The Scoop - September 21, 2020
At Monday's meeting we heard from five of our members who head nonprofit organizations about the difficulties they have faced because of the pandemic.
United Way
United Way sees opportunities from recent challenges.
Derek Stemen, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Lima took an optimistic approach with Lima Rotarians when discussing some of the difficulties his organization has faced due to COVID-19.
He said that unfortunately when disasters hit they normally effect at risk populations harder, COVID-19 was no different. Derek said he was very impressed with how the United Way, partner agencies, corporate donors, the faith community, and the public, came together to evaluate the situation and provide the necessary response. Two of the successes he shared were providing quarantine needs for individuals in both the homeless community as well as first responders such as police, fire and EMS. Also, Procter & Gamble came through with over 2000 gallons of hand sanitizer which was made available to hospitals, healthcare facilities and nonprofits.
Derek said on the downside, he projects fundraising to be off about 20% which could be in the area of $320,000. The United Way of Greater Lima supports 33 nonprofits in Allen County and he has vowed to do everything he can to continue to provide for their needs and the needs of our community. He said that normally, they provide $1.6 million annually for the Lima community.
One of the creative things they have done is to offer their giving campaign on an entirely virtual format. He said so far it has been a success and some people even prefer it. He also said that they have a program in place where people can choose to round up their coins when making purchases with credit or debit cards. For more information about this, go to their website at 
Lima Symphony Orchestra wants to play.
Lima Rotarians heard a tough report from Lima Symphony Orchestra Executive Director, and fellow Rotarian, Elizabeth Brown Ellis.
Elizabeth said that for the most part, the State of Ohio is open. You can go to a restaurant, church, or even see a movie, but symphony concerts are still not yet allowed to fully open due to extremely restrictive attendance regulations. Sadly, she expects this to remain in place until next summer.
She told us that jobs related to arts and culture in Ohio have been drastically cut. She estimated that 80,000 jobs have been lost. 47% of people who work in this industry are currently unemployed. She said that the Lima Symphony Orchestra has not performed since March. The LSO has obtained some loans and grants to Phil short term gaps, but she said this is not sustainable for the long term.
She said that the LSO is committed to keeping people safe while still looking for opportunities to share their music. They have conducted some online programs for schools and libraries which have been very successful and that they are planning and exciting program at the Vandel Drive In on November 28th. She said they can accommodate 500 cars. This is a new and inventive way to share their music with the masses. Elizabeth said, “We will not go dark!” 
For more information about the Lima symphony orchestra and upcoming events, or to make a donation, visit their website at
Civic Center
Tough times for the Civic Center.
CEO of the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center, Abe Ambroza, shared with the Lima Rotary Club a litany of challenges and difficulties his organization has faced due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. The majority of their programs have been canceled. Many private events, concerts, shows, and other presentations on the schedule never happened. However, he was happy to report that they have organized some giving campaigns including a telethon which was a huge success. They raised $70,000, far exceeding their goal. 
Although, this does not solve all of their problems. They have laid off many workers and are down to seven staff working part time only. However, Abe is extremely optimistic that things will get back to normal next year. Currently, they are looking for some help for a project in Crouse Hall to update the wiring/audio system. If you are interested in helping the Civic Center, contact Abe for more information. 
Abilities Playground
One playground down and one to go!
MRDD superintendent Teresa Schnipke along with Esther Baldridge, President of the Marimor Legacy Foundation gave Rotarians an update on the very exciting “All Abilities Playground” project.
Like most other nonprofits, their fundraising stalled out during COVID-19, however they are still moving forward to complete the second of two planned playgrounds designed specifically for children with special needs. 
The total of the two projects is 1.26 million with 75% raised so far. One playground located at Camp Robin Rogers is completely finished with outstanding results. Kids in wheelchairs can be seen playing on the merry-go-round with their friends, which has been quite an extraordinary experience for all.
The plan is to build a second park located at Marimor School and connected to the Johnny Appleseed Metro Park District at Ottawa Metro Park. 
There are various ways to give and you can go to for more information.
Boy Scouts
The Boy Scouts seek funding to help with programming.
Sydni Winkler, District Executive for the Black Swamp Boy Scouts of America echoed the sentiments of many of the other nonprofit directors. Unfortunately COVID-19 stopped a lot of their fundraising right in its tracks. She said they’re normally successful, “Friends of Scouting” campaign was not as successful in years past. Because of COVID-19, Boy Scout troops had difficulty meeting, so reaching out to families and community members for pledges was difficult.
However, she said they are trying to be creative by coming up with new and fun ways to obtain donations. She said they also produced a successful video to help boost fundraising.
She would like to invite the community to a pulled pork dinner fundraiser on September 25th at 3 PM at their office at 750 W. Robb Avenue Lima, Ohio with dinners provided by Fat Kid Barbecue. Tickets are still available.
Interact Club launches 2020-2021 school year at Bath.
The Bath High School Interact Club met on Sunday, September 20th at Bath High School. Thankfully, the beautiful weather allowed us to hold our meeting outside and conduct our business in the socially distanced sunshine.
We had a chance to talk about some of the challenges that we will be facing this year due to the COVID-19 virus, but all in attendance were in agreement that we should do everything we can to try to have another great year of service to our school and community.
Pins, certificates, and patches were passed out to last year’s members who obtained the minimum number of required volunteer hours.
Some of our upcoming events include assisting with the “All Ability Playground Fall Festival” at Marimor School on Saturday, October 17th, raking leaves for the elderly and disabled in Bath Township neighborhoods, and organizing a Hygiene Barrel Drive with the West Ohio Food Bank.
The Bath High School Interact Club would like to thank Lima Rotary for their ongoing support of our mission. Have an idea for the Interact Club students to get involved in our community? Call Chief Kitchen at 419-221-0550.
Bath High School Junior Kalie Kitchen received her pin and certificate from Advisor Missy Vandemark for the 2019-20 school year. She obtained the highest number of volunteer hours for the club and served as Interact Treasurer.
With your help we can eradicate polio.
I want to thank each of you for your continued support of Rotary’s PolioPlus initiative. We are making incredible strides in eradicating this horrible disease, but we need your continued support! Even a small contribution can help protect many children from this disease.
• $30 - provides 200 children with this lifesaving vaccine
• $60 - provides 300 children with this lifesaving vaccine
We are asking every Rotarian to consider donating at least $50 in our efforts to eradicate polio. We are also looking for creative items to auction. Every dollar donated will be matched with an additional two dollars by the Gates Foundation.
Visit the link below to donate or fill out the cards that are on the tables at our meetings and don’t forget to share this donation page with others. Together we can eradicate polio and save numerous children from this disease!
Thank you,
Derek Stemen & Keith Horner, PolioPlus Chairs
High Octane
The High Octane Drumline is back in action.
The Lima Rotary Club High Octane Drumline coordinator, Jesse Lowe was excited to get his kids back together again having fun and making music. Unfortunately, like many other activities, COVID-19 has made things complicated and has led to them to having a few less students currently.
On Tuesday night, they had a great practice session with seven kids and two instructors. Thank you Jesse for your dedication to these kids and this awesome project.
Sep 28, 2020 12:00 PM
Meatballs to Sushi: 42 Years in Lima's Restaurant Scene
Oct 05, 2020 12:00 PM
Midwest Shooting Center
Oct 19, 2020 12:00 PM
Oct 26, 2020 12:00 PM
District 6600 Governor
Nov 02, 2020 12:00 PM
Diversity & Inclusion
Nov 09, 2020 12:00 PM
My Asian Vacation
View entire list
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile