Rotary Club of Sierra Vista

Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Community Service
International Service
Vice President
Public Relations
Vocational Service
Rotary Foundation Director
Youth Services Director
Membership Director

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Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Sierra Vista

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Pueblo del Sol Country Club
2770 Saint Andrews Dr
Sierra Vista, AZ  85650
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Last week, speaker Steve Conroy, was introduced by Rotarian Nancy Fusco, who is the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering  co-chair.
Steve Conroy, who has been involved with the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering for 20 years, spoke to the Club about the Gathering and what it does for the Sierra Vista Community.  He entertained the club by reciting a tall tale, about cowboys tying knots in the devil’s tail.  Then played several songs on his guitar while singing. He was roundly applauded for this entertaining half hour.
The Cowboy Poetry and Gathering takes place three days this year; on February 5, 6, and 7, at the Buena High School Performing Arts Center with jam sessions and get-togethers at other locations.  The theme this year is “Outlaws and Lawmen”. There will be 50 artists in town taking part in the gathering.
Students at all schools here are encouraged to write and submit poems. The students with the best quality poems will receive scholarships worth $1,000 each.  Some of the artists will perform at different venues, such as at the Toyota Dealership, Friday morning, and  at the Methodist church.  Ken Cecil, the manager of the mall,has set up a display as well as having some artists perform there. 

I discovered this blog the other day while reading an article on the benefits of young professionals in Rotary.  It's loaded with stories of service from around the world and really interesting.  Enjoy~!

Our guest speaker, Jarrett Croft, provided an update on the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club. As a mission, The Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista provides after-school programs that guide, educate, and motivate local youth...A place where ”Great futures start here!”The Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club has been having a very productive year and has been providing high quality activities for the youth in the programs. One example noted by Jarrett Croft, was unveiling a learning center to encourage kids to get creative and expand their knowledge. This was made possible by combining the funds donated from the 2014 Festival of Trees and 10 computers obtained from a Cox Communications contest that created a special learning center for the Sierra Vista Boys & Girls Club. It is an amplified area in which to do homework to help the kids with academic success.

Another example has been the HAC (Huachuca Astronomy Club) visiting the Club and showing club members some meteorites, teaching them how a telescope works and more, helping to educate and excite the club members.

Also, Lowe’s helped renovate the local Boys & Girls Club garden by improving its look and size, as well as donating other brand new items for a new garden. Lowe’s will teach the club members how to start and maintain the garden. Club members will use this experience to gain knowledge on how they can help out around the community. Youth will also be identifying their insecurities, burying them as seeds in the garden and watching them grow into beautiful flowers/nurturing food. Jay Roach, Clubhouse Director of BGCSV, said that “This is more than just a garden for our clubhouse. This is the first step for or community service clubs, led by our club members, to learn about gardening and help clean up the community.”
Frank Presson visited with us Monday and shared his thoughts on the District and the future of Rotary.  He stressed the importance of social media, member retention, and club growth.  We enjoyed having him visit and look forward to a great Rotary year.  Enjoy the cheese, Frank! 

Topic: Africa—A Different Perspective
This week, members of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista were introduced to the October Student of the Month, Allie Kang. Allie is a senior at Buena high School with ambitions to obtain a degree in anthropology.Rotarians were then privileged to hear from Rev. Fred Otto, who presented - Africa, a Different Perspective. Rev. Otto and his wife, Donna, served as missionaries in Africa from 1985 to 2013. They began their servicein Swaziland and after a couple of years, moved to
Kenya. While in Kenya their ministry extended throughout the Eastern part of the African continent.
After spending several years in East Africa, Rev. Otto moved west, where he and his wife served in Liberia during that nation’s bloody civil war. Rev. Otto finished his ministry in South Africa and spent the last couple of years telecommuting from Sierra Vista. Rev. Otto shared some of the culture and significant historical locations with Rotarians, including Elmina Castle, located in Ghana. The castle, built in 1482, began as a commerce castle but later became a slaving center. He pointed out that an interesting aspect of the castle was that a church was built near the castle’s center, very close to the slave yards. Modern day Africa was divided by the Berlin Conference in 1884, when the various European countries claiming rights to the continent drew the boundary lines between colonies.
One major environmental cause for concern is that in the sub-Saharan regionof Africa, the Sahara desert is moving south, encroaching on the transitionzone to the south. This has led to crop shortage and the need to purchase crop seed each year. In fact, in some areas the situation is so dire that children are occasionally sold for the price of a bag of seed. Despite such poverty, many large cities look much like those in the US, with malls, supermarkets and fast food restaurants. A middle class has developed where there has historically been none. One obvious indicator of a middle class community is the presence of privately owned cars.

