regardless of his answers and distractions from a squirt gun toting Karen Whisenhunt. In keeping with Club traditions, he was summarily deposited in the pool, after donning striped 1900's swimming attire. When he dried off, the club presented Tom with hundreds of books he could donate to a worthy program.  Rotarian of the Year was presented to Richard Reed for his online support of many club projects and service as 25 Club President. Executive Director Shawn Noorda and Tom's executive assistant Bernie Goodemote were thanked for their extraordinary support of the club and received flower bouquets.  Tom recalled outstanding events and leaders from the year, thanked the club and foundation boards, lauded the extraordinary dedication of club members, and happily pinned the presidents pin on Sharon McNair.

Sharon McNair began serving as the 89th President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club on July 1, 2011, but was given several opportunities to "fill in" for absentee Tom Axtell during his term. Tom decided to skip his last meeting on June 23, 2011, and allow Sharon to "practice" for her term- after all, Practice Makes Perfect! As appropriate, Sharon appeared at the podium wearing a mask of Tom Axtell just in case the members wanted to see him one last time!

THE 2011-12 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THEIR

AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY:

President-Elect Randy Donald- Fund Raising:

President Sharon wanted to "do something different this year'' for both the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas. Under the chairmanship of Deb Granda, with the assistance of 32 of the club members, the FIRST Annual Valentine's Day Gala was held at the Renaissance Hotel on Feb. 11, 2012, netting approximately $20,000 which was donated to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation (including $5,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas}. The honoree of the evening for her outstanding and pioneering spirit was Thalia Dondero, the first woman member of the Las Vegas Rotary Club and the first woman on the Clark County Commission. After more than a year of planning, the event was a huge success with over 230 people in attendance, a fabulous silent and live auction and a lineup of celebrity entertainment, all performing at no cost to the club.

On May 18, 2012, the 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament was held at the Badlands Golf Club in Memory of long-time member J.A. Tiberti and honoring Past President Tom Krob for his outstanding service to our Club and Rotary. The Chair of this event was David Young who along with his committee devised an evening with "something for everyone whether golfer or not". The funds raised (approximately $12,000) were for the local Las Vegas Rotary Foundation to continue the charitable work done in the local community.

Other Fund-Raising activities included the Holiday Auction chaired by Carolyn Sparks, the Super Bowl Board supervised by the 25 Club members, and two Cigar Fellowships chaired by Past President Jim Hunt. One of the Cigar Fellowships was hosted by the Family of Rotary (chaired by Past President Karen Whisenhunt} on St. Patty's Day at the home of Tom and Jayne Krob, and featured every possible type of Irish food imaginable. Proceeds from the events went to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation to be spent for local charitable endeavors.

James Bradshaw- Fellowship:

The first fellowship of the year was the Alpine Picnic held at Bob & Deanna Werner's home at Mt. Charleston in July 2011, and just because they love us so much, were hosts at the second picnic at theirhome on June 9, 2012. Everyone enjoyed the fellowship, and as usual, left with full tummies!

Next, James arranged with UNLV to obtain a group of football tickets and set up a UNLV tailgate party before the game on October 29,2011. Members and guests enjoyed the hot dogs and hamburgers and then all dispersed to the football game to cheer on UNLV!

One of the most fun activities of the year was the Holiday Party which was held on December 8, 2012, at theM Hotel/Casino. Chair of this event was Melanie Muldowney who arranged a spectacular event with scrumptious food, a visit from Jolly St. Nick (Bob Patten) and some of his helpers (Kari Ayers, Pat lanuzzi, Janice Lencke, Aaron Campillo, and Major Bob Lloyd). To insure everyone got in the Holiday spirit, Bob Fisher lead the attendees in Christmas songs.

Last, but not least of the Fellowships for the year, was the year-end Debunking Party of President Sharon held on June 28, 2012, at St. John's Greek Orthodox Church chaired by Past President Tom Axtell. This party proved to be a smashing success and Sharon was properly " debunked" from office with several buckets of water! The highlight of the skit was the ballerinas (Jerry Engel, James Mullikin and Bob ("A-Cup" ) Werner) who entertained us with a dance (or it attempted to be a dance)!

As one of the last duties of her Presidency, Sharon announced that the "Rotarian of the Year'' was Mary Ann Avnet for her "Service Above Self' for the year 2011-12.

Then outgoing President Sharon received her "Past President's" pin and President-Elect Randy was transformed into " King Randy" and received an appropriate "large" gavel from outgoing President Sharon. Incoming President Randy then presented Ginger Anderson with her President Elect pin.

Glenn Meier- Membership:

During the year, Glenn set up several membership orientation meetings as needed, hosted by members of the Club. At the meetings, the focus was on presenting as much information as possible to acquaint the new members with the inner workings of the Club, including the 25 Club. The Orientation Manual was handed out and discussion was had regarding the Committees and their functions, the cost of the Club and the Foundation, and any questions posed by the new members was answered.

