Founded in 1975 as the Las Vegas Paradise Rotary Club, which was one of ten local area clubs at the time. In 2003, the Paradise and University Rotary clubs merged to form the Las Vegas Central Rotary Club. With stronger membership numbers, our goal is to further the Rotary tradition of active community, regional and international service.
We meet every Wednesday at 12:15 at the Las Vegas Country Club please join us and find out what Rotary is all about. The LVCC is directly behind the (Old Hilton) now it is called the LVH
3000 Joe W Brown Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Contact us at:
PO Box 72166
Las Vegas, NV 89170
Each week I try and encourage our members to look beyond themselves and see a need in the community that we or they can address, even if that is only bring it to the attention of someone or some other group that can accomplish and fulfill the need. To me this is living “Service above Self” not just paying lip service to it, as Rotarians we should not be followers but strive to be leaders in our community the problem solvers. As Rotarians and Americans we tend to take everyday things for granted that in many parts of the world are considered luxuries, we need to remember that others in the world don’t even have the basic necessities of life. That is why in many parts of the world a small amount of money and some labor can accomplish so much. It is amazing how generous the American people are when it comes to charities and helping others, we give more than the next ten countries combined.
As Rotarians we can be proud of all we have accomplished to improve our community and many places around the world through our donations to the Rotary Foundation. But we still have so much more to do so we cannot rest on our laurels and say job well done and quit. One person can do only so much, but when a group of Rotarians join together it is amazing what is accomplished.
This week’s message will be short and sweet as they say. November is the start of the Holiday Season with Thanksgiving followed by Christmas in December, this is a time to reflect on our blessings and share them with those less fortunate then ourselves. This is a great time to help out at one of the local food kitchens for the homeless, or help out at a shelter. Or you could collect food for The Salvation Army, Catholic Charity or any of the other local food banks for the needy. Another thing would be to adopt a family and provide all the fixings for either Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, there are lots of local charities that can provide you with names of families in need.
For Christmas the local Rotary Clubs do the Santa Clothes Project plus our club also does the Candle Lighters adopt a Family project and we also provides toys and clothing to homeless children through our partnership with one of many local efforts. Our club and individually we do a lot but there is always more we can and could do.
I hope that each of you who were at last week’s visit and heard our District Governor Larry Skaggs speech enjoyed it as much as I did. Our District Governor is a very down to earth person who is easy to talk to and enjoyable to listen too also. The story he told about learning to share with those less fortunate than himself at an early age was very touching and heartwarming, plus being based on a true event in his life made it even more touching. Many times in the past when I have written the Presidents Message I have spoken about the moment when a person goes from being a Rotary Member to becoming a Rotarian. Each of us has a different event in Rotary that changed us from just being a member to believing and knowing what we do makes a difference in some one’s life.
On the 19th of November we each have a chance to participate on one of our few hands on projects with our book giveaway at Homeless Connect, the once a year community event to provide services in one place for the valley’s homeless population. Giving books away may not seem like much of anything to us but it really means a lot to the people who are receiving them and they are very thankful.
Remember we need your books hardbound or paperback, we need you help to set up the booth and we need your help during the event. Ask your friends if they have some books they would like to donate, clean out your bookcase or garage of those old books you have already read. The number one book ask for is a dictionary, who would have thought. I have sixteen cases of books in my garage right now and this only a fraction of what we need, last year we gave away over 3000 books. If you have books you would like to donate contact me and we will make arrangements as to where to bring them or in some cases we can pick them up. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 702 768-7530 to learn more or to donate books or money for this project………..
Why is it we volunteer to help those less fortunate then ourselves in many cases each of us will have a different reason, some just want to share their bounty others feel pity and want to help. Each and every Rotary club has its own pet projects that are repeated year after year and as long as the need still exist and results are achieved that is Ok. But if the need no longer exists or the project does not succeed in helping then it is time to either redesign the project or replace it with something else. Never be married to cause because we have always done it or so in so started it. “Service above Self” has its limits it must be something that fills a need, it must be affordable and it must have the potential to be a successful goal. We always need to look at ways to make every dollar donated to Rotary count and go as far as possible in reaching the goal is was given for.
