Service Above Self

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13850 Cutten Road
Houston, TX  77069
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WRC Scholarship recipients [L-R] Jose Sagrera, Julie Nguyen, Catarina Do, Amangelin Jalbuena, Xavier Elliott, & Venkata Adsumilli with Ruben Santos & David Thompson.
Induction Ceremony for Willowbrook Rotary Club 2016-2017 Officers and Chairpersons was held on June 21.  PDG Suzi Howe (in white) performed the induction representing District 5890.   New President Ruben Santos and President Elect Barbara Sharp were sworn in for their new responsibilities.  Rotarian of the Years was awarded to Dale Kaltenbach recognizing his faithful service as Sergeant at Arms.
2016-2017 Officers shown from left to right are Chip Webb, Programs; Randy Thompson, Foundation; Barbara Sharp, President Elect; Ruben Santos, President; Norm Stephens, Membership; David Smith, Community; Suzi Howe, Presiding District Officer; Linda Honig (in back), Secretary; Anais Watsky, International; Tom Jackson, Treasurer; Dale Kaltenbach, Sgt.at Arms; and David Thompson, prior President.
Linda Honig is inducted at Secretary.  The 2015-2016 Officers are recognized for their contributions last year.
In 2015 and 2016 to date the Willowbrook Rotary Club maintained their programs for support for local charitable causes, strong participation with our international student exchange program, focus on scholarships for outstanding local students, support of international Rotary projects, and continued participation as a leading club in Rotary District 5890.
Among our accomplishments this year are included:
Providing birthday cookies for clients at Reach Unlimited each month as well as recognizing the employee of the month with a plaque and a Wal-Mart gift card.
Helped with a Houston Greenbelt Project clean-up day picking up trash and planting trees.
Provided lunch for the Habitat for Humanity volunteers at a build site.
Provided scholarships to 5 graduating Interact students from Klein Forest High schools to attend 4-year colleges in Texas and beyond.
Provided gifts for breast cancer patients at CHI St. Luke’s Health -The Woodlands Hospital.
Sponsoring an Early Act First Knight program at Klenk Elementary School in Klein ISD.
Closed a Global Grant in S. Africa that installed plumbing and bathrooms in schools and orphanages.
Working on a micro-lending program in Haiti where we have also completed multiple potable water projects.
Recruited 1 long-term outbound Rotary Exchange student to Taiwan for the 2015/16 school year and sponsored an inbound & outbound student with Italy during the summer of 2015.
Sponsoring 2 long-term inbound Rotary Exchange students for the 2015/16 school year. The students are from from France & Germany.
Donated Christmas presents to needy children through NAM’s holiday program.
Volunteered in the NAM Food Pantry during their Christmas food and gift distribution.
100% Paul Harris Club
In the first quarter of 2015, the Beaudachita  micro lending program received a $5,000 grant from the Moody Memorial PEF. The loans were distributed in $110 increments to 44 new recipients in March of 2015. Each loan bears an interest rate of 3% and a maturity of 3 months.  In total, the program has $8,000 in loans outstanding to 63 beneficiaries.  Additionally, the program has an additional 50 beneficiaries who have been trained and are awaiting loans and we have $4,600 in additional funds that we have raised to fund this next class of beneficiaries. We have also set up a network of prayer partners. When a beneficiary receives a loan, they are asked if they would like a prayer partner from JWUMC.  We believe that this will establish a closer connection between our community and theirs and make the experience deeper for everyone. So far we have 22 prayer partners.                                          
We believe that the overall program is going very well. Below are two testimonials from loan beneficiaries that indicate that our relationship is helping improve the lives of the people of Beaudachita.
“I am Bien-Aime Odeline . I lives in Bouda Chita municipality since childhood I am a beneficiary from this program. I have 2 kids a boy and a girl.three ( 3) year from now, they did not go to school because I couldn’t pay school for them. Thanks to John Wesley Micro credit. this year I make a big different and they go to school like all the other people in my village and I myself become an entrepreneur where I sell Mangoes and Bananas, my husband doesn’t work. On the benefit, I feed the house. Thank you.”
“Roland Medina, A very enthusiastic beneficiary of John Wesley Microcredit. Recently, we have no support from anyone, I mean we do not exist for local leaders, but now thanks to PWW determination  and its innovation, we have now a supporter. PWW provided us clean and safety water  that the first thing the village needs to live healthy; no drinking water, no life, but waterborne diseases. Finally, I borrow 5,000 gourdes. With this money, I sell bread in city of Bouda Chita and also in my house. Life begins to improve in many different ways for my family. Every day, I come home with something that all my people could eat. I must tell you the truth in the future; I intend to have a bakery where I can become a boss.”
We are blessed to serve and blessed by our relationship with the people of Beaudachita. Thank you for your support of this program. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
The Haiti Committee.  Randy Thompson Chair 281 630-8040

