The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill's mission is to provide tangible benefits locally and internationally through service projects, charitable giving, fellowship and youth leadership training. Recognizing the importance of supporting youth, Morgan Hill’s Rotary club started off 2017 by sponsoring the annual Richard D King club speech contest on January 11. “Six high school contestants gave an impassioned personal account of how they valued Rotary by incorporating the theme, Rotary Serving Humanity. What a great opportunity for the youth in our town to become familiar with what Rotary is all about, form their own altruistic beliefs, and practice the speaking skills which will serve them so well in their careers and personal life,” said Rotarian and Morgan Hill Unified School District Superintendent Steve Betando.
 
Next up for the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill was the club’s sixth annual dictionary distribution to third graders. During the week of February 27, the 5,000th dictionary from this annual event were handed out by a local Rotarian to one of third graders in the public and private schools in the Morgan Hill area. Students get to keep these books which come with a bookplate where the student can enter his or her name. For many kids, the gift of the dictionary may be their first book that they own. Rotarian and Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing  co-chaired this program with Rotarian Carol Carr, along with the Rotarian volunteers who visited each school in uniform and lead the presentation.

 
The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill also sponsors five local Interact clubs that bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. Three high school students attended this year's Interact’s Presidents Winter Retreat on February 11-12 at Camp Campbell, Boulder Creek, CA courtesy of the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill.
 
For the past four decades, the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has been sending high school students to attend a week-long RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) summer camp. The camp provides a great forum for the campers to learn how to be leaders for their sports, clubs, schools, and communities. Seven high school students will attend this year’s camp from June 25-30 at the Mission Springs Conference Center in Scotts Valley, reported Rotarian David de la Cuesta who has been working with the club’s Interact and RYLA programs for the past three decades.
 
Recognizing the value of continuing education, the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill will be awarding $21,000 in college scholarships to deserving Morgan Hill high school students this year. 
 
Summer will be a little more special for local youth who attend The Boys and Girls Club of Morgan Hill, formerly known as El Toro Youth Center this year. The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has once again earmarked $7,000 for scholarships to their summer program. These scholarships will be used for those families who need help to send their children to their summer camp. 
 
In addition to its Community Grant program, Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has instituted a new grants program, Hearts of Rotary (HOR), to help local nonprofit organizations fund local projects or programs.  Recipients of these 2017/2018 grants will be announced later this year.
 
Morgan Hill Rotarians expect to close out 2017 by again playing Santa Claus and fulfilling Christmas wishes for approximately 90 kids this year for youth at The Boys and Girls Club of Morgan Hill’s El Toro Clubhouse. 
 
For more information about Rotary, information is available at Rotarian International’s website at https://www.rotary.org/ and the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill’s website at www.morganhillrotary.org.