Bill Ramsey receives Service Above Self award

Bill Ramsey receives the Service Above Self award from the Rotary Club of Omaha

Bill Ramsey receives the Service Above Self award from the Rotary Club of Omaha

A member of our Rotary Club since 1972, Bill Ramsey served many years on the originally named “Let George Do It” committee. This committee within our club historically has recognized community members that made outstanding contributions to improve the city of Omaha.

Later renamed the Service Above Self Award, this committee consists of David Goldstein, Jim Murphy, and Bill Ramsey. All long-time members of our club, this year David and Jim felt it was time to recognize one of their own who had contributed so much to our club and city.
Recognizing that Bill truly provides service above self, and would undoubtedly and humbly refuse to go along with the honor, Bill was left out of the true deliberations for the 2014 award. This pastWednesday, Bill was honored in a surprise ceremony that recognized his long history of giving back. As many noticed during Bill’s acceptance remarks, it was the first time anyone call recall being truly speechless.
-Jim Murphy

We Are Rotary

August is Membership Month

Join our global celebration of membership during the month of August. If you are a member of Rotary, Interact, Rotaract, or a RYLA participant, share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram using the hashtag #WeAreRotary to be included in our gallery and help us show how Rotary is making a difference.

Fresno State vs Nebraska & Rotary?

If anyone is attending (or wants to attend) the Fresno State vs Nebraska game on September 13th, the Fresno Rotary Club invites you to a Tailgate Party.  If you order before Augsut 25th – they may also be able to help get tickets for you.  This is being organized by their COGS group.  More information and tickets on sale at (or click here)

We are District 5650

The following video was shown at the Thursday dinner for RI President Gary Huang, and is a great overview of just how much our district does to help others.  [This was put together by Gary Bren]

You’ll recognize many of our club’s projects including Rotary Honor Roll, The 9-11 Flags at Memorial Park, and Operation Hippocrates.  Not to mention that current club president Tim Cavanaugh starts off the video.

“We do two Invocations each Wednesday, one in prayer and one in song”

Several members asked for a copy of the invocation that was read by Warren Francke at last week’s meeting.  In honor of Flag Day (which was Saturday, June 14th), we have reprinted the invocation here:

We do two invocations each Wednesday, one in prayer and one in song. The prayer takes many forms from week to week, not always resembling the prayers some of us pray privately.
But we sing the same invocation here weekly, calling on God to bless America. You might say that is our favorite invocation. We can all remember what happened after 9-11.  It was not our National Anthem, not the Star-Spangled Banner that was sung most often in those days of renewed unity and patriotism. It was “God Bless America.”  Outstanding vocalists sang it at ball games and all sorts of events.  With powerful voices, they asked God to stand beside us and guide us through the night with the light from above.
And about that time I ran across an unusual tribute to the song. The great sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, had not completed carving presidential faces on Mt. Rushmore in 1940 when he was honored at a banquet here. V.J. Skutt of Mutual of Omaha fame congratulated Borglum on creating something that would always survive and never be forgotten.  The sculptor thanked him but said his accomplishment was small compared to the creation of another man.  He said he would rather be Irving Berlin, he would rather have written “God Bless America.”
At a time when great buildings had crashed to the ground, where did Americans turn for help?  They sang the song written by Irving Berlin, they invoked God to bless this land, to stand beside us and guide us.  May each of us be guided to serve, if not by carving mountains or writing songs, by simply helping where we can and creating monuments to kindness and generosity.

Help Downtown Rotary Strike Out Hunger!

Soon thousands of cheering fans will crowd TD Ameritrade Park for the 2014 College World Series.  But just imagine the roar of the crowd in your stomach!  Approximately 217,000 people in Nebraska and western Iowa struggle with hunger.  88,000 are children under the age of 18.  You can help Food Bank for the Heartland Strike Out Hunger!  June is the 8th annual Strike Out Hunger campaign, a friendly competition among 34 metro area businesses to determine which company can donate the most food and/or funds.  Downtown Rotary is a proud participant!  You can help us get to the top of the scoreboard by making a financial donation through the Food Bank’s Virtual Food Drive set up for Downtown Rotary at the link below.  It’s quick, easy and fun!

The Food Bank can make financial contributions go a long way.  For every $1, they can distribute enough food for three meals!  And, 96-percent of every donation goes to mission work.  You can follow the action of Strike Out Hunger on or on the Food Bank’s Strike Out Hunger Facebook page.  Please help if you can.  We need to send hunger back to the dugout!

The Board of Directors for our club has approved this special event for the month of June.  We will be participating in the Strike Out HungerFood Drive from June 2-27.  We would like to ask Downtown Rotarians to join us by bringing canned food items to our meetings on June 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the Field Club.  You can also participate by clicking on the above link.  The link will take you to our own Virtual Food Drive where you can purchase virtual food items and then pay with a debit or credit card. It is very easy to use and all donations will go towards the final total for our club.

As a final incentive, we will be competing in a friendly rivalry versus Suburban Rotary.  The losing club will be videotaped singing “You are the Champions” (to the tune of “We are the Champions”) and delivered for the other club to play to their members.  Do you want to beat Suburban?  Of course we do, but please remember that the real winners in this competition are those that are struggling to find meals to eat each and every day in our community.  Service Above Self!

Committee members for Strike Out Hunger include; Sean Olson, Dustin Distefano, Dan Ertz, Suzie Heffernan, Emily Tonniges and Emily Zach.  If you have any questions, please contact any of them.

Coming July 1 – new lunch fee structure

Each active member of our club is asked to pay a prepaid lunch fee of $120 with their dues. This is applied to the 40 regular lunches held at the Field Club throughout the year.  Active members also receive an additional $1 discount on regular meeting pricing – reducing the weekly out-of-pocket lunch cost to $9.

The following meetings are not reduced by the prepaid fee or additional discount:

  • Business Networking Days
  • January meetings not held at the Field Club
  • Metro Luncheon
  • Honor Roll Luncheon

A letter was mailed out in April 2014 to all club members about a change in how our future lunch prices are going to be structured.  This was sent out ahead of the dues statement so you have time to ask questions.  Here are a few questions that we have received so far, as well as a quick overview.

I don’t recall receiving a letter?  This was mailed on March 20th and sent to the primary mailing address we have on file for you.  This may have been your home or work address.  You can check your address by going to your profile on our website at and click “View My Profile” after you log in. Your primary address is listed first. Please let the office know if either address is wrong or if you’d prefer to change which is your primary mailing address.

Can you remind me what the letter said?  Click here to download a copy of the letter. The $120 prepaid lunch fee will be included on your 2014-2015 dues statement.  And starting July 1, we are reducing the price for lunch for members to $12. So after July 1 you will pay $9 for your meals at the Field Club when you attend and join us for lunch, and nothing if you choose not to eat.

What will it costs for guests?  Guest lunches will remain at $13. For a guest that does not join us for the meal, the cost is still $3.  Honorary members are exempt from the pre-paid lunch fee.  Their lunch is still $13 per meeting.

What about using credit cards to pay?  The above prices are the ‘cash’ price, we will continue to charge $1 more for credit cards.  So a weekly lunch using a credit card would be $10, $14 for guests, and the no lunch cost for a guest would be $4.

Will FastPass still be used?  FastPass will still work – and instead of you having to remember is the price $9, $12, $13, etc, it will be automatically deducted from your FastPass balance.  (Want to know more about FastPass?  Click here.)

Please let the office know in writing if you have any other questions and we will continue to answer them.

(originally published April 7, 2014, reposted 6/20/2014)


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