Willowbrook Rotary prepared to say goodbye to our three Rotary Youth Exchange Students for 2014/2015.  Shown above are RYE Students Dong, Gigi and Cuno with Rotarians Ruben Santos, Vocational Chair, and David Thompson, President.  Each student made a presentation to the club on their year in America and their experiences with the Rotary Program.  These students have formed lifetime bonds with their host families, Willowbrook Rotarians, other District 5890 Exchange Students and with each other.  We give them our blessings as they return to their native countries and pick up the challenges of continuing their education.
Rotarians support NAM with Christmas Toy distribution. Each Christmas Willowbrook Rotarians participate with other area charitable organizations to fill Christmas Toy Bags for local families in need of assistance to provide Christmas Gifts for their children. These toy bags are distributed by Northwest Assistance Ministry to needy families. WRC joined with NAM to assist in this distribution. Pictured are the Rotarian Elves who are supporting Santa in his Christmas visits for kids.


District 5890 welcomed Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang to our 2015 All Club Meeting on January 15!   Willowbrook Rotarians attending this event include President David Thompson, Director Rubin Santos, Director Anais Watsky, President Elect Massy Williams.  Also attending were Massy's Husband Jesse Williams and Massy's Mother.

Willowbrook Rotary Club's 2014 Christmas Party was hosted by Massy and Jesse Williams at their home.  Rotarians and their guests enjoyed an evening of fellowship and good food including Persian specialty dishes prepared by Massy and her Mother.  There was much fun for all during the White Elephant auction.  Anonymous gifts were selected by participants in turn with many surprises; those with lucky choices soon found their gift stolen by the next in turn in competition for the best gifts.
A new club brochure is available for new and prospective members.  This provides answers for common questions about cost, time, benefits and Rotary activities.  Rotary's Avenues of Service are described with typical projects undertaken by WRC in each of these service areas.  A new Corporate Membership is identified in this publication intended to serve our neighbor companies which choose to support Rotary's ideals of community and international service.  A corporate membership may be shared between several of the company's personnel to recognize that a busy businessman or woman cannot always attend weekly meetings.
Michael Stearns on exchange to Italy reports on his class trip to Berlin, Germany.  My highlight of the month was a trip I went on with my class to Berlin, Germany, which shortly after I left I saw that Sarah and Josh had gone to as well. We stayed for four days and got to see a bunch of stuff. My favorites were the Bundestag and the Museum of history, which has an entire Mesopotamian wall reconstructed within it. We also saw the Holocaust memorial and the Museum of Jewish History, which both were a bit emotional for me to see but were a good experience nonetheless. Other than Berlin there weren’t too many special events worth noting however tomorrow I’m leaving for Rome and Florence so I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about on next month’s report.
The newest Willowbrook Rotarian Karen Gundersen was inducted to our Rotary Club on November 7.  Karen is shown here in the center between President David Thompson and her sponsor Secretary and President Elect Massey Williams.

