The final June meeting of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club was a busy one.

It saw the installation of the new 2015-2016 club president, Thomas Collins (Installing officer, Jim Irwin, Tom’s family in attendance),  and other club officers : Amy Crawford—treasurer, Mike Keas—sergeant–at-arms, Delores McCumbers—immediate past president (Secretary Ted Lysiak  will be installed at a later date).  The ceremony focused on the Objectives of Rotary, involving, at every level, the idea of service, through acquaintance, high ethical standards in business and professions, application of these ideals and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.

The program speaker was Greg Trask, from the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County District Library who gave  a brief outline of a new program being initiated at the library,  the “makerspace” .   This will enhance the library’s aims of providing materials and programs to the community by bridging technology gaps and  offering opportunities, tools, materials and a mindset embracing co-operative consumption and exploration.  Funds for this endeavor came through generous grants from the Hiram Community Trust and Garrettsville Eagles, Aerie 2706, a frequent supporter.  Current projects are in the areas of quilt-making (a cutter, software, patterns and the Piecemakers), scrapbooking (a cutter, designs, etc.), electronics (tools & a lab), bookbinding, jewelry-making, photo shop, video game design software, Little Bits, Legos—with more possibilities waiting in the wings.  Community input is welcome.  As a professional information organization, the library is proud and happy to offer new horizons for exploration and interest in the community.

Also in attendance was Stew Buchanan, of Akron, the assistant governor of District 6630 for the coming year.  He reminded the club that August  7 will be a Rotary baseball outing in Cleveland, with a parade and seating in the Terrace Club and a good time for all.  Also of interest is the fact that a record $200,000 has gone into the Rotary Annual Fund, marking an increase of 40,000 in membership of Rotary International.  Incoming president, Gary Wang, of Taiwan,  states that the motto for the 2015-2016 club year will be “Be A Gift to the World.”

Striving to fulfill that challenge, Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary added $347 to its coffers from the whitewater rafting raffle held during SummerFest to support international student exchange programs.  The local club has one incoming exchange student (Suphakrit Disthaphongphakdee) from Thailand and one outgoing exchange student—Kyle Collins (who’s already learning Japanese).

It was “business as usual” for the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club on July 6 at Cal’s II in Sky Plaza, Garrettsville.  Items of business were :

•  Carol Donley reported that the Rotary booth at Hiram’s 4th of July celebration saw plenty of community conversation and the winner of the lottery tree had donated back the winnings, causing the club to reach an $80 level of profit.

• The local club had recently received  the A.Z. Baker Award for attendance.

• Trish Danku announced the Reverse Raffle meeting, planning for this year and  focusing on improving procedures and increasing lead time for getting out information and getting commitments.  Time flies when you’re having fun!

• Tom Collins gave an update on the project involving the Headwaters Trail; he’s organizing Boy Scouts and upgrading information kiosks.

• The Nordonia Rotary Club is seeking donations to operate a local Safety Town; G-H Rotary is in for $50.

• The Jeremy Collins Foundation annual Golf Outing at Sugar  Bush Golf Club is coming up in August.  The foundation sponsors scholarships for students from LaBrae and Garfield school   districts as well as education on heart health issues.  Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary will be sponsoring a hole and inviting others in the community to join them through sponsorship, attendance & participation or simply enjoying dinner with friends.

• The process of beautifying signs at village entrances and features such as the fountain by the Boardwalk  is continuing.  This has involved co-operation with the Garden Club, Interact, the Garfield Marching Pride and others, in addition to the village maintenance crews.  Lilies and hostas have been key to this effort, captained by Delores McCumbers.

• Discussion with a positive cast centered around drawing up a schedule of projects which the club works on, outlining the title of the projects, the timelines involved, the funds—incoming and outgoing, the purposes to be served and the individuals heading up these projects.  This should aid in reviewing, updating and evaluating club activities in the future.

The invitation is out : visit Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary any Monday at noon in Cal’s II in the Sky Plaza, Garrettsville.  You could be a part of NEXT year’s membership growth.