2021-2022: A Year in Review
July 2021 marked the return of in-person Club meetings in a hybrid format at River Tyme Bistro, after 16 months of Zoom-only meetings due to COVID 19. It was great to be together again!
Club meetings evolved during the year, going from boxed lunches, masks-required, and limited seating, to normal seating, buffet lunches and singing our opening song once again. Attendees were often welcomed with beautiful prelude music (piano or guitar) and enjoyed the new Rotarian-of-the-Day presentations, another way to get acquainted and build better friendships.
August saw the return of the popular Community Table Event (CTE) fundraiser, with over 60 Rotarians and friends enjoying a beautiful evening at River Tyme Bistro, along with great food, entertainment, Lamers trolley rides and boat tours on the Fox River. Event beneficiaries included the Club’s Centennial Project (see below), the Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus.
September saw our inaugural Building Better Friendships golf outing, a fun and successful event that will be repeated in 2022. Fall also marked the Club's participation in the popular Rhythms of the World event, packing back-to-school dental kits for Tri County Dental Clinic, helping with the Houdini 10k run, Salvation Army bell-ringing and a memorable Veteran's Day program, all culminating with a successful mid-December holiday party at River Tyme Bistro.
Our Centennial Project wrapped-up this year, with nearly $40,000 donated to The Building for Kids in support of its Wash Up! initiative, promoting good hand washing and hygiene habits, dedicated to Dr. John and Sally Mielke. Over 40 people attended a special April fundraising event at The Building for Kids, featuring a scavenger hunt, raffle, great food and fun!
Spring also saw several additional service projects, including our second Wisconsin-Nicaragua Partners collection drive (in conjunction with Appleton North's Interact Club), making pinwheels to help promote First Five Fox Valley and packing diapers for the Fox Cities Diaper Bank.
Throughout the year, the Club did its usual amazing work (much of it behind-the-scenes) raising and donating money for many worthwhile causes, from supporting Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, to providing numerous college scholarships, supporting programs benefiting children with disabilities, supporting a variety of community arts and community service projects, international projects in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Rwanda, and supporting the previously mentioned Building for Kids and First Five Fox Valley. All told, the Club and its members once again contributed over $100,000 to various local and international Rotary-sponsored causes.
The Club also made progress on many other fronts, starting a new Corporate Membership Program, supporting the efforts of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group, expanding the Club’s social media presence, introducing a new Club tagline and Vision Statement, and much more. 2021-22 was truly an energizing and exciting year for the Club!