Community Service Opportunities

Young boys and girls throughout the state will be able to attend their high school prom this spring without having to spend a single penny on purchasing needed attire thanks to the efforts of Arizona Rotarians.
Beginning at the end of March and continuing the first weekend in April, The Prom Closet – a project spearheaded by the Peoria North Rotary Club -- will provide formal prom attire to boys and girls at absolutely no charge.
This year’s Prom Closet takes place 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 25-26 and April 1-2. 
The event takes place at the Glendale System of Care Center, 7677 W. Bethany Home Road, in Glendale.
All high school teens are invited. There are no financial requirements and no application to be completed. All items are available at absolutely no cost.
The Prom Closet has thousands of formal prom dresses to choose from, as well as shoes and accessories. In addition to women’s clothing and accessories, items available to men include shirts, slacks and ties.
The program was initially created 12 years ago by Mary Ann Baker, a founding member and past president of the Peoria North Rotary Club. The Peoria club assumed total oversight of The Prom Closet six years ago and is supported by volunteer Rotarians from Sun City, Glendale, Surprise and Phoenix.
“It’s really grown into a community-wide project,” said Donnis Deever, a member of Peoria North Rotary Club and chair of this year’s project.
“Not only do we have Rotarians from throughout the Valley, but we have many other residents who have joined on as volunteers – many of whom felt the impact of the program when their sons or daughters visited The Prom Closet in the past.”
There are no reservations needed, however, there may be a short wait depending on the amount of people in attendance. Rotary volunteers accompany students individually through The Prom Closet to assist them with their selections.
Formal attire is only available to students.
The event has steadily grown over the years as word continues to spread. Last year, nearly 400 students from 70 Arizona high schools were served.
“We had several students come from as far away as Winslow,” said Ms. Deever.
Rotary is an international service organization with members throughout the world. Eliminating polio is a major focus of the organization, but other areas of focus include improving literacy, providing sustainable fresh water and helping those in need.
“Rotary’s motto is ‘People of Action,’ and we think The Prom Closet lives up to that credo about as well as anything we can do,” said Vernon Bridges, president of the Peoria North Rotary Club.
All items – from the dresses to sport coats to shoes – have been donated to the club over the years.
Donations are currently accepted at several locations throughout the Valley. Ms. Deever can be reached at For more information and a complete list of drop-off sites, visit
Members of the Rotary Club of North Scottsdale recently helped build Welcome Kits for children at OCJ Kids who are going to group homes and don't have any items to bring with them.
The kits included personal items such as shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Rotarians also helped pack duffel bags for the children to take with them to their new foster homes. The duffel bags contain towels, blow up beds, sheets, pillows, hampers, shower curtains, blankets, plates, bowls, spoons and cups.
These children have nothing when they get to group homes or when they age out of foster care. This was a wonderful project for a great organization.
Rotarians are people of action helping others!
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale North recently donated playground equipment to the Desert Willow Elementary School, K1-6, in Cave Creek.
Shown in the photo with students are Rotarians Mike Jacoby and Linda Fulmore, the school Principal Brandie Baca-Dunlap, the PE teacher, and the school Assistant Superintendent.
This is another example of our Rotary Club at work doing good for their community!
Submitted by:  Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director
Rotary Club of Sun Lakes members completed several community service projects in November 2022. 
Per Rotarian Debbie Bailey, Chandler resident and RCSL Team lead, the RCSL, partnering with Sun Lakes Computer Booters, held its first Electronics Recycle Event November 5 in Sun Lakes.  The event was a success as close to 250 vehicles dropped off goods. AZStRUT filled "four" 18-foot trucks; nearly 20 RCSL members and ASU Rotaractors volunteered for some of the full 4 hours.  The Club is considering making this project an annual event.
During November 2022 RCSL Rotarians pledged $4,000 to Rotary International's Polio Plus Campaign.  Per Peter Meade, Sun Lakes resident and RCSL lead for this project, Rotary International, The World Health Organization, UNICEF and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Eradication initiative in 1988.  Since Rotary started the fight against polio, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent and reached more than 2.5 billion children with the vaccine.  Join RCSL in the fight against polio - see  < 
RCSL members and friends gathered in Sun Lakes to make wonderful cozy fleece blankets for little cancer warriors. The fleece (funded by RCSL members) blankets were donated to Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels organization. Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels is a nonprofit, support and educational organization founded in 2012 in celebration of Amanda Hope's life. The organization provides gifts to children diagnosed with cancer and other blood related disorders; supports healthcare professionals in providing person-centered care to children and their family with empathy and understanding; and helps families have voice and choice above the harsh protocols often present in the healthcare system.
