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Welcome to our Club!

Sierra Vista

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 11:45 PM
Pueblo del Sol Country Club
2770 Saint Andrews Dr
Sierra Vista, AZ  85650
United States
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Filmmaker Roderick Stevens—Learning to Drive

Our guest speaker this week was Roderick Stevens, an Artist/Filmmaker who was returning to the Rotary Cub to make an update presentation on his film project, Learning to Drive. He was accompanied by his primary
sponsor for the movie project, Derek Jordan, from Premier Alliances. Roderick is a multiple format artist who has won accolades as a cinematographer, painter, mixed media artist, screenwriter and filmmaker, as well as having designed and built his own custom house in the middle of the desert in Cochise County. Roderick has been a resident of the Sierra Vista area for 40 years and graduated Buena High School in 1985.

The movie, Learning to Drive, is “inspired by the true story of a feisty young man with Down Syndrome determined to convince his scatterbrained brother to teach him how to drive!” In reality, the movie is about Roderick (the scatterbrained brother) and his young brother who does have Down Syndrome and wanted to be taught how to drive an automobile. Originally planned to be a full-length movie, the film has now become a short, almost 30-minute movie, focusing on the wants and desires of the young person with Down Syndrome and not just focusing on the fact that he has Down Syndrome.

Roderick showed a short film trailer (at ) to give the club members an appreciation for the content of the film and an appreciation for the actor, Connor Long, who plays the lead role of the young man with Down syndrome. Connor Long has Down Syndrome, a lifelong condition in which a person is born with distinct physical features and some degree of cognitive disability.
Congratulation to Bob White, our own Rotarian, who was recognized for his contributions as a major donor to the Rotary Foundation.  We're so proud of you, Bob! 
You've heard that we acknowledge "student of the month" but did you know we also have "employees of the month?"  This is a great way to show support for employees who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve. Any member can nominate an employee by contacting Joe Britton and writing a few words about that employee.  Each employee receives a gift certificate, a brief speech by their employer, and a certificate.  If you haven't nominated someone yet--do so today!  We are looking for our November nominee.  
Hosted by the Sierra Vista West Rotary Club, the 5k and 10k event takes participants on a journey through the city’s oldest neighborhoods.
The fundraiser has grown from about 40 to more than 160 people and each year the club adds some pre-event entertainment to get the crowd energized.
This year, the Vigilantes will be bringing their distinctive style of rabble rousing to send the runners and walkers on their way.
“We’ll also have a photo booth where participants can have their pictures taken with members of the Tombstone Vigilantes. It should be a lot of fun,” said club member Cheryl Cervantes, who owns Cerendipi Tees, which provides t-shirts for early registrants.
The route starts and ends at Len Roberts Park, next to Carmichael Elementary School, at 101 E. Theater Drive, and meanders through the local neighborhood.
One of the goals of the event on October 1 is to showcase areas of the West End that most people probably never see.
“We go through the Soldiers’ Creek area and we utilize the multi-use paths,” explained club president Sharon Gilman. “It’s a beautiful route and one of the things we hear from just about everyone after the race is that they never realized what was there, and how pretty it is.”
The run is the club’s biggest annual fundraiser and all monies collected help to support the non-profit’s service projects.
“Our focus is the West End and that’s where we do our service projects,” Gilman said. “We do a lot for Carmichael Elementary School, and we’re hoping to do a project soon at Lori’s Place. We also buy dictionaries for third graders and we help with the West End cleanup. In fact, we try and help wherever we are needed.”
How The West Was Run is open to anyone who would like to run or walk the 5k and 10k routes and there will be awards for the top runners.
The entry fee is $30 before October 1, or $35 on the day of the event. There is a $5 discount for military personnel, and the cost for children aged 12 or under is $10.
You can register by visiting or at Len Roberts Park between 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. on race day. For more information email or stop by a club meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays at the Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista heard from two distinguished guests in attendance, District 5500 Governor, Sheryl Christenson and United States Senator Jeff Flake.
Left to Right - Club President Joe Puett, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, and DG Sheryl Christenson
Ms. Christenson spoke first, explaining to the Club how she became aware of the plight of polio victim and her appreciation for Rotary’s eradication efforts.  When Ms. Christenson was a child, she had a friend who contracted the disease and remembered receiving the polio vaccine years later.  Even later still she visited the Philippines, where she witnessed the ravages of polio and its impact on the human condition.  She did not tie devastating effects of the disease to what it actually was until she joined Rotary.  She is now a strong advocate of continuing the Rotary's efforts at polio eradication.