Craig Miller- Public Relations:

All the public relations for the Club were under Craig's guidance, including but not limited to: website development and updates (chaired by Richard Reed and Jeff Berg); social media (chaired by Deb Harris); members directory and history (chaired by Jim Tucker); Wheel Coordinator (chaired by Gloria Gorlin); Wheel Editor (chaired by Jim Tucker); Programs- Guest Speakers (chaired by Erika Pike Turner and Cindy Breck); Club Photographer- (chaired by Jim Jones); Meeting arrangements- 25 Club; Public Relations- (Kari Ayers, Patty lanuzzi, Mark Russell, & Deb Harris).

Ginger Anderson- Service Projects, Local Community:

This year the Santa Clothes project, which started in 1996, was continued (chaired by Tom Krob, Jim Hunt and Randy Donald). A total of 310 underprivileged children were taken to three J.C. Penney stores in Las Vegas on December 8, 2011, and, with the assistance of Rotarians and lnteractors, were allowed to spend $200 each on clothing and shoes. After shopping, the children were taken to UNLV to interact with university athletes followed by an inspirational talk, pizza lunch and cookies. At the end of the event, each child was given a basketball or football to end the already amazing day.

Taking into account the discounts given by Penney's, the Club actually purchased approximately $65,000 in clothing for the 310 children. Contributions included $18,000 donated by members of the Club, $15,500 from the Engelstad Family Foundation, $12,000 from other Rotary Clubs, $2,340 from other outside sources and various in-kind donations. The total number of volunteers made up of Club members, Interact Club members, family and friends was 189, but when you consider all the UNLV and J.C. Penney volunteers, the total is closer to 450 volunteers.

Again, on November 23, 2011, for the 57th year, the Club met with the Kiwanis Clubs to culminate the competition of the canned food drive which was staged to benefit Salvation Army and the homeless that they serve. This year as has been the case for several years, the Rotary Club donated more cans than Kiwanis (201,000 to 52,000), but the winners are really the families that receive the food. The Chairs for this event were Richard Reed and Melanie Muldowney.

In addition, the Community Grants Committee chaired by President-Elect Randy Donald had a wonderful time distributing grants to deserving local organizations totaling $18,000. Organizations included Women's Development Center, UNLV Vets, Vegas PBS, Goodies Two Shoes Foundation, Eagle Quest, Girl Scouts of SN, Foundation for Independent Living, Spread the Word Nevada, Las Vegas Rescue Mission and the Hyde Park Robotics Team.

Over eight years ago, the Wetzel Awards began after the demise of member Scotty Wetzel, a retired Air Force pilot. The awards were given to deserving Nellis Airmen to acknowledge their outstanding service. This year the number of awards was increased from 3 to five each quarter. So, this year, a total of 20 awards were presented to these dedicated servicemen. The chair of this committee was Bruce Quinn.

For numerous years, the Club has supported Bracken Elementary School, an "at risk" school, both financially and physically and was continued for this year also. However, a second elementary school was added this year, namely, Beckley Elementary, another "at risk" school. This year, in partnership with UNLV library, 100 boxes of books (over a thousand books) were donated to Beckley Elementary School and for Bracken, twenty-five books were purchased specific to the school's emergent readers program. Chair for these projects was Dr. Kathy Mahon.

Mary Ann Avnet and Matt Nelson- Youth and Vocational Service:

This year the Club sent 12 eighth grade student leaders to Teen Leadership Camp (TLC) in November 2011 (Chaired by Gwen Hall) and 16 high school juniors to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) in March 2012 (Chaired by Cindy Breck). The Club also participated in the Four Way Speech Contest (chaired by Cindy Breck) and the Dan Stover Music Awards program (chaired by Gary Miller) and hosted Group Study Exchange teams {both incoming and outgoing) to/from northern Chile. The chair of the incoming was Past President Caty Crockett and the outgoing team leader was Mary Ann Avnet.

Under the district and club chairmanship of Karen Whisenhunt, the Club took the lead for two Open World, Rule of Law Programs with one delegation from the Ukraine in September 2011 and one from Russia in April2012. Due to the budget constraints of the State Department, only four Rotary Clubs in the U.S. were funded for this year and Las Vegas was one of them. The staff of Open World in DC stated that Las Vegas is THE best Open World Program in the U.S. We definitely agree with that!

On April 26, 2012, the Club once again honored the 50 Valedictorians from the local Southern Nevada area high schools (Chaired by Kathy Mahon) who enjoyed lunch and were presented a Fisher space pen as a remembrance of Southern Nevada. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Dwight Jones, was the speaker.

Interact Clubs at both Advanced Technologies Academy (Chaired by Pat lanuzzi) and Del Sol High School (Chaired by Mark Russell) continued for this year. The membership at Advanced Technologies Academy broke all school records as their membership totaled 88 this year. A-Tech as they fondly call themselves, were very active during the year under the leadership of 19 year Advisor, Kim McNair-Styles, assisted by Maureen Doyle. The Club on a monthly basis cooked food for Ronald McDonald House, made sandwiches for the homeless, shopped with the underprivileged at Santa Clothes and assisted the Club on projects including the Valentine's Day Gala in February 2012.

