Club 31 Welcomes New Members

Thomas Longino
Founder
Longino Public Finance, LLC

Date Joined: 7/21/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Melly Kinnard
Thomas Longino is the founder of Longino Public Finance, LLC, a law firm focused on representing investors and trustees in connection with high-yield or distressed financing, whether taxable or tax-exempt.  Prior to forming Longino Public Finance, Thomas practiced law in the area of municipal finance at a large southeastern law firm, mostly as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel, where he gained valuable workout and municipal bankruptcy experience as a member of the team representing Jefferson County, Alabama.  Thomas earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a master of laws in federal taxation from New York University School of Law.  A very recent transplant to Denver, Thomas enjoys the Denver restaurant scene, exercise and discovering all that Colorado has to offer.
Debbie Wilkins
Broker Associate
Date Joined: 7/21/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Melly Kinnard & Colleen Cozad
Debbie Wilkins serves as a Compass associate broker.  Debbie is keenly focused on customer relationship development and success defined through achieving set goals.  This customer and goals-driven approach consistently creates positive results for her clients in a rapid real estate market.  Prior to pursuing her career in real estate, Debbie successfully started up and owned her own business from 2005-2019.  The business was private-labeled product sales and distribution, servicing large business maintenance of facilities.  Additionally, her work experience includes multiple sales manager positions in the medical field, including manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson.  Debbie has a strong affection for four-legged friends, including her own two Havanese, Biewer Terrier, and a Bernese Mountain Dog.  This affection also resulted in training her own as therapy dogs.  Other interests include home remodeling, DYI home projects, travel, and restaurants.  Prior to calling Denver her forever home, Debbie lived in St. Louis, Atlanta, and Dallas.  She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Georgia.
For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Kris Hemenway
President & Founder
Statera Media

Date Joined: 6/16/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Jim Johnston

Kristopher (Kris) Hemenway is the President and Founder of Statera Media, a Denver based strategy, marketing and media planning firm that focuses on small and mid-sized companies in many different business verticals.  Kris uses a data-driven approach to help his clients find new customers through digital (Social, SEM, E-Mail, Display) and traditional (TV, Radio, Print) media.  Prior to forming Statera Media in 2014, Kris worked for some of Colorado’s biggest and best companies in marketing and media such as:  Vail Resorts, Coors Brewing Company, The Integer Group and Gart Companies.  Kris has lived in Colorado for 23 years and is a proud alumnus of the University of Colorado at Boulder where he graduated with honors with a B.S. in Journalism.  He has been married to his wife Keri for 14 years and is the proud father of two young boys, Harrison (9) and Patrick (5).

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Donna Hultin Excellence Award Endowment

The Donna Hultin Excellence Award was created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 2008 to honor Donna’s 28 years of dedicated service to Denver Kids, Inc. and her service to Rotary. The annual $500 cash award recognizes one high achieving graduating high school senior who is part of the Denver Kids mentoring program and is college bound. Qualifications include demonstrated academic achievement, excellence in attendance, community service, leadership ability and a positive attitude. For the past 12 years the award was funded annually by the Rotary Club of Denver and for the last two years, this award was matched by a Denver Rotarian and the Hultin Family for a total scholarship of $1,000.

Donna’s husband, Wally Hultin, recently approached the Denver Rotary Club Foundation to create an Endowment to ensure that funding for the award continues in Donna’s name.  Wally offered an initial donation to begin funding the Endowment plus a formula to match contributions from donors. Rotarian Mary Penny then organized a fund raising effort to gather the donations in order to make the Endowment a reality.  Today the Endowment funding is $30,350. Thanks to the vision of Wally Hultin, his generous donation and the generosity of the donors, The Donna Hultin Excellence Award Endowment will now last in perpetuity to fund the annual cash award and recognize future generations of Denver Kids graduates for this prestigious honor.