Ms. Christenson also highlighted the importance of building and maintaining Rotary membership.  She challenged each club in the District to add and maintain at least one new member this year.  Finally, she encouraged Rotarians to continue to support the Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of the organization.  These funds directly contribute to local service projects.
Rotarians next heard from U.S. Senator Jeff Flake.  Sen. Flake began his remarks by expressing his appreciation for the Sierra Vista community’s efforts to support the military and the nation's defense.  Sen. Flake then described Congress’s efforts at creating this year’s budget.  He explained that in the past, once a budget had been passed, each appropriations bill was passed individually, allowing for discussion and deliberation on each aspect of the budget.  He lamented that the new practice is that Congress now lumps all appropriations into an omnibus bill, which is presented as a continuing resolution that only allows for temporary funding of federal programs, etc., rather than providing permanent funding for budgeted items.
Sen. Flake turned his comments to address what he sees are major issues facing Arizona, including water, forest health and severe environmental regulation.   Se. Flake explained that in recent years, water has become a major concern for the state, noting that if the major Colorado River reservoirs drop to a certain pre-determined level, mandatory water restrictions will be imposed that hit Arizona first and hardest.  In the past couple of years, Arizona has averted the shortage by some users voluntarily leaving water in the reservoirs.  However, water will continue to be an issue.
Forest health is another major concern for Arizona, having lost nearly 20% of its ponderosa forest to two major wildfires recently.  Sen. Flake feels that in order to improve the forest’s health, some federal lands should be allocated to private industry for management, as the Forest Service and BLM do not have sufficient resources to adequately address the issue.
Finally, Sen. Flake opined that the current administration's environmental stance with regard to power plant emissions has disproportionately impacted Arizona's ability to compete economically.
This week, the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista heard from Jean Tomlin, a volunteer with the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (“VITA”) program. The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS. Last year, over 90,000 volunteers assisted with the preparation and filing of 3.7 million tax returns. VITA has locations in all 50 states, with four Cochise County locations - two in Sierra Vista, one in Tombstone and one in Douglas. In Cochise County, VITA prepared and filed nearly 1700 tax returns this year.
Volunteers are expected to maintain the highest standards and are required to participate in ethics training. Volunteers must also take annual training and pass rigid certification exams. To ensure accuracy, after a return has been prepared, a second VITA volunteer will review the return before filing.
For more information about the VITA program, please visit
This week Anne Gibson of Cochise Oncology used the Exempt Badge to provide an update about the business. Anne informed Rotarians that Cochise Oncology had recently hired Dr. Lincoln Pao as its new radiation oncologist. Dr. Pao has been practicing medicine for nearly 30 years and is happy to join Cochise Oncology’s team. This year Cochise Oncology will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in Sierra Vista and will host an anniversary celebration on September 4th.
This week, August 1st,  the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista recognized Randy Sueskind as July's Rotarian of the Month for his substantial efforts in putting on the Fourth of July activities this year.  Randy led a team of volunteers to ensure that the Fourth of July festivities were well run and well executed.  Rotarians agreed that Randy did a fantastic job.  
Rotarians were then pleased to hear from Gene Raymond, a volunteer with the Empire Ranch Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the Empire Ranch, a historical ranch located north of Sonoita, Arizona.  The Empire Ranch was founded in August 1876 when Walter Vail and Herbert Hislop purchased a 160 acre homestead from Edward Fish and Simon Silverberg.
Vail and Hislop added another business partner in October 1876 and began the expansion of the ranch.  Vail ultimately acquired the entire ownership of the Empire Ranch, and continued to expand it into one of the largest cattle operations in the region.  Vail and his family operated the ranch until 1928, when they sold the operation to the Chiricahua Ranches Company, owned by Henry, Frank and Charles Boice.
The Boice family was well respected in the Arizona cattle industry and was known for promoting the Hereford breed in the state.  In his role as chairman of the National Livestock Association Tax Committee, Frank Boice was influential in the passage of tax policy relating to the sale of cattle.
