Monday, November 30, 2009

SGR Hears Optimistic Economic Forecast

OPENING: Jack Petersen managed Sergeant-at-Arms duties meeting and greetings members and visitors to the 3767th meeting of SGR. Ray Robinson lead the SGR Choir in the Christmas carol "Joy to the World." Christina Schultz invited members to follow her in the Pledge of Allegiance and Sam McArthur asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal. Jeff Morby conducted Horseplay and Jack Petersen collected the "filthy lucre" on behalf of Coins for Kids.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Ken reminded board members of the upcoming meeting on Tuesday, December 8 at 7:15 a.m.

SGR’s Christmas party will be held at the Courtyard Marriott on Monday, December 14. Time is 11:45 a.m. - 2 p.m. A head count of members and spouses is required. Please call Shar, Ken or Linda Sappington to report the number.

PROGRAM: Ken Sizemore introduced today’s speaker. Lecia Langston, Southwest Utah economist from the Department of Workforce Services, shared her optimistic view of the economy, noting "the recession appears to have ended in the 3rd quarter of this year. We’re not all better yet, but we are in the recovery period." Quoting US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lecia said of the painful downturn in the local economy, "we’ve always known heedless self interest is bad morals, but now we know it is also bad economics." Among the local employment sector, the hardest hit for job losses were construction (with 2500 laid off) and manufacturing (with 650 jobs lost). Washington County, which for many years was Utah’s fastest growing county and one of the top ten fastest growing counties in the U.S., is now Utah’s slowest growing with the state's highest number of foreclosed homes and housing permits down by more than 50% from 2008 with only 443 permits issued through September 2009. For more information on the economic future for Washington County, see or contact Lecia by e-mail at

Monday, November 23, 2009

SGR Hears of DRMC's Success and Needs

OPENING: The 3766th meeting of SGR was held at the Dixie Center where the Jubilee of Trees was in its final day. Ray Robinson lead the SGR Choir in a rousing rendition of "America, the Beautiful." Donald Ira Pendleton asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Ken reminded board members of the upcoming meeting on Tuesday, December 8 at 7:15 a.m.

PROGRAM: Terri Draper, Rotarian and Public Relations Director at Dixie Regional Medical Center, introduced CEO Terri Kane, recently named Intermountain Health Care’s Manager of Distinction. Of her boss, Terri Draper noted, "Terri gives tirelessly to the hospital and doesn’t ask her staff to do anything she wouldn’t do!" The CEO noted, of Dixie Regional Medical Center’s goal to raise sufficient funds to own their own Life Flight helicopter, "98% of ill babies and cardiac patients can be treated right here, but we still make 400-600 flights to the Wasatch Front every year." She also noted the attention Intermountain Health Care has received from the White House in the current discussions on health care reform. "We measure everything we do," states Kane. "Our primary C-section rate has dropped from 20% to 8% because we discourage early inductions." Looking at the Utah model for health care, Kane indicated "coverage is the key, but payment reforms are essential and we are looking at ways to reduce administrative costs while strengthening our ability to provide health information through technology and must address the Medicare physician payment formula. Utah is at the bottom for reimbursement from Medicare."

Kane also reviewed the number of national awards and recognitions received by Dixie Regional Medical Center, including the Health Insights Quality Award for achievements in improving patient care. DRMC, recipient for three consecutive years, is the only hospital in Utah and Nevada to receive this award. The hospital has also been recognized among the Top 30 US hospitals for cardiac care and was in Soliant Health’s Top 20 "Most Beautiful Hospitals."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Club Assembly Reports Board Activities

OPENING: Bob Bramlage managed Sergeant-at-Arms duties greeting Rotarians and guests to the 3765th meeting of SGR. Ray Robinson lead the SGR Choir in a rousing rendition of "You’re A Grand Old Flag." Richard Isom invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance and Terance White asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal.

Ken Sizemore conducted Horseplay on behalf of the dictionary project. Fines were collected by Ken Seefeld.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Ken Sizemore read a thank you card from Ada Ann Pratt for kindnesses shown her family by members of SGR following the death of Rotarian Lee Pratt.

Kyle Case was elected to fill the board seat vacated by Jerry Rasmussen.

Greg Basso reminded members of their opportunity to purchase wheelchairs during the holiday season. Last year, SGR members donated 28 chairs. See Greg for more information.

Reed Noble expressed appreciation for help in distributing dictionaries to 3rd graders throughout the district and encouraged members who have still not completed their assignment, to do so before Thanksgiving.

PROGRAM: Because the scheduled speaker did not show up, President Ken called for a Club Assembly asking board members to report on activities relating to their assignments. President-elect Grant Carter announced plans for a competitive membership drive.

Terance White explained the process for nominating new members and encouraged the club to consider those within their circle of influence for membership.

