Welcome to Club Runner

On July 30, we move to managing our club using Club Runner.  It’s an exciting change and we hope you enjoy exploring the new features that are available using this system.
Your user name and password from the old system will not work in Club Runner.  Please click here for instructions on how to get your new login name and password (and how to make changes).
For those who want more information on what you can do, here are some additional materials from Club Runner.

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Find your passion in Rotary!

Are you getting the most out of Rotary?  Get more by following your passion for one of the avenues of service to find a committee (or two) to join.  Be involved in Rotary by finding your project(s)to be involved!

Rotary’s AVENUES OF SERVICE guide our activities:

  • Through Club Service, we have fun, build lasting friendships, and make sure that our club runs well.
  • Through Vocational Service, we volunteer our professional skills to serve others and promote integrity in everything we do.
  • Through Community Service, we address local needs and work with our community
  • Through International Service, we meet humanitarian needs around the globe and promote world understanding and peace.
  • Through Youth Service, we work with young people to help them become the next generation of leaders, visionaries, and peacemakers.

Download this file to sign up!  You get out of Rotary what you put into it!  Please consider joining more than one committee and participate in 2 to 4 projects and helping with at least one club service committee.

Check out our committee descriptions on our website at www.omaharotary.org/committees

Omaha Downtown Rotary Club Foundation Announces Grants

Fourteen Omaha area organizations were recently awarded grants totaling nearly $32,000 by the Downtown Rotary Club Foundation.  Recipients include Rotary Honor Roll Scholarships ($9,000), Rotary Club of Council Bluffs-Fairmount Park project ($2333), Women’s Center for Advancement ($1500), Completely KIDS ($1,000), Rotary Youth Leadership Academy scholarships ($600), Celebrating Nebraska Statehood – Nebraska 150 ($1,000), Hope Center for Kids ($1000), Alzheimer’s Association ($2500), RESPECT ($1035), Heartland Family Service ($1000), College of Saint Mary $2500), YMCA of Greater Omaha ($1000), Omaha Community Playhouse ($1500), Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska ($2000) and Rebuilding Together Omaha ($4000).


Susan Koesters, President of the Omaha Downtown Rotary Club Foundation, said grant winners were chosen based on their area of focus.  “All of the grant winners are non profits who perform such meaningful work in our community.  Their goals align with our areas of focus for grants for seniors, veterans and education. The Downtown Rotary Club Foundation appreciates being a small part of their impact.”


The Omaha Downtown Rotary Club Foundation was incorporated in Nebraska on December 31, 1990 as a non-profit corporation. The Club Foundation’s purpose is to carry out the community service projects of the Rotary Club of Omaha and to accept property to be administered for charitable purposes.


According to John Ewing, President for the club, the Club Foundation was recently reorganized to better provide community grants emphasizing educational opportunities, veteran services and senior citizens.  ”Our vision is to build an investment that will make a meaningful difference in our community, our country and our Rotary world.”


Requests for grants from the Omaha Downtown Rotary Club Foundation must be submitted by May 1st next year.  For more information visit  www.omaharotary.org/foundation.

26th Annual Metro Area Rotary Luncheon

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Check-in open at 11:15 AM
Opening Remarks & Presentation 11:45 pm to 1 pm.
Cost $20
Champions Run, 13800 Eagle Run Drive

Hosted by Omaha West Rotary Club
Rotarians and Guests invited

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Topic: “Human Trafficking Update”

Keynote Speakers:
MATT FRIEDMAN – Founder & Ambassador of Mekong Club
Matt is an international human trafficking expert with more than 25 years of experience. He spent six years with the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in Thailand and now leads The Mekong Club, a group of Hong Kong-based private sector business leaders who have joined forces to help fight human trafficking in Asia.
SYLVIA YU FRIEDMAN – Ambassador and Co-Presenter of Mekong Club
Sylvia Yu is an award-winning journalist, TV anchor, documentary producer, book author and advisor to philanthropists. Her philanthropy advising work focuses on bringing an end to global sex trafficking and human slavery in our lifetime through the 852 Hero Campaign in Hong Kong.

Resignation announcement

For the past 9 years, Gretchen Bren has served as the Executive Director for The Rotary Club of Omaha. She has moved this club forward and challenged us to be the best club that we can be, while constantly serving as an example of what can be accomplished by being a member of the largest service club in the world.