Denver Rotary Receives Award for the Most Outstanding World Community Service Project in District 5450

Denver Rotary Cub 31 was honored by Denver Mile Hi Rotary for having the most outstanding world community service project in District 5450 in 2019-2020.  Denver Mile Hi donated $100 to Polio Plus in Club 31’s name.  The award was for a six-year $93 thousand project promoting basic education and literacy for girls in Bosnia and to prevent them from becoming victims of human traffickers.  The entire project involved a small direct cash grant and two global grants matched by Rotary International and District 5450.  The project was prompted by the aftermath of the 1990’s Balkan wars (of ethnic cleansing) with the failure to address the problems of girl’s education and human trafficking because of continued ethnic divisions and government corruption.  Bosnia (formally Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH) is now the poorest country in Europe.  Poor rural families favor education of boys, with girls often dropping out of school after the 4th grade.  Roma (gypsy) girls are illiterate, as are their mothers and most of their fathers.  Bosnia is now the largest center for transit and source of human trafficking in Europe as those under-educated or struggling financially seek opportunities outside of the country.

The project brought parent teacher education meetings to 40 villages reaching 2,000 parents, promoting the importance of girls’ education and warning of trafficking, established a mentoring program for 160 families with fourth grade girls at risk for dropping out of school by using university student volunteers, conducted media campaigns to promote girls staying in school and warning of human trafficking, and conducted literacy classes for Roma girls. The mentoring and public education initiatives are continuing after the grant funding ended with the partner NGO staff.  The Roma literacy program has been funded post grant by another non-profit.

Denver Rotary World Community Service committee members formulated, wrote the grant application, raised the cash match, shepherded the application through the Rotary International process, and monitored the implementation of the grants. F elicia Muftic chaired the project, initially with Denver Rotarian Dr. Mike Muftic, who passed away in August 2015.  The Mostar Rotary Club was the local in-country supervisor which partnered with a local non-profit family and children counseling agency, Novi Put, to execute the grant.  Over $8 thousand of the cash came from the Denver Rotary Foundation.  In addition to Denver Rotary and Mostar Rotary, eight other 5450 Rotary clubs, Ojai California Rotary and their district, and the Rotary club of Grand Cayman all contributed the cash funds, matched by $20,500 from District 5450 and $37,725 from the Rotary International Foundation.  The last of the two global grants was featured in the April 2019 Rotarian.  For a video made during the first global grant, and to meet the participants, click the image link below.  For more about the entire project, visit Bosniaglobalgrant.com.

Congratulations to our hard working World Community Service committee and to Chair Felicia Muftic who has spent countless hours on this project over the years!

Honorary Rotarian for Life: Darlene Mast

After supporting her husband Rotarian Steve Mast during his Club 31 Presidency in 2003-2004, Darlene put “Service Above Self” by filling the vacancy of her predecessor on a temporary basis as the Rotary Club of Denver and Denver Rotary Club Foundation Executive Director in 2004.  Little did she know at the time, this would become a 16-year long commitment!  Darlene fell in love with the mission of Rotary and the Rotarians she served.  Darlene always remained cool under pressure with a smile on her face and served a new Club and Foundation President every year (for a total of 33 Presidents in 16 years).  She became a wealth of historical knowledge to those she served, always informing her President’s what the Club has done in the past and stepping aside to let them make a decision for how to move forward.  There wasn’t a single President who didn’t call Darlene before accepting this honored position, to ensure she would still be with the Club to support them and help guide them from behind the scenes.  Darlene would say to every President, both Club and Foundation, that her main job was “to help make you look good”, and she sure did!

After many nights working late and many after-work happy hours, Darlene is retiring from the Rotary Club of Denver.  However, even in retirement Darlene can’t seem to step away from her passion for Rotary.  She will continue on a very limited basis as the Club and Foundation’s part-time accountant.  In honor of Darlene’s service to Rotary, Club 31 is awarding her an
“Honorary Rotarian for Life” membership status.  Darlene, you have made a bigger impact than anyone could have imagined during these past 16 years and for that, Club 31 will forever be in your debt.  THANK YOU, Darlene and Congratulations!