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski, Foothills Focus Executive Editor
(Published in Foothills Focus)
Hope 4 Kids International’s Water 4 Kids International and the Anthem Rotary Club raised more than $12,000 for the impoverished Ariet Village, in remote Uganda, Africa, at the Walk 4 Water Anthem Fundraiser on Nov. 12. 
Anthem Rotary Club, a major sponsor of the event, supported the fundraising effort with a $5,000 donation.
That Saturday, 130 Walk 4 Water Anthem participants walked 2 miles around Anthem Community Park, the average one-way distance the women and children of Ariet Village walk to seek out water for their families’ survival. The village’s current water source is a swamp that is shared with local wildlife and completely evaporates during the dry season, leaving behind nothing but cracked earth and dust.
All proceeds raised by Walk 4 Water Anthem will support the drilling of a deep-water well in Ariet Village, which will provide safe, clean water from deep aquifers to Ariet and the surrounding villages, year-round. With proper installation these wells can last between 30 to 50 years with little to no maintenance.
In addition to drilling deep water wells, Water 4 Kids International also provides these communities with hygiene and sanitation education, as well as operation and maintenance training. Access to clean, drinkable water has an immediate impact on the health of these communities and prevents transmission of common diseases, like cholera and diarrhea.
“I think Arizonans think about the value of water on a daily basis,” said Dave Murphy of Anthem Rotary Club, which is partnering with Water 4 Kids International to promote and produce the event.
“We think of it as a precious resource for our future. But many people have been conditioned to take it for granted and expect it will always be there. And there are more than a billion people in the world who struggle every day to find the life-saving water they need.
“This is something we take for granted as Americans. Arizonans and Americans would hope that we never face that kind of future, but it’s important to recognize that people all over the world face these types of challenges every day.”
Water 4 Kids International is still accepting donations. Those who wish to contribute to the drilling of Ariet’s deep-water well can give here: 
On November 14th & 15th, Phoenix Rotary 100 members Lisa Henning Beohm and Stacy Bos distributed 450 dictionaries to the 3rd graders attending school on the Apache Nation reservation - this worthwhile project fits into the Phoenix Rotary 100 pillars and the RI basic education and literacy areas of focus.
This project was first started by the Sun City West Rotary Club several years ago and was transitioned to Phoenix Rotary 100 by Jim Dowler. As with so many other activities, the pandemic prevented the distribution of these dictionaries over the last two years. 2022 offered the opportunity to start things back up and Jim Dowler was ready to pass the baton over to project Chair Kathy Mitchell, who helped coordinate logistics and planning.

Over two days, Lisa and Stacy visited 10 schools throughout the White Mountain and San Carlos reservations, starting near Pinetop, AZ making their way south to the Globe area. With the help of the Wednesday evening Downtown Social Crew members of Phoenix Rotary 100, stickers were placed on the front inside cover of each dictionary highlighting the Rotary wheel and providing the ability for each child to write their name, personalizing their new dictionary. The schools ranged in size from 20 third graders up to 120!
Bulletin boards in schools highlighted the emphasis placed on the importance of reading. When visiting the classrooms, it was fun to engage the kids and ask if they liked to read, what their favorite books are, and see their enthusiasm for reading.
We were able to experience the joy of gifting these books to the children who, in return, shared their excitement at receiving them. Reading - not just for school but for life!
All children in the Verde Valley between birth and 5 years are eligible for a FREE age-appropriate book each month.  The Board of the VVIL is made up of members of our local Rotary Clubs, as well as local community members.  We are proud to support this organization both with monetary gifts and service.  This year we gave $9,750 in collaboration with all four Rotary Clubs in the Verde Valley and Sedona and The Rotary District 5495 Matching Grant.  The clubs involved in the 2022-23 District Grant are the Rotary Club of the Verde Valley (Cottonwood), Rotary Club of Sedona, and Rotary Club of Sedona Village.  The Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks also made a donation.
More information can be found at and
Larry Cervarich, a member of the Rotary Club of Verrado, has been inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society.
A long-time Rotarian and recipient of Rotary’s highest honor – The Service Above Self Award – Larry was inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony held in October at Talking Stick Resort.
A link to this year’s inductees can be found at:
Larry was born in Portland, Ore., in 1939 and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1967.
Larry’s civilian career was in food service – he owned a restaurant, commercial bakery and catering company in Portland.
After moving to Arizona in 2006, he founded two charities in the West Valley – Homeless Youth Connection in 2009 to support homeless youth, and 12 years later, Meals of Joys, which supports seniors with medical and financial issues.
Meals of Joy provides meals to seniors, delivered daily by volunteers. The nonprofit is projected this year to deliver 46,000 meals in nine West Valley cities.