In 1969, the Boice family sold the ranch to Gulf American Corporation, a national developer, who in turn sold the ranch to the Anamax Mining Company in 1975.  During that same year, the Empire Ranch House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1988, the U.S. Bureau of Land management acquired the ranch lands, which have since been designated a national conservation area.  
In 1997, a group of private citizens created the Empire Ranch Foundation, a non-profit entity organized to protect, restore and sustain the Empire Ranch historical buildings.  Working with the BLM, the Empire Ranch Foundation has contributed $500,000 to the preservation of the ranch.
For more information about the Empire Ranch and activities available, please visit its website at
Dana Cole, a reporter for Wick Communications was the keynote speaker, addressing the new development slated for construction in Benson, known as the Villages at Vigneto.  At completion, the master planned community is expected to contain 28,000 homes.  The developer is El Dorado Holdings, Inc., out of Phoenix.
Ms. Cole explained that the total development site encompasses 12,339 acres, containing 60 percent residential space and 25 percent open space, and will provide a mix of active adult and traditional family homes, with bike paths and trail systems throughout the development.  The Tuscan-themed development will also include a village core for entertainment, dining and shopping.
El Dorado has submitted a community master plan to the City of Benson with the hopes of setting design parameters to ensure consistency throughout the 18 year buildout.  The plan provides for the construction of the development in 14 planning units, and includes the creation of special taxing districts which would generate revenue to pay for the infrastructure and improvements over a 25 year period.  Those residing within the development’s taxing districts would be liable for the costs of building the improvements, purportedly leaving very little financial liability to the City of Benson.
If successful, the economic impact of the development would be very large, with a projected an annual impact of $1.2 billion per year.  The development has been heavily endorsed by governmental and economic development organizations and is opposed by environmental and conservation groups.
In fact, a lawsuit by Earthjustice on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Maricopa Audubon Society, and others is already pending.  The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the development would impact four endangered or threatened animal species and suggests that the Clean Water Act Permit issued to Whetstone Ranch, which was transferred to El Dorado with its purchase, does not fully cover the extent of the development.
July 18, 2016, the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista Director of New Generations, Anne Gibson, introduced three of the Rotary Club's eight scholarship winners, Roberto Bermudez, Miguel Wachtel and Maria Sckaff. 
Mr. Bermudez is a recent Buena High School graduate and will be pursuing an electrical engineering degree at Arizona State University.  He described the many high school activities and events that have helped him build upon his interest in electrical engineering, including working as a member of Buena’s robotics team.
Miguel Wachtel, also a Buena graduate, currently attends Cochise College, and plans on going into a career in law enforcement.  He is planning on studying either accounting or cybersecurity, and hopes to work for the FBI at some point in his life.
Maria Sckaff, originally from Brazil and a former exchange student at Buena High School, attends Cochise College and is studying to earn a bachelors in biomedical engineering, with a focus on tissue engineering.  Ms. Sckaff hopes to go to medical school after receiving her bachelor’s degree, with her end goal being reconstructive plastic surgery.
After hearing from these three outstanding students, the Club's immediate past president, Emily Sherrer and Club member Anne Gibson were also recognized as first time Paul Harris fellows for their contributions to Rotary's charitable endeavors.  Rotarians Jerry Proctor, Bill Miller, John Black, Jack Lintner, Bob Strain, Jim Evans, Al Chariton and Frank Gonzales each received recognition for their ongoing contributions to humanitarian and educational programs espoused by the Rotary Foundation.
Rotarian Les Orchekowsky and his wife Kathy, who jointly own the ACE Hardware stores in Sierra Vista, Benson and Bisbee, received the Pinnacle Retailer award from ACE Hardware and were recognized by the ACE Regional Manager, who visited the Club as Mr. Orchekowsky’s guest.
For the regular noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista, new Club President Mr. Joe Puett conducted a “Club Assembly” to outline club goals and objectives for the Rotary year 2016 –17. President Joe took a few moments to briefly outline his objectives for the club and highlighted the RI Presidential Citation goals (this was a handout for every club member) which he explained is like ‘doing normal things in Rotary for us,” and that it is “Our Club” not “My Club.”
President Joe also likes ‘good ideas’ and wants members to take charge of new projects, and to continue the strategic focus of being “The Club” in Sierra Vista to belong to and to improve our membership in size and diversity. He continued to use the RIPresident’s goals to focus the club on membership growth and has organized teams for a membership drive, asking each club member to get with the team members on the handout and seek to add at least one new member to the club/team (16 teams).

