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Rotary celebrates 105th anniversary

Rotary celebrates 105th anniversary
(left to right): Donna Clark, Tim Bauer, Dick Capek, Elizabeth Rose, Dan Kavanaugh, Denise Gates, Mike Gates, Cindy Baas, and Carolyn Davis. Missing: Penny Darling, Shelley Bauer, and Michelle Andres

(left to right): Donna Clark, Tim Bauer, Dick Capek, Elizabeth Rose, Dan Kavanaugh, Denise Gates, Mike Gates, Cindy Baas, and Carolyn Davis. Missing: Penny Darling, Shelley Bauer, and Michelle Andres

Cedar Springs celebrated Rotary International’s 105th anniversary by honoring STRIVE mentors. STRIVE, a local Rotary service project, meaning Students with a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education, connects adult mentors with high school seniors to assist them on achieving their academic requirements and goals needed to graduate and take the next step following high school.

Rotary, a global network of community volunteers, is one of the largest and most influential international humanitarian service organizations worldwide. Founded in Chicago on February 23, 1905, today over 1.2 million members belong to 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

The Rotary Club of Cedar Springs honored STRIVE mentors during their Wednesday meeting at Hilltop School to thank them for helping make the STRIVE program a success in conjunction with Rotary International’s anniversary. Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.”

STRIVE mentors and Rotary Club members, all volunteers, conduct projects to address today’s humanitarian challenges, including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and environmental concerns while encouraging high standards in all vocations. Rotary members strive to build goodwill and peace, and provide humanitarian service in their communities and throughout the world. Cedar Springs joins Rotary clubs around the world to recognize the day, also known as Rotary’s “World Understanding and Peace Day.”

The Cedar Springs Rotary club took this opportunity to celebrate and recognize STRIVE mentors of our community who certainly exemplify both service and understanding.

Rotary STRIVE Committee Co-Chairpersons Carolyn Davis and Denise Gates cited a strong service-oriented mindset within the Cedar Springs community as the key to a successful STRIVE program.

“We have had many wonderful mentors over the past several years offer to encourage and support our students. This program has been successful due to the high level of support from business leaders and community members who have stepped up as mentors. Our Rotary Club is very grateful to the past and present STRIVE mentors,” explained Davis, who has chaired or co-chaired this program for the past six years.

The 2009-10 STRIVE mentors include: Shelley and Tim Bauer, Mike Gates, Donna Clark, Dick Capek, Elizabeth Rose, Cindy Baas, Dan Kavanaugh, Penny Darling, and Michele Andres.

Dan Kavanaugh, a 2009 CSHS graduate and the youngest STRIVE mentor spoke about his opportunity to pay-it-forward for Rotary. Kavanaugh, now attending Cornerstone University, decided to get involved in mentoring a student after winning a 2009 Life Leadership Scholarship from Rotary.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to Rotary and Cedar Springs Schools. I have connected with a fine young man and am enjoying the new friendship we have developed. My student and I have a lot in common and we are providing each other with support, encouragement, and advice,” said Kavanaugh.

“Meaning relationships are exactly what mentoring is all about,” explained Davis. “Mentoring is designed to be rewarding for both the mentee and mentor and hopefully establish a long-lasting friendship beneficial to both parties.”

Rotary’s top philanthropic goal is to eradicate polio worldwide. To date, Rotary has contributed nearly US$850 million and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries. Rotary is currently working to raise an additional $200 million toward a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These efforts are providing much needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment and educational materials for health workers and parents. In addition, Rotary has played a major role in decisions by donor governments to contribute over $4 billion to the effort.  If you would like to get involved with Rotary or the STRIVE Program cntact Club President Aaron Gauger (696-0010), Carolyn Davis (696-1939), Sue Wolfe (696-2246) or visit www.rotary.org.

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