Help your club decide on what projects you would like to see us peruse in the coming months and years, become involved……because if you do not voice your opinion you cannot gripe about what we do, every voice counts.
One person can only do so much but in Rotary we can combine our efforts and multiply our results to achieve our goals. In Rotary we have the option to be help people locally, internationally or both, and by combining our efforts with other Rotarians around the world we can double or triple our outcome. You can give a person a fish and feed him for a day or you can teach him how to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime, which do you think is better.
As the fall season progresses our club has several chances to help children from at risk families and schools. To help brighten the lives of young children, Opportunity Village has started a new program to take these children to their Magical Forest to help instill in them the magic and wonders of Christmas. The cost to send 50 first grade children comes to only $500.00 which includes transportation and supervision for the students. This program is sponsored by groups such as Rotary and other private civic organizations.
Another program is The Santa Cloths project which is supported by all the Rotary Clubs in the Las Vegas valley, this takes at risk students selected by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas cloths shopping at J.C. Penny’s with an adult to help them in the shopping. The club members pay up to $100 to sponsor each student selected, more than 300 children are served through this project annually. Because J.C. Penny is also a sponsor in this program the children receive almost $150 in merchandise for the $100.00 spent.
Last but far from least is the Candle Lighters Project in which we as a club sponsor a family who has a child with either cancer or some other life threating illness. The club is provided with the information on the family such as their sizes, ages and sex to assist them in their shopping for each family member. After the shopping a group of club members will get together and wrap the presents and arrange a date and time to deliver the gifts to the family. This is one of those feel good projects yet still pulls at your heart strings when you think about what the family and child are going through.
This is also a great time to think about helping to re-stock some of the local food banks such as Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army to name a few, we can collect can goods and money also for donation to these groups. There seems to be an endless supply of groups and people in need of a helping hand in our community, let us each do what we can to help those less fortunate then ourselves.
This week I would like to talk about history and no I do not mean the Civil War etc. but the history of our club. Like many of the clubs formed here is Las Vegas the Paradise club was sponsored by the Las Vegas Rotary Club or the Big Club as we call it. The Paradise Club was the sponsor of the University Club on March 3, 1988 which was two months after I joined Rotary as a member of the Paradise club. Judge Mark Denton was our club president during the 1987-88 Rotary years, followed by Dave Cabral on his first time as club president. During those years and many more to follow we met at the Showboat Hotel & Casino out on Boulder Highway and had a membership of 55-60 members. Now let’s fast forward to 2003 this was the date Paradise & University Rotary Clubs merged together because of dwindling membership numbers to create the L.V. Central Rotary Club, a new name and a new beginning.
Last week we lost one of our two remaining Charter members who were still involved in Rotary, Herman Steiner, for the past several years Herman had lived with his daughter Donna in Raleigh, N.C, he was 96 years old. Herman was truly a believer of what Rotary could do to help change lives and he supported the clubs efforts and the Rotary Foundation worldwide efforts.
Our club gets its strength from our membership and that is why it is important to retain our existing members and bring in new ones with fresh new ideas and energy, to help keep us invigorated and moving forward. From time to time in the past we have faltered but this year with some from some old and newer members we have created some creative new ways to attract new membership to the club. Please remember fellow members, club membership growth is everyone’s business!!
This week rather than telling you all something about Rotary or our past programs I want to ask you questions and have you think about your answers. What was it that touched you and made you want to become a Rotary member was it the thought of helping others, improving our community, meeting the community leaders or just the ability to meet new people and friends? Our weekly programs and speakers are also an attraction for potential new members, because we try very hard to make then interesting, fun and informative. So let me ask you what who or what would you like to see in the future as our upcoming programs? Help us provide what you would like to see and hear in the coming months just remember we want them to appeal to the majority of our members.
