Our Club partners with the North Atlanta Rotary Club to volunteer for the Salvation Army Bell Ringing Campaign during the Christmas season. Our two clubs "staffed" the full day (10am-6pm) for two locations at Lenox Mall on both Saturday, 12/1/2018, and Saturday, 12/8/2018. Despite the snow and bitter cold on one collection day, and the SEC Championship game on another, our efforts were very successful. The funds collected go to support the Salvation Army's social programs which help the homeless, the needy youth in the community, as well as fight human trafficking. In addition, the "ringing of the bells" provides great public awareness for the good works that the Salvation Army provides to our community year round, and provides public awareness of the good works of our Rotary clubs.
Brookhaven Rotary Club will be assisting in the setup and takedown of the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival on March 29-31, 2019 at Blackburn Park, Brookhaven GA. On both March 29 and March 31, club members will serve as Zone Captains assisting the festival organizer in controlling traffic and movement of vendors, artists, and musicians in the set up and takedown of booths. As needed, we will assist the vendors, musicians and artists in moving items and securing their booths, etc. In addition, our club will have a booth at the festival at which we will provide the public with information regarding our club and its activities, including our major fundraiser, the Service Above Self golf tournament, and the impact of Rotary worldwide. This event will once again be a great opportunity to inform the Brookhaven Community of who we are and what we do, and will likely also prove to be a great membership drive for our club.
The Rotary Club of Brookhaven participated in the Brookhaven Chili Cook Off with our very own chili recipe provided by Past District Governor, Tom Kent, who was joined by several volunteers from the Club. Through this effort, we were able to get exposure to the Brookhaven community and provide camaraderie within the club. We also raised awareness about membership and distributed our new brochures to people interested in learning about Rotary.
Brookhaven Police Department Hot Pursuit 5K Glow Run
On August 25, 2018, our club sponsored and participated in the Hot Pursuit 5K walk/run organized by the Brookhaven Police Department. The club, through its Foundation, donated $1500 to sponsor 20 running spots for the 5K Run. The funds raised through the 5K run are used by the Brookhaven Police Department to help officers participate in the "Shop with a Cop" program where policemen take a needy child or children shopping before Christmas. Our club member, Chief Gary Yandura, reports that the Shop with a Cop program is an extremely rewarding and successful community relations program for his Police Department, and by participating in the run our members were able to spend time with their fellow Brookhaven residents talking about Rotary and all that our Club accomplishes in the community.
Brookhaven Rotarian Michael Swahn continued our Club's long-standing partnership with Covenant House by hosting a sleep-out event at his house to raise awareness of homelessness and raise funds to support Covenant House's mission. He personally donated $1,000 to this effort, which was then matched by the Club as a whole AND by several members of the Club coming together as individuals. The organization's Executive Director spoke at a subsequent Club meeting and the partnership will continue to grow over the coming years.
Mhairi Gormley, a GRSP student from Scotland, has regularly attended our weekly meetings, Family of Rotary events, service projects, and other club events, while also participating in GRSP events across Georgia throughout the year. She has had a very good experience, as has our club. Tony Shaffer, President Elect of our club, serves as the lead Host Family for Mhairi's year in Atlanta. Our member, Bill Smith, is a GRSP Trustee and his family has spent holidays with Mhairi and transported her to several out-of-town GRSP events.
Brookhaven Rotary Club is sponsoring the Laws of Life Essay contest for Cross Keys High School, Dekalb County, Georgia, in 2018-2019. The club paid $500 for this sponsorship and coordinated with Cross Keys administration and teachers to get the contest established for the year.
Partnering with the USO to Greet Military Personnel at the Airport
As we have done in years past, volunteers on three occasions (with a fourth to be scheduled) have greeted the returning and outbound troops coming through Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Our volunteers staff the USO podium at the top of the escalator (from the arrival gates) to greet troops, direct them to the USO facility upstairs, and "staff" the USO kitchen to provide troops food, beverages, and a warm and appreciative greeting, and maybe someone to talk to. Our club provides Chick-fil-A biscuits and lunch sandwiches throughout the day.
In 2018-2019, The Rotary Clubs of Brookhaven and North Atlanta continued an initiative to help Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Woodward Elementary be "reading to learn" by 3rd grade. With the support of the Ferst Foundation, together we support this goal through book donations and reading monthly to Kindergarten and Pre-K classes at Woodward Elementary. Throughout 2018- 2019, we will donate more than 700 books to approximately 200 students, read to up to 12 classes on a quarterly basis (if not more) and equip parents with book specific multi-lingual reading guides to use at home. This project is helping students "learn to read" and learn to love to read, so that by the time they reach third grade they will be "ready to learn" through reading. Statistics show that 3rd grade is a pivotal time. Students at a 3rd grade level of reading by third grade are more likely to stay in school and become productive adults. Students not able to read at a third grade level by third grade often fall behind, are more likely to drop out and become at risk young individuals and ultimately more dependent on support from society. The reading program at Woodward Elementary is one of the collaborative programs coming together because of the awareness created by the "Get Georgia Reading" Campaign.
Service Above Self Golf Tournament to Support Shepherd Center's SHARE Military Initiative
The SHARE Military Initiative provides a continuum of rehabilitation care for service members who have sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries while serving the United States on active duty in post-9/11 conflicts. Since the program's inception, SHARE has served almost 500 service members, from all branches of the military. The program typically treats about 15-20 service members at a time for a period of about three months.