Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange is an opportunity of a lifetime for more than 8,000 students who participate each year.  In our District, we normally have between 10 to 30 inbound and outbound students each year.  But club participation in this program has been lacking. This is our chance to learn more about the program and decide how our club will proceed.  At our January 7, 2015 we had member Steve Gerdes, who has changed the District’s program over the past 10 plus years, and Curt Peters, who is taking over the District program as our speakers.

Youth Exchange Basics

What is involved with Rotary Youth Exchange?  An agreement is made between our district and another in a different country to exchange students for a 8-10 month period.  Students must be between 15 and 19 years old and ideally will stay with more than one family in the host country and attend school during the year.

Each fall, outbound students are selected to be involved via District interviews, but students must be sponsored by a local club.  The students leave the following August, and about that same time we receive our student from the other country.  The inbound student stays with a host family for 3 to 6 months, and then rotates to another family.  Host families do not have to be Rotarians, and the District asks the outbound family to help recruit host families.  Ideally, the host family should live in the school district where the student will be attending.

To be able to send or host a youth exchange student, a club needs to have a Youth Exchange Officer and a Club Counselor to support the inbound student during their stay, and to help with the interviews for outbound students. Additional committee members are also needed to help and to keep both the inbound and outbound students involved with the local Rotary club – ideally a exchange student should visit the club monthly. The monetary cost for an inbound student to a Rotary Club is minimal: a $100 stipend is paid monthly to the student while they are here, and we also pay for group conferences for the students.  Total cost is about $1500 per student.

Additional resources for more details:

Club Poll

How do you feel about Rotary Youth Exchange? Here’s what we asked and what we found out.

  1. Indicate your feelings or knowledge on Rotary Youth Exchange:
    • I know what RYE is and the commitments involved
    • RYE is a valuable program for Rotary
    • Our club should host at least 1 student each year
    • Cost for RYE is a good value
  2. Are you willing to be a host family for RYE?
  3. Are you willing to be on the RYE committee?
  4. Should our club be involved with Rotary Youth Exchange?

RYE Chart

Club Elections 2015

The Nominating Committee reported to the Board of Directors on December 10th regarding the slate of candidates for the Board and for the Club President Nominee, and the announcement made to the club on December 17th.

The candidates for the Board of Directors, to start July 1, 2015 thru June 30, 2018 are:

  • Leah Bauer
  • Trevor Hamilton
  • Ken Hurt
  • Anna Cramer

The candidate for President Nominee for the Rotary year 2017-2018 is Bill Harvey.

Sean Olson is confirmed as President the Rotary year 2015-2016, and John Ewing will be President for the Rotary Year 2016-2017.

Another item to be announced is an update to the club’s bylaws.  Most of the changes are updating the bylaws to the latest suggested wording from Rotary International, and updating the section on Membership to fit with the new materials released this fall.  If you are interested in reading the summary of changes, or just reviewing all the club documents, you can click on the preceding links. The Club Election will be February 4, 2015.  Unless there are additional candidates proposed by the general membership, this election by a quorum at this meeting will confirm the nominees to their posts and approve the changes to the bylaws.

Happy Holidays from the three Santas

Can you identify Santa’s helpers in the picture below?

Santas at Holiday Party

Most people probably don’t know that we have three club members that make regular appearances for that Old St. Nick when he can’t be there himself.

The others in the pictures are two students from our Adopt-a-School partner J.P. Lord and teachers Joanie Tekippe and Sarah Monzu.  Thank you all for being at our Holiday Party on December 17th.

Outland Trophy update

The Rotary Club of Omaha has been part of the Outland Trophy Award since 1997.  As such, we are invited to attend the Semi-Finalist Reception at DJ’s Dugout on Thursday, November 20th.  Cost is $15.  Contact the Mancusos to attend, 402-346-8003 or click here.

Since the Outland Trophy winners from 1946 to 1989 did not receive the authentic Outland Trophy, our club is changing that, one person at a time.  This year, the Rotary Club of Omaha will honor Ross Browner from Notre Dame (1976).  Mr. Browner has gone on to play for ten seasons in the NFL, playing mainly for the Cincinnati Bengels.  For more information, please see  Mr. Browner, along with the to-be-named Outland Trophy recipient for 2014, will be our speakers at our annual Outland Trophy Luncheon on January 14, 2015 (click here to register).

The Outland Trophy Dinner will be Thursday, Janurary 15, 2015 at the Downtown DoubleTree Hotel.  Tickets are available by calling 402-346-8003 or click here.

District Grants (Rotary Foundation Month series)

Did you know that 50% of your donation to the Rotary Foundation comes back to our District for us to decide how it is used?  Usually 25% of that total is earmarked specifically for District Grants, which can support a variety of club projects and activities.

If you have an idea for a district grant, now’s the time to start working on it.  The grant proposals must be submitted to the Club Board of Directors by May 1 and are due to the District May 31, 2015, and will be awarded in August 2015.  The District Website has the forms, resources and training schedule to help you along.  (click here)

The size of a District Grant can be anywhere from $600 to $9000.  The club(s) involved must contribute half of the money and will be matched by the District funds.  The maximum grant for one club is $1500, but up to 4 clubs can work together to create the larger grants.

Have your eye on a larger grant?  Rotary Global Grants are available for projects over $30,000.  Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. Grant sponsors form international partnerships between clubs or districts in other countries that respond to real community needs.  For more information, check out (click here)

Polio Plus Donations (Rotary Foundation series)

Money that you donate to The Rotary Foundation (see last week) does NOT go to support the work for Polio Eradication.  This is done through separate donations.  

On October 24, World Polio Day, Rotary’s live-streamed global status update on the fight to end polio was viewed by more than 23,000 supporters in 24 countries and the hashtag #WorldPolioDay was shared 18,000 times.  If you missed the special live event, please take the time to watch it by clicking here.

Highlights included:

Recently, Rotary gave $44.7 million in grants to support immunization activities, surveillance and research spearheaded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which aims to end the crippling viral disease by 2018.

Your donation can make a difference and will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  If you didn’t have a chance to donate on World Polio Day, please consider donating today.

Thank you again for your continued support.  With your help, we can wipe polio off the face of the Earth forever and make history together.

Did you miss the Livestream event on Friday, October 24? No problems – you can catch a repeat on the web – click on the picture below.

Rotary Foundation Month

November is Rotary Foundation Month.  Just a couple things you should know.

The Rotary Foundation has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. the largest independent evaluator of nonprofits. more»

50% of the money you give to the Rotary Foundation comes back to our District in Nebraska and Iowa for projects designated by our local clubs.

Our club’s goal for the Rotary Foundation (on your dues statements as “Every Rotarian Every Year”) is $10,000.  So far, we have received $6,055 from our members.

Donations to The Rotary Foundation do NOT support the Polio eradication effort — more on that next week.

Do you want to make it easier to give to The Rotary Foundation?  Use Rotary Direct!  You can make a recurring gift either monthly, quarterly, or annually.  Click here for the form or call 1-866-976-8279. You can check your giving records at any time for The Rotary Foundation at

Find out more about Rotary’s Donor Advised Fund. This makes philanthropy simple. Open a charitable giving account today with $10,000 or more and recommend grants to your favorite charities at your convenience.  This is not just for giving to The Rotary Foundation, but for all charities.  Rotary just provides professional asset management and takes care of all the administrative details.  more»


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