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!

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!

Rotary Club of Denver Board of Directors Nominees


January 8, 2020

 The following members have been nominated to serve on the Rotary Club of Denver Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2020.

  • Colleen Cozad
  • Hassan Latif
  • Alison Oyler-Mitsch
  • Matt Isola

Their names will be presented for election at our Club’s Annual Meeting which has been rescheduled to next Thursday, January 16 and will take place during our regular Club meeting. Additional nominations for Directors may be made in writing and signed by six members and filed with the Executive Director prior to the Annual Meeting.

Directors whose terms expire June 30, 2020 Ben Allen, Melissa Bowen, Susan Brushaber and Chad Tyler.

Our thanks to Brian Sweet, Louise Westfall, Harriett Downer, Rich Spong and Chuck Everill for serving on this year’s Board Nominating Committee.