Blood Clinic
Thanks to everyone who attended and volunteered at our Spring Blood Clinic!
The Scoop - May 2, 2022
LifeWise Academy is bringing religious and character education to students.
In 1952, the Supreme Court ruled that students can be released from school during the school day for religious instruction provided it is off campus, privately funded and that the students have parental permission. That ruling is the basis for LifeWise Academy's mission of providing Bible based character education during the school day. Our own Derek Stemen is LifeWise Academy's new Director of Advancement and he told us that a group in Van Wert began providing religious programming to students in 2012. Within three years, 95% of the elementary students were attending. The program quickly grew to the middle and high school students. In 2018 the Van Wert group decided to expand the program to the rest of the country and LifeWise Academy was formed. LifeWise partners with churches and other organizations to find locations nearby schools which allows students to easily walk to and from their religious classes. The benefits to students are character development, improved mental health, better academic performance and family and community involvement. Derek says LifeWise Academy's goal is to take its program to every school system in the country.
Also at Monday's meeting, we presented a check for $436.73 to Samaritan House from the proceeds of last quarter's Rottery drawings. We also welcomed Shelby Koenig to the Lima Rotary Club. She is an enrollment counselor at Bluffton College. Please say hi to Shelby and make her welcome.
Plunge For Polio
Are you ready to take a plunge for polio?
Last week, we celebrated World Immunization Week by kicking off an additional effort to raise funds for Rotary's PolioPlus initiative. We are closer than ever to eradicating this horrible disease and we're asking Lima Rotarians to help with our first ever Plunge for Polio event.  
At our May 23rd club meeting, we will be selecting Rotarians to sit in a dunk tank to raise funds for polio. If you do not want to be selected to sit in the dunk tank, then you can purchase an immunity ticket for $20 at our next two club meetings. Thank you for helping us eradicate polio by taking a Plunge for Polio.
Reverse Raffle
Get your tickets now for the Jay Begg Reverse Raffle.
The Lima Rotary Club's Jay Begg Reverse Raffle takes place on June 2 at the Allen County Fairgrounds. It's a fun night with games, dinner, silent auction, great fellowship, and your chance to win part of the $10,000 in cash prizes that will be handed out. It's also a big fundraiser for the Lima Rotary Club so we encourage you to buy a ticket even if you can't attend. Tickets are just $100 and are available from Katy or Cat.
Avenues of Service Awards
We are looking for nominations for the Lima Rotary Club's Avenues of Service Awards.
Every year the Lima Rotary Club recognizes individual club members for outstanding Club, Community, International, Vocational, and Youth Service. These awards were named for past presidents who represented those avenues of service in their daily lives. Those include:
the Rex Perry Club Service Award,
the Rudolph Community Service Award,
the Goodnight International Service Award,
the Wemmer Vocational Service Award and, 
the Hulsken Youth Service Award.
Please take a few minutes to nominate fellow club members for the awards; the Board of Directors will select the winner in each category. Email your names and categories to The winners will be recognized at the Changing of the Guard on June 27.
Here is the criterion for each category of award and the list of past winners.
Youth Exchange
Rotary Youth Exchange creates connections between Venezuela and the United States.
By Anniela Carracedo, member of the Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, United States and Rotary Youth Exchange Alumna
When I decided to become a Rotary Youth Exchange student, I had no idea how much it would change my life and the lives of everyone around me.
In 2017, I was invited to the Interact Club of Valencia, followed by my parents, who joined the Rotary Club of Valencia. I joined the club because I wanted to make a difference in my local community. I had seen Venezuela go from being one of the healthiest countries in Latin America to experiencing one of the worst humanitarian and economic crises in the modern world. Today it is considered the second-largest refugee crisis in the world, according to UNHCR. I wanted to help, but I didn't know how; Interact turned out to be the perfect combination of service and fun.
Then, I learned about the Rotary Youth Exchange program. I immediately applied and was selected to become a goodwill ambassador in the United States. Unfortunately, due to my country's complex situation, participating in an exchange program was and still is a challenge. However, our 2019 district Youth Exchange chair, Francisco Padilla, made it possible for 70 of us to become exchange students. In my case, I had to cross the dangerous border between Colombia and Venezuela on foot to get my visa, because early that year, Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with the United States.
When I arrived in District 6840 in Mississippi, United States, I realized the true impact of Rotary International. I left my comfort zone, learned a new language, immersed myself in American culture, and shared my own culture in return. I told the community about Venezuela. They fell in love with my country. The local Interact club at Hancock High School joined an international project called Hope for Venezuelan Refugees, led by Cristal Montañez, a Rotarian from the eClub of Houston, Texas, United States. Eventually, the entire high school in a small town in Mississippi was collecting shoes, socks, and hats for Venezuelans leaving my home country and walking on the same path I did earlier that year in Colombia.
I took my role as a goodwill ambassador seriously. First, I presented about Venezuela to at least 20 classrooms in my American high school. Later, I moved on to Rotary clubs! I spoke to the majority of the clubs in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi.  Just as we were collecting donations, the whole world came to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the work was done, the connections were created.
District 6840's 2019-2020 district governor, Robert Haeuser, led the efforts to donate to the projects that my Interact club in Valencia, Venezuela, was working on to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, district designed funds were sent to help three organizations that the Interactors partnered with:
  • Fundación Panchito Mandefua (Panchito Mandefua Foundation) was supplying food and medicine to patients and doctors in the hospital. As there was a severe gas shortage, the volunteers rode their bikes to bring the food and medication during the lockdown. They were feeding over 100 people every day.
  • Guacara fire station. The fire department didn't have the resources to respond to the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic. They had one ambulance unit and one rescue unit for a town with 200,000 people. The firefighter didn't have shoes or the required response equipment and supplies.
  • Home Shelter “Muchas Manos” provided a home for more than 58 children from birth to 18 years old, including teen mothers, young people with cognitive disabilities, and those no longer attending school. In addition, they feed over 100 children in the community.
Over 2,214 miles away, our efforts impacted at least 1,000 people in Valencia, Venezuela.
Now, the clubs and districts have built a strong relationship, which I hope will lead to a global grant in the future.
It all started with me, just one Interactor, who decided to become an exchange student and had Rotarians who believed in and supported youth programs.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of blog posts in celebration of Youth Service Month. Learn more about how Rotary is developing the next generation of leaders.

Upcoming Events
Jay Begg Reverse Raffle
Allen County Fairgrounds
Jun 02, 2022
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
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May 09, 2022 12:00 PM
National Police Month
May 16, 2022 12:00 PM
Recognition and Awards
May 30, 2022
Happy Memorial Day!
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