Rotarian Massy Williams and her husband Jesse sponsored a Halloween party for their friends including the Willowbrook Rotary Club members among others. Pictured above and below are all the ghouls appearing in costume for this event.
The Willowbrook Rotary Club originally build the children's playground behind the Northwest Assistance Ministry building on Kuykendahl Road Building about 1995.  This year the club took it on to repair several play facilities which were damaged and to replace the playground material.   It was necessary to replace a slide, a crawl through tunnel and several steps in the playground.  Two 16 wheel trucks delivered new mulch, see the picture below.  This mulch was moved inside the playground with assistance from many volunteers including Rotarians, Klein High Rotaract Club, Rotary Exchange Students, and NAM volunteers.  
The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity that encourages, recognizes, and supports the philanthropic and volunteer activities of financial advisors in communities across the country and around the world, hosted their annual Community Leadership Awards on Thursday, September 18th. Randall M Thompson, of Lincoln Financial Advisors in Houston, was a finalist for the Global Community Impact Award, based on the work he does in Haiti with Pure Water for the World, a 501(c)(3) organization out of Rutland, VT. 
In 2010, Thompson volunteered to go to Haiti to survey the work of Pure Water for the World as a representative of the Rotary Club of Willowbrook, Houston, TX.  “It was a sea change in my life — a very deeply moving experience,” Thompson shared.  Pure Water for the World’s mission is simple but profound: to improve the health of children, families and communities in the developing world by providing them with sustainable water solutions, sanitation and hygiene education. 
Thompson has personally raised the funds to support clean water solutions for entire villages. Pure Water for the World is passionate about education and empowerment of the local community members with regard to sanitation and hygiene practices. A clean water solution includes an in-home use bio-sand filtration system, community agent training, hygiene education, and monitoring and follow-up to ensure the long-term efficacy of the systems and practices.  When asked by Invest In Others what he sees as the ripple effect of his work, Thompson replied, “On a macro level, their economy will grow; on a micro level, they won’t have to watch their children die.”

Pictured above are Randy and Amy Thompson in New York to accept the Global Community Impact Award. Next picture is Randy in Haiti with students from School recently equipped with water filters from Pure Water for the World.
Klein Interact went yesterday October 11th to the Children Museum in Houston.  The club counselor Mina Chacon (Spanish teacher,Klein High School) took 8 students and worked for 4-5 hours. It was quite an experience! There were so many kids and they didn't have enough volunteers so some of the Interact students didn't have a break during their assigned duty. It was overwhelming!   Next time said Ms. Chacon, I will need at least 20 students.

The District 5890 Foundation Conference featured speaker was Nicole Heydari who lead a project in Afghanistan to fund and construct 4 classrooms for the Chehelton Middle school in Kabul.  Contributions for this project came from District 5890 and the Rotary Clubs featured on the plaque shown below.  Notice that the student in the middle of this picture is holding a Willowbrook Rotary Club banner.  The school had previously held classes in the open or under tents without any permanent class facilities.
Pictured here are Rotary President David Thompson with Judge Robert Eckels.

Prior Harris County Judge Robert Eckels and now President Texas High Speed Railway spoke to Willowbrook Rotarians about plans for a high speed "bullet" train between Houston and Dallas.  Judge Eckels said he was working with the  Japanese bullet train builder to plan a similar service for Texas.  He described three possible routes between these cities but the alternatives for actual terminal locations are still very open for discussion. 

District 5890 Governor Lisa Faith Massey and Assistant Governor Elaine Combs attended Willowbrook Rotary's meeting on August 22 for the official Governor's meeting. Pictured on the left is Assistant Governor Klaine Combs who recognized WRC for their achievements during this year and introduced Lisa Faith Massey. The Governor reviewed her history in Rotary and explained her goals for this upcoming year.

District Governor's Above and Beyond Awards were presented by Lisa Faith Massey to Community Service Director David Smith for his work with EAFK in the Klein School District, to Vocational Service Director Ruben Santos for his work with the Scholarship Program and Interact Clubs, and to Secretary and President Elect Massey Williams to recognize her quick acceptance as a new Rotarian of club leadership responsibility.


We welcomed two new Rotarians to our club in August.  New member Norman Stephens is pictured above left with Sponsor John Mitchell during his induction by District Governor Lisa Faith Massey.   And on the right, new Rotarian Chip Webb is inducted by President David Thompson with Anais Watsky who is sitting in for Chip's sponsor Tom Jackson.