The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista held its weekly meeting on October 5th.
The speaker today was Greg Lamberth with CANTER, “Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources”. He, like most of the Staff are volunteers.  They have a number of programs using horses to help people improve their health and mental ability. They “treat” people of all ages to improve their physical balance, strength, stamina, and higher level cognizance. Riding and interacting with gentle horses is very therapeutic. The horses are carefully selected then specially trained to deal with handicapped people who may ride backwards, or in a prone position.
CANTER has its facility on Moson Rd., currently with eight horses and a number of volunteers. The volunteers walk beside the horses as children or handicapped adults ride. They also help maintain the facility and care for the horses.  This facility is considered in the top ten percent world-wide – a “Premier” classification.
The largest group helped by CANTER is children with physical or mental handicaps. Many are autistic, special education kids. They are referred by school districts in the County. Many are from economically deprived homes, so their CANTER involvement is the only way they can interact with horses.
Another program is “Helping America’s National Defenders”, HAND.  This is a program for injured active duty service members, veterans, and others who have worked as “first responders”.  By riding and interacting with the horses their physical and mental abilities improve.
For more information about CANTER you are invited to visit their website:
The Rotary Club, under the direction of Brian Barkdull, is distributing Thesauruses to all seventh grade children attending school in Sierra Vista. This is happening on October 6th and 7th.  The children get to put their name in the books and keep them to use throughout their future scholastic careers.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista meets each Monday for lunch at the Pueblo Del Sol Country Club. For further information, please
contact President Emily Scherrer at

It's here!  If you've never been to the District Conference, it's a lot of fun.  Our Rotary is involved with several other Sierra Vista clubs for "Casita Night" which is a networking evening involving tasty food and drinks.  If you haven't already, please sign up here:  

Mark your calendars!  There will be a SV Rotary Happy Hour at Hoppin' Grapes on August 28 from 5-7 p.m.  This is a chance to just relax with fellow members of your own Rotary, as well as other Rotarians from other clubs in Sierra Vista. All members of Rotary are invited, as well as people wanting to learn more about Rotary, and possibly join.  We'd love to see you!  


The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista held its weekly meeting on August 10th. Paul Harris committee Chairman, Les Orchekowsky awarded Paul Harris Fellow pins to six members;
 Rick Shelley, Brian Barkdull, and Ray Morace received their first awards,  Frank Gonzalez and Mike Strange received their Paul Harris plus four awards. Charlie LaClair received his Paul Harris plus seven award in the name of his second grandson, David.
Ray Morace and Mike Strange were not in attendance and will be recognized in the future.
Paul Harris was one of the founders of the Rotary Club in 1905.  In 1956-57 the concept of a special award and recognition to those members who have contributed $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation, during a one year period was initiated. As $1,000 was a considerable sum then, the award was changed so that anyone contributing $1,000 over several years would become a Paul Harris Fellow and then receive a certificate, neck ribbon with medallion and  a pin recognizing their contribution. Subsequent donations in one thousand dollar increments  are recognized with colored stones added to a new pin; blue sapphires for the first five additional contributions and red rubies for the next three contributions. Subsequent contributions are recognized as well.
The first year there were only 500 world-wide members who qualified.  Today there are 700,000
Paul Harris Fellows who have  accumulatively contributed $700,000,000 to The Rotary Foundation or
Polio Plus (Eradication). This money is used to fund worthwhile projects world-wide, such as clean water,
education, eradication of polio and other diseases, and disaster relief.
The Speaker today was Dave Breen, President of AZgreyhounds.Inc.  Dave was accompanied by his wife, Nancy (Wendy) Breen, and a fawn colored greyhound named “Jay”.  Dave explained that no Greyhounds are really grey.  They have 16 different colors which range from light tan to bluish black color. They have been associated with royalty for thousands of years, going back to ancient Egypt. They often appear in family heraldry. They were used in hunting and sometimes there would be hundreds of greyhounds helping in deer hunts.
Today they are raised to race.  They go through training for six months or so at special training
facilities in Colorado and Oklahoma. Then appear at different race tracks at many locations for approximately
two years, at which time they are “retired”.  At the race track they chase an artificial “rabbit” but really they
are chasing the motion as they typically ignore a real-life rabbit. The races only last 20 – 30 seconds.
After retiring they are put up for adoption. Greyhounds are unique in many respects. They don’t shed, seldom bark, don’t jump up on people, and are good with children and other dogs.  They make ideal pets. Interestingly when excited, their teeth chatter.  They are also famous for having very broad smiles, showing their teeth but only when they are happy. Arizona has a state program to temporarily put these retired animals in foster homes, until they can be adopted. Many foster home people grow so fond of the animals that they in turn adopt them.  There is a $350 charge to adopt, but this covers their vaccinations, and the cost of a micro-chip implantation.
Here in Sierra Vista Dave and Wendy Breen hold an “Adoption Day” on the last Saturday of each month at the Cal Ranch store. The hours are from 10 am until 2:00 pm. For further information about serving as a foster
home or to adopt one of these beautiful dogs, you are invited to contact Dave at (520) 378-1763.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista meets each Monday at the Pueblo Del Sol Country Club for lunch.  For more Information, please contact President Emily Scherrer at

