Hood River Rotary
Service above self
Giving back to our communities

Community service

Hood River Rotary Club prides itself on community service. We raise funds to award nearly $40,000 in scholarships each year to local youth. We hold annual events, and all of the money goes back into the community - and to Rotary projects around the world.

Giving back to our communities

Giving back to our communities

Rotarians were there at the last Families in the Park free concert, to greet neighbors and friends, and hand our Rotary swag. Left to right: Bob Sharkey, Vern Mohlis and Chris Strader (along with President Emily Curtis and other Rotarians not pictured.)

Hood River Rotary is a sponsor/donor to Hood River County School District’s Community Education program, that hosts free and reduced cost events such as these, and offers services above and beyond what the school district sponsors. We are in this, together.

Causes we support

Everything Rotary does is to benefit the community. When you enjoy Rotary Ski Night for $20 or donate a ticket, funds go back to support Gorge community projects in Oregon, and international Rotary projects that help others. We host a variety of fundraisers each year. Please support deserving Rotary causes!

Rotary scholarships are here!

Rotary scholarships are here!

Our largest beneficiary every year is local youth - our future leaders. Hood River Rotary Club delivers annual scholarships -roughly $30,000 to $38,000 per year to help local kids expand their horizons and take on the world.

Speaking of horizons, congrats to the Horizon Christian School graduating class, pictured here - and to HRV (Hood River Valley High School) and the rest of you, working so hard in school this year.

We can’t wait to see where you’ll take our planet.

Zen of community service.  Next project - world peace?

Zen of community service. Next project - world peace?

I cannot say that picking up garbage is a solution for world peace.

But I can say that we all came together on a Saturday morning to improve our local community, at least in one small way, and we had fun doing it.

- Erick Haynie, Former President, Hood River Rotary Club

Roll up your sleeves - and watch the magic happen

Roll up your sleeves - and watch the magic happen

The community came together to help rebuild beloved Children’s Park. Our Rotary Club was proud to organize volunteers and many of our members get in and got dirty. And together, we made magic happen.

The best part about community service is the relationships you build with other volunteers and partner organizations. We came together, we built…. and now all that hard work and good intention, will pay off. Children’s Park reopens September 22. Be there.

Parkdale Elementary thanks Hood River Rotary

Parkdale Elementary thanks Hood River Rotary

We were proud to help Parkdale with their new fitness trail and fitness stations project. 

Parkdale Principal Gus Hedberg (pictured with a giant thank you card from Parkdale school kids) and Jon Davies shared results about Rotary’s community service project at Parkdale Elementary.

By the numbers:

$17,000 project

$5000 donated by Hood River Rotary

$2000 donated by Rotary District 5100

Over $10,000 more donated by Parkdale PTO

600 linear feet of trail

9 pop out exercise stations.

103 2x6x16 boards moved lovingly by Rotarians

4400 square feet of ground cloth

Over 4000 cubic feet of bark chips

72 volunteers – 500+ volunteer hours

30 volunteers on Saturday

42 volunteers on Sunday

17 Rotarians involved

10 more on Monday and throughout the week

Dozens of kids moving bark chips!!!

Special thanks to:

Michael McElwee and Dave Bick for pre-planning

Dale Kuykendall from Wenaha Group

Klein Surveying

Don Benefield from Hood River County SD

Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club

Hood River Supply for Tractor operations and concrete

Bryant Pipe and Supply

Adam and Staci McCarthy for the tractor

Thank you Cardinal Glass

Thank you Cardinal Glass

What a great local company - that supports our local community, local kids and Rotary Golf Tournament.

Thanks to Cardinal Glass, our golf tournament dollars raised go directly to support local kids pursuing their dreams.

Our biggest Rotary donation each year is scholarships for deserving kids. We could not do it without our sponsors.

Hood River Peace Pole at Jackson Park

Hood River Peace Pole at Jackson Park

Installed and dedicated 4/21/17.

Photo: Rotarian Chelsea Marr

Rotary Ski night - where the money goes

Rotary Ski night - where the money goes

MLK weekend - come ski or board with us! Or enjoy the restaurant / bar and watch the snow come down.

Either way, you can buy a low cost Rotary Ski Night lift ticket and it’s a donation to a great cause. Money raised goes right back into the community.

Here we are at Mount Hood Meadows on Rotary Ski Night, led by Rotarian Mike Schock (Center, green jacket.)

Among the larger Hood River Rotary commitments:

$40,000 annually in local scholarships

Every Hood River 5th grader gets a dictionary

$10,000 a year to fund community requests

Rotary Skate Park

Hood River Library renovation

Hood River Library Garden restoration

Hood River Library Garden Pergola

Providence Hood River expansion

Odell/Fairgrounds Emergency Helipad

Next Door building purchase/renovation

Service projects, road clean up, volunteer labor

Rotary International Foundation (projects like eradicating polio and clean water projects in third world counties.)

The Rotary work out

The Rotary work out

Also known as elbow grease. Here, the crew is cleaning up the courtyard and laying a new paved patio space for kids at Mid Valley Elementary School.

Photos: Rotarian Mike McElwee

Heavy lifting!

Heavy lifting!

Rotary service project at Hood River Middle School.

The guy in the middle right, pointing at the tractor does most of the work- organizing - that's Michael McElwee, Exec. Director of Hood River Port. He's joined by hard-working committee Co Chair Jack Miller.

The rest of us just show up.

We installed our 2nd Peace Pole in Hood River this April

We installed our 2nd Peace Pole in Hood River this April

It's part of an international movement to remind everyone - we're all in this together. May Peace Prevail on Earth. Rotary works internationally to help promote and encourage peace.

Conflict and violence displace millions of people each year. Half of those killed in conflict are children, and 90 percent are civilians. 

Rotarians refuse to accept conflict as a way of life. Rotary projects provide training that fosters understanding and provides communities with the skills to resolve conflicts.

Awesome service volunteers!

Awesome service volunteers!

Rotarians left to right:

Heidi Begot, Jack Miller (Service Committee Co Chair,) Dave Bick, John Kasberger, a school volunteer and Paul Crowley.

Photos: Rotarian Mike McElwee

Givers, every one.

Givers, every one.

Pete Fotheringham and his wife Carol York are givers. Pete was recently awarded a Paul Harris Fellow +2. That means they have given, significantly, more than twice, to Rotary International. The greatest achievement globally for this charity is the near eradication of polio - through a targeted international vaccination campaign.

Thank you, Pete. From your friends and admirers at Hood River Rotary Club. And your beneficiaries all around the world.

 

Companies that give back - Hood River Garbage

Companies that give back - Hood River Garbage

Every year, generous sponsors help support Rotary events and causes. We couldn't do it without them.

Companies like Hood River Garbage step up to help us raise money that goes right back into the community.

Please support them for supporting us. We're in it together.

hard working Rotary volunteers!

hard working Rotary volunteers!

Prep work for the Mid Valley school courtyard project.

Photos: Rotarian Mike McElwee

Mid Valley school project

Mid Valley school project

Rotarian John Kasberger and friends!

A job well done!

A job well done!

Look at the finished courtyard improvement at Mid Valley Elementary ScHool. Go, Rotarians!

Thank you for helping us help our community.

Thank you for helping us help our community.

Here in Hood River, across the county and abroad.

Santa is a Rotarian.

Santa is a Rotarian.

Of course he is!

Here he is, arriving from the North Pole to Hood River for our annual Rotary Kids Christmas Party.

We mourn the loss of a remarkable man and Rotarian - Don Benton

We mourn the loss of a remarkable man and Rotarian - Don Benton

There are those people

that come along,

quite by accident

or maybe no accident at all.

They change your life

and the lives of all you know.

