District 5495 Youth Services News


This summer, ASU Rotaract successfully completed its second annual “Traveling Trophy” fundraiser, a project they hope to continue.

This 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 Arizona Veteran Fly Fishing (AVFF), a subset of 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 $2,000 in donations were raised to help AVFF. 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/.


Members of the newly created Rotaract Club of Lake Havasu recently attended a meeting with the Lake Havasu Rotary Club to provide an update on the Rotaract club's activities. Vice-President Rina Draper-Gione and President Roger Viscaino pose for a quick photograph.

Contact Alan Havir, Director, for any questions—alan.havir@gmail.com
Washington High School Interact Club scholarship recipients were recently treated to lunch by members of the Rotary Club of Sun City. The club received a number of personal thank-you notes from recipients thanking the club for its continued support of the school's Interact Club.

Submitted by: Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) supported the A World in Motion (AWIM) program, which was created by the Society of Automotive Engineers Foundation to get elementary students excited about math and science in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM.)

Two different competitions were held a Chandler Unified School District Fulton Elementary School.  Ten different classes at Fulton Elementary School worked in design teams to build, test, and race model balloon powered JetToy Cars and Gravity Cruiser Vehicles.   The JetToy cars were required to meet specific criteria to travel far and go fast. Jet propulsion, friction, air resistance, and design were the core scientific concepts students explored in this challenge. The Cruiser Gravity Vehicles design concepts included forces, Newton’s Laws of Motion, gravity, and engineering design,

On May 16 and 19, 2022 each competing class raced in the preliminaries where the top three teams in each class were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. Following the class races, the first-place winners raced for the Final Top Race Award. The medals were presented by RCSL/AWIM volunteers.  The RCSL AWIM Committee included RCSL President Jon Lyons, Club Event Chair Don Robins, and Rotarians/AWIM volunteers: Bill Giessing, Stan Klein, Bill Klein, Gary Kay, Ana Logan, Bill Crump, Val Crump, and ASU Polytechnic students Lauren Castillo ND Mikayla Castillo.  The Committee members, who are residents of San Tan Valley, Sun Lakes, and Chandler, were on site for weeks at the school to assist the students with the design, building, and testing their vehicles.

RCSL wishes extends a special thank you to the school’s faculty for letting RCSL to bring AWIM Program to Fulton Elementary School again.  All those involved noted that it is always a wonderful experience for the students. An updated school award plaque will be presented to Fulton Elementary Principal Shannon Hannon for placement in the school trophy bookcase for everyone to enjoy throughout the school year.

For more information about RCSL Education Programs and/or membership, see www.sunlakesrotary.com.

Several District 5495 Rotaract members were awarded Paul Harris Fellowships during the District Conference held May 13-14 in Prescott.
The fellowship is one of the highest honors in Rotary, and the Rotaractors were recognized for their work in establishing a State Rotaract Council this past year.
Recognized were Acacia Wastchak, Dora Lee., Jodi Beatrix Corrales, Valeria Gutierrez, Bridget MacDonald, Colton Cagle, and Leslie Balderas.
The winners of the 2022 Coronado Interact Club essay contest were announced at Coronado High School.  Twenty-four students submitted their creative writings on the topic, “what does ‘Service Above Self’” mean to me.
Many of the essays included very personal and heartwarming examples of “Service Above Self” and of their learning experiences at a young age on the importance of serving others who have greater needs than they have. 
Tom Mayer, the Rotary member who serves as the liaison with the Coronado Interact Club, officiated over the award ceremony. First place went to Kiara Bonner who received a $200 Visa gift card from the Rotary Club of Scottsdale.  Sara Aguilar received a $150 gift card for her second-place finish, and a gift card valued at $100 went to Mirna Macedo Gomez for her third-place entry. 
Receiving special recognition for his Honorable Mention essay was Malcolm James who received a $25 gift card.
All the entries were outstanding.  As a result, names of five students who submitted entries were randomly drawn and given a fresh new $10 bill.
In selecting the winners, the essays went through a double screening process.  First, members of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale identified the top six essays.   Then a second team of judges chose the final winners.  
Scottsdale community leader and professional writer Joan Fudela; Jeannette Griswold, the first woman president of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale; and Rotarian Tom Mayer served as the final judges. 
Joan Fudela’s comment after reading the essays was, “thank you for allowing me to be inspired by the next generation of community leaders and those who are already putting ‘Service Above Self!’  Our community and nation will be in good hands.”
The Coronado teachers supporting this essay contest and ensuring its success were Dr. JoAnn Markette, English teacher; Ian Stephan, Interact Club teacher advisor; and Serenity Ruiz, Interact Club teacher co-advisor.
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale is one of 46,000 clubs in the world having a total of 1.4 million individual members.  Each of those members are committed to providing “Service Above Self.”   It is hoped that some of the essay writers will someday become Rotarians and all will be inspired to give service to their community during their lifetime.  
Interact is a junior Rotary club for high school students.   There are Interact clubs at each of the Scottsdale Unified School District high schools. 

