District 5495 Youth Services News

Save the dates
RYLA 5495 Pinerock, the first of two RYLA High School programs scheduled for 2022, remains on board for Jan. 14-17, 2022 up in the beautiful pines of Prescott!
We have at this point approximately 70 students schedule to attend from through the district! Our adult volunteer list has been filled. Thank you amazing Rotarians! The young adults have stepped up yet again. Looking for an amazing weekend.
The second camp -- RYLA Pondersoa -- is scheduled for April 7-10, 2022 in Heber, Ariz.
Registration opens Jan. 3, 2022.  Go to ryla5495ponderosa.org for details.
By Brianna Rodriguez, D5495 Interact District Governor
Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
Our Interact District Council recently celebrated the completion of a successful Fall Leadership Conference at the end of October. We had meaningful and inspiring presentations from our Kenya/Mexico Ambassador Teams and from some of our own Assistant Governors.
Next, our District Council will begin planning our Interact District Conference which will be held on Feb. 26, at Centennial High School.
This past month, ASU Rotaract reached out to our Interact District to host a food drive competition between our Interact clubs in support of Hunger Awareness Week (11/14-11/20). ASU Rotaract will be awarding the club with the most pounds collected with both a pizza party and a certificate of recognition at our District Conference.
Another huge project that our District is currently implementing is a Virtual Blood Drive, with the help of the non-profit blood drive organizer Vitalant.
During the holidays, Arizona regularly experiences a huge shortage of blood for those in need. We’re encouraging our Interact Clubs to reduce this shortage by signing up for the Virtual Blood Drive (Nov. 24th-Jan. 7th) through our website (https://www.rotaryazinteract.org/blood-drive).
A total of 100 blood donations would help 300 patients! If we all teamed up on this one project, imagine how much of an impact we could make!
The Interact Club with the most completed blood donations will earn FREE registration to our Interact District Conference in February. More information about this project and how it works can be found on our website.
Lastly, it has been an amazing year for our clubs so far!
  • Barry Goldwater Interact volunteered at a raptor rehabilitation center and disposed of 2,400 pounds of debris!
  • BASIS Scottsdale Interact recently raised over $400 by selling custom donuts donated by Dunkin Donuts for our Purple-Pinkie Project!
  • Washington High School Interact is in the process of sewing 200 scarves for Andre’s House, while also participating in other projects such as lunch bag decorating for H.E.L.P who provides lunches to children experiencing homelessness/hunger.
  • Mohave Interact has also been busy with highway clean ups, unloading trees for their “Operation Cool Shade”, and bonding with their club members by having a friendsgiving!
To continue to keep up with our Interact Clubs, follow us on Facebook (Interact District 5495 Council) or Instagram (@interactaz5495).
Submitted by PDG Art Harrington, D5495 Interact Chair.
The District 5495 Interact Council is kicking off its Virtual Blood Drive and invites all Interact clubs to join the holiday campaign.
So far, three Interact Clubs have already signed up to participate in this drive to help us to bring together blood donors to save lives during this holiday season, where blood is always in such short supply.  These three front-running clubs are the Canyon View HS. Basha HS and Prescott HS Interact Clubs.  Congratulations to these three for leading the way!!
Please first sign up your own Interact club to participate, and then make phone calls to your other assigned Interact calls to persuade them to sign up also.  Remember that the club achieving the most blood donations by January 7th will get FREE REGISTRATION for each of their club members (a $30 per member value) for our Interact District Conference at Centennial High School in Peoria on February 26.
It is EASY to sign up, and it is not too late.  Clubs can, in fact, sign up at any time.  Just use this link:  https://www.rotaryazinteract.org/blood-drive  I encourage you to sign up your club NOW, before you forget.
See the attached flier for additional information.
Contact EAG Jackson Hamblin, our Interact Virtual Blood Drive Chair, if you have any questions. Jackson's phone number is (602) 509-3694, and his email address is jackson.hamblin@me.com
Submitted by Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Chair  

It is time for Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) Dictionary Project!  

Despite the internet, dictionary use is still a needed skill. Dictionaries are important in the digital age because they help children understand the meanings of words; learn the English language and spell words correctly; follow instructions;  and carry on conversations. 

The more words a child knows, the better the child will be able to understand and connect with other people.  Since 2003, each school year, RCSL promotes literacy and forges connections with young people through the Club’s Dictionary Project. 

