Rotary Club of Littleton

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November 2014



Home Page Stories

L-R: Dale Flowers, Mary Dillman, Russ Strandberg, Scott Taylor, Dawn Maris, Bridgett Schild
Club member, Dale Flowers, has long been one of the volunteers in the literacy program called I Can Read at Littleton Public School’s Centennial Academy. Designed to strengthen reading skills of elementary school students, it affords an opportunity for Rotarians to interact with children who often have little or no parental support at home. On learning that a significant number of these children take advantage of free breakfast and lunch programs at school, Dale was appalled to learn that many of them have little or nothing to eat over the weekend.
Through the efforts of two remarkable women concerned about this problem, a small food bank was established to provide bags of non-perishable food items for these children to take home after school on Fridays. Arty’s Friday Food Bags program was born, named after the school mascot – a horse named Arty.
Dale alerted the Littleton Rotary Foundation of the pressing needs of this food bank and on Tuesday, November 18, on behalf of the Foundation, Dale presented Centennial Academy with a check for $1,000. That money will help to ensure Arty’s Friday Food Bags can continue to help sustain students in difficult situations.

L-R: Diana Doyle, Darlee Whiting, LaDonna Jurgensen, Rev. Trudy Robinson, Sandy Perkins.
Seated: Dr. Barbara Chase
On Tuesday, November 18th, many of the women leaders in Littleton Rotary were in attendance and gathered for this happy group picture. Rotary has welcomed women members in the U.S. since 1987 and worldwide beginning in 1989. Thank goodness! Any institution that purposely excludes one half of the potential brain-power of its population is doomed. Rotary has been honored to have women become active leaders and doers in its efforts to solve community problems and expand Rotary’s good works in ways that had never been possible before their involvement.
Littleton Rotary has certainly been blessed by having two women members serve as President of our Club; Darlee Whiting, 1999-2000, LaDonna Jurgensen, 2004-2005. Both set the benchmark for their excellent leadership and skills in managing all the various programs and projects our Club is involved with. Our Club looks forward to many more women joining and becoming a vital part of Littleton’s most significant and active service club.

L-R Seated: COL Clem Clementson, Norm Sothan, George Mendenhall
L-R Standing: Gary Ray, Perry Nissler, Jim Bisetti, Karl Kingery, Lyle Bell, Dave Lorenz, Cliff Johnson, Terry Foley, Paul Sheridan, Frank Mihoda, Tom, Buyr, Bob Baker, Frannk Clayton
Veteran’s Day, November 11th 2014, was a special day as Littleton Rotary recognized its members who have served in the U.S. Military. Each have given a portion of their lives in service to our country to ensure the safety of all U.S. citizens. We are honored and proud to have them represented in Littleton Rotary. God bless them all.

Littleton Rotary volunteers joined forces with Rotarians from throughout the greater metro area to help restore the Lyons Town Hall Plaza which was destroyed by the massive floods of September 2013. The event was sponsored by the Honeywell’s Hometown Solutions corporate citizenship program.
Rotary learned of the need for volunteers and immediately recognized the opportunity to engage Rotarians from throughout the Front Range. Organized into two work shifts, the volunteers painted the exterior of the Lyons Town Hall, moved tons of landscape gravel and top soil, and began installation of stucco screen on the building’s exterior.
Thanks to the efforts and talents of two CU-Denver post-grad landscape architecture students and their professor, a beautiful park-like plaza was designed for the Town Hall property. Using the native Lyons sandstone, the plaza is bordered by walls with wide planters. The open area within the Plaza will have flagstone pathways and planters containing perennial flowering bulbs. The community can once again be proud of its municipal facility and is a welcoming place for all.
Thanks to all Littleton Rotary volunteers for providing “Service Above Self” to our fellow citizens.


L-R: Anne Rice, Dennis Brovarone, Ronda Rasnik, Tome Ashcraft, Bobbi McCombs, Annika Merkel
L-R: Mary Harris, Dee Leh, Pietra Williams, Randi Tolme
A big WELCOME to our newest Rotarians. On Tuesday evening, November 4th, and 18th, nine new members were formally inducted into our Evening Meeting group; Anne Rice, Dennis Brovarone, Ronda Rasnick, Bobbi McCombs, and Annika Merkel, Mary Harris, Dee Leh, Pietra Williams, and Randi Tolme. This dynamic group of new Rotarians is ready to hit-the-ground-running and several have already volunteered at Project C.U.R.E and the Lyons Town Hall Plaza restoration project. Be sure and make yourselves know to these fine new members when you have the opportunity.



L-R: Tom Ashcraft, Natalie Pramenko, Jesse Craig, Dr. Sam Langstaff, Dr. Charlie Vail

Our program speaker on September 23rd was Arapahoe High School Principal, Natalie Pramenko. Natalie shared with us the wonderful progress and healing at AHS since the tragic shooting last year. An unused portion of the school property at the corner of E. Dry Creek Rd. and University has been transformed into a peaceful park-like area in memory of Claire Davis.

In addition to learning of all the progress happening at AHS, on behalf of the Littleton Rotary Foundation, our own Dr. Charlie Vail presented the Sam Langstaff Pre-Med Scholarship to the head of AHS’s Science Department, Jesse Craig. We learned that for the past 40 years, Dr. Langstaff has headed up a for-credit class in Littleton Public Schools for high school students wanting to pursue an education in medicine. Sam has been a loyal and active member of Littleton Rotary for over 54 years! Sam, you live “Service Above Self.”



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On Saturday and Sunday, September 20th & 21st, Littleton Rotary volunteers staffed the beverage booth at this annual City of Edgewater event. The two day effort was once again spearheaded by our Fundraising Chair Extraordinaire, Gary Heath. This partnership with the City of Edgewater has been a good one and one that this year produced one of the best net proceeds to date.

Money raised benefits the Littleton Rotary Foundation and through it, numerous local projects that focus on the needs of the greater Littleton community. Additionally, the Foundation provides funding for Littleton Rotary’s international programs and increases those funds through the use of matching grants from The Rotary International Foundation, and Rotary District 5450 grants.

Congratulations to Gary and to all the Rotarian volunteers, spouses, and family members who helped make it a success.




L-R: Bob Young, Tiago Martins, Darlee Whiting, B. Bianchi, Jon Moore

Our new Rotary Youth Exchange student is Tiago Martins-RYE, from Joao Pessoa in northern Brazil. Tiago continues a great history of wonderful ambassadors from his country that have been hosted by our Club. Club member, B. Bianchi and husband, Steve, are his current host family.

It’s already apparent that Tiago is an exceptional young man quickly adjusting to life in Littleton. His English is excellent; better than many of us. He’s on the Heritage High School JV Football Team and enjoying it, although he’s finding the bumps, bruises, and practices a bit more significant than his brand of football (soccer).

Please make every effort to have Tiago join you and your family for any special events or outings you think he’d enjoy. Most importantly, consider hosting this fine young man for a period of time while he’s here. You’ll appreciate the opportunity and it will add much to his American experience.




It’s hard to imagine a more worthy selection for Grand Marshall of the 2014 Western Welcome Week Parade than Littleton Rotary’s very own Dr. Charlie Vail. Thousands gathered in Downtown Littleton on Saturday, August 18th to enjoy the annual Parade that wraps up the week-long festivities of Western Welcome Week. After an inspiring opening display of Color Guards and veterans groups, the Grand Marshall led the opening of the 2014 Western Welcome Week Parade.

Known throughout Littleton and Colorado as a preeminent equine veterinarian, Dr. Charlie Vail’s lifetime of service to his vocation and the community was cheered by the thousands of well-wishers lining Main Street in Downtown Littleton. Seated in the carriage beside him was the love of his life and wife of 51 years, Jean.

Congratulations to Dr. Charlie Vail! You have honored Littleton through you years of service. Littleton now honors and thanks you for being a shining example living the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.





An outstanding effort in organizing this year’s Alferd Packer Bacon Party was over-the-top successful. A beautiful, sunny afternoon greeted at least 2000 visitors to the fun-filled event. Leading off the “Bacon, Band’s and Beer” entertainment was our own Dave Partheymuller on guitar and later accompanied by his daughter, Patty. As the afternoon progressed, several other bands entertained the crowd culminating with the rousing music of The Nacho Men.

Numerous specialty food truck venders provided wide ranging menus all having at least two items featuring bacon. Their selections were so popular that at least three of the venders had to send out for more food as demand exceeded their initial supplies.

Thanks to all the efforts of the Rotary volunteers, their family members and friends who worked to make this fundraising event a total success. Like all our fundraising efforts, proceeds benefit the Littleton Rotary Foundation through which Littleton Rotary supports dozens of local projects and institutions.

Click to view all the PHOTOS and VIDEO






I Can Read and Homework Club at Centennial Academy


It's a special time for students when Rotarians and community members volunteer to participate in the I Can Read Program at Centennial Academy of Fine Arts. This simple and effective program pares volunteers with teachers and select students to share time in supporting reading skills by simply listening to students read.

Volunteers are assigned a classroom teacher who then contacts the volunteer, usually in early September, and they work together to set up a schedule based on the teacher’s needs and the volunteer’s availability. The teachers choose students they feel will benefit most from the time, support, and attention the volunteers provide. Usually the volunteer works with one student at a time and they see from 2-4 students each visit. Each visit is just one class period in length.

The volunteer doesn’t need to bring anything as the teacher provides the reading material. Often it will be a book, article, or poetry that the student is reading in class.

I Can Read volunteers are very important to the success of these students by providing them with additional reading practice and support, as well as a warm and friendly personal connection. Students look forward to the days that their I Can Read volunteer works with them and for many students, it is the highlight of their day!

The program needs your help to ensure its' continued success. For information on how to volunteer, contact Littleton Rotary Club  Literacy Chair, C. Dale Flowers at 303- 794-4218 or . Better still, CLICK HERE to access and download the volunteer forms which detail the specific information necessary to become an active member of the I Can Read program.




Literacy Chair, Dale Flowers presents check to Mary Ellen Dillman, Principal, Centennial Academy

The Rotary Club of Littleton has a long tradition of supporting education at Littleton Public School's Centennial Academy (aka: Centennial Elementary). Several years ago, Principal Mary Ellen Dillman recognized that due to budget cuts, certain key elements to enhancing her students learning experience would be difficult, if not impossible, to continue or maintain. Thus began "Mary's Wish List." Each year Mary would identify unfunded needs and make a list focused on those items that would be especially helpful to students if a funding source were to be found.

Littleton Rotary to the rescue.

On learning of these needs, the Board of Directors of the Littleton Rotary Foundation (funded through club member’s donations, bequests, and public fund-raising projects) decided to help. Each year since she began making her lists, the Foundation has worked to provide funding for specific items. This year she was presented with $750.00 for much needed repair of musical instruments and the purchase of music stands. We can imagine the challenges of teaching music to students whose instruments don't work properly and who have no stand on which to place their sheet music while playing or practicing.

Thank you to Mary for caring enough to make her schools’ needs known, and a very big Thank You to the Littleton Rotary Foundation and all the members of the Rotary Club of Littleton.




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