President Randy Campanale
Randy Campanale

President Randy Campanale

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:

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.

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.

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

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

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