President Ginger Anderson
Ginger Anderson

President Ginger Anderson

Ginger Anderson served as the 91st President of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas.  It was a wonderful year of Fellowship and Philanthropy focused on the Rotary International theme “Engage Rotary, Change Lives.”  And, change lives we did.

Our club’s philanthropic efforts touched the lives of more than 50,000 people.  With President-Elect Steve Linder at the helm, our community grants committee distributed $28,379 among four worthy organizations and three elementary schools, including our adopted schools Walter Bracken and Will Beckley.

Under the leadership of Directors James Mullikan and Bob Patten, our club completed 17 local service projects.  Among them, Santa Clothes was a record-setting success again this year led by committee co-chairs Jim Hunt, Tom Krob and Randy Donald.  We provided clothing, shoes, toys, playtime with UNLV athletes, lunch and an inspiring speech for 309 children in need. The 25 Club’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive netted more than 83,000 cans of food for the Salvation Army.  Add to that the contributions of the Kiwanis Club, and the clients of the Salvation Army were definitely the winners.  The Wetzel Awards, run by Steve Linder and Glenn Meier, were held quarterly recognizing a total of 20 outstanding airmen.  Leadership at Nellis AFB explained the positive impact this recognition has on morale.   In addition, our Sole Power Awards, chaired by Christina Roush, provided 93 pairs of shoes and socks to needy children.

It was also a banner year for our Youth and Vocational service projects led by Director James Bradshaw.  The Board approved a new Interact club at Bishop Gorman high school with Jim Kohl serving as chairman.   TLC Chair Gwen Hall had a very successful year in finding more future leaders than our club could send to camp.  She was able to place 6 students, in addition to 12 our club sponsored, for a total of 18 participants!  Cindy Breck selected 16 exceptional high school students to participate in RYLA.  Kathy Mahon, with the assistance of Marie Walsh, ran the Valedictorian luncheon recognizing outstanding students from each of our southern Nevada high schools. Bracken Elementary School and Principal, Katie Decker received the 2013 National Blue Ribbon Award and 2013 National Principal of the Year and the children’s test scores continued to climb.  Katie mentioned our club each time she was interviewed thereby keeping her fines to minimal levels.  In all, our club served more than 1,000 southern Nevada children this year.

Directors Major Robert Lloyd and Chris Rodenfels supervised our International Service projects.  The World Community Service committee led by Steve Parikh identified several worthy projects including one with our sister club in Canada providing clean water in Cambodia.  We also provided funds and volunteers to build homes near Tecate, Mexico, and made a contribution, funded in part by Arleen Sirois’ Wine to Water fundraisers, to provide clean water in Burkina Faso, Africa.  In addition, we hosted two Open World Rule of Law delegations from Turkey and Kazakhstan. Karen Whisenhunt orchestrated their visits and Tom and Jayne Krob hosted dinners at their home.  It was exciting to welcome Fernanda, our Youth Exchange Student from Brazil.  Kimberly Brodeur made her a part of the family and did a fabulous job making all of the necessary arrangements for Fernanda to have a wonderful and memorable experience during her stay in the United States.  Our Board approved the use of emergency relief funds to purchase Shelterboxes to assist victims of super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Carolyn Sparks served as Director over Administration and Fellowship.  Time was set-aside at each meeting to allow the opportunity for fellowship among our members and guests.  Hefty fines were frequently levied by President Ginger and efforts on the part of members to have fines reduced usually led to increases instead.  Our Foundation was the beneficiary of the football rivalry between Seahawks fan, Glenn Meier and President Ginger, a life-long 49er fan.  District Governor Miles Petroff participated in one of the bets, contributing to the Permanent fund and wearing the opposing team’s jersey at the next meeting he attended.  Speaking of DG Miles, he made a record number of visits to our club with more than 10 club meeting visits and participation in several additional club events. Our club co-sponsored a new club, the Rotary Cub of Las Vegas Spring Mountains, which is off to a great start.

Ted Henderson and Troy Lochead of the Southwest Rotary club presented our club with a bell that was used by our club from approximately 1968 to 2000.  Ted Henderson painstakingly restored the bell which had been a gift to late member, Ted H. Brandt, who served as President of our Club in 1957-1958, from his brother Chris.

Fellowship opportunities outside club meetings also abounded.  We had great fun, food and company at our annual tailgate party organized by James Bradshaw, Bob Patten, and Russ Swain, attending the Rebels opening game against Arizona. Craig Miller arranged for the purchase of discounted tickets and member contributions resulted 73 airmen attending the game.  Randy Donald once again hosted a Halloween party and Christina Roush arranged for a fabulous Christmas/Holiday party at Red Rock Country Club.  Ed Lepere hosted the annual Shakespeare Festival gourmet picnic at his beautiful home in Cedar City.

