Rotary Club of Emporia

Club Information

Welcome to the Emporia Rotary Club


Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 11:45 AM
Emporia Country Club
1801 Rural
Emporia, KS  66801
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Stuart Symmonds
Jun 26, 2018
Rotary year in review and installation of officers
Damian O’keef
Sep 04, 2018
New Emergency Room at the Newman Regional Hospital
Club Executives & Directors
Rotary Foundation
Past President
Board Member-Public Information Officer
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member-Social Media

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Home Page Stories
Alerting the world to the symptoms of Type I diabetes. That is the mission of Kent Schnakenberg and Team Schnak. Kent spends a lot of time talking about the disease and collects donations for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Over the last three years, Kent has collected over $300,000 in donations for JDRF. He has put 173,000 miles on his truck, which you can't miss seeing going down the road. He is participating in five bike rides this year and has visited 14 schools around the country communicating about Type I diabetes and its symptoms. 
Kent introduced Alyssa Belford, who was diagnosed with the disease in 20001, and has been living with it for 17 years. Alyssa, the daughter of Rotarian Karen Belford, provided a fascinating first-hand report on what it is like to live with Type I diabetes.  Indeed, it is a team effort among the whole family of a diabetic. Alyssa recently graduated from KSU, has become EMT certified, and is applying for jobs as well as for medical school. Her interest is providing sustainable care for those with the disease in third world countries. 
During our meeting, Harvey Foyle presented a check to Kent from Happy Bucks donations collected during a recent quarter. Kent has also started the Team Schnak Strong Fund at the Emporia Community Foundation. Donations to this fund provides $500 per year for medical and gas expenses for families of local kids with Type I diabetes. The fund also sends kids to camp for one week for kids with Type I diabetes. Seven kids are being sent this year's scholarships. The goal is to expand the number of kids with scholarships.
Suzanne Worthen-Miller of the Salvation Army informed our club about the mission of the organization's mission of humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and Christian influence since 1865 in the 128 countries in which it is involved. Our Rotary Club provided help in the form of a refurbished kitchen and meeting room in the Salvation Army's annex just a few years ago.
During July and August, our Rotary Club meets twice per month on the following dates:
  • July 10
  • July 24
  • August 7
  • August 21
On September 4, our weekly meetings will resume.
Dr. Brent Thomas, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Emporia State University, shared with our club information on the new Prophet Aquatic Research & Outreach Center. Located on the north end of campus next to King Lake, the center will enable them to help meet the challenges posed by infrastructure and equipment that is not currently possible at ESU. Biology is a strength at ESU. This facility will make the existing programs even stronger. It will help to attract quality students and quality future instructors to ESU.
ESU have been known for the student engagement and good learning environment in the biological sciences. Dr. Carl Prophet's dedication to teaching biology at ESU contributed greatly toward ESU's reputation, and the new facility is being dedicated to him. Dr. Prophet was a great example at ESU for helping kids get excited about learning by getting their hands dirty. This engagement has led to a very popular Summer Biology Day Camp at ESU that has always had a long waiting list among kids. Kids don't learn biology by completing worksheets, but by experiencing it first-hand outside. A sufficient quantity of high quality water resources is extremely important for our way of life on this planet. That should be reason enough to get kids engaged in a meaningful way to get them excited about biology and leaning about the importance of our water resources. This new outreach center will impact kids year around, instead of just a short time in the summer. It will enable the program to expand from just 25 kids to thousands of kids year around and at a much wider age range. 
The Westar Green Team has already installed the posts that will enable the building to be placed six feet above the flood plain. Of the $850,000 total cost of construction, $615,000 has been raised, so they are well on their way to raising the needed funds. 
Rotarian Tom Mais introduced Jeannie Jensen, Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church, who presented to our club the ongoing mission in Guatemala, the Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Mayan (ODIM). Breaking the cycle of malnutrition and poverty is the over-reaching goal of ODIM in Guatemala, and they seem to making progress with a 40% reduction of malnutrition in their first year. 
Guatemala's people:
  • 15.5 million people
  • 20 = average age
  • 60% are indigenous Mayan
  • 4 rank in the world for chronic malnutrition
  • 76% live in extreme poverty
  • 72% never finish primary school
ODIM's activities focus on addressing the educational and health care issues of the indigenous people of Guatemala. Two clinics built see between 5,000 and 7,000 people per year. 
The following are some of the programs and services that are provided:
  • community programs
  • medical teams
  • construction teams
  • diabetes program
  • Healthy House program - reduces dirt floors in homes to create a healthier environment
  • scholarship program - tutoring, school supplies to get more kids through school
  • adolescent youth program - Reduces teenage pregnancies
Several years ago, our Rotary Club donated radiology sonogram equipment that is in use in the clinics. This equipment has proven to save lives of these indigenous Mayan people. Several of our Rotary Club members have made several trips to this area to work in this special ministry over the past several years.
If there is anything that gives you a good feeling about our Emporia Middle School students, it is to watch the Interact Club members describe the projects in which they are involved. Andy Hawley is the sponsoring teacher who does a great job in guiding this group of active teenagers. The club members choose projects to help their school, help their community and help the world. Our Rotary Club sponsored the start of this club at the Emporia Middle School. This same group helped with our Dictionary Project this year by attaching the project labels inside of the front covers of each dictionary provided to Emporia third graders.
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