Club 31 Rotarians Volunteer at JA Finance Park

Someday – ready or not – young people will have to manage their own finances.  They will be faced with paying for housing, food and transportation, as well as saving for the future. But first, thanks to financial and volunteer support from Club 31, 18,500 middle and high school students in metro Denver had the opportunity to take on these responsibilities without suffering devastating consequences by participating in JA Finance Park during the 2018/19 school year.

In addition to teaching students how to create a budget, use financial services and save for the future, this economic reality check improves student attitudes toward work and education at a crucial time in their development.  In fact, JA Finance Park has proven to be so effective, the program has been recognized through Harvard University’s Global Education Innovation Initiative for excellence in teaching financial literacy.

The following Rotarians volunteered at JA Finance Park in April and May.  They each coached a group of 10 – 12 students through the simulation, while integrating their real-world financial experience, the good, the bad and the ugly, to help students understand how important it is to be financially responsible.

  • Julie Freshman
  • Wynn Gandera
  • Rick Bowmen
  • Melissa Bowen
  • Debbie Beasley
  • Colleen Cozad
  • Jim Goddard

Additionally, Jim Goddard brought his team from Senior Options out to volunteer at the Park!

In addition to volunteer support, the $3,000 grant JA received from the Denver Rotary Club Foundation this year, helped JA provide JA Finance Park to students at no cost.  Thanks to everyone who volunteered and to those who contribute to the Denver Rotary Club Foundation.  You’re making a long-term investment in our children!

If you’re interested, please take a moment to watch the video below to hear how one young man’s life was changed thanks to JA Finance Park and our volunteers!

Elijah’s JA Story

Rotary Youth Exchange: Open Your Home to the World

Rotary Youth Exchange: Open Your Home to the World
Become a Host Family for the 2019-2020 academic year

The Youth Exchange Committee is delighted to confirm that Club 31 will both host and sponsor Rotary Exchange Students next year.  The Committee has been actively engaged in re-establishing Rotary Club of Denver’s involvement in this important Rotary program and with the RMRYE District Committee.

Rotary Club of Denver 2019-2020 Students

Sofia Valentina Cueto
In-Bound Student from Argentina
Will attend East High School

Louisa Wilson
Out-Bound Student traveling to Czech Republic
Currently attends North High School

Host families for Sofia and volunteers to introduce her to Denver and Colorado are needed.  Hosting a Rotary international high school student is a life-enhancing experience for your entire family.  It’s a unique opportunity to gain new perspectives, explore new customs, and share American culture and your community.  Most of all, you’ll build special friendships and connections that often last a lifetime.

For more information on hosting Sofia and on Rotary Youth Exchange, please contact Scott Campbell or Andrew Walker.

“Team DKI” | Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon | May 18 & 19

Denver Kids, Inc. are looking for a few more active supporters to run for Team Denver Kids in the Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon.  Learn more below and sign up today!

Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon | May 18 & 19

When you run or walk in the Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon for Team Denver Kids, you help pave the pathway to graduation and new possibilities for Denver Public Schools students experiencing the challenges of higher risk environments. Since 2008, runners have raised more than $230K to support our students and programs. Let’s keep the momentum going! If you’re ready to race, register below. Then, when prompted, select Denver Kids as your Charity Partner, and choose from a handful of races, including:

Saturday, May 18

  • 5K: walking, stroller and dog-friendly

Sunday, May 19

    • Full marathon
    • Half marathon
      • Urban 10-miler
    • Marathon relay

Once you register, we’ll set up your fundraising page, provide fundraising tools, and be available to answer any questions. After you cross the finish line, stop by the Denver Kids tent in the Charity Partner Village for some of post-race fun!


Questions about the Colfax Marathon? Contact Kelsey Grayson at or 720-423-3571.

Project Update: India Sanitation Project in Indra Village

This morning we received notification from The Rotary Foundation that our Final Report for GG#1640728 – India Sanitation Project in Indra Village – has been officially accepted and all project activities now successfully completed.

