Posted on Jun 30, 2017
From Drue Thomas
  • Games for Good – Raised $29k that allowed us to distribute $11k each to Hope House and Urban Rangers and contribute $7k to the Plaza Rotary Foundation.  Terry Berkbuegler and Bob Merigan led a Committee including Rich Linden, Eric Wymore, Beth Bahner, Paul Temme, Bill Moran, Cassy Venters, and Frank Bales.  They were supported by many, many other club members in planning and on the day of the event.
  • The Club was awarded a $2,400 District Grant, matched by our fundraising, for the renovation of a storage room to a classroom at Urban Rangers.  Club members participated in the planning and renovation.  Special thanks to Kile Morrison, Bo Steed, Jason Parsons and Will Hodgkinson for their efforts working with Erik on the design and construction.
  • Bill Schmidt, Frances Reddis, Randy Steinman, Jim Lloyd and Mike Theobald led the Club Shoes efforts resulting in 1,348 shoes being donated to the Shoes for Orphans Souls.
  • Plaza Rotarians gave generously to the Centennial Legacy Campaign.  23 Rotarians participated pledging over $636k through outright donations and endowment bequests.  Our own Larry Lunsford served as chair of the District wide campaign and Roger Samuel and Jerry Venters served as table captains in the campaign that raised over $3.3 million for the Rotary International Foundation.  Roger also led the first ever fantasy golf league that raised $450 to send a student to RYLA.
  • Plaza Rotary also sent 2 additional students to RYLA and we are proud to have Plaza Rotarians like Rich Linden and Terry Berkbuegler serving in RYLA leadership positions.
  • As has become a legacy, we have many leaders at the District level and beyond.   To name a few, Cassy Venters, Past DG served as District Foundation Chair, Elizabeth Usovicz, Past DG will be serving in a Zones appointment as Regional Public Image Coordinator and Larry Lunsford, Past RI Director with be serving his 3rd and final year as the Chairman of the Rotary International Membership Committee, along with his many other roles.
  • We will be making a donation to Heart to Heart International for 44 hygiene kits to be purchased on behalf of our outstanding speakers lined up by Bob Merrigan.
  • Change for Charity funds from last year and the current year were used to support:
    • Urban Scholastic Center - $967
    • The Rotaract Camp Rise project - $470
    • The outgoing GSE leader and hosting of incoming GSE team
  • Many club members gave time and monetary support to provide Christmas gifts to Gordon Parks Elementary families and holiday meals to for the Bridge Home.
  • Erik Dickinson coordinated several great opportunities for hands on community service including the Block Park Clean Up and Harvesters.  Additionally, he spearheaded our efforts with Greater Kansas City Day, which raised $2,180 for children’s charities in Kansas City.
  • We wouldn’t be the Plaza Rotary Club without social events and Eric Wymore continued the tradition as Club Service Chair with several fun happy hours and social events, including the annual Plaza Art Fair and Chiefs watch party.  Special thanks to Rich Linden for letting us use his fame to score great tables and to Bill Moran for being such a great host.
  • The addition and mentoring of 6 new members led by President-Elect Jeff Chapman and VP Randy Steinman.
  • Shannan Berkbuegler not only kept us informed through the newsletter and website, but refreshed the website with a new look.  
  • Our Sergeant at Arms team of Scott Weaver, Quartermaster, and Privates Rich Linden, Frances Reddis and Paul Temme kept meetings running smoothly and we got to know many of our fellow Rotarians on a whole new level through “Know Your Rotarian”, the game show sweeping the nation!
  • Several of our members put in extra effort hosting the incoming GSE team, including the chaperones extraordinaire, Scott Weaver and Karen Eppler, tailgate expert Denise Holt, official Plaza Rotary musical baseball ambassador Chip Buckner, and hosts Eric Wymore and Tom Brown, who wisely substituted his son as chaperone for the non-official GSE team visit to Funky Town.
  • Past-President Jane Brown provided sage advice and led the outgoing GSE team on a fantastic trip to Argentina.
  • Rich Linden provided some outstanding and creative vocational service opportunities that ranged from coffee beans to college basketball.
  • Jennifer Kyle kept us honest as Secretary, making sure all Board Meetings were recorded in the event we should ever require a Special Counsel.
  • My wife managed the Treasury while balancing two toddlers, which explains any of your dues checks from September that may just now be clearing.
In summary it was another great year for the Plaza Rotary Club and certainly one that I will never forget.  Thank you for the memories and for all of the support my Board and the Club provided me, Jeff the Club is yours.