2017 Fred K. Jones Award Presented to Ira Amstadter

Ira Amstadter Rotarian of Year Award 2016-17
 
A man of many talents and contributions, Ira Amstadter, was honored this week with the Fred K. Jones Memorial Award as Rotarian of the Year for Club 21.
 
Ira has been a member of Spokane Rotary Club 21 since 2002 and his  contributions to Rotary and our community are legion, his kindness immense and his ability to make people smile is unsurpassed.
 
You may know Ira as the gorilla at Bloomsday, as the guy riding the Russian-made Ural motorcycle with a sidecar (sometimes in the gorilla suit during parades), as the host with his family of 7 Rotary international exchange students, as the person who brought the Foster KidFest idea to our club, as the guy in costume for the Renaissance Festival.
 
He was club president in 2011-12. Youth Exchange officer for many years. Youth Service Committee Chair. Chaperoned/drove the District’s Exchange students on a week-long Friendship Tour throughout the district a few years ago. Put on the fabulous opening reception at the District Conference (for District Governor Lloyd Gray) during Rotary’s Centennial Year in 2005.
 
Ira has provided the services of his and wife Susan’s employment and staffing business, Express Employment Professionals of Spokane, to recruiting 4 Executive Directors over the years – at no charge!
 
Ira has provided space in his office for Rotary committee meetings and for storage of Rotary stuff in the basement, and also provided a temporary Club 21 office there. On Bloomsday he opens the doors for Rotarians and their families to have a warm spot, bathrooms, coffee and a place to leave possessions during the race. He even made the side of his building at 331 W. Main into a giant painted outdoor sign promoting Rotary.
 
If you’re lucky, you have received a heavily accented birthday call from Ira on your birthday, or your or a family member has received one of his crisp $2 for a new baby, an important life event, an accomplishment, or for just being a great kid. Maybe you have received one of his year-numbered checks (last year $20.16) where you are asked to fill in the recipient for a worthy local charity and donate it as a meaningful holiday gift.
 
What you might not have known is that Ira worked in the Peace Corps in Zaire and then spent 4 years working for USAID in Rwanda.
 
Congratulations to Ira on this well-deserved honor. Ira, you are an amazing Rotarian! Thank you for your Service Above Self.