The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista held its weekly meeting on June 20th. The exempt badge was held by Lisa Stallcup, who is the Boy Scouts District Executive.
Lisa gave the club an update on scouting and the inclusion of girls in the Boy Scout
activities.  Explorer scouts are older 14 – 21 and have opportunities to learn about different career fields. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting, Arts and Humanities, as well as other careers.
The speaker today was Kathy Calabrese who is with the Good Neighbor Alliance. The Good Neighbor Alliance (GNA) is an organization that helps homeless people in Cochise County. Kathy was a previous member of our Rotary Club and was familiar to many current members.  She explained there are two types of homeless people; temporary and chronically homeless. There is a Vulnerability Index, a number givento each homeless individual, to help ascertain what assistance is needed. Moreover, the Emergency Rooms in hospitals are their only source of medical care.
She explained that there are an estimated 86 chronically homeless people in Cochise County, mostly men, with about 50 of them in Sierra Vista. Bisbee has
the next highest number.
The police department checks on them in their encampments and tries to get them into programs that will help them.  Sometimes it is necessary to clean up the area in which they live, especially if it is State lands. There are services provided by HUD and the Veterans Administration to help people get on their feet.
Explained that many homeless have undiagnosed mental illness and many are dealing with Addictions. The GNA facility can provide beds for about 23 – 24 people, but many prefer to sleep outdoors.  In order to stay at the facility they must be sober. The facility provides breakfasts. The overall goal of GNA is to get individuals into appropriate assistance programs to try to get them off the streets.

On June 6th the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista held its weekly meeting, chaired by newly-elected Emily Scherrer.
Treasurer Jack Lintner gave a short report about the Fourth of July fund raising.  It appears that enough money was raised to pay for the magnificent fireworks display.  The two day celebrationwent off with no problems, thanks to the extensive planning and organizing done by Randy Sueskind. The club gave Randy a round of applause for the excellent job he once again accomplished.
John Black reminded the club of the Tour de Tucson bicycle ride which is an annual fund raiser which takes place each November.  This has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in previous years for the eradication of polio.
The speaker today was Mike Moats who is with the Sunrise Rotary Club.  This club holds its meetings at 0630 each Wednesday.  Mike told our club about a project sponsored by his club after discussions with the school district.  The Sierra Vista School District has requested a playground for special-needschildren.  This playground will be built at the Town and country Elementary School.  It should accommodate 50 children with special needs, which is a substantial increase over previous years. In addition the district is expanding. The number of class rooms and adding pre-school education this up-coming school year.
Mike Moats’ club has sponsored this project and with the help of the other Rotary clubs in town, has raised a total of $16,000 to pay for this project.  Half of these funds is coming from a matching grant from the Rotary District 5500.  The new playground facility will include in-ground equipment and  toys.  Rotarians are planning an early morning meeting at the facility to assemble the equipment and finish the necessary details to have this playground ready prior to the beginning of new school year.
The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista meets each Monday for lunch at the Pueblo Del Sol Country Club. Anyone interested should contact President Emily Scherrer at

Every year, Sierra Vista Rotary puts on a spectacular 4th of July event complete with fireworks, food, beer, and entertainment.  This year the weather cooperated with us, and the event was more successful than ever.  As Rotarians, one of our strong pillars of belief is of that in our local community. We love Sierra Vista and we strive to make it great.  The 4th of July has become a pinaccle event in our community and one we're very proud of.  We haven't seen the numbers of attendees yet, but the showing was strong and the number of people who commented on what a nice event it is were many.  As our signature event, the 4th of July has become a symbol of what our club believes in: family, service, community. As a strong military community here in Sierra Vista, it is vital to have an event such as this where young military families can go and get a hot dog and discuss with their children the importance of things like "changing of the color guard."  As a family based organization, Rotary wants more opportunities for families to come together in safe environments while enjoying their community and its offerings.  We all had a wonderful time at the event, and hope you did too! Please feel free to contact us to volunteer at next year's event, or for more information on Rotary.
 Pictured: Dean, Joe & Al working the beer tent.

   On Monday evening, June 22nd, the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista held an installation dinner at the Mesquite Tree restaurant.  This gala event was well-attended with great food and drink. We were honored by having the Rotary District Governor Elect (soon to be District Governor) Frank Presson in attendance to swear in the new president and her new board of directors and assisting officers.
   Past president Grant Hays served as the MC and after the swearing in ceremony, turned his Ceremonial gavel over to Emily Scherrer, the newly sworn in club president.  Emily will serve from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, which is the Rotary Year.
   The other officers and directors were then sworn in by Mr. Presson.
   Les Orchekowsky was named Rotarian of the Year.  He was given a plaque and a standing ovation for his great involvement with so many Rotary events during the past year. Les was also instrumental in arranging this installation dinner.

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