Bill Fowler, who oversees club PR, noted he has scheduled announcements about Rotary meetings, including the date, time and scheduled speaker, on the Spectrum’s community calendar.

Jeff Morby was enthusiastic about ongoing plans to landscape the SK8 Park and his hopes for expanding membership. He also announced the Utah Rotary District Conference golf tournament on Thursday, May 13, 2010 and encouraged members to put a team (or two) together, with proceeds going to Polio Plus to meet the polio challenge.

Linda Sappington reminded SGR the club’s all time high was 118 members. Today there are 73 members with 4 honorary members but about 20% of club members have not participated in any club activities this year. She also reminded members of the upcoming Utah Rotary District Conference, May 13-15, 2010 in St. George and asked for support for the event.

Ken Seefeld acknowledged Kris Neal for her efforts to organize the club’s financial records - noting bills for the first quarter of 2010 will be sent electronically on December 1. He also reminded members of their opportunity to donate above and beyond their dues by making a voluntary contribution to EREY ("Every Rotarian, Every Year") and to Polio Plus.

Monday, November 9, 2009

SGR Learns of HWSG's Success and Future Plans

OPENING: Sergeant-at-Arms Donald Ira Pendleton greeted Rotarians and guests to the 3764th meeting of SGR. Ray Robinson lead the SGR Choir through both verses of "Home on the Range." Richard Brown invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance and President-elect Grant Carter asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Nick Lang was pleased to introduce Kristen Nelson, new Rotaract President at Dixie State College.
President Ken Sizemore read a note of thanks from Jan Dunham for Rotary support during this difficult time following the death of her husband and Rotarian Don Dunham.

Ken also noted he and board members Phil Hall, Terance White and PDG Jim Coleman all flew to Provo for Saturday’s foundation meeting. He shared with members of SGR the award received for club support of the Polio Plus Challenge to match the Gates donation of $355 million. Only four countries remain with new cases of polio: Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. Club members are invited to consider traveling to India for an immunization day program. See Ken for more information.

June McAfee announced receipt of the dictionaries. The books are labeled and ready for distribution before Thanksgiving. See June for school assignments.

PROGRAM: Linda Baker introduced Kyle Case, Rotarian and Executive Director of the Huntsman World Senior Games who shared details about the recent 21st annual games (October 4-18) involving "a higher risk" group of athletes. Calling his second year as the Executive Director "incredible" Kyle reminded SGR the games began in 1987 when John and Daisy Morgan were looking for an event which would fill their hotel with participants. In the first year, the number of participant athletes was somewhere between 150 and 200! "Today we are the largest multi-sports event, for people over age 50, in the world." The Games include 26 sports and this year, 8971 athletes "slightly down from last year," 317 softball teams, 127 volleyball teams and brought 2006 new athletes to St. George for the first time. Athletes come from all 50 states, with Utah the #1 state based on the number of athletes competing, followed by California, Washington, Arizona and Colorado. The #1 country, based on the number of participants is Canada, followed by Venezuela, Barbados, Russia and Germany.

Kyle (front row, in blue t-shirt) noted he is very pleased with new innovations in 2009, including a redesigned website and an online registration system, new medals and 3 new countries (Bolivia, Estonia and Virgin Islands) bringing the total number of countries participating, to date, to 61! Based on the state’s formula, Kyle believes the games provided an economic impact of more than $9,300,000 this year. He will be recruiting in China this year in preparation for the 2010 games and his staff is busy preparing for a volleyball "friendship tour"

Members of SGR can help in several ways. According to Kyle "first, you can compete!" Go to the website at to sign up. Other ways to help include volunteering, being a supporter and a spectator, being an ambassador sharing information and enthusiasm, or being a sponsor. For more information, call Kyle at 674-0550.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Clubs Hear Future Vision Plan

OPENING: Sergeant-at-Arms Donald Ira Pendleton greeted Rotarians and guests to the 3763rd meeting of SGR. Ray Robinson lead the SGR Choir in a spirited rendition of "America, the Beautiful." Bob Bramlage invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance and PDG Jim Coleman asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal.

PROGRAM: President Ken Sizemore welcomed members of St. George Rotary, Dixie Sunrise Rotary, Red Rock Rotary and Hurricane Rotary, in attendance to hear from Fred Berthrong, Chairman of the District Rotary Foundation. The PDG from Logan noted The Rotary Foundation logo and the Rotary International logo are equal size and shape, indicating the importance of each to the other. Since its inception, TRF has provided funding to support 40,000 Ambassadorial Scholars, 400 Peace Fellows; 30,000 matching grants averaging about $20,000 each; and, inoculated more than 2 billion children to bring about a 99% reduction in the incidence of polio worldwide. "In one day, Rotarians throughout India inoculated 175,000,000 children. We are the ‘boots on the ground,’" said an enthusiastic Berthrong. "But we aren’t doing everything right!"