No fanfare.

Just there for others, helping them on their way.

They are selfless,

the soul of the community.

Giving is what they do.

Giving - not for credit, but for joy - for the gift of giving.

They walk not with pride, but with humility.

They are the people we long to be.

 - Rotarian Barb Ayers - see the full photo essay HERE

 

We've renamed our annual Rotary golf event the Don Benton Memorial Golf Tournament and we're opening a Don Benton Rotary charity fund to carry on his remarkable life of Service Above Self.

2017 Peace Pole project

2017 Peace Pole project

Rotarian Steve Schmidt led the project (left) as President Joe holds the Peace Pole we installed a couple weeks later at Jackson Park.

Hood River Peace Pole stands tall to remind us of a better way

Hood River Peace Pole stands tall to remind us of a better way

The Hood River Peace Pole contains the message in eight different languages, representing the countries of our exchange students through the years. English, Spanish, Chinese, Thai, French, Indian, Danish, and Swiss.

Rotarians Left to right:

Steve Schmidt, Joe Guenther, Don Benton, Steve Wheeler and Aryan Argrawal, our Rotary exchange student from India.

Not pictured: Peace Committee member Chris Strader and photographer Chelsea Marr.

Annual kids Christmas party!

Annual kids Christmas party!

One of the highlights each year is hosting a lunch with kids from local schools at the Rotary Kids Christmas Party.

Every kids goes home with a gift - and they give the gift of their youthful enthusiasm back to us. We adults go home with the real gift - that's Rotarian Dave Simon in the middle, enjoying the fun.

Photo: Rotarian Terri Vann

Griffith Motors gives back

Griffith Motors gives back

Griffith Motors dangles a little incentive to play your best game at the annual Rotary Golf Tournament - an amazing prize for a hole in one golfer.

Good luck, everyone!

Rotarian Jon Davies ringing the bell for Salvation Army

Rotarian Jon Davies ringing the bell for Salvation Army

In his spare time, when he isn't an insurance broker... or a Port Commissioner.

Helping local kids follow their dreams

Helping local kids follow their dreams

These are high school grads who just won scholarships from our 2017 Rotary Scholarship Program - they won $32,000 in scholarships from Hood River Rotary!

It's a grueling application process - and we are always amazed by the talents that we find in deserving student each year. Talents we're happy to applaud - and support.

At our June 1 meeting, we met the winners. Pictured left to right: Rotary President Joe Guenther, Kloee Brown, Deyland Gudiel, Morgan Graves, Pico Sankari, Abigail Walker, Symeon Walker, Ricardo Valdoninos, Luke Holste and Rotary Scholarship Chair, Ken Apland.

Photo: Rotarian Barb Ayers

Rotary kids Christmas Party

Rotary kids Christmas Party

One of our favorite events of the whole year- we host kids from local schools at a meeting - and guess who comes to town, to help us celebrate? 

Peace and community service - one person, one country at a time

Local high school student Deylan Guidel was the 2016-17 Hood River Rotary exchange student to a small town in India. He lived with a local family and took his Rotary commitment to Service Above Self an extra step. He approached Adharashram Orphanage about teaching art to young residents. The result was a little bit of magic.

Deylan just returned and shared highlights of his trip abroad with Hood River Rotarians. Here's his YouTube.

For information on the orphanage visit: adharashram.org

Deylan is one reason why Rotary has long believed in youth exchanges and global peace projects in other countries. Building understanding- peace- and lifelong friendships, one person, one family at a time.

Giving back.

Giving back.

Rotarians were there at the last Families in the Park (free concert in Jackson Park,) to show our support of Hood River County School District’s Community Education program.

Rotarians (left to right) Bob Sharkey, Vern Mohlis and Chris Strader handed out Rotary swag and shoot hands, along with President Emily Curtis.

Hood River Rotary Club is a sponsor of Families in the Park, a feel good community event that brings us all together.