President Brock Fraser
Brock Fraser

President Brock Fraser

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.

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