According to the state leader, Rotarians do not have enough direct control over foundation funds. Processing of grants is slow. Rotarians have good projects, but many are not self sustaining; and, there is not enough partnering between other organizations.

The Future Vision Plan, involving 100 pilot districts - including District 5420 which Berthrong called "a dinky little place in the middle of nowhere but where things get done!" - is a 3-year trial program (2010-2013). The Future Vision Plan will provide for improved efficiency in getting funds into the hands of those who can do the most good; create larger, more sustainable projects; use Rotary’s credibility capital; and, partner with big players around the world.

The six areas of focus in the Future Vision Plan are:
- peace and conflict resolution
- water and sanitation
- mother and children
- basic education and literacy
- disease prevention and treatment
- economic development

Funding to meet the goals of the Future Vision Plan will come from EREY (Every Rotarian, Every Year giving $100 extra in voluntary contributions), more Paul Harris Fellows ($1000 each); an increase in membership in the Paul Harris Society ($1000 or more annually); and, meeting the Polio Challenge to match the $355 million donation from the Gates Foundation.
For more information about the programs of The Rotary Foundation or where the most need is in the world, Fred Berthrong can be reached at

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Harding Says Slow Down and Hang Up

OPENING: Sergeant-at-Arms Donald Ira Pendleton greeted Rotarians and guests to the 3762nd meeting of SGR. Ray Robinson lead the SGR Choir in a gentle rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" in honor of Don Dunham and Lee Pratt, both who passed away this week. West Martin invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance and PDG Sterling Spafford asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal. Bill Fowler conducted a fast-paced Horseplay with fines, in support of the Dictionary project, collected by Shar Heitkotter.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Grant Carter, conducting in the absence of President Ken Sizemore, reminded members Fred Berthrong will speak on the subject of the RI Foundation at an All Clubs meeting at the Holiday Inn on Monday, November 2.

Nominees to fill the vacated seat as Service Chairman include West Martin and Kyle Case. Elections will be held next week.

YouthLINC has 9 applicants from southern Utah so sponsors are needed to send students to Thailand, Peru, Mexico, Kenya. For more information or to sponsor a student, contact Mike Welder or YouthLINC.

PROGRAM: Jeannine Holt introduced Craig Harding of the SGPD. He shared some graphic and occasionally disturbing videos taken of accidents involving speed, or where drivers were distracted with cell phones (which increase the incidence of accidents by 400%), or when drivers were not wearing seat belts. According to Harding, his job is to convince drivers to change their behavior to reduce injury accidents. "Stop trying to make it through the yellow light! Stop using cell phones behind the wheel. Watch for motorcycles and other oncoming vehicles by looking left, right and left again. Back off, slow down and wear seat belts!"

Saying Goodbye

St. George Rotary lost two fine members in October. Leland ("Lee") Pratt, who became a Rotarian in May 1994, passed away on Monday, October 19. Donald ("Don") Dunham, a member since April 2005, passed away on Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

Don was born and raised in Los Angeles. He served in the U. S. Air Force during the Korean War. After his time in Korea, he used his GI benefits to study and graduate from Los Angeles State College, then in 1963 he joined Life Circulation Company, a subsidiary of Time, Inc. The firm later changed its name to DialAmerica Marketing. In his 25-year career with the company, Don became Senior Vice President of Marketing. In 1964, he met and married Janet Dial Nowling. They had two sons, Robert and Richard. Throughout his lifetime, Don was actively involved with several service organizations including Civitan International, Exchange Club and Rotary Club. Don was an ordained deacon and active member of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church of St. George, Utah which congregation he and Jan joined after retiring to southern Utah in 1989.

Lee was raised by his grandparents and educated in California, then joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950 where he attained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (Rtd). He served in the Air Force for more than 27 years, including a tour of duty in Korea and 3 tours in Vietnam, where at one time he was the wingman to Air Force legend Chuck Yeager. Lee earned many ribbons and medals during his military service and also spent 17 years overseas with his family in Germany, England, Turkey, and other locales. After Janice, his wife of 36 years, passed away, he met and married Ada Ann Pendleton Wulfenstein and in their 20 years together they successfully blended their family of "military and missionaries." Lee loved to bar-be-que and was most happy when everyone in the family stopped by for dinner. He also loved family reunions, Dutch oven cooking, gardening, hunting with his favorite gun (he called "Old Meat in the Pot"), being a Salvation Army bellringer, garage sales, libraries, genealogy, a good joke, community service in the Huntsman World Senior Games, Ducks Unlimited, Rotary; and, his church. He taught gun safety and wilderness survival, was an avid reader, always a gentleman; cherished his wife and family; and never met a stranger!

As Rotarians, it was our great pleasure to enjoy the company of these two fine men for several years. They will be missed.