We also received a preliminary Rotary Monthly Schedule that has club meetings, Dine Arounds and social events on the calendar and proposed projects for the club to consider. (He is sending out a ‘Survey Monkey’ questionnaire.)
Concluding his presentation, club members asked questions about projects and typical meetings for the club and how RI changes from the Council on Legislation might impact our club’s By Laws. To address the issues, the Board of Directors
will consider proposals for changes to be presented to the membership.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista recently met for their usual Monday lunch at the Hummingbird Grille at Pueblo Del Sol Country Club, with guest speaker Nancy Krieski, Sierra Vista Museum Curator, of the Henry F. Hauser Museum.  She provided information about the unique and wonderful history of the city, and many interesting stories. 
One of the first stories, as Sierra Vista celebrates its 60th Anniversary, was on the person that named the City: Nola Walker. Nola arrived in Sierra Vista in 1939, and turned 94 years old this year. Ms. Walker’s story was in the Sierra Vista Herald a few weeks ago, describing her ‘vote collecting’ process and her announcement of the name of Sierra Vista as the ‘winner’ of the balloting for naming the city.
Ms. Krieski shared many historical photos with the members of the club that included a picture of Daisey Maes, the oldest building in Sierra Vista, built in 1905. In addition, she provided a story about the original owners of the brothel and saloon, John and Ellen Riley, and why they moved from Bisbee to the location outside Fort Huachuca - to escape Bisbee taxes.
She also discussed a hand written map the Museum has from Margaret Carmichael that literally lays out the early town, to include Fry Blvd, the current Elks Club, land donated for Saint Andrews Church, and other properties and sub divisions.
But the Museum isn’t just photos. As, “the keepers of the evidence of the past”, there are many artifacts that have been collected. For example, a guest book from 1958 when the City Hall was built; an exchange of letters between a resident and the Mayor and Post Commander about bootlegging; Buena High School graduation book from 1953; and one item of special significance for the Rotary Club – a Rotary bell used by the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista, donated to the Museum in 2006.
In addition, Ms. Krieski shared information about the historical plaque program, a project of the Sierra Vista Historical Society, which has over 20 historical plaques located around the City. 
The Museum relies on volunteers to keep it running.  Volunteers do all sorts of things, from database entry, to running the gift shop, to helping with oral history. The Henry F. Hauser Museum is located inside the Ethel H. Berger Center at 2950 E. Tacoma Street. The mission of the Museum is to collect, document, preserve, interpret, research, share and disseminate knowledge about cultural and historic material from the greater Sierra Vista area. Hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday from 10:00am to 4:0pm, and Thursday and Friday from 10:00am – 1:00pm, as well as some Saturdays, for special events. For more information, contact Nancy Krieski at (520) 439-2306 or,
Following the presentation, Mr. Brian Barkdull, President/CEO of the American Southwest Credit Union, provided three colorful graphics on the macroeconomics of why savers are receiving such a small return on their savings investments. This included a graphic on the Federal Reserve’s Assets from 2006 through 2015: treasuries, mortgage back securities, and other assets. Another graphic on the treasury rates and the federal funds targets, this from 1989 through 2016. The final graphic included a comparison between yield on loans, investments and COF, from 2003 to 2015.
The regular noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista was a special event this week. Our new Club President, Mr. Joe Puett, was installed in office along with the new Officers and Directors of his team. Prior to the Installation ceremony, the Club President for 2015-16, Ms. Emily Scherrer, provided an excellent recap of the accomplishments by the club during her tenure.
Emily began her Rotary year a little earlier than most, as she stepped in to be the Club President when the serving President 2014-15 transferred to Utah. Emily was up to the task and with support from her Board of Directors and the club members, she blazed a path for us to follow the entire year.
With her energy and leadership, the club completed dictionary and thesaurus deliveries to 3rd grade and 7th grade students in Cochise County. Club members supported the Douglas Fly-In and the Sierra Vista Fly-In; participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk and the Relay for Life; participated in a record breaking manner in the Ride to End Polio conducted in conjunction with the El Tour de Tucson; sent an exchange student to Taiwan and sponsored a young French high school student here in Sierra Vista. We also sent two of our club members to Mexico to immunize children from polio. The club started having regular “Happy Hour” gatherings open to all Rotarians and prospective Rotarians, intended to strengthen our social ties in the club and within the community, which they did. These gatherings were a big hit and will continue into the next Rotary Year.
Continuing her year in review comments, President Emily said, “The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista has had another successful and hectic year. We participated in project graduation. We were part of a grant that built a playground for schoolchildren with disabilities. Our weekly bulletins went electronic; our website and social media are now (somewhat) updated, and over a glass of wine and cheese we became friends in addition to Rotary partners and business friends.”
Another significant accomplishment of the club under the Presidency of Ms. Scherrer, was being at the very top level of contributions per/capita for the Rotary Foundation, thereby helping to provide aid and assistance around the world in international humanitarian and peace-making efforts.
In concluding her remarks, Emily said she would “like to say a big THANK YOU to all the Board Members, Rotarians, and all of you who have helped make this year a productive one, including the Pueblo del Sol Country Club (the location for our weekly meetings) and its excellent staff.”
“It is now my pleasant duty to pass on the baton of leadership of this prestigious club to our incoming president, Joe Puett. He is energetic, full of ideas, and ready to lead.  I know his year will be a success and I'm already looking forward to serving him (and handing over my duties) as our leader. I wish Joe and his incoming board every success.  
As a former youth librarian, and a current library administrator, I thought it prudent to end on the infamous words of the highly sought-after poet, Dr. Seuss. So, to Joe and the Board, here's my advice for the next year:
                        ‘You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!’
Thank you for a wonderful year. It's been an honor serving as your president.”
Ms. Scherrer then recognized her 2015-16 Board of Directors with presents: Rotary wine glasses went to Vice President - Frank Gonzalez; Secretary - Mike Strange; Treasurer - Jack Lintner; Sgt-at-Arms - Les Orchekowsky; Community Service Director - Brian Barkdull; Vocational Service Director - Joe Britton; Public Relations Director - Al Chariton; International Director - Jim Evans; New Generations/Youth Services Director - Anne Gibson; and Rotary Foundation Director - Les Orchekowsky.  Emily then announced attendance awards, and gave special thank you presents to Rotarians who provided exceptional support to Rotary projects. Emily ending up by presenting her two highest annual awards; The “Rotarian of the Year Award” was given to Rotarian Jack Lintner, and the “Service Above Self Award” was given to Rotarian John Spengler.
Past President and Rotary District 5500 Assistant Governor, Ms. KJ Wigton, then conducted the Installation ‘Swearing- In’ ceremony for new Club President Joe Puett. After taking the President’s gavel, President Joe took charge of the rest of the meeting starting with the official ‘swearing-in’ of his new Board of Directors.
Rotary Club of Sierra Vista—Officers and Directors—2016-17
                                President: Joe Puett
                                Vice President: Emily Scherrer
                                President Elect: Nancy Fusco
                                Secretary: Mike Strange
                                Treasurer: Jack Lintner
                                Admin Services: KJ Wigton
                                Community Service: Frank Gonzalez
                                Vocational Service: Joe Britton
                                International Service (Co-Chairs): Jim Evans, Dan Crews
                                New Generations: Anne Gibson
                                Public Relations: John Spengler
                                Rotary Foundation: Les Orchekowsky
Afterwards, President Joe took a few moments to briefly outline his objectives for the club for Rotary Year 2016-17. He emphasized that service projects and the club activities were going to be focused on areas that Rotary International supported and would reflect the areas that Sierra Vista Rotary Club members wanted to pursue for our local community and for international projects. He pledged to work hard and to help ‘grow’ projects that would meet the theme for Rotary Year 2016-17, which is “Rotary Serving Humanity.”
Regular Rotary Meeting Recognizes Organizations to Receive Sierra Vista Rotary Charities Checks and A Visit With Alice Bayard, Our Rotary Exchange Student
The regular Monday meeting of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista (The Noon Club) started with recognition of the seven organizations receiving cash contributions from the Sierra Vista Rotary Charities, Inc.  Total annual contributions from Rotary Charities range between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the success of community fund raising events. The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista makes these annual contributions to local charitable organizations to further their programs supporting one of the six areas of focus for Rotary International: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution; Disease prevention and treatment; Water and sanitation; Maternal and child health; Basic education and literacy; and Economic and community development. Organizations that met the criteria for this year were; the Good Neighbor Alliance; the Cowboy Poets; the Salvation Army; Peaches Pantry; Lori’s Place; St Vincent de Paul; and the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club. Club President Emily Scherrer, center of photo, presented checks to representatives of each of the organizations.