Here are just a few examples of Darlene’s Achievements and Service Above Self…

Perfect attendance for 16 years:

  • 688 all-Club lunch meetings
  • 160 club board meetings
  • 96 DRCF board meetings
  • The same number of executive committee meetings for each
  • 16 years of Membership committee and Programs committee meetings

Highlighted Contributions:

  • 1st big project: The Player sculpture installation and dedication at Coors Field
  • Served on the Branch Rickey award committee through 2014
  • Visited RI Headquarters in Chicago with Grant Wilkins, the DG and Club President
  • Relocation of the Polio Plus statue to CU Anschutz
  • Peach Sale originated during her first year as ED, and Darlene was always a top Rotarian seller of peach boxes
  • Moved the Rotary office twice
  • Instrumental in the Club Centennial project, book and celebration

Prior Recognition:

  • 2010 DKI Rotarian of the Year
  • 2013 Edwin A. Bemis Award for Best Club Communications
  • 2013-14 District Governor Discretionary Award
  • 2015 DRCF Legacy Society Charter Member
  • DRCF Silver Fellow
  • Paul Harris Fellow +1

Service Above Self:

  • Darlene attended every Rotarian’s funeral, plus retirement parties and other celebrations
  • The holiday bread baker for her Club boards and leadership
  • Darlene stepped up and became an accountant while remaining ED to help the Club save money
  • Last year for the first time in 16 years, used her full vacation time
  • And her final achievement, after hiring and managing three prior assistants, she found a true replacement and trained her before stepping down as our Executive Director

2019-2020 Rotarians of the Year!

At our Thursday Rotary Club meeting via Zoom on June 25, 2020, Club Rotarians came together for our annual Continuation of Leadership celebration with President Jim Johnston and to ring in the new year with incoming President Debbie Beasley!  As has been our tradition, we honored our Rotarians of the Year.  Congratulations and Thank YOU Denver Rotarians for your many accomplishments and hard work this past Rotary year!

 

Virgil Scott ~ ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR 2019-2020

Virgil Scott is this year’s very deserving recipient of the Club 31’s Rotarian of the Year Award!  Here is just a sampling of his strong and impressive contributions to  Denver Rotary.  His participation covers all aspects of Rotary’s five avenues of service…

  • Joined Denver Rotary March 15, 2011, with 14 years prior Rotary experience
  • Served on the Denver Rotary Club Foundation (DRCF) Board of Trustees 2013-2019
  • DRCF President 2016-17
  • DRCF Silver Fellow
  • DRCF Legacy Society Charter Member 2015
  • Chair of the DRCF Legacy Society
  • Co-Chair of DRCF 50th Anniversary Campaign
  • Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
  • Served on TRF Support Committee & Peach Sale Committee

AND, Virgil has accomplished all of this since joining our Club only nine years ago!

 According to several of his nominators,

“I have had the distinct pleasure of serving with Virgil since he joined our Club nine years ago. During this time, I have gotten to know him well, have very much enjoyed working together and consider him to be a trusted friend and valued mentor.”

“As a DRCF President, Virgil’s message to our Club and its Foundation was Unity…both working together to have a positive impact on our community and our world.”

“About a year and half after joining our Club, he was asked to serve a six-year term on the DRCF Board of Trustees, bringing 30 years of CEO-level nonprofit foundation leadership experience, as well as an extensive history of volunteer board experience.”

“Was immediately asked to lead the Foundation’s Legacy Gift Committee, attempting what many have tried to do for years but didn’t get it done. This Rotarian did. Forming the DRCF Legacy Society in 2013, he almost single-handedly brought in 29 charter members.”