The Dictionary Project, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995, has the goal to assist all students to become good writers, active readers and creative thinkers by providing students a gift of their own personal dictionary. The dictionary is filled with more than just terms and definitions. It often represents the first personal book these children are given and contains mini encyclopedia filled with maps; sections on world geography, civics, math conversion tables, science, the water cycle, planets, the constitution, bill of rights, presidents, largest word and even has illustrations for sign language and braille.  

Annually, RCSL provides the purchasing, preparation and delivery of “A Student's Dictionary” with book mark to 3,000-plus all the 3rd Grade Students in Chandler Unified School District, approved Private Schools, Indian Reservations, and Title 9 Schools. To date the RCSL has distributed over 54,000 dictionaries. 

As part of the preparation, over 20 RCSL, members of the Chandler Horizon’s Club, friends and families recently held a sticker party and readied 3,078 dictionaries for delivery to CUSD schools.    

Some quotes from teachers:  “Please know that you have touched the lives of our students in a very meaningful way” and “The gift of knowledge is the most precious gift of all.”  The happiness and wonder on the kiddo’s faces is the gift we Rotarians receive. 

To quote some students from their thank you notes: “The longest word is really cool.”  “That was nice of you to spend your money on the dictionaries for us!”  “I will always think of the Rotary Club giving all third graders such a useful gift.”  “You’re the best people ever.  Keep doing what you do best.”

For more information about RCSL – see www.sunlakesrotary.com
The City of London/London Bridge Rotary Educational Foundation (COL/LBREF) provides scholarships to deserving students attending Arizona Colleges and Universities for summer study at the University of Westminster in London England.
COL/LBREF was formed by the London Bridge Rotary Club, located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, to administer the scholarship program. The City of London Arizona Educational Trust, Inc. (COLAET) has operated the scholarship program since its inception in 1991.
The Corporation of London formed COLAET in 1991 for the expressed purpose of enhancing the bond of friendship between the State of Arizona and the Corporation of London. The proceeds of the sale of an authentic English PUB, located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, were used to initially fund the Trust, which had a seven-member Board of Directors, including two from the United Kingdom, one a former Lord Mayor of London. In 2005, the London Bridge Rotary Club (Lake Havasu City) assumed operation of the scholarship program.
Scholarship awards include airfare, tuition, room and a small cash allowance. London is very expensive and selected students will need to save personal funds before leaving for London.
Students have the opportunity to meet the sitting Lord Mayor of London and to attend a meeting of the City of London Common Council.
Students attend classes for three to four hours per day and have numerous field trips related to their chosen field of study, which include Creative Writing, History, International Relationships, Law plus many others.
The University of Westminster Summer School Program (www.wmin.ac.uk/libarts) is renowned for bringing together students from all over the world. This enables Arizona students to experience the excitement of London and get to know people from many diverse cultures at the same time. Student classes last for three weeks, usually beginning in early July and return to Arizona in early August. Students can extend their stay in London, at their own expense, if they choose to do so.
Please go to the Westminster web site (www.wmin.ac.uk/libarts) for more details of classes and housing.
In  May  COL/LBREF will host an orientation meeting for selected students and their parents in Lake Havasu City, Arizona where you will meet former students and parents. Attendance at this meeting is mandatory.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an Arizona College or University and have COMPLETED the Freshman year. You must complete the attached application and write a one or two page essay describing how you think you will benefit from this experience. You must also send two letters of recommendation and forward a copy of your college transcript. Hard copies of these four documents must be sent to the following address by DECEMBER 30, 2021. Email is not accepted. Selected students will be notified before MARCH 1, 2022.. More Information, Student reports from prior years and this application are available at LB Rotary web site (www.londonbridgerotary.com)
Disclaimer; As of this date we believe the live summer school will be head by the University of Westminster and we think travel will safe. Obviously, many factors could change this situation and plans may have to altered or cancelled on short notice.


