The Wheel for August 1, 2019
Listen to Andrew Bennett – Department of Public Safety
Andrew Bennett – Department of Public Safety
Growing up, Andrew Bennett wanted to be a chef.
Born and raised in the rich culinary scene of Las Vegas, the driven young man always envisioned himself in a career where he could put “passion on a plate.”
After his sister was tragically killed by a drunk driver, Bennett began to consider how he could use his pain to help others.
Months after his sister’s death, he gave a speech to high schoolers, warning about the very real dangers and consequences of driving under the influence.
That new path eventually led him to the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, where he serves as the public information officer and project manager for the Zero Fatalities program. He also helped spearhead the DUI Strike Team — a collaboration between NHP and Metro Police that has put more than 700 suspects behind bars since October.
“The opportunity to prevent another family from receiving that knock on the door is the greatest motivator I can think of,” Bennett said. “The idea that I have the opportunity to go into work every day to prevent the loss of life on our roadways is not just my job but a legacy for my sister.”
Bennett has not lost sight of his goal of becoming a chef — the wood-fired pizza oven he got in December attests to his enduring zeal for the kitchen — but for now working in public service is a higher calling.
“If I just save one life, my time in traffic safety will have been worth it,” he said.
Bennett only asks for steady progress — the Strike Team certainly contributes to that. But there’s a long way to go before the “zero fatalities” goal is met in the state. Perhaps it’ll happen after his lifetime, he said. In the meantime, zero people died on Southern Nevada roadways during Memorial Day, which was promising.
Message From The President
I have been asked to take some time to talk about the International Convention. The 2019 RI International Convention was held in Hamburg, Germany. I was elated! Hamburg was the only major city in Germany I had not visited, but more importantly, it was the site of the early performances of my favorite band of all time The Beatles! Sign up for the Beatles Tour!
What else is there to do? A few sessions and then tour the city. I was so wrong. When I arrived in Frankfurt to change planes to fly the last leg to Hamburg, Rotarians were there waiting to board, and the joyous celebrations were already beginning. The enthusiasm and excitement were infectious and was all around me. Rotarians were so happy to be attending the Rotary International Convention! We boarded for the short flight to Hamburg, deplaned and were met by the volunteers who were checking us in. I caught my cab to my hotel and anticipated the opening ceremony!
The opening ceremony with 35,000 Rotarians and the parade of flags representing all the countries that had clubs represented was a site to see. When the USA flag walked across the stage, it was such a proud moment just as there was when all the flags walked across for Rotarians of those countries. We were all one great family of people seeking to bring Peace, Goodwill and Help the world end struggling and disharmony. Seeing Rotarians dressed in their native dress was spectacular! Watching Rotarians spread love without any prejudice was humbling.
Each general session brought more solid information on just how Rotary International as a Service Organization is going to connect the world. The local projects I learned about such as the clothing made by the former sex workers from the Rotary Club of Livingstone, Zambia to lift them up and out was amazing. I bought one of these beautiful shirts in the House of Friendship. Or attending a breakout session and learning about a Rotary Action Group on Health, Education and Wellness. In the same breakout session, I learned about Rotary Fellowships which are international groups that share a common passion. Being a part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby or profession, and enhance your Rotary experience.
At the end of the day, we would select a local restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner and enjoy the many Rotarians walking around the city enjoying the much warmer than usual weather.
Then the next day’s events would begin with a general session, then a choice of breakout sessions, I usually chose those I felt would enhance our club activities. And, of course, walking through the House of Friendship which had several booths from various clubs discussing their local projects, vendors and Rotary International partners such as Shelter Box. Shelter Box will be speaking at one of our upcoming meetings regarding disaster relief.
Every Rotarian should attend an International Convention at least once; an experience of a lifetime.
Las Vegas Rotary Club
Scribe – July 25, 2019
Las Vegas Rotary Club Meeting: July 25, 2019
President Jackie Thornhill called the meeting to order.