- The Club supported the Grant County Volunteer Center’s water harvesting project. In 2-17-18, with the help of a grant from Rotary District 5520, the Club helped the Volunteer Center install a water catchment system that directs rain water runoff from the Center’s Commons building roof into water cisterns for later use in irrigating the Center’s gardens. Fruit and vegetables from the gardens are distributed to needy families through the Center’s Food Pantry.
- School Gardens Project: In 2016-17 the Club participated with the Volunteer Center in constructing school gardens at local elementary schools. The project was supported by a District 5520 Community Grant.
- Fairgate: Each year, Club members participate in staffing the entrance gates at the Grant County Fair once again in 2014. The picture at right shows Kate Watson and William Knuttinen at the West Gate during the Fair.
- The Club sometimes uses social occasions to generate support for local non-profit organizations. A dessert auction at the 2012 Christmas party raised $600, of which $300 was donated to the Volunteer Center for the Food Pantry, and $300 was contributed to a Christmas food drive organized by The Children of Grant County. Also, a Valentine’s Dinner held on February 16, 2013, raised over $2,000 from a silent auction. $1,900 of that amount was donated to tthe Volunteer Center for the Alimento Para El Nino (Backpack Program), which provides food for needy school children in Grant County. The accompanying picture shows Becky Nell Young, chairperson of the Volunteer Center board accepting the check from Mark Richard, the organizer of the Valentine’s event.
- Charity Auction: The Club’s periodic Charity Auction has raised significant funds for a number of local non-profit organizations. The 2012 Auction was a big success, raising over $40,000 and making it possible to distribute $9,000 each to the Literacy Link Leamos for the Let’s Read Program, the Mimbres Region Arts Council for the Youth Mural Project, the Silver City Museum Society for the History Kit project, and The Wellness Coalition for furnishing The Spot youth space in their Bullard Street facilities. The 2014 Auction raised a similar amount and benefited the Imagination Library of GrantCounty, the Volunteer Center, and Literacy Link Leamos. The 2017 was able to raise close to $10,000 each for the Silver City Gospel Mission, LifeQuest and the Gila Valley Library.
- Bike Safety Rodeo: Members of the club again joined with members of the Kiwanis Club to sponsor the 2012 Bike Safety Rodeo for kids in conjunction wtih the Tour of the Gila.
- Food Pantry: Members of the club periodically volunteer to help distribute food at the Silver City Food Pantry. Shown here are William Knuttinen, Sunny Yates and Christie Miller at the Food Pantry on a chilly December 3, 2011.
- County Fair and Gila Monster Challenge: Silver City Rotarians had an active weekend from September 28th to October 2, 2011, working at the Grant County Fair and helping to staff the Gila Monster Challenge Fun Ride. Shown here are Dick Markley and Bill Harrison selling tickets at the Fair Gate, and Judy Wheeler at one of the Gila Monster Challenge rest stations. More pictures can be found by clicking on the Galleries tab above.
- Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA): Each year, the Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 5520 select students from around New Mexico for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The RYLA program enables selected students to participate in a one-week seminar at the Manzano Mountain Retreat which is designed to identify, develop and improve leadership skills of the participating students. RYLA aims to demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth, provide an effective training experience for selected youth leaders, encourage leadership of youth by youth, and recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities. RYLA is run by Rotarian volunteers and spouses. This year, Kathy Eaton of the Silver City Rotary Club served as one of the counselors.
Students are selected for RYLA on the basis of recommendations from high school guidance counselors. In (2011), the Silver City Rotary Club was able to send six students to the RYLA camp. They are, as shown with RYLA Coordinator Liz Sircy from left to right in the accompanying picture: Serena Pack (Cliff); Shelby Marra (Silver), Meagan Moore (Silver), LIz Sircy – Rotary RYLA Coordinator, Anthony Chavez, (Cliff), and Jenna Jenkins (Cliff), and Joseph Morales (Silver). All six are seniors in their respective high schools.
- The Club provided seed money for construction of the downtown Arch on Broadway.
- The Club recently donated $1,000 to Literacy Link Leamos of Silver City.
- For a time, the Silver City Rotary Club was a strong financial and volunteer supporter of El Refugio. El Refugio offers education, counseling, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, legal services for children and their families effected by domestic violence and sexual abuse. Provides service and specialized assessment, mental health evaluations, support services, counseling, education and training, life and social skills, crisis intervention, and domestic violence shelter care.The Rotary Club has contributed to the creation of a protective wall around the shelter and contributes from periodic fund-raising events to the upkeep and improvement of the shelter.
A History of Service
Over the years, the Rotary Club of Silver City has contributed to Penny Park, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Toys for Tots, Alimento Para El Nino (the food backpack program for kids), Literacy Link-Leamos, and the Grant County High Desert Humane Society — and has responded to many other requests for assistance. The Silver City Rotary Club’s Centennial Project in 2005 was the creation of a Labyrinth at the Gila Regional Medical Center, where the club has also planted a peace garden. Rotarians also maintained a stretch of the median on Hwy 180 as part of the “Adopt a Highway” program, and have contributed to the funding of a new introductory town arch through donations to the Main Street Project.
- Education Center in Palomas: The Club has been working with Border Partners to bring the Education Center Being built at the Palomas Library to completion. The building of that library addition was spearheaded by Border Partners, and the Club and Border Partners, with the help of Rotary Clubs in Mexico, Rotary District 5520 and the Rotary Foundation have raised a total of over $16,000 to furnish the Center. To contribute to this project, the Club held a Casino Night in Silver City which raised close to $1,000.
- Since 2013, the Club has held a public reception each year to raise awareness of and funding for the drive to finally eradicate polio once and for all. District Governor Mark Glenn came up from Las Cruces in 2013 and gave an inspiring talk about the current state of the Polio Plus program and about the importance of supporting the final phase of the anti-polio drive. The reception helped raise nearly $2,500 for the cause. The picture at right shows Mark Glenn, our immediate past president, Wayne Barnard, Holly Hudgins, and State Representative Rudy Martinez at the End Polio reception. Receptions in subsequent years raised similar amounts, whose impact was sometimes augmented by matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- A Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from South Africa arrived on April 28, 2012, the date of the auction. They enjoyed the auction and were able to learn about Silver City and environs and about New Mexico during their three-day stay. Shown in the accompanying picture are from left to right, Vienie McShane, Matt Haywood, team leader Robin Gilfillan, Simisha Pather-Elias, and Thabiso Mokwena. Dave Baker of Bikeworks in Silver City will be joining a Roatary District 5520 GSE team going to India in late 2012.
- In 2005, our club joined with Rotary clubs throughout District 5520 and in Guatemala in a project to bring clean water to the people of a remote Mayan village near Uspantan. The project is a collaborative effort involving seven New Mexico. This and similar projects have been ongoing since then, and the Club has continued providing support for these efforts.