Wednesday, December 23, 2015


IN ROTARY we met with Ken Sizemore, Executive Director of the Dixie Arizona Strip Interpretive Association for the past 2 ½ years.  Not a federal agency – although they share space with the BLM - DASIA is a cooperating agency which depends of sales of merchandise, grants and cooperative arrangements with other organizations to keep the doors open, although in just one year after taking responsibility for DASIA, “we were operating in the black!” said Sizemore of the organization founded by Bette Arial with Lyman Hafen and other strong supporters advocating for its future.  

DASIA – whose name was changed from the Arizona Strip Interpretive Association when the Dixie National Forest joined its ranks – operates retail outlets in the St. George office, in Pine Valley, a contact station at Paria and a fourth such outlet in Kanab. 

DASIA has had success toward its mission to “enhance the understanding of the Arizona Strip and Southern Utah region, its history and resources,” with their Brown Bag lecture series where interested individuals can meet together to learn about a great selection of topics every Friday at noon during the time period of October to April.  Field trips – limited to not more than 25 – are held monthly.  In January, those who sign up will explore Silver Reef and the Red Cliffs Recreation Area and in March, participants will travel to the Bar 10 Ranch on the Arizona Strip.

Ken hopes future fundraising and grantwriting will result in the construction of a new building.

Monday, December 14, 2015

County Attorney Speaks at SGR

TODAY IN ROTARY Gregg Whitehead, sponsored by Terance White, was welcomed as SGR’s newest member.  The son of former Rotarian George Whitehead has a classification of Commercial Development and Real Estate. 

Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap, who manages the criminal and civil side of the legal system, is currently involved  in the county’s response to the BLM’s newly released resource management plan … over a 1000 pages of land use decisions.  There are several big concerns from county commissioners, mayors and other government officials relating to the plan Belnap called “the biggest thing we are dealing with at the moment.”

He also told members of SGR about changes to staffing at the Children’s Justice Center since Patricia Sheffield’s recent retirement.  Shelley Teeples is the newly hired Executive Director and Brooke Triplett, a dedicated forensic interviewer, was hired last week whose job will be to analyze information in child abuse cases gathered in interviews appropriate for the child’s age and level of development.

Citing statistics from neighboring states, Belnap identified Utah as the 44th lowest state in the nation for incarceration.  He announced the new Justice Reinvestment Initiative which is being rolled out to provide services to help those who can be helped develop skills and get help to prevent recidivism … but, “we’re just getting started in this new direction.”

In elections, Rulon Olsen is President-elect Nominee to serve in 2017-18.  Elected to the board are Lynn Beecher and Bryan Wheat. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

SGR Celebrates Christmas at the Ledges

It was a delightful Rotary Christmas party on Friday, December 11 at the Ledges.  It was good food with a choice of steak, salmon or fish.  We had great attendance with members bringing family and friends, great items were donated for a Silent Auction which earned more than $600 and members also filled Santa's sack with toys for Mexico valued at nearly $400.  Beautiful holiday entertainment was provided by the very talented family of Sam McArthur who sang with his daughter Melissa Kesterson and his son Joshua McArthur, accompanied by Gai (Mrs. Sam) McArthur on the piano.  Thanks to Janet O’Riley and all who worked to make this a fun and festive evening ... and, Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 7, 2015

SGR Hears Successes of the HWSG's

CEO Kyle Case told members of SGR today, "the 29th Annual Huntsman WORLD Senior Games can best be described as immense and immensely successful!"  What began in 1987 as a way to increase lodging in area motels in the off-season has now become the largest annual multi-sport event in the WORLD! 

On its way to world domination, the Games – with 27 sporting events and an 80 percent return rate - continues to have representation from all 50 United States and over the years from 73 countries.  In 2015, there are 10,560 senior athletes from 20 countries - including for the first time Iran, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia – registered to participate.  All that remains to achieve this milestone is the recruitment of competitors from Greenland, Argentina, any country in Africa and a handful of nations here and there around the globe. 

When this year’s Games concluded on October 17, planning for next year’s began again after a one-day break and there will be, once again and quite literally, a million details to manage.  There are countless hours of planning and dozens of board and staff meetings during the twelve months between the Games to discuss such issues as safety, talent for two opening ceremonies, awards, making sure a system is in place to track the number of years each athlete has attended and for reporting results, ordering medals, scheduling hundreds of teams and thousands of individual competitors, sign-ups and registration, sponsorships, keeping the website fresh and updated, graphic design changes, insurance claims, finances and budgets, going digital to provide easy accessibility of information around the world and planning for the Global Cup, which this year will feature women’s volleyball teams from German, Canada and the United States. 

Rotary donations for the Veterans Home in Ivins
Then there are the more finite issues of merchandising, socials, seating and parking, soliciting advertising from local businesses to be inserted into nearly 11,000 welcome bags; transportation, pick-up and delivery of supplies and participants, set-up and take-down … even the color of shirts for staff, chairman and those vitally important 2500 volunteers, who work tirelessly to provide thousands of hours of service to make the event memorable for participants and spectators.

The Games economic impact to the St. George area community is $15,767,763 million.  Kyle states, their needs include more qualified volunteers to oversee the results of play for 900+ participants in this sport.  Softball is the biggest of the sports - with 340 teams and about 4000 participants.  

In 2016, the Games will celebrate its 30th year and in 2017 plans are in the works for travel to New Zealand for the world masters games.  Sometime in the future, Kyle notes, "it will be time to build our own building and begin developing an Endowment Fund."  Wanna help, Rotarians?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Linda Baker Speaks on HFHSWU

TODAY IN ROTARY there were a number of important announcements as follows:

·               Rotary Christmas Party will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 11 at the Ledges Golf Course.  Please bring an unwrapped gift for a child and/or donate something to the Silent Auction.
·               Toiletries for an Eagle Scout project at the Veterans Home in Ivins must be turned in no later than Monday, December 7.
·               There are still 6 schools which have not yet received their dictionaries.  See Reed Noble with any questions.
·               Elections will be held on Monday, December 14.  Rulon Olson has agreed to run for the position of President-elect Nominee.  Brandon Staples, Bryan Wheat and Lynn Beecher have thrown their hats in the ring for two positions on the board and Janet O’Riley has indicated her willingness to serve as secretary.

Today’s speaker, Linda Baker is a longtime member of SGR and is currently Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah, an assignment she refers to as “my next great adventure.”  In her presentation, she dispelled many of the rumors about Habitat, including “it is not a give away program … one of the requirements to become a Habitat homeowner is the ability to pay a mortgage payment every month.”  Linda also indicated “this is such a change for me