Following the recognition, our Rotary Exchange Student, Alice Bayard, provided the club with a recap of her 10 months as a High School exchange student, a young ambassador from France, and a full-fledged young Rotarian. Alice gave us a chronology of her time as an exchange student and paused often to tell us and show us with her pictures that “this was one of the best things I ever did!” Whether it was the Grand Canyon experience down to Havasupai Falls or joining the Buena Swim team, Alice jumped feet first into all her activities and joyfully helped us to share her experiences and the wonder of new things/places/people. Mayor Rick Mueller presented a Sierra Vista City Pin to Alice as a token of our appreciation for her contributions to the community and to better understanding our neighbors across the ocean.


Last week’s program was the team of Past Presidents; Jim Evans and Frank Gonzalez. Jim has been leading groups from Sierra Vista into Caborca, Mexico for the last 8-10 years and Frank has been on the last three trips. These groups meet up with other Rotarians from California and other parts of Arizona and then travel by bus into Mexico to the town of Caborca. The purpose of these trips is to provide immunizations against polio for young children.

The annual trip begins in California with approximately 45-50 people and then picks up people in Arizona before crossing the border into Mexico. Jim coordinates the members from Rotary District 5500 who participate. He told the club that there is an allotment of eight seats on the bus for local Rotarians. He reminds people that they need passports in order to cross back into the United States. The trip is made over a weekend beginning on a Friday afternoon. The bus usually arrives in Caborca between 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Sometimes there are delays after crossing the border, but these delays are usually resolved quickly and the bus is sent on its way.

As a ‘tag-team,’ Jim handed off to Frank who discussed events in the Caborca area. The participants spend two nights in Caborca and return on Sunday to Arizona. The Rotary Club of Caborca hosts the group and provides some meals and entertainment for their visitors from the USA. Pictures were shown of meals and entertainment. To conduct the immunizations, the Americans are formed into small groups of four or five people and then are joined by a Mexican nurse and a member of the Caborca Rotary Club who is familiar with the neighborhood which each small group visits. There was also a large contingent of young people from Interact or Roteract who enthusiastically participated in the program. To receive the drops for immunization, family members wait with the child who needs the immunization. They are prepared with the immunization record for the child. The small groups go door–to-door in the different neighborhoods giving the polio immunization to as many children as possible.

Jim and Frank closed with the recommendation for everyone to sign up for a trip to do immunizations – it is rewarding, satisfying, and personally gratifying to be able to contribute to the worldwide campaign to eradicate polio.
Apply now!  
If you weren't already thinking about joining our Rotary club, you should!!  Pizza is awesome.  And tasty.  And you know what else? Pizza with friends is even better.  Rotary combined the best of both world this week when we went to Vinny's to support Project Graduation.  I personally love the Gold N Tangy chicken wings, so I went with that and a nice side salad.  Vinny's does a lot for the community, so when you're feeling a bit hungry it's a great place to go.  As the man on the radio tells  us: "internet shopping doesn't help local local does."  Support your local business when you go out--it's fun, tasty, and keeps all that "dough" (he he) in the community! 
Here's a nice report from Al:
On Monday, April 18th, the Rotary Clubs of Sierra Vista, headed up by the Sunrise Club, held a fund raiser for Project Graduation at Vinny’s Pizza.  Vinny’s agreed to donate a percentage of all money spent at their restaurant on this date towards Project Graduation.
In addition a jug was passed around for participants to donate cash for this event. Vinny’s agreed to donate a percentage of all money spent at their restaurant on this date towards Project Graduation. In addition a jug was passed around for participants to donate cash for this event.
Project Graduation is an annual event where all the seniors graduating at Buena High School are invited to spend the night at a special party held at Buena. This party begins at 10 pm and continues all night with music, dancing, games, prizes and lots of food and soft drinks.
This costs the attending seniors nothing as it is paid for by donations from the community and sponsored by the Rotary Clubs.The attendees are encouraged to stay all night, as if they leave they can‘t return. This year the number of attendees is expected to be around 750 students, guests and volunteers.
The culmination of this year’s party will be a door prize of $2,000 cash for the lucky senior who has remained until after 5:00 am the next morning. In addition there are baskets of goodies for all attendees and several other cash prizes for those remaining through the night. Dee Foster, with the San Pedro Kiwanis is in charge of providing all the baskets.  Dee has done this for many years.
In attendance at today’s fund raiser were County Supervisor Pat Call, City Mayor Rick Mueller, Fire Chiefs Bill Miller and Ron York, as well as other community leaders and members of the Rotary clubs. Dennis Bielicki with the Sunrise Rotary Club is the head of the committee, a position he has held for many years.  Dennis spoke to the attendees and thanked them for their participation in this year’s event.
Also in attendance as guests of the noon club, were Dustin Foote, and his parents, Jane and Darryl Foote. Dustin is the Student of the Month and was given a certificate and $100 Chamber of Commerce Bucks to spend at any facility that is a chamber member.
Anyone interested in donating to this worthy event, should contact contact Dennis Bielicki whose telephone number is 249-3375.
This week, the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista received the financial report from Rotary’s most recent event, the Baja Beach Bash. Each of Sierra Vista’s four Rotary Clubs will split the $10,016 profit, which will be used by each Club for their charitable purposes.

Rotarians were then pleased to hear from Tracy Shilt of Valor Hospice, a local hospice-care provider. Tracy was drawn to the hospice field when she recognized that our community lacked end-of-life services for the elderly and their families. Hospice provides a way for those at the end of their lives, plus their families, to carry on as normally as possible.

