President Russell Swain

Russell Swain

President Russell Swain

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.

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