“Our Foundation has a good story to tell and Virgil did it so well, along with sharing their own inspiring personal life journey and that of our members. He leads by example with his continued generous financial support.”

“While most good Rotarians naturally put service above self, Virgil outdid himself this past year. The sheer amount of pro-bono time he spent connecting with, and clarifying the wishes of our Denver Rotary Club Foundation Legacy Society members would have cost the club tens of thousands of dollars had we not had him doing it for us. And with his usual low-key, quiet and behind-the-scenes demeanor he has bolstered the financial future of DRCF, not solely with the stroke of a check but with endless patience and dedication of time.”

“In various leadership roles, Virgil built an awareness of the Legacy Society. He was responsible for increasing the number of Legacy Society members over 60% during the past four years. He was also an essential part of the DRCF 50th Year Celebration campaign by tirelessly consulting with each Legacy Society member whereby they devoted $330,000 in Legacy Gifts to the Wilkins Family Fund Endowment and increased overall Legacy Gifts to $883,000.  His efforts have help to ensure DRCF is sustainable for the next 50 years.  Under Virgil’s leadership and his unwavering support of our Foundation continues, his impact far-reaching.”

“Trust and relationships have always been a part of his life. Personal and professional mix and mesh. With unsurpassed dedication and commitment, he brought his years of fundraising expertise, thoughtful leadership skills and vast experience to this important volunteer role.”

“Virgil is a kind, generous, good man, always making the time to send personal hand-written notes to our many members for a variety of reasons…and even Starbucks gift cards to us lucky ones!”

Rotary’s mission is to do good in the world…a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our Club is filled with some pretty special people…we are all honored and privileged to know such a Rotarian.  Congratulations Virgil!  You make us proud and we are blessed to have you as a member of Denver Rotary!

 

TROY SZYMANSKI ~ NEW ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR 2019-20

This year Club 31 is pleased to honor Troy Szymanski as our New Rotarian of the Year for 2019-20!

 According to several of his nominators,

 “Troy is a great guy and quickly became engaged as evidenced by his great attendance.”

“He became very active in the evening happy hour meetings.”

“Very energetic with a can-do attitude!’

“Brought some needed young blood into the Club.”

“His first Club visit was exactly a year ago today at our Continuation of Leadership on the DAC rooftop…blended right in with an enthusiastic interest in learning more about our Club.”

“Rotary runs in his family!”

In just the past year, Troy…

  • Became a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation
  • Served as an Inspirational moment presenter
  • Participated in the Cherry Creek Clean Up before becoming a member
  • Joined the Membership Committee
  • Co-leading the Evening Group Happy Hour events
  • And get this….will be our new Club Secretary in 2020-21!

After joining Rotary in October of 2019, Troy has already shown a major commitment to our Club and to Rotary’s mission.  We are so fortunate to have such a committed and dedicated new Rotarian as a member of Club 31!  Congratulations Troy!  Thank you for making Club 31 your new Rotary home!  We look forward to serving alongside you for many years to come!

THE ROAD TO HOPE VIRTUAL HAITI SUMMER CAMP

HELLO IS YOUR PASSPORT (BONJOU SE PASPO OU)!

Join the Road to Hope in a 4 week summer camp for kids in 2-8th grades to learn all about the beautiful country of Haiti! Develop a project to take action in creating a better world.

Hello All!

My name is Rachel Harris. I am excited to announce that with the help of the Road to Hope, I will be teaching a virtual summer camp all about Haiti called Bonjou se Paspo Ou or Hello is Your Passport!

The camp is scheduled for two sessions, the first from June 22nd to July 17th and the second from July 20th to August 10th. It will be held in two age groups, ultimately for ages 6-14, or grades 2nd through 8th.

I am very excited at the chance to teach a group of young people about a place I care so deeply about in an immersive, online experience.   We will cover topics such as Haiti’s history, present state, it’s culture, it’s community, and much more. The camp will even include guest speakers from The Road to Hope and from Haiti. We will spend time every day on common Creole phrases and conversations so that by the end of the 4 week session, each participant will be able to send a letter to a penpal in Haiti.