Last Thursday, June 9 Gretchen officially resigned as Executive Director in person to John Ewing, Bill Harvey and myself. I read her resignation letter and notified the Board of Directors at our meeting on Friday, June 10. Here is her letter:

To The Rotary Club of Omaha Club Leadership and Board of Directors:

Please accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation as the Executive Director/Club Administrative Director from the Rotary Club of Omaha. I am not including a firm termination date, but I hope this can happen within the next four to six weeks. I want only the best for the Rotary Club of Omaha and am willing to help search for and train a replacement during this time, and will continue to provide support as needed even after I have left.

Thank you all for the opportunities I have been able to participate in while I have had this position. The associations I’ve made during my employment have truly changed my life.

Gretchen Bren

Gretchen has poured everything that she had into this role. She told me at the beginning of the year that her main goal was to make the President look good and I can attest that she accomplished that goal. We all relied on Gretchen for many things (sometimes too many things) and she always produced for the good of our club. We have talked a lot about “Leadership” this past year, Gretchen has been a consistent leader throughout her term as Executive Director and her own personal fight to eradicate Polio.

The leadership of the Rotary Club of Omaha understands that this was a hard decision for Gretchen to come to and one that she agonized over for some time now. She made it clear that no one thing brought this on and that she was doing this for her own personal health and well-being. While there will be some big shoes to fill, we wish Gretchen well in her future endeavors. Gretchen will be officially transferred to a honorary member of the Rotary Club of Omaha as she spends some time determining how she wants to continue her Rotary journey.

I want to let the membership know that we are acting quickly to create a job description and to start looking for a replacement. We will keep the membership informed as we go about this process. Any questions about the process can be directed to John Ewing or myself.

Our club is strong because of our members. I am confident that we will not skip a beat during this transition. Every Downtown Rotarian will be called on to stay active, involved and committed.

I still believe that “The Future of Rotary is NOW!”

Sean Olson

[From the President’s Pen, June 15, 2016]

Omaha Rotary to host TCU for CWS

The Rotary Club of Omaha is one of the eight service clubs that is a host to a College World Series, and this year we will host the TCU Horned Frogs.

On Saturday, June 18, the team will be at Oak Hills Country Club from 1:30 to 3:30 for its Rotary “Team Event”. Players will participate in a long drive contest and a putting contest. Dinner will be provided after the driving/putting. The team eats at no charge but all others, if they choose to eat, are charged $12 ($10 for children age 12 and under). Good opportunity to interact with the players, the coaches, their families and out of town fans.

Friday is the Opening Ceremonies Celebration at TD Ameritrade Park.  The TCU team is scheduled to practice at 2:10 and will then be available for a public autograph session from 3:30 to 4:15.  The official Opening Ceremonies will begin at 8:45 p.m. Admission is free. Great event for you and your family!

TCU squares off at 2:00 on Sunday, June 19 against Texas Tech for its first game. Win or lose, they will play again on Tuesday, June 21.

The TCU itinerary indicates that they plan to visit Children’s Hospital on Monday, June 20 from 10:30 to 11:30.  If you are available to join them it is always a very good experience.

The committee is still selling books of General Admission tickets at $85 per book.  Each book contains 10 general admission tickets valued at $11.50 each, good for any game.  The books represent a discount of $30.

There are 5,500 General Admission seats which, especially at TD Ameritrade Omaha Park, are a great place to watch a game.

It is not uncommon for ticket books to be sold and then donated to various youth groups (ie Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys Town, etc.)

General Admission tickets can also be upgraded to Reserved tickets (subject to availability).

Early Bird registration for District Conference ends July 1

Join Rotarians from throughout our District to celebrate the accomplishments of Rotary in our region and the world during the past year. The Rotary District Conference 2016 will feature dynamic speakers, including:
* Former Secretary of Defense and US Senator Chuck Hagel and Former US Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey discuss the concept of service
* Dr. Bill McDade presents on Polio Eradication
* Rotary International Vice President Jennifer Jones
* and other special guests!
Registration is now open! Please make your plans early and access our early bird rate of $75.
The conference hotel is the Cornhusker Marriott, 333 S 13th St. A block of rooms has been reserved at a rate of $99 per night. Call 402.474.7474 and ask for the “Rotary District” block of rooms.
Hope to see you there!”
– – Rod Bates, Rotary District 5650 Governor 2015-16