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The Wort Hotel and JH Rotary Lunch Club Foundation celebrated an in-person and virtual hybrid Casino Night on November 6 in the Silver Dollar Bar with our generous community's help. 

Rotary President Jim Waldrop and President/General Manager of The Wort Hotel welcomed guests to Casino Night. Waldrop spoke of the gratitude for our valley's generosity towards scholarship programs like Rotary's and how support from programs like this encourages students to dream big and achieve their goals. 

Stuart Palmer Newspaper AdCongratulations to Stuart Palmer on receiving Rotary Internationals' Service Above Self Award!
Click here to watch Stuart receive his award during our March 23rd meeting. 
Click here to read the Resolution of Appreciation to Past District Governor Stuart Palmer.
Tuesday, February 23rd marked the official handover of the Ntsika Sanitation Project! In an update from Rotarian Gavin Keaton, he noted:
"The occasion was reminder of the extraordinary mixtures that make up Grahamstown.  Just outside the School were long queues of people collecting water from the School’s borehole (it has a public tap) because our town has been without water for more than 4 days.  Unlike the weather in Texas, the cause for our plight is poor local governance that allowed the main water pump to break down without a backup in place.  One of the goals of the project was to make Ntsika self-sufficient in times like these.  We installed 40 000 litres of water tanks that feed into the school’s mains via a pump.  In addition, they have access to the water from the borehole that was drilled on their grounds in 2019 by an organisation called Gift of the Givers."
Stuart Palmer of the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole was selected to receive the 2020-21 Service Above Self Award by the Rotary International Board of Directors. This award is considered Rotary International’s highest honor to bestow on a Rotarian and is only awarded to 150 recipients per year worldwide. This award recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others.
Stuart has been a Rotarian for over 34 years, serving as District Governor for Rotary District 5440 in 2008-2009. He has worked on many local and international projects, including two medical clinics in Brigui, Sao Paulo, Brazil; water projects in three schools in Grahamstown, South Africa; a van for cancer detection in Tlaxcala, Mexico; and two clean water projects at the Center of the Secret of Peace in Rwanda.
In 2016 Ntsika Senior Secondary School Head, Madeleine Schoeman, approached the Rotary Club of Grahamstown for help in upgrading the School’s bathrooms. Half the facilities at the school were no longer usable and those still in use, badly needed attention. Interaction between Rotary, school management and the School Governing Body indicated that additional needs were the connecting of the school to the municipal sewerage system (that was not in existence when the school was built), the construction of a scullery, and the storage of water for the frequent periods when the high-lying parts of Makhanda’s Joza township are without municipal water.
The Wort Hotel and JH Rotary Lunch Club Foundation celebrated a virtual Casino Night on November 7 in the Silver Dollar Bar with our generous community's help. 
Jim Waldrop, a Rotarian and President of The Silver Dollar Inc., welcomed virtual guests to Casino Night from The Wort Hotel and spoke of the gratitude for our valley's generosity towards scholarship programs like Rotary's. 
Bill Baxter, the owner of The Wort Hotel, Mr. Waldrop and everyone at The Wort, continue to make Casino Night a cannot miss event in Jackson's social calendar. Their efforts in the last five years have raised over a million dollars for student scholarships that benefit a diverse array of students who have shown merit through academics, work ethic, drive, and future goals.
While being virtual meant guests could not "gamble" and mingle, Casino Night hosts and committee organizers were dedicated in their efforts to make the event memorable. 
Saturday, November 7 – Our 5th Annual Casino Night benefiting local Rotary Scholarships will be virtual!
Casino Night is an annual fundraiser that benefits the local Rotary Club of Jackson Hole Foundation to raise money for local student scholarships. In previous years, The Wort Hotel is transformed back to the lawless times of gambling where gun slingers roamed the halls along with saloon girls. As we all know, Covid-19 has thrown a major curveball this year and we are all learning how to adjust. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our guests, employees and community, so we felt it was best to host the event virtually this year. While, we will not be able to gather in one place, we still encourage everyone to dress up, enjoy the night and give to this wonderful cause.
November 7th from 7-7:30pm
Save the date and tune in for what will be a fun and exciting virtual experience with many great prizes. This all-ages event will be online and accessible on your phone, tablet, and/or computer from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Recently, Rotarian Gavin Keaton provided a great update of the sanitation project at Ntsika Secondary School in Grahamstown S.A. Is message is quoted in part