I love Haiti because of the uniqueness of its culture, community and spirit. I hope to share some of my love for the country as well as a foundational set of knowledge about the country.

We will engage in conversations on what a Developing country is, and how the lack of financial resources in countries like Haiti affects the people there on a day to day basis.  We will read poems, chapters from books, listen to music, watch clips of videos, draw Tap Taps, learn to prepare Haitian food! But that is just the start. It is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a new culture, right from your couch!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUMMER CAMP VISIT:
https://www.theroadtohope.org/get-involved/experience-haiti/summer-camp/
https://www.theroadtohope.org/documents/CONCEPT-PAPER-NEW.1).pdf

TO REGISTER VISIT:
https://theroadtohope.kindful.com/register/the-road-to-hope-virtual-summer-camp-2020

If you have any questions about the curriculum, the scheduling, the pricing, or any other confusion feel free to reach out to me:

Rachel Harris
rachelh4@icloud.com
303-478-5812

Mesi Anpil! Thank you very much!

~ CALL TO ACTION ~ Rotary & Metro Caring Provisioning Project

 

 

 

 

 

Denver Cherry Creek Rotary (DCCR) is setting up and running a facility for Metro Caring where volunteers will break down the food staples Metro Caring is buying in bulk into one- or two-pound bags suitable to give to their clientele.  DCCR is spearheading the staffing and running of this facility and is seeking volunteers to help do the work.  Please join Club 31 as we support the work of our fellow Rotarians.  For more information, contact Service Team VP Lisza Gulyas.

_________________________________________________________________________________

More information from Denver Cherry Creek Rotarian Joel Russman…

Food banks are now on the front line of dealing with the economic consequences of the pandemic involving food security; this problem will not go away any time soon.  Food Bank of the Rockies serves as a middleman for a number of Colorado food banks, buying and receiving donations of food, then shipping smaller amounts to the food banks, who deliver the food to their “customers.”  They have gotten slammed by the increased demand and the reduced volume of donations.  I understand that approximately half of the approx. 60 food banks in the Denver Metro area (the smaller ones) have now closed.

The front-line organization Denver Cherry Creek Rotary (DCCR) is working with is Metro Caring, probably the largest and best-established of the food banks.  They tell me that their volume has increased from 1,400 pounds of food per week to 74,000 pounds last week alone.  As food resources for food banks becomes scarcer and more expensive, and as the number of volunteers has shrunk, Metro Caring has had to do some deep thinking and serious restructuring.

Their focus has shifted from allowing individual customers to shop for what they want, to buying and distributing staples.  Feeding the maximum number of people with their limited financial and human resources means focusing on the basics.  They are now putting together packages to last a family one to two weeks, with very little choice being offered.  An obvious logistical problem for them is breaking down 50-pound bags of sugar, flour, rice, etc. into individual 1-2 pound bags for distribution.  They just do not have the time, space or manpower to repackage ten tons of food every week.

DCCR has been able to secure for them a 22,000 square foot warehouse space, which will be converted to a food repackaging operation.  Electrical, plumbing, cleaning and nominal reconfiguration of the space will be completed by June 1, when the facility will be turned over to Metro Caring.  We are working with Metro Caring to equip the space with furniture, equipment and supplies.  They will be providing the protocols and initial training for food handling and repackaging.  Rotary will be providing sufficient volunteers to turn large bags of dry foods into many small bags.  We have an aggressive schedule to begin operations by the end of the first week of June.

Each shift will be three hours, with a maximum of 20 volunteers (masked, gloved, and socially distanced).  There will be five shifts per week, on various days to allow for volunteers to work during the week or on weekends, whichever is more convenient.

