April 11, 2017 was an outstanding meeting and one that embraces all that Rotary is about. Today we helped Amanda Warner celebrate becoming a US citizen! Amanda first came to the US in 2002 to work at our Rotary Camp as an international camp counselor from South Africa. She met her husband who was a lifeguard at camp Y-Noah and was married in 2004. Now, 15 years after arriving in the states Amanda is the Director of Volunteer Opportunities and Special Events for the Rotary Camp. Congratulations Amanda on becoming a US Citizen!
After Amanda, we heard from four more deserving Rotary Scholarship recipients who continue to remind us of the hope that we have in the next generation. As a parent, I love hearing from the students the impact that their moms, dads and teachers have on them and it encourages me to continue to be a better father.
Lastly, we heard from our presenter, Erin Victor of the Akron Snow Angels. Erin shared her passion for those in our community who have so little and how one person who decides to help, really can. We heard about the first time she went to volunteer to work with homeless people and how she was overwhelmed with a sense of compassion along with a sense a guilt. How could we who have so much, live alongside so many who have so little, and do nothing. She formed the Akron Snow Angels and together with the help of volunteers from all over greater Akron has worked to make in impact on the homeless in our community through the gifts of clothes, shoes and food. However, the most meaningful thing that Erin and her team have given is not of the material nature but rather the dignity and recognition that so many have never been given. She closed with a quote by Mother Teresa that embraced their mission,” We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty”.
Congratulations Erin, even though you’re not a Rotarian you’ve shown that you truly embrace Rotary’s motto of 'Service Above Self'!
Our weekly meeting on April 18 is being moved to April 21st and will be held in conjunction with our District Conference at The Cuyahoga Falls Sheraton. Cut off is 5pm Monday April 17 for Registrations which are Required - Click Here
When I was asked to write something about working at Camp, I didn’t know where to start. Do I start when I first arrived in the USA nearly 15 years ago to work at a Summer Camp for children with special needs and didn’t know what to expect? Do I start when I realized that I didn’t feel that I was making a difference, but that Camp and the children that we served have made a difference in my life? Or, do I share how today, with the support from Rotarians and community members; together we “Create a world where there are only abilities?”
Akron Rotary Camp is a very special place. It’s a place where no one is judged. It’s a place where we celebrate each other and makes us grateful for what we have. As a counselor, I learned how to give my all, all – the - time. I learned how to step out of my comfort zone, and I learned how to accept what can and cannot be. It is also the place that taught me to think on my feet and to step in leadership roles that I never thought I could do, and how to be part of a team. I also the place where I made lifelong friends, and like then, we still share our greatest successes with each other and celebrate each other’s’ lives accomplishments.
Camp days are long, very long, - but when a camper gives you a big hug on Friday before they leave and tell you they had the best week, it made it so worth it. I remember Missy McDonald that was always smiling, although she had Downs. Nothing could get her down! I remember Jessica and Zack that started coming to camp when they were 6 years old. They still come to camp as it is their camp where their friends are, and where they feel save. They learned how to be independent and do things that they never thought they could. I remember Enrique that thanked me for saving his life when he fell out of a canoe and helped him to get back in. And Christy, that takes on the role of ‘Counselor-in-training’ to make sure her new cabin friends feel welcome. As I’m reminiscing about Jordan, Rachel, Maverick, and so many others and the experiences they had at camp, I realize, once again how fortunate I am. How the next chapter in my life started on this 6 acre camp in Akron, Ohio, and how I need to thank God for all I have, and can do.
These days I don’t work as much with the campers as in my days of being a counselor, but together with our Camp team, I work to make camp better. I work with volunteers and volunteer groups to lend that extra pair of hands, or get camp clean, organized or painted so they can feel welcome. I also work on events to make sure we can take on the next project or provide the financial assistance that’s needed. To past and present Rotarians I want to say Thank You! Thank you for your commitment and support to the Akron Rotary Camp for Special Needs where we continue to “Create a world where there are only abilities!”
PS: Please join us for our Thursday night Cookouts this summer and maybe you will meet a Rachel, Maverick, or Christy to start your camp story too.
Amanda Warner Akron Rotary Camp Director of Volunteers and Special Events
Time and change brings us experience and wisdom. Sometimes there are other changes, too.
Is it time for you to update your photo and other info in the online directory?
Of course, if your profile has no picture at all, you really should upload one or send one - Here is how to change your profile and to upload your photo:
1. login at www.akronrotary.org
2. go to member area (next to the login button)
3. Under My ClubRunner select either
"Edit My Profile" and then update all the information including your photo or
"Upload My Photo" to just upload your picture.
Edit My Profile
Change My Password
Upload My Photo
5. You can also opt to send a jpg photo (include your name!) to Cheryl Warren firstname.lastname@example.org . She has been known to upload pictures for those of us who are not quite as adept at such tasks as we might like to be.
Shy Chen, our Rotary exchange student, and her team Starstruck for American Elite place 1st at the Best of Midwest competition April 9 in Cleveland. So proud of this visiting international young person. She has learned a typically American skill to take back to Taiwan and made many new friends. Thank you Wanda Whipkey for making this possible.
Rotary members and guests had a great time Thurs., 4/13th at Edgar’s Restaurant. Mark Auburn, Brian Chima, Nanci Dodgson, Greg Genega, Jack Harig, Karen Meek, Vincent Munnerlyn and his wife Theresa, Sandy Naragon, Graham Reinke, June Ring, George Rooney, Steve Shechter, Dan Sveda, Pam Kiltau, Kathryn Michael, Karen Taylor and Hugh Alpeter enjoyed the evening together. Great food, drinks were enjoyed. Hugh, Social Chairman commented,” it was a great night overlooking the Good Park Golf Course. After Hours Events are designed for members to enjoy fellowship, get to know each other in a casual atmosphere without having to rush at our normal meetings to have lunch, hear the speaker and rush off to work. Everyone enjoys these events. “. Anyone who would like to join the Social Committee to help with future events, please contact Hugh.