More than 25 members and their guests attended District Conference in Palm Springs where Deb Granda and her committee hosted a fun, festive Hospitality Suite that was a big hit among fellow District 5300 Rotarians. Deb and all of our members went above and beyond in making First Dude Dan’s birthday memorable with a surprise celebration.  Thanks to the efforts of all our members in executing our projects and those of Paul Maffey and Deb Granda in completing the applications, our club received many District and International awards including the Presidential Citation With Distinction and 16 outstanding and exemplary awards. We also received the highest honor from District 5300, the Outstanding Large Club.

2013-2014 was a very successful fundraising year.  Anil Melnick hosted fabulous gourmet dinners at his place of business adding 200 cans per guest to the Thanksgiving Food Drive. The Superbowl Board was very popular this year with the help of chairman Jim Tucker and great salesmen Ty Salazar and Mike Mendoza.  The Valentine’s Gala, co-chaired by Deb Granda and Glenn Meier, was successful in supporting our efforts and providing a grant to our partner, The Shade Tree. Silent and Live Auctions were organized by Steve and Janet Linder featuring many great items obtained by Janice Lencke. Mary Ann Avnet shepherded the creation of a touching video covering the contribution of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas to our community. Joe Campanale, son of Past President Randy Campanale did a wonderful job of editing hours of material into an amazing presentation.

Our annual J. A. Tiberti golf tournament, chaired by David Young and Steve Dixon, was also a rousing success raising more than $15,000.  Carolyn Sparks roasted honoree Caty Crockett in true Rotary fashion.  The live auction was especially successful due to the contribution of a beautiful photograph on canvas by photographer extraordinaire Steve Casey.  It was so popular, he agreed to contribute two additional prints for matching contributions to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation. All enjoyed great fun and fellowship.

The Las Vegas Rotary Foundation, under the leadership of President Caty Crockett, recognized many members for their contributions to the Permanent Fund.  The $1.5 million fund has reached another milestone, contributing $57,000 of income to our annual programs fund.

A club record 52 Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded during the 2013-2014 year. This was achieved through sustained and generous giving by our club members as well as members using their respective Foundation points to recognize friends, family and even other non-PHF club members.  Director Michael Gordon, who earned is PhD this year, did a wonderful job of keeping our members apprised of their points and giving.

In Membership, Directors Cindy Breck and David Thorson welcomed 16 new members to the club over the course of the year.  We said goodbye to Rotary friends who relocated to other cities, and mourned the passing of Stuart Levy and Ivan Karabachev.

Directors Matt Christian and Glenn Meier oversaw our Public Relations committees.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of Program co-chairs Francesca Gilbert and Carolyn Sparks, we had a terrific line-up of speakers who inspired and educated us on many fascinating topics.  The various PR committees led by Joe Lotito, increased our online activity and Gloria Gorlin and Bill Houghton worked together to create our outstanding weekly Wheel, flyers, banners and invitations.

At the last regular meeting of the year, member recognition was the order of the day.  It was David Young’s last meeting before relocating to Colorado.  As a parting gift and thank you for his service, the club matched his Paul Harris points to take him from PHF +1 to PHF +2. Kim McNair-Styles received the Devotion to Service award for 20 years of service, keeping our Interact Club at Advanced Technologies Academy active and engaged in Service Above Self.  Dan Anderson was presented his PHF +1 by President Ginger for his unwavering support throughout the year.  President Ginger also presented a PHF +1 to Shawn Noorda in appreciation for going above and beyond her duties to insure the success of our club.   Glenn Meier was presented with a Service Above Self award for his outstanding service to our club.  Francesca Gilbert and Deb Granda were named Rotarians of the Year.  Both worked tirelessly throughout the year to promote club service making sure every detail was taken care of.

One of the objectives for the 2013-2014 year was to select an area of focus upon which our club can complete substantial, impactful, local service projects.  With Tom Thomas and Glenn Meier managing the process, the members of the club chose a new mission, “Teaching youth to succeed through literacy, education and life skills development.”  The adoption of a mission, along with the growing resources of our Foundation and our volunteers, will allow us to provide a quantifiable, sustainable impact on our community.

The year closed with a Gilligan’s Island episode narrated by Patrick Carlton. President Movie-star Ginger was taken to Rotary Isle where she was presented with the outstanding Rubber Chicken-of-the-Soul, and exemplary Rich Man-Poor Man, Tropical Culinary and Briny Communications awards by the SS Minnow Crew, Gilligan (Russ Swain), the Skipper (Bob Patten), the Millionaire and his Wife (Bob Werner and Carolyn Sparks), the Professor (Tom Krob), and Mary Ann (Mary Ann Avnet).  As she was being prepared for the “soup” by the hungry head-hunters (Nathan Atkins, Bob Fisher, Jimmy O and Chris Rodenfels), Shawn Noorda attempted to save the day with a raincoat. In the end, the entire crew summarily drenched Ginger, with the final deluge coming from Randy Donald.

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