Conditions in the community

People in the village live in the most deprived conditions of ignorance and poverty, completely unaware of their potential. In spite of being very near the capital of the country and having high potential for spiritual tourism, the village lags behind in almost every stream of development. Most of the people are still living below the poverty line and their education level is very low. It was found that open defecation is very high and overall sanitation conditions in the area is poor. Toilets are seldom found in the houses. Healthcare is not easily accessible because doctors seldom visit the community. There is urgent need for hygiene promotion. Health and hygiene promotion are required to enhance the health standards especially those of the women and female children.


The objective of the project was to build 65 toilets for residents and conduct hygiene training and awareness in the surrounding community. We actually were able to construct 67 toilets – see attached photo. During the community celebration of the completion of the 50th toilet, members of the Delhi Midwest were moved to personally donate another 55 toilets for a total of 120. This directly affected over 800 people and influenced many times that number. It has been found that once families have toilets, others in the community are determined to get one of their own. This multiplier effect is difficult to quantify.

Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Delhi Midwest for all their hard work to bring the project to a successful conclusion, especially Ashok Jain and Sunil Kapoor. We also appreciate the generous funding from your club to make this happen. We appreciate it as do the people from the village of Indra, India.

Project Update: Kukanga Primary School from One School at a Time

Dear Denver Rotary 31,

You are receiving this update as you donated over the past few years to the construction of a 5 classroom block building at Kukanga Primary School, rural Uganda (One School at a Time partner school #2). I wanted to share with you about the completion of these classrooms and our celebration this July 4th to commemorate just that!

Patty Gilbert and I, co-founders One School at a Time, woke at our Ugandan field office on that day at 7 AM to hear a huge commotion outside. We looked out the window, surprised to see a marching band (complete with tubas, horns, a drum and cymbals) along with over 500 student representatives from the 5 One School at a Time partner schools.

Little did we know, but they had planned a musical marching parade…..and we were the guests of honor!

We rushed outside and were swept into the fold as we marched in synch the 5 miles of dusty roads between our field office and Kukanga School. 100’s of onlookers lined the streets as the joyful procession snaked its way along. When we arrived at Kukanga School, the head teacher hurried us to the girl’s washing area admonishing us to bathe and put on new clothes. Turns out the new clothes she provided had been hand-sewn by Agnes, the head teacher of Bbinikila school, another One School partner. Patty and Juliet’s (Bays’ daughter) clothes fit perfectly but Bay’s were too small in the shoulders.

Next stop was the ceremony, attended by over 1,000 community members- parents, students, teachers, administrators, local government officials, church officials and a few reporters from local and national newspapers. After student dances, head teachers from each partner school summarized the changes that had occurred at their schools since partnership with One School at a Time. The finale was a raucous and controversial speech (encouraging parents to beat their children) by the Bishop of Mityana Diocese, followed by the offical “launching” of the new classroom building.

Earlier, the Bishop had communicated with Hussein Tadesse, One School Program Manager, that the original plaque thanking the donors (that would be all YOU wonderful people) was NOT acceptable and that the Diocese needed to be acknowldeged (even though they had nothing to do with the project). Eager to comply, Hussein simply made a new sign that covered the original plaque. This skillful solution assuaged all the egos.

After the “launch”, all 1,000 attendees were fed a traditional meal of matoke, rice, meat and sauce.

Upon our exhausted return to the Field Office that night, a knock came at the door. Agnes (photo below) had arrived! After a rigorous day of marching, speech-giving, and organizing and managing a giant celebration, she was there to measure Bay’s shoulders! As promised, the next morning like clockwork she arrived to deliver Bay’s outfit, now tailored to fit perfectly.

Thank you so much for being part of this wonderul and worthwhile effort. We could not have achieved all this without your loving support.
Bay Roberts and Patty Gilbert, Co-Founders, One School at a Time

If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
African proverb