Tracy developed an interest in elder care after seeing her grandparents go through difficult times in their last days. Hospice provided strength and peace to her family as they dealt with the stresses associated with end of life.
Tracy then shared a story about a veteran who she called “Mark,” who died essentially alone in a local hotel room. His greatest desire was that someone might appreciate his service to our country, and his interaction with the hospice- care providers allowed him to share his life experiences with some who cared. Tracy would love to help everyone understand that hospice is there to allow those dying to enjoy the dignity and services they need to have peace at the end of their lives.

Hospice is principally funded by Medicare, although some private insurance companies will provide benefits as well. Hospice is generally available for patients who have come to the end of their reasonable treatment options and, who without such treatments, are not expected to survive longer than six months. Local hospice care is most often provided in-home, although it is available at skilled nursing facilities as well.
Angie Laskerides who was sponsored my Rotarian Glenn McDaniels was inducted into the club today. Angie works for The Arizona Community Foundation, a non-profit organization.  Congratulations Angie!
The Student of the Month, Jamey Kogan, her mother Diane Kogan, and her sister, Shelbey Kogan were guests of the club for lunch and Jamey gave a talk about living with diabetes and her very active life, as a high school student who is engaged in sports, and an honor student. Best wishes for a successful future, Jamey!
The speaker today was Joe Flynn, a volunteer with the Ramsey Canyon Preserve Nature Conservancy. Joe had a power point presentation and spoke without the benefit of a microphone.  He has volunteered there for a number of years and serves as a docent or guides nature walks in the canyon.
Joe explained the reasons for Ramsey Canyon’s unusual bio-diversity.  The canyon is the only local one that is oriented in a North-South direction, as opposed to the usual East-West orientation of other local canyons. Also Ramsey Canyon has steep canyon walls or is flanked by high hills. This creates shadows throughout much of the canyon and in turn attracts much wildlife because of the canyon’s relative coolness.  Moreover, there is a year-round stream which runs through the canyon. During the rainy season the stream becomes a raging flood, but during most of the year including the hot summer months, the stream continues to flow at a much slower pace.
The canyon attracts 100 different species of birds, some of which nest year round, but most migrate through. These include 15 different types of hummingbirds, and a flock of turkeys. Butterflies are attracted to the area because of the water which collects in puddles. 70 different species have been identified in the canyon. There are 20 different mammals living at least part-time in the canyon. These range in size from chipmunks to bears. The bears seen to date are black bears, but some have colors ranging from blonde to dark brown. In addition there are eight species of rattlesnakes making their home in Ramsey Canyon.  The canyon is home to 200 species of plants, including different types of oaks, and pines. Different levels of elevation produce different species.
The visitors facility with parking for 23 cars  welcomes visitors from all over the world.  There are guided walks on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The facility only employs one full-time and two part-time people.  The remainder are all volunteers, including Joe.  This special place should be a must-see for any visitor to the area and we locals should take advantage of such an interesting, wonderful place.
Mark your calendars and buy your tickets before they are all gone!  The Rotary Baja Beach Bash is coming on Saturday, February 27th.  It will begin at 5:00 pm, at the Windemere Hotel, Conference Center.  A delectable buffet of Caribbean-style food will be included with your ticket.  Games, raffles, dancing and music by Mark Mulligan will make this an event to remember! All proceeds go to local charities. Get your tickets by contacting Jack Lintner, the event coordinator, (520) 458-2345 or online at
Last week, speaker Steve Conroy, was introduced by Rotarian Nancy Fusco, who is the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering  co-chair.
Steve Conroy, who has been involved with the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering for 20 years, spoke to the Club about the Gathering and what it does for the Sierra Vista Community.  He entertained the club by reciting a tall tale, about cowboys tying knots in the devil’s tail.  Then played several songs on his guitar while singing. He was roundly applauded for this entertaining half hour.
The Cowboy Poetry and Gathering takes place three days this year; on February 5, 6, and 7, at the Buena High School Performing Arts Center with jam sessions and get-togethers at other locations.  The theme this year is “Outlaws and Lawmen”. There will be 50 artists in town taking part in the gathering.
Students at all schools here are encouraged to write and submit poems. The students with the best quality poems will receive scholarships worth $1,000 each.  Some of the artists will perform at different venues, such as at the Toyota Dealership, Friday morning, and  at the Methodist church.  Ken Cecil, the manager of the mall,has set up a display as well as having some artists perform there. 
I discovered this blog the other day while reading an article on the benefits of young professionals in Rotary.  It's loaded with stories of service from around the world and really interesting.  Enjoy~!