PO BOX 549
Lake Havasu City Arizona 86405
More information www.londonbridgerotary.com
RYLA Pinerock is now accepting applications for Student Delegates, Junior Counselors and Adult Volunteers.
As we were not in person last year, we really want to make this year a great success as we return to on site RYLA!  Applications can be completed at  ryla5495.org. Please reach out to your local schools and Interact clubs to help spread the word.
All adult volunteers must have received the Covid-19 vaccination.  
Student applications will close soon so please reach out!  Also, we are hoping to participate in the Meal Packing service project again this year with Manzanita Outreach (RYLA Pinerock in 2020 packed over 45,000 meals!).  We depend upon the contributions of the wonderful Rotarians in this district to help supplement the costs needed to make the meal packing project happen at RYLA -- it's a win-win all the way around. 
If you are interested in making a tax credit donation, you may do so at the link listed on the RYLA website above. 
If you have any questions, please reach out to the RYLA Pinerock program Chair Tammy Sabinsky at 623-640-0838.  Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the youth of our community !!
The Rotary Club of Sedona Village held its first Youth Salute Awards Ceremony, Wednesday evening September 22, 2021, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center.

Four local high schools were asked to nominate candidates: Verde Valley, Mingus, Camp Verde & Sedona. The students from the junior class were nominated for their exemplary leadership skills and needed at least a B average.

Forty Students were nominated among the schools. Nominees completed an application and submitted an essay to participate. Rotary Club members and volunteers interviewed each candidate, who were asked to treat the process as a professional interview. The top nine candidates were selected to compete for the Award.

At the Awards evening, moderated by Sara Crosby, the nine candidates were sequestered and one by one called back to answer an impromptu question for two minutes in front of the audience and a panel of judges.

The judges included: Heather Hermen, President of the Rotary Club of Sedona Village (RCSV), Jennette Bill, Past President RCSV, Dr. Tina Redd, Dean of the Verde Valley District, Yavapai College, & Eric Young from Rotary Club of the Verde Valley. The judges then chose four winners after comparing notes and deliberating.

While the judges were deciding the winners, Patrick Schweiss, Artistic Director of the Sedona International Film Festival & Mary D. Fisher Theatre addressed the audience for 15 minutes about leadership and shared his experience.

The four winners are usually awarded an all-expense paid trip to the annual National Council Youth Leadership Conference, “Town Meeting on Tomorrow” at the University of Washington, St. Louis. Because of COVID this year the in-person conference has been cancelled. Instead, the winners are invited to a four-hour Zoom leadership meeting October 21, 2021.

In addition, The Rotary Club of Sedona Village awarded $500 to each finalist. The official name of the program sanctioned by the National Council of Youth Leadership is Rotary Club of Sedona Village Youth Salute. Youth Salute has been implemented in communities across the country.

See www.ncyl.org for complete details about the program.

(Photo: Three of the four winners with President Heather Hermen. (One of the winners competed remotely)
After a long hiatus because of the pandemic, in person RYLA Ponderosa is back! 

Originally scheduled for October 8-11, 2021, it has been moved to the Spring 2022, April 7-10.  This will give staff more time to promote the program, and more time for the current COVID picture to improve.
Our website is ryla5495ponderosa.org.  Please contact Sherry Mischel at sherryfmischel@outlook.com or John Wintersteen at jdwintersteen@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.
Thank you!
RYLA Ponderosa Staff
ASU Rotaract this summer successfully initiated a “Traveling Trophy” fundraiser, a project they hope to reintroduce every year moving forward.
The fundraiser acts as a friendly competition amongst various Rotary clubs to raise money for a non-profit organization. The Rotary club with the highest donations overall receives a trophy to champion until the next Traveling Trophy fundraiser!
The trophy, a lovable little robot, was donated by a Rotarian who hoped to see this tin companion be used in a donation drive for veterans.
For this iteration of the Traveling Trophy fundraiser, the organization of choice was Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF). This non-profit organization is dedicated to helping in physically and emotionally healing veterans through fly fishing as well as various educational activities and outings.
For veterans suffering from PTSD, the solace of calm waters and companions who can relate to their experiences is a godsend. Tying fishing line also helps those with prosthetic limbs exercise their motor skills. The major positive impact that PHWFF has had on numerous lives couldn’t have been made possible without the help of generous donations and volunteers.
For this reason, ASU Rotaract is proud to announce that over $1,000 in donations were raised to help PHWFF. In addition to that, Tempe South Rotary Club was the reigning king of the fundraiser, providing the most donations out of all participating Rotary clubs.
ASU Rotaract hopes to have another successful launch of this fundraiser next year! For that, any candidate suggestions for non-profit organizations to fundraise for would be greatly appreciated.
Contact ASU Rotaract at asu.rotaract@gmail.com to send in your suggestions.
If you’d like to learn more about Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, check them out at https://projecthealingwaters.org/.