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) extends congratulations to the winners of the Rotary Club’s Annual 2022 High School Service Above Self Scholarships to:

* Sydney Braaten:  Sydney will graduate from Chandler Unified School District's Gilbert’s Perry High School after attending the high school all four years.  She has attended Chandler Unified Schools since kindergarten.  Sydney has held a variety of officer positions during her high school career including President of the Sparrow Club, Vice-President of “Women in Stem,” and Public Relations Officer for “Skills USA.” 

She is widely involved in community service organizations throughout Chandler including AZCEND, YMCA, Relay for Life, Sharing Down Syndrome and Feed My Starving Children to name just a few.  Sydney plans to attend University of Arizona in the Fall majoring in Microbiology and Business to pursue dentistry.  She is well on her way - having already achieved her Associates Degree through the dual enrollment classes taken at Perry.

Imaging Brockman:  Imaging will graduate from CUSD Gilbert’s Perry High School after attending the high school all four years.  She served as President of the Gilbert Lions-Leo Club and the Puma Pals this final year of her high school career and served her community in a variety of ways with multiple community organizations.  Most recently, she was instrumental in planning and coordinating the Prom event for Perry’s Special Needs students.  She is graduating in the top 5% of her class (Summa Cum Laude) and plans to attend Northern Arizona State University studying Psychology with the goal of becoming an Applied Behavioral Analyst

Brooklyn Acton-Myers: Brooklyn will graduate from CUSD Queen Creek’s Camille Casteel High School where she has been attending since 7th grade. She has attended Chandler Unified Schools since kindergarten.  She has served as the Team Captain for both the 2020 and 2021 season for Top Gun Cheer.  Brooklyn has spent the bulk of her service and volunteering serving as a cheer coach to 3-to-7-year old’s three times a week, as well as coaching cheer to students with special needs.  Brooklyn will be attending University of California San Diego (UCSD) studying Human Biology to become an orthodontist. 

According to the RCSL Scholarship Committee Chair, Leo Schlueter, the $2,000 scholarship payments will be sent directly to the school/university the student will be attending this Fall. A panel of judges, which included RCSL members Dr. Craig Gilbert and RCSL members/Sun Lakes residents Don Robins and Gary Kay, reviewed and scored applications from area high school seniors. Each application included a 300-word essay, which provided the student’s beliefs and understanding of what “service above self” means; teacher recommendations; and student academic standing data.  Also, RCSL’s selections were based on each student’s exhibiting exemplary acts of service and character. 

RCSL, chartered in 1986 with Rotary International, is a community leadership organization made up of men and women from local businesses, professional, education, civic and emerging leaders.  Rotary International has over 35,000 member clubs worldwide, with a membership of over 1.2 million individuals, known as Rotarians. To learn more about RCSL projects, programs and membership – see www.sunlakesrotary.com .