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Our 26th Annual Rotary Thanksgiving meal for the senior citizens of the area was another great success. We prepared a great meal, served it, and provided access to a wonderful fall musical production, Oklahoma performed by the SRRHS Drama! The Great River Rotary could not have done it without our fellow Sartell Rotarians, the Boy Scouts, many friends and family, Metro transit and the School District. It was a terrific experience for all!
The lederhosen and dirndl were ready, it was Octoberfest time.
Great River Rotary and Rotary of Sartell got together for a fall social at the
Sartell Rotary park on Oct. 8th.
There was wurst, sauerkraut, spatzle, red cabbage and German potato salad.
Dan Iburg was our resident cook and raised his stein with the chant of:
zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi
It was a great time for all.
Blair Schroeder passes the Presidential gavel to April Myers.
Don Popowski along with the Great River Rotary welcome Joe Nadeau to the club.
Pictured is speaker Lisa Braun from the RSVP and Rotarian April M. RSVP(Retired Senior Volunteer Program) is a volunteer program for men and women age 55 and better offering a variety of one-time and on-going volunteer opportunities within 200 local organizations.
Pictured is President Blair Schrader with Shelby and Lisa Eisenschenk. Shelby has Autism. He and his mom, Lisa spoke to us on living and communicating with Autism using the Dyna Vox Speech Device. Shelby is pictured wearing a few of his many medals won in Special Olympics.
Speaker Linda Allen from the St. Cloud Granite Rotary Club spoke to our club on their project in the Dominican Republic for safe water.
On November 17th The Great River Rotary members, family and friends along with the help of the Boy Scouts hosted our 25th Anniversary of the Thanksgiving Senior Dinner. Here is the link to the video coverage from WJON this event. http://wjon.com/volunteers-serve-over-300-seniors-at-25th-annual-thanksgiving-delight-video/
Over 300 Senior citizens from Sauk Rapids came from 10 different nursing homes, apartment centers, and assisted living facilities to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal prepared by volunteers.
The volunteer cooks started preparing at 6 a.m. today by putting turkeys on the grill. Pumpkin pie, potatoes, gravy, and a ton of turkey eventually filled the kitchen as the meal was ready to be served.
This meal also included support from local Boy Scout troops, who helped greet guests and serve meals. Noah Simondet is a member of the Boy Scouts, who’s been volunteering at the event for years:
“Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is huge in volunteering, so that’s a big thing in helping out the community.”
Daniel Bittman, The Superintendant of Sauk Rapids-Rice schools, says the event is all about giving back to Seniors in the area:
“We are so thankful for the opportunity to give back, we have wonderful Seniors throughout this community.”
The school year has finally started in Atsbi, and with the return of teachers and students we’ve been able to implement the final stages of our project. The rainy summer months proved to very productive for everyone; our dairy cow, which has been living at the school for five months now, has given more milk than we expected. Part of this is due to the generosity of the Parent-Teacher Association, which donated a great deal of high quality food for Lemlem. The community also hosted a tree-planting day at the school to ensure a sustainable source of livestock fodder for years to come. Over and over again, the community has shown its support for this project and the underserved population it benefits. My heart is warmed each time I encounter someone who wants to help the school in its endeavors to better the education of all students.
Several weeks ago a few of our project committee members went to the city to purchase one hundred chickens and the rest of the project supplies. It was a long day, but we finally got all the chicks home safely. We purchased thirty-day old chicks, which are hardier and already vaccinated and should begin producing eggs in about three months. It felt great to be back at work with my counterparts and friends.
Half of the money that we raised from selling milk over the summer was used to purchase notebooks, pens and pencils to distribute to orphans registered at the school. While this was the ultimate goal of the Desta project, I was just as happy to hear that the committee had decided to save half of the summer’s proceeds to guarantee that the chickens could be fed until they begin producing eggs. This decision demonstrates an important commitment to sustainability of the project.
As my time in Atsbi comes to an end, I’ll be working closely with the school and committee members to make sure the project will be sustainable after I leave. The new Peace Corps Volunteer who has been assigned to work at the school will also continue checking on the progress and helping with any challenges that may appear in the future. Finally, I’ll be putting together a more formal project report that I’ll send out in the next few weeks.
Once again, thank you for the donation you made to this project. It has been so rewarding to work with a school that is dedicated to improving education for the children of Atsbi. Our work would not have been possible without your generosity.
The Great River Rotary Club supported a Peace Corps Partnership Program - The Desta Project in Atsbi, Ethiopia. Project leader is Peace Corps Volunteer Katheryn Hoerster. Great River Rotary member Melissa Schmidt's son, Chris is also a PCV in Atsbi Ethiopia.
Over the past six month Katheryn has been working with the Atsbi Primary School, the largest elementary school in town, to implement a project that will provide school supplies and materials for all enrolled orphans. Several staff members approached her about the project in late October, and since then the entire town has come together to make Desta Dairy & Egg Farm a reality. They assured her that if she could find funding for one dairy cow and 100 laying chickens, they would cover the rest of the necessary costs.
Attached is the link to the you tube video they made to promote their project.
Also attached are pictures of the new cow and calf that have been purchased for the project. The Children of the primary school meet them for the first time.