Our guest speaker, Jarrett Croft, provided an update on the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club. As a mission, The Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista provides after-school programs that guide, educate, and motivate local youth...A place where ”Great futures start here!”The Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club has been having a very productive year and has been providing high quality activities for the youth in the programs. One example noted by Jarrett Croft, was unveiling a learning center to encourage kids to get creative and expand their knowledge. This was made possible by combining the funds donated from the 2014 Festival of Trees and 10 computers obtained from a Cox Communications contest that created a special learning center for the Sierra Vista Boys & Girls Club. It is an amplified area in which to do homework to help the kids with academic success.

Another example has been the HAC (Huachuca Astronomy Club) visiting the Club and showing club members some meteorites, teaching them how a telescope works and more, helping to educate and excite the club members.

Also, Lowe’s helped renovate the local Boys & Girls Club garden by improving its look and size, as well as donating other brand new items for a new garden. Lowe’s will teach the club members how to start and maintain the garden. Club members will use this experience to gain knowledge on how they can help out around the community. Youth will also be identifying their insecurities, burying them as seeds in the garden and watching them grow into beautiful flowers/nurturing food. Jay Roach, Clubhouse Director of BGCSV, said that “This is more than just a garden for our clubhouse. This is the first step for or community service clubs, led by our club members, to learn about gardening and help clean up the community.”
Topic: Africa—A Different Perspective
This week, members of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista were introduced to the October Student of the Month, Allie Kang. Allie is a senior at Buena high School with ambitions to obtain a degree in anthropology.Rotarians were then privileged to hear from Rev. Fred Otto, who presented - Africa, a Different Perspective. Rev. Otto and his wife, Donna, served as missionaries in Africa from 1985 to 2013. They began their servicein Swaziland and after a couple of years, moved to
Kenya. While in Kenya their ministry extended throughout the Eastern part of the African continent.
After spending several years in East Africa, Rev. Otto moved west, where he and his wife served in Liberia during that nation’s bloody civil war. Rev. Otto finished his ministry in South Africa and spent the last couple of years telecommuting from Sierra Vista. Rev. Otto shared some of the culture and significant historical locations with Rotarians, including Elmina Castle, located in Ghana. The castle, built in 1482, began as a commerce castle but later became a slaving center. He pointed out that an interesting aspect of the castle was that a church was built near the castle’s center, very close to the slave yards. Modern day Africa was divided by the Berlin Conference in 1884, when the various European countries claiming rights to the continent drew the boundary lines between colonies.
One major environmental cause for concern is that in the sub-Saharan regionof Africa, the Sahara desert is moving south, encroaching on the transitionzone to the south. This has led to crop shortage and the need to purchase crop seed each year. In fact, in some areas the situation is so dire that children are occasionally sold for the price of a bag of seed. Despite such poverty, many large cities look much like those in the US, with malls, supermarkets and fast food restaurants. A middle class has developed where there has historically been none. One obvious indicator of a middle class community is the presence of privately owned cars.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista held its weekly meeting on October 5th.
The speaker today was Greg Lamberth with CANTER, “Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources”. He, like most of the Staff are volunteers.  They have a number of programs using horses to help people improve their health and mental ability. They “treat” people of all ages to improve their physical balance, strength, stamina, and higher level cognizance. Riding and interacting with gentle horses is very therapeutic. The horses are carefully selected then specially trained to deal with handicapped people who may ride backwards, or in a prone position.
CANTER has its facility on Moson Rd., currently with eight horses and a number of volunteers. The volunteers walk beside the horses as children or handicapped adults ride. They also help maintain the facility and care for the horses.  This facility is considered in the top ten percent world-wide – a “Premier” classification.
The largest group helped by CANTER is children with physical or mental handicaps. Many are autistic, special education kids. They are referred by school districts in the County. Many are from economically deprived homes, so their CANTER involvement is the only way they can interact with horses.
Another program is “Helping America’s National Defenders”, HAND.  This is a program for injured active duty service members, veterans, and others who have worked as “first responders”.  By riding and interacting with the horses their physical and mental abilities improve.
For more information about CANTER you are invited to visit their website:
The Rotary Club, under the direction of Brian Barkdull, is distributing Thesauruses to all seventh grade children attending school in Sierra Vista. This is happening on October 6th and 7th.  The children get to put their name in the books and keep them to use throughout their future scholastic careers.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista meets each Monday for lunch at the Pueblo Del Sol Country Club. For further information, please
contact President Emily Scherrer at
It's here!  If you've never been to the District Conference, it's a lot of fun.  Our Rotary is involved with several other Sierra Vista clubs for "Casita Night" which is a networking evening involving tasty food and drinks.  If you haven't already, please sign up here:  
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