Do you remember who shared Rotary with you and what was it that made you keep coming back before you joined? I do, and we each have our own reason and story as to why we are a Rotary member and hopefully a Rotarian.
Now another question I want to ask you is how many people have you shared Rotary with that became members? Most people know someone who is willing to give back to the community someway either through hands on projects or donating money toward good causes. Let’s all share Rotary with people we know or meet..
Last week’s program on Junior Achievement was very interesting in its self but having the Dean and Councilor from Morris Behavioral School here to tell us about what their mini grant has achieved, opened the door for other projects with them. It looks like Junior Achievement could be a good offering for the students at Morris, there is also a good possibility we could restart our book project there also. It’s amazing how one little think can lead into another, when I scheduled the Junior Achievement speaker and the people from Morris I never thought about how this all could connect.
Great programs and speakers are one of the things that make the weekly meetings interesting, so if you attend another groups meeting and hear a good speaker please get their information so we could have them speak to us. I have no problem in contacting people to get them to come and present their program to us. We are looking for programs that inform, are of community interest, help with self-development, are entertaining and in general people will enjoy. Good programs are like a good wine they are meant to shared, so don’t keep them a secret.
This year membership is our big push to help regrow our outstanding club; Tom Akers will be our newest member on his induction this week or next. We have the potential this year to achieve a 25-50% growth in members with only a little effort. Share Rotary with your friends and business connections, why should you be the only one enjoying the good feeling from providing service to others, “share it”.
This past Saturday morning I went to the Rotary Basic’s training class held at the UNLV Law School also there were Freda Brazier, Eric Center and David Cabral, and I thank them for attending. I found the information presented in the membership session to be new and very enlightening, to put in a nutshell this ain’t your fathers Rotary. So we need to start selling in to potential new members in a different way, in a way that meets what they are looking for in community involvement. We also need to change what most of us think of as our elevator speech in selling Rotary to a prospective new member. We also need to engage all our members to help them develop into effective Rotary Leaders; there are several ways this can come about. Encourage them to attend the District Assembly training sessions to learn more about how the various areas of Rotary work, all training to Rotary members is free. Another way to help a member reach their potential is to assign them more responsibility so they have the opportunity to learn from doing.
Rotary International hired a well-known research company to find out what people who joined Rotary were looking for and what items were most important to them etc. in the coming weeks and months you will hear more about this as we reshape the club to attract energetic and younger members. This rest of this Rotary year and next will hopefully see this club become bigger and more involved in the community. Jay Ludwig is our newest member but he will be joined by Tom Akers in the next few weeks that is a 10% and we have the potential to double or triple that number with ease with just a little work. I’m asking you as members of the L.V. Central Rotary Club to help me make our group a force to be reckoned in our local community.
Today was the annual SOAR’s presentation down at the Clark County Government Center; this program is supported by all the clubs in the Las Vegas Area. For those of you who do not remember acronyms SOAR’s stands for Safety Officers Award Recognition and it is awarded to outstanding members in each organization such as FBI, Metro, and Fire Dept. etc. from each community in the valley. For Rotary this project is twofold one we pay tribute to the public servants who risk their lives to keep us safe and second it is a way for Rotary to gets its name out to the general public. This SOAR’s has always been a Public Relation project as much as anything and as we all know Rotary needs all the publicity it can get.
This week I hope to induct Jay Ludwick as our newest member until we induct our next new Rotary member. This is the year we will add 5 to 10 new members it is also the year we should reach out to our past members to see if can interest them in returning to our Rotary club. Many of our past members left because of commitment and with our three membership classes and new attendances requirements there no reason anyone can’t make it to Rotary. Invite a friend to our next meeting and share what you enjoy about Rotary with them.