"The Ntsika project is going great guns.  The boys’ and girls’ bathrooms are complete and the staff bathrooms will be handed over tomorrow.
Gutters and downpipes were installed in time to catch the wonderful 2 inches of rain we had last week.
The sewer pump has resulted in the “wetland” drying out completely.
The scullery will be the last thing to be completed.
We have been able to use the additional funds received in Rands because of the weaker exchange rate to capture rainwater and fully tile the bathroom and scullery walls.  The additional tiling has made a huge difference to the overall appearance of the facilities.
Implementation of the project has been overseen by Rotarians Andy Lon."
Pictures are attached below.
The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole held its first virtual Scholarship Luncheon today.  The on line program was attended by the scholarship winners, parents of students, Rotarians and special guests.  The Rotary club recognized 50 scholarship winners and awarded 44 scholarships including several four year grants.  Six of the scholars had received full scholarships from other sources but were included in the recognized list.
Long time Rotary scholarship supporter, Foster Freiss, awarded each recipient a separate "Pizza and Ice Cream" scholarship of $1,000 to each student. The moving slideshow or students also noted the school of choice - the schools span the country.  
Moderator Rotarian Jeff Ward noted that over $600,000 had b been raised in the last four years.  The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole Education Foundation is planning to increase the number of four year scholarships in the future.  The scholarship committee of Jeff Ward, Jim Waldrop, and Deidre Ashley invested over 199 hours in the interviews of the students via virtual means.  A clear demonstration of an effective application of current technology.
Many thanks are due to the students, school faculty, and our Scholarship Committee.
Well done!
Construction has begun on the water and sanitation improvements to Ntsika Secondary School.  The project is funded by significant contributions from the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole, Rotarians, other Rotary clubs, and matching grants from our Rotary District and by The Rotary Foundation.
The USD 109,000 project will restore bathrooms, water supply, and sewage removal from the school grounds.  Even though Grahamstown S.A. has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions, local Rotarians in Grahamstown awarded contracts and began construction within a month of the funds being delivered to the project account.  Several hundred students will benefit from reliable water supply and the sanitation systems.
The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole announced that the club’s educational foundation completed the review of nearly 100 scholarship applications, conducted 60 15-minute interviews via Zoom and ultimately awarded a total a record amount of $194,000 to 44 deserving students.
The recipients are graduating seniors from the high schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Many of the nation’s top colleges and universities are represented including several Ivy League schools, UW, Stanford, USC, Texas, ASU, CU, CSU, Oregon, NYU, MSU, UCSB, Cal Poly, Utah, BYU and many more. The level of the scholarship grants varied based on each individual student’s blend of financial need, academics, community service, work experience, extra-curricular activities and letters of recommendation. 
Please join with Rotarians for our program on the interntional projects in Grahamstown S.A. 
Gavin will speak about our Global Grant project, it's importance to the township community and our part in fundraising a significant portion of the $110,000+ school remodel project. 
To join the meeting, click on the link below.  Your internet browser should open to a page on the Zoom video conference service.  You may be assed for the Zoom meeting ID number and then the password.  Both the ID number and password are in the announcement below.
Zoom Meeting May 12 at noon
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Zoom Info and Etiquette:
  • President-Elect Melissa Turley will open this Zoom meeting by 11:40 am, so folks can connect and test things out before the meeting starts.
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Last year the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole continued a program to purchase a book for each 2nd Grade student in Teton County School District #1.  The books were distributed late in the school year with instruction that the book was the student’s and that the student could take the book home to keep.
This year, the Rotary Club proposed to continue to purchase books for the 2nd Grade students and to expand the program to purchase a book for each of the 3rd grade students.  School Superintendent (and Rotarian) Dr. Gillian Chapman has endorsed the program to encourage reading by the students through giving books to the students.
For many years Rotary District 5440 has strongly supported literacy throughout the district.  This year, D5440 provided the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole with a grant of $2,000 to cover the cost of the books for the 3rd grade.  The Rotary club will continue to pay for the books for the 2nd Graders. 
The books have been selected (including some titles in Spanish), purchased,  delivered to the book dealer in Jackson, and moved onward to the school district.   The books will delivered to the students by the end of next week.  There are 229 identified 3rd graders in line to get a book to read on their own.
April 11, 2020 - District Governor Chris Woodruff announced a donation by Rotary District 5440 to the Food Bank of the Rockies – for Wyoming, and to the food banks in Wells, Moffet,  and Routte Counties Colorado and Scotts Bluff Nebraska.  The District donated $28,000 from funds designated for service and from the district reserves.  Eleven thousand five hundred dollars was directed to food banks in Wyoming.  The funds were apportioned by the relative numbers of persons served in each food bank system.  The District has also request an additional $25,000 for food banks from The Rotary Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.
In Jackson, nineteen years ago the Jackson Cupboard was setup to distribute into the Jackson Hole Community the food gathered by the Boy Scouts of America's Scouting for Food—their fall food drive.  The Jackson Food Cupboard continues to serve the community from its room in the basement of St John’s Church.  The Jackson Rotary Lunch Club provided an initial $500 donation as seed money to get us started and to set up a food pantry.
Rotarians in Jackson Hole are heavily engaged in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.  If you see them, please say thank-you to Michelle Webber (JPD), Matt Barr (TCS), Dr Paul Beaupre (CEO, St Johns Health), Julia Heemstra, RN (St Johns Wellness Center), and Rotary President
John Goettler, CFRE (President, St John Health Foundation).  Stay safe and stay healthy.
The Rotary Clubs of Birigui, Brazil and Jackson Hole, Wyoming came together to propose and fund a Rotary International project to buy medical equipment required to operate a neighborhood clinic in Birigui.  Birigui is a town outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The local government could fund the building but not the equipment for the walk-in clinic.
Rotarians (and Past District Governors) demonstrated the power of relationships and mutual goals by developing the concept of the project, supporting the preparation of the Grant Applications, developing the equipment list and budget estimate, and responding to questions from The Rotary Foundation.
Ntsika Secondary School in Grahamstown South Africa has graduated the leading students in the township.  This outstanding achievement by 700 students was accomplished in a facility with practically no working sanitation facilities, intermittent water supply of questionable quality, and a wetlands on the school grounds that received raw sewage from the school.
The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole joined with Rotary Clubs in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia to raise funds for an International Project in Grahamstown, South Africa. Rotarians were supported by generous donations from local citizens that caused the project to be fully funded.  Our funds are being combined with donations from the Rotary Club of Uttoxeter U.K., the Rotary Club of Grahamstown, the Rotary Districts of each club, and The Rotary Foundation, The estimated cost of the total project is USD 109,418.
In response to guidance from local governments and Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole will not be meeting at its usual time and place (Snow King, Tuesday, 11:45 am).  The suspension of the regular meeting will continue until the impact of novel virus is understood in our region.
The guidance from Rotary International is quoted in part below:

Club and district meetings

In the near term, Rotary International recommends that districts and Rotary and Rotaract clubs meet virtually, cancel or postpone meetings or events following the advice of national and local health officials. Please continue to follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organization and your national, regional, or local health authorities to protect your health and safety. If feasible, conduct meetings online or by phone.

Closely examine your personal circumstances, including any health issues, when you consider travel and participation in events.

All Rotarians are encouraged to follow the guidance of their health professional and recognized centers of expertise in public health.
President John
The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole convened for a great evening of conversation.  Case and Amy Morton, assisted by Hailey, Nate, and Sara, provided the setting at the Inn on the Creek.  To accompany the wonderful setting, the wine and food were great.  The evening proved that Rotary is not all work, projects, and lunches.  Thank-you Casey and Amy.
The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole held its fourth and most successful Casino Night which raises funds for scholarships for local students.  The Wort Hotel hosted the event in style and costume.  It was a great evening.  Jim Waldrop, Chair of the Casino Night Committee thanked the members of the committee, the many sponsors of the event, and the number of volunteers who helped in the execution of a great evening of fun and funds.  Jim reported that a record $280,000 was earned for scholarships for our area high school students.  An enlarged article on this successful evening will follow.  kls