Many thanks,
Rotarian Joel Russman
Denver Cherry Creek Rotarian

Rotarian Lee White Celebration of Life Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello! I hope everyone is doing well during this strange and difficult time. Based on the state of our world right now, there is no way that we are going to be able to hold Lee’s celebration of life ceremony on June 13. It is incredibly important to my family that we are able to get closure over Lee’s  passing but we want to honor her in the way that she deserves and that she wished for. So, we will definitely hold a service at Rockland Community Church at 2:00 pm and a big party at Lakewood Country Club from 4:00-9:00 pm at some point. As of right now, we have rescheduled Lee’s celebration of life for August 29, 2020. However, we need to wait until it is safe to bring a large group of people together and until those people who are coming from out of town feel comfortable with flying. At any rate, whenever we hold it, we would love to have you. Once we are able to pin down a safe date, I will get the details out to you.

In the meantime, consider visiting Lee’s obituary home page at All Veterans Funeral and Cremation where the service date has been and will be updated. For easy access click HERE. This will take you to her obituary page. From there, we would love it if you would leave a message or a photo on her tribute wall. Since it is possible that this date will need to be pushed out further, we will also email you again once we know the final date that gets selected.

We are so sorry that we haven’t been able to have Lee’s service and celebration during this uncertain time. Whenever that time may be, we hope that you remember the love that Lee shared with you and come to her celebration of life.

Love,
Jim White

The Rotary Club of Denver’s 2020 Donna Hultin Excellence Award Winner!

The Donna Hultin Excellence Award was created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 2008 in honor of Donna’s retirement from Denver Kids, Inc. and her service to Rotary.  It is designed to recognize one high achieving graduating high school senior from Denver Kids who is college bound.  Qualifications include demonstrated academic achievement, excellence in attendance, community service, leadership ability and a positive attitude.  This prestigious award is now given in Donna’s memory.  Congratulations to Ariana Ricalday​​​​​​​, our 2020 Donna Hultin Excellence Award winner!

This Excellence award includes a $500 scholarship from the Rotary Club of Denver. In addition, the Donna Hultin Family has generously contributed an additional $500, bringing the total scholarship $1,000!

Ariana Ricalday has been a Denver Kids student for four years, and in those four years, has shown much passion, dedication, and an incredible work ethic.  Ariana is graduating from KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, a very rigorous school where she had maintained a near 4.0 GPA.  As a stellar student, Ariana was also nominated to be part of PEAK Achievers, a weekly group that leads her high school in community service and activism.  She’s also involved with Tiger Leaders, a small student leadership group which works with the principal to promote student engagement and school spirit.  Additionally, Ariana was chosen to tutor fellow classmates in math in her sophomore year of high school, won multiple Student of the Year awards in composition, and maintained perfect attendance for three years.  As Ariana’s Educational Counselor said, “she is one of the few students who is consistently taking initiative to challenge herself by setting new goals.  Whether she identifies a goal around her relationship to others or an academic goal, Ariana actively works towards them with a genuine desire to improve and with a charming sense of humor.”

Ariana’s accomplishments do not stop at the school doors; she has maintained active employment since 2018 and has been involved in her community through a traditional Mexican folklorico dance organization. Through this organization, Ariana has been able to perform in order to raise funds for funeral expenses for a local family, as well as raise funds for necessary surgeries that children in her community needed.  She shows immense dedication in this group and it shows!  They won 1st place in the 2016 Rocky Mountain Folkloric Competition – youth division.

Ariana is a first-generation high school graduate and college student.  She is looking forward to starting at the University of Denver this fall, where she will work to earn her degree in biology with a minor in dance.  Ariana hopes to become either a nurse or teacher one day: two professions suited wonderfully for Ariana’s character and community-oriented vision of her future.

In her award essay, Ariana stated that, “I push myself out of my comfort zone, and I believe that’s something that will help me take full advantage of opportunities in college.”

Congratulations to Ariana!