Willowbrook Rotarians are enjoying coffee and bagels during the regular Saturday morning make-up session.  Here they are discussing how Rotary is "THIS CLOSE" to eliminating Polio in those endemic countries where it still is active.   Rotary International supported by donations from Rotary Clubs worldwide and in partnership with the World Health Organization and Gates Foundation sponsors immunization programs planned to eliminate the Polio virus. 
WRC Rotarians often join together at 8AM on Saturday mornings at Panera Bread (6915 FM 1960) for fellowship.  The club allows Rotarians at this gathering to count this as a make-up when they must miss a regular meeting given that at least 5 Rotarians were present and Rotary business is discussed. 
WRC Vocational Services Director Ruben Santos shown here at left center welcomes the 2014 Scholarship Recipients at the August 1 Rotary Club meeting.  Scholarships of $1000 per school year for two years were awarded by Willowbrook Rotary to these highly qualified high school seniors.  Appearing here are Humza Ali (Klein Forest HS), Travis Pham, Karla Araniva (Klein Forest HS), and Faustine Sun (Klein HS).  Also receiving a scholarship is Brenda Zelaya (Klein Forest HS) who was not present for this picture.
Additional scholarship recipient Brenda Zelaya (Klein Forest) here with President David Thompson and Director Ruben Santos. Brenda will be attending Texas A&M in the Fall.
Rotary takes pride and remains relevant to society by its diversity of culture, gender, religion & politics.  Rotary is poised for greatness by such diversity and now also places emphasis on younger generations. Having identified the need to emphasize new generations, we now have EarlyAct ethics and character education programs for elementary students, Interact for middle and high school students, and Rotaract for the college-aged generation and young professionals.   In recent years Rotary has coined the term  “New Generations”.
New Generations refers to the youngest generation in the family of Rotary. Many are participants in Rotary’s youth and young adult programs: Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange. Others are service- minded young people involved in Rotary club and district activities.
Past RI President Luis Vicente Giay coined the term New Generations when he shared his belief that the future of Rotary relied on involving young people in the organization’s programs and activities. At the 1996 RI Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he said: “Our vision for the future, now more than ever, is the difference between success and failure. The New Generations are our investment in the future. Let us begin to build that future today.” New Generations Service became Rotary’s fifth Avenue of Service in 2010. It is defined in article 5 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.
For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly change your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us. -Donald Williams


The monthly birthday celebration at Reach Unlimited featured Reach Employee of the Month Jamaca Wilson. Here she is being honored by Rotarian Massy Williams (with headdress) and a Reach Staffer. Client Birthday's are celebrated at Reach by a parade of the Client Marching (strolling) Band and all birthday participants through the classroom halls while all classrooms students emerge to congratulate those with birthdays. Cookies are shared by all after the parade.
Willowbrook Rotarians selected David Thompson as Rotarian of the Year for 2013/2014.  David served as Vocational Service Director this year.  He was the primary supporter behind efforts to improve Willowbrook's scholarship program to recognize students with the motivation and drive to succeed in their college program.  He directed the 2014 Scholarship program in awarding 3 scholarships at Klein Forest and 1 at Klein High to deserving and ambitious Seniors.  David also worked closely with the new Interact Club at Klein High assisting their formation and helping the Faculty Advisor establish an active and productive student organization.    David is the Willowbrook Rotary Club President for the 2014/2015 Rotary year.
Willowbrook Rotary Board of Directors for the 2014/2015 club year were installed on June 12.  Incoming President David Thompson was installed by incoming District Governor Lisa Faith Massey.  Club Officers installed included Treasurer Randy Thompson, President Elect Massy Williams, Secretary Massy Williams, Foundation Chair John Maxwell, Publicity Chair John Mitchell, Vocational Service Director Rubin Santos, Programs Chair Bob Ullom. Not Present was International Service Director Anais Watsky and Community Service Director David Smith. Past President John Maxwell was presented a model sailboat as a thanks from the club for his service.  This past year was the second time John has served as President.
Willowbrook Rotary Club's activities for the 2013/2014 year include the following projects and activities:
3 current long-term inbounds
15 current long-term outbounds
8 short-terms for summer 2010
Sponsored Ambassadorial Scholar, David Lichte
$10,000 to Pure Water for project in Haiti
$1,000 for Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts
$1,000 for Elisabet Project in Viljandi, Estonia
Grant to Cypress Creek YMCA (not sure of amount)
District grant for $4,000 for school uniforms in Nelspruit South Africa
Art for the Hungry 1000+ canned food display at Willowbrook Mall
Installed a garden at Francone Elementary School
Donate books to Francone Elementary school each week in honor of our speakers
Did a project at Reach Unlimited (not sure what it was exactly)
Provided lunch to Habitat for Humanity builders
Held Monte Carlo fund raiser which included an $8,000+ donation for Polio Plus
Will host Japanese vocational team, including farewell parry
Sponsor 2 interact clubs: Klein Forest  HS & Klein Collins HS
Social events included:
Games night
Annual Christmas Party
Annual Super Bowl party