Time marches on and so does the Rotary Club of Garrettsville-Hiram.  The meeting on June 22, 2015—first full day of SUMMER—featured reports from two young ladies who had participated in Rotary youth programs.

Megan Ryser was the local recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, which  took her to Baldwin-Wallace University for what she termed “a life-changing” experience.  It was all about being in a “judgement-free” atmosphere and encountering totally new people and interactions on the way to determining the paths to effective leadership styles.  The speakers, the small groups, the discussions of powerful issues all led up to the ultimate empathy experience of “Crossing the Line.” It was good in more ways than one.

Rachel Schwan has only just returned from her stint in Thailand as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student—in time to graduate with her class at James A. Garfield High School.  It was the experience of a lifetime for a person under twenty years old.  She was hosted by three families in the north of Thailand, out of the usual tourist-oriented world of Bangkok and away from the disturbances going on in the south of the country .  She encountered other exchange students, climbed a mountain, visited temples, learned about Buddhism, got to see and experience an ancient culture most Americans know not of.  She also got to deal with an educational system almost totally unlike the one she was accustomed to.  Some cooking was involved, some language learning, some becoming an individual able to handle challenges.  Rotarians perked up their ears when they heard of Thai Rotary meetings which lasted until midnight.  No takers here.

Next, the subject of SummerFest was dealt with.  The Rotary booth/canopy will be on Main St. in front of Geauga Vision and will be displaying an international theme, focusing on the Rotary Youth Exchange Program which the local club has been very active in supporting; look for the flags.  There will be a raffle going on during SummerFest,–drawing on Sunday– offering the public chances ($5.00 per ticket; 3 for $10.00) on two 1-day tickets to an adventure park—think, whitewater, thank Mike Keas– on the New River, West Virginia. Look for the pictures.  Plain ol’ bottled water will be available at the booth, with proceeds also going to support the Rotary-sponsored programs at home and abroad.

The Reverse Raffle in the fall will be handled by designated committees (tickets, food, advertising, etc)with Trish Danku at the helm.  Contact Ted Lysiak to get in on a sponsorship deal that will showcase your service/product/aims in the community.