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President's Message

December already?!

I know it seems that our meeting schedule has been somewhat erratic this year and I thank you all for your patience and understanding. Every year our Board of Directors is tasked with balancing our budget and sometimes that means determining the difficult task of saving money by not having a meeting on certain weeks, scheduling a Community Service Day, Rotation Day or even an off-site meeting. Thank you again for understanding and being so accommodating!

In September we had our annual family picnic. We were ate a new venue this year, Colorado Outdoors, and thanks to Jennifer Cunningham for all of her efforts in getting the new venue, catering, bouncy house, face painting and ice cream truck.

Again, this year our club provided $2,500 to Book Trust, a program that allows low income children to pick out their own books to encourage them to read, which will sponsor an entire classroom for a year.

The 3rd Annual Rise Against Hunger event was once again an incredible success as we increased the number of meals we packaged from 10,000 to 12,000 and over 90 participants. Thanks to Kathe Haake and Ilan Levy!

Our very own Ale Trail committee has come up with yet another fabulous idea, the Dining Trail! Be on the lookout for more information and details on this in the coming weeks.

Dale Gorsky, Mike Forney and many others have taken the challenge with a Corn Hole Tournament as a fun fundraiser for our club. Date and location yet to be determined (possibly early spring), but this looks to be a fun and sustainable event.

Our Fort Collins High School Interact Club is doing great, over 80 interested members at their first meeting and already involved in several community events!

Our Evening Group is going strong with several projects, McBackPack program, reading to students at Putnam & Laurel Elementary schools as well as tirelessly volunteering at every Ale Trail Days.

A Time to be Thankful

Whether for you it’s Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa or just a season of celebration, this is a time for all of us to take the time with our families to reflect on our blessings and be thankful for all we have.

This year I see Rotarians who recognize the blessings they possess, including their families, faith, friendships and their ability to give back to their communities in an effort to improve everyone’s lives.   We must never forget those who are less fortunate, and this is a wonderful time to reach out and extend a hand of friendship and support to those around us.

A few of our fellow Rotarians have experienced loss and more are going through difficult times now.  Sometimes we forget that those closest to us may be in need and putting up a good front so that no one knows their pain.  We need to stop and make sure that our friends and family are truly safe and can reach out to each and every one of us if need be. 

Lastly, I want to thank everyone in our club who have stepped up and filled in for roles in our club. Foothills is filled with amazing Rotarians.

From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and a happy, safe holiday season.

President Chris

Thank you, Mike Forney!
Evening Group Update
The focus for the evening group is to align with Rotary International’s causes with a focus on ensuring the children in our community have the nutrition, tools and support necessary to obtain a great education.  We are focusing our attention on the students at Putnam Elementary School since this school is ground zero for homeless kids in Fort Collins.  Here are our major initiatives:
  1. Due to the large amount of homelessness in Putnam, many of the kids do not have a sense of community.  We are helping build a sense of community within the school by giving every kid a Putnam Pride t-shirt.  They wear them every Friday with contests for the best participation.
  2. We are the sponsors of the Putnam Leadership Program for the top 18 kids in the 5th grade.  We fund leadership t-shirts (one kid was pictured in his shirt in the Coloradoan) and busses for tours along with providing leadership speakers.
  3. We are extending the Book Trust program in Putnam with an in-class reading program the first Friday of each month.  We would love to get more readers so let us know if you’d like to help.  We also help with reading at Laurel School the last Thursday of each month.
  4. Nearly every kid in Putnam is on the free lunch program.  To help on the weekends, our group is helping pack bags of food for their families to use each week as part of the McBackpack program.  This is a terrific program that is providing 350-400 bags of food every week.
  5. We have helped distribute winter clothing through the Coats & Boots program and are looking at increased ways to help with their funding.
  6. We are still pursuing installing a washer and dryer at the school but have run into issues with the school district.  Stay tuned.
 
Our group has been growing quickly so we now have a permanent home at the Hop Grenade.  We have a private room that is much quieter - please stop by for a visit.  Here are the members that have joined since June:
  • Gary McDonald
  • Greg Rittner
  • Josh McClelland
  • Michelle Lahti
  • Chris Corbin
 
Plus, Jacque Niedringhaus and Linda Vomaske transferred from the Noon Group.  As a result, we now have 14 members with three more in the process of submitting applications.
 
Cheers,
Scott

Community Service Committee Update

The Community Service Committee's goal is "To support youth serving organizations in the Fort Collins area."  We focus on organizations serving those in need.  We are funded from member dues and award about $16,000 in grants each year to local organizations. 
 
This quarter we received grant requests from six organizations. We funded 4 of these requests and awarded $3,500  for the following:
 
  • Safe Kids Larimer County $500 for car seats for low-income families
  • Coats & Boots $1,000 for coats and boots for low-income children
  • Food Bank for Larimer County $1,000 for equipment for cooking meals for low-income children
  • One Village One Family $1,000 for up-front housing costs for a family experiencing homelessness
If any member knows of an organization they feel could benefit from a Community Service Grant, please have them or the organization contact me at gmendt@gmail.com and I can let them know what the application process is. 
 
Thanks!
Guy Mendt
Teacher of the Year Awards

This year we celebrated three amazing teachers as our PSD Teachers of the Year! Brenda Hernandez, Irish Elementary - A Dual Language School; Gabby Wymore, Blevins Middle School; Jennifer Martinez, Bacon Elementary School. You are the future of our children!

Brenda Hernandez
Gabby Wymore
Jennifer Martinez
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Rise Against Hunger
On October 23rd we joined with Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization, who works to implement immediate and long-term solutions to hunger worldwide, to pack nutritious, dehydrated meals that are used to feed children in developing countries and to provide emergency relief when disasters strike.  Over 90 Rotarians attended and had fun packing 10,000 meals in just about an hour.
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Thank you, Mike Forney!
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