In addition, Kideract at Bracken Elementary School {Chaired by Kathy Mahon), Mideract at Bridger Middle School {Chaired by Gwen Hall), and Rotaract (Chaired by Mary Ann Avnet) have all functioned during this year.

Mary Jane Wirges- International:

This year the International Committee under the Chairmanship of Steve Parikh participated in three international service projects, two through the matchinggrant.org site utilizing DDF and TRF and one District sponsored project.

Project 1- The Club contributed $4,800 towards an Artesian Well Project in Saltinho, SP, Brazil. The project consisted of building an artesian well to provide water to the poor community of Saltinho. This $34,700 project will benefit the people who live in that area and have a lot of difficulties to obtain water for their needs.

Project 2 - The Club contributed $3,600 towards the Water Filtration Systems Project for eight schools in Beirut, Saida, Baalbek, and Mount-Lebanon, Lebanon. This is a $20,000 project which benefited 4800 school children.

Project 3 - The Club contributed $3,600 towards the District sponsored International project to provide wheelchairs in Mexico.

Michael Gordon- Foundation:

International Scholarships- Chaired by Karen Whisenhunt. The Club has one Ambassadorial scholar in Ghana completing her Ambassadorial Scholarship and one World Peace Scholar who left in February 2012 for study in Australia.

Race to End Polio- Contributions to the Club were $7,493 for Polio Plus and since December 1, 2007, the Club has contributed $39,203 towards PolioPius and is the leader in the district for contributions.

Rl Foundation Annual Programs, Permanent Fund, Paul Harris and Polio Plus- chair Michael Gordon. The all time giving to the Rotary Foundation as ofthe end of May 2012 was $1,307,652. This year, our club contributed $39,698 as of the end of May 2012 and awarded 25 Paul Harris Fellows for the year.

Richard Jose- Special Projects:

The main project under this category was the development and submission of the awards request to District 5300 - Chair- Karen Whisenhunt.

The District awarded the Club "Outstanding" awards (the highest level) in all categories:

Administration - Public Relations - Membership - Youth and   Community Service - Vocational Service - International -Foundation - Website - Newsletter - Literacy

In addition, the Club received the Changemaker Award from Rotary International for making a change in the community and the world.

Another highlight of the year was the 89th Anniversary celebration in April 2012. President Sharon wanted to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the 88 past presidents as well as the members of the Club. So, on April12th Past District Governor Tom Novotny and President-Elect Randy Donald assisted her in presenting Certificates of Appreciation to all the Past Presidents of the Las Vegas Rotary Club. The speaker for the day was none other than Federal Judge Lloyd George who tal ked about the history of Las Vegas.

It was obvious to President Sharon that to choose only one member as Rotarian of the Year was an impossible task since so many people work so hard for the Club. President Sharon decided to institute the "True Colors Award" which was given quarterly during the year to 4 deserving Rotarians. The 4 chosen during the year were Gloria Gorlin, Cindy Breck, Deb Granda and Jim Tucker for all their "over the top" dedication to Service Above Self. They each received a two-night stay at a local hotel, Lawry Bucks, a True Colors shirt and a framed True Colors certificate.

Last, but not least of the Fellowships for the year, was the year-end Debunking Party of President Sharon held on June 28, 2012, at St. John's Greek Orthodox Church chaired by Past President Tom Axtell. This party proved to be a smashing success and Sharon was properly "debunked" from office with several buckets of water and lots of confetti! The highlight of the skit was the ballerinas (Jerry Engel, James Mullikin and Bob ("A-Cup") Werner) who entertained us with a dance (or it was supposed to be a dance)!

As one of the last duties of her Presidency, Sharon announced that the " Rotarian of the Year" was Mary Ann Avnet for her "Service Above Self' for the year 2011-12. 

Then outgoing President Sharon received her "Past President's" pin and President-Elect Randy was transformed into "King Randy" and received an appropriate "large" gavel from outgoing President Sharon. Incoming President Randy then presented Ginger Anderson with her President Elect pin.

And so, the extremely busy and rewarding 2011-12 year ended with the debunking party of the 89th President, Sharon McNair, on June 28, 2012.

To Be Continued ...... with Randy Donald as President!

        So this is the history of our Rotary Club, entwined as it is in the founding of the town and only thirteen years after Clark County came into being.  So the history of Rotary is pretty much the history of the community.  Most of the community leaders have worn the gear of Rotary and the Club has grown from the original 18 charter members to a roll of over 180.

        Through the years, the comradeship of the members has lighted the torch of service that in turn, benefited Las Vegas, Nevada and the world through the efforts of the membership.

        May Rotary and Las Vegas both continue their growth and expansion so that the next historian can chronicle a similar history for those who may follow.

        Ted T. Brandt wrote the first roster history of the Las Vegas Rotary in 1958.  The history has been kept current by John Bevelle and John F. Cahlan and updated by Tom Carns, Guild Gray, and each Past President to date.

 

Las Vegas Rotary Oral History - click here




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