Our Amazing Committees
by Robin Goldston, Director Club Communications, Bainbridge Island Rotary
Bainbridge Island Rotary has over 30 active committees, and they accomplish amazing work. Highlighted here are just a few of them, all dedicated to cultivating opportunities for community service, goodwill, and lasting friendships.
Vocational Trades Committee: This committee’s first major achievement was establishing and funding a Composites Engineering course at BHS. Thanks to a major grant from an anonymous Rotary Club member, students can acquire skills that will help them pursue a career in the ‘new’ manufacturing. In addition, this committee has begun partnering with Island businesses to develop opportunities for students to gain work experience first-hand. Fairbank Construction is the first to join with the committee.
Community Grants: This committee is in the process of winnowing down the grant applications for the 2015 awards. There were 30 applications from local non-profits and final decisions will be made by the committee in the next month. Each committee member makes a site visit and vets every application assigned to them and then writes a short report. The committee then reviews the merits of each application and matches them to the budget available.
World Service: March 2015 has been designated Water and Sanitation month by Rotary International and our Club has long been outstanding in this area.
Bainbridge Island Rotarians make regular visits to Uganda where over the last 14 years we have worked with about 150 third-world villages, providing project leadership and funding for water well construction.
In addition, we have provided similar services to areas in Guatemala and South America. Rotarians Bror Elmquist and Brian Coggon recently returned from a trip to Central America where they worked to establish service partners and make plans for future clean water projects.
Scholarship Committee: The scholarship committee will soon be calling high school students to apply for two types of scholarships this spring 2015. The first recognizes community service and is aimed at high school seniors planning to continue their education; the second is for students beginning or continuing professional or technical education or training. Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to specific vocational goals and a concrete plan for achieving them. Applications are due March-April followed by a marathon vetting process and personal interviews.
Healthy Youth Committee: Many important initiatives are taking place under the auspices of this committee. A public awareness campaign that resulted from last year’s Youth Summit is about to begin in earnest. Rotary is a partner in the Healthy Youth Alliance which is leading this effort. Bainbridge Rotary is featured in all of its outreach materials. The next Healthy Youth Summit will take place on April 25, 2015.
A Teen Council has been established and is meeting on a monthly basis to help the Club guide and refine our efforts. In addition, a task force has been established to help formulate the best message to use to approach the local business community with a goal of bringing youth into their thinking.
These are just a few highlights of our committees. We hope to bring you regular updates on the work of various committees. In fact, this article comes to you courtesy of the Club Communications Committee!