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In July of this year, the three Rotary club presidents of Juneau met for a planning session for their year. In this meeting they agreed that they would like to make an extra effort for the End Polio Now campaign. A Tri-Club Run/Walk was suggested as a way to involve Rotarians and raise awareness for this issue and a preliminary goal of raising $1,500 to $2,000 was set. Fast forward to the end of September and the plans for the Run/Walk were well under way! Then, a call was made to Juneau Glacier Valley Rotarian Richard Burns to solicit help in publicizing the Run/Walk on his and wife Sharon's radio stations. After agreeing to start blanketing the airwaves about the Run/Walk, Richard volunteered another idea for raising awareness and money to help in the fight to eradicate polio. He suggested a Rotary Radio Day!
So, on World Polio Day, Saturday, October 24th, 2015 Juneau Gastineau, Juneau Downtown, and Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary clubs held an Inaugural Run/Walk and replaced all of the On Air staff for KINY radio from 8 in the morning until 6 at night. Rotarian Disc Jockeys spun the tunes, talked about Polio, and auctioned off many donated items. Matching challenges were issued and answered, and donations flooded in throughout the day! The Run/Walk saw stormy weather abate early on the morning of the event; then, seventy people participated in a group photo and hit the trail for the Run/Walk under sunny skies. After the Run/Walk, snacks were provided and a short speech by event organizer Glacier Valley Rotarian Keith Hermann enlightened a very receptive audience about the need for ending polio now.Juneau Rotarians rose to the challenge with both their pocket books and volunteer hours. Even members who were traveling or otherwise couldn't participate made donations that helped the success of the day! By the end of the day, $18,000 was raised to support the fight for the eradication of Polio. And with the match by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, these funds will swell to an impressive $54,000! These funds will be donated to The Rotary Foundation Polio Plus Fund. Rotarians in Juneau are very thankful for the support of their community!
When school opened in mid-August, students at Riverbend Elementary School in Juneau enjoyed new playground equipment, thanks to an effort coordinated by the three Juneau Rotary clubs.
The 2015-16 Presidents of the three clubs began meeting with elementary school staff and PTO members last spring to plan the effort. The group was concerned about a small playground at the school that didn't meet the needs of the 300 PK-5th grade students. This resulted in high discipline referrals. In addition, the Riverbend area has increasingly become a community hub, due to the opening nearby of a new high school, a new swimming pool and a new library all within the past eight years, and the proximity of athletic fields and low-income housing. A playground update would help meet the needs of Juneau's 2,000 PK-5th grade students who visit the area.
The playground planning group put together a District 5010 grant with funding from Juneau School District, the PTO, local business and individuals. Cash for the project totaled over $43,000, and with in-kind contributions the project is valued at nearly $60,000.
Juneau Rotary clubs are fortunate to have architects and experienced construction managers among our members who could assist with site prep. During the installation week of August 10, 40+ Rotarians opened crates, hauled equipment, set cement, raked gravel, etc. And we had good weather! The Juneau Empire provided great PR for the effort with an article about the project: http://juneauempire.com/local/2015-08-16/more-just-place-play#sthash.kTVoYD7R.dpuf
It was gratifying to see students enthusiastically jumping onto the new equipment the first day of school! PTO members put together a large binder of thank-you's from the kids for each club. A dedication was held in September and a youtube presentation of the project was shown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SneKUys_7aU&feature=youtu.be#sthash.kTVoYD7R.dpuf
The community really pulled together to make this project happen! Donors were thanked in the Juneau Empire and a sign is being prepared to recognize those who contributed at the playground site. This project made us all proud to be Rotarians and members of the Juneau community!
The ZACH GORDON Youth Center Kitchen Remodel Project is UNDERWAY!
The Zach is remodeling it’s kitchen facilities to meet code, in order to serve 80+ youth in our community. Our club’s Foundation Matching Grant (8K total) went towards the purchase of a commercial grade range hood. Pictured above are Michelle & Hayden, enjoying the morning sun while refurbishing furniture for the Center. Thank you all for supporting our Rotary Foundation which allows us to leverage our funds for worthy causes!
Here's a great reason why we do this!
Wednesday , September 24, 1964 was the formal charter ceremony for our club, and the beginning of Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary! 50 years of service to Juneau, and counting! We'll start off the celebratory year with BIRTHDAY cake at Wednesday's lunch, and a bit of trivia as well.......better get on the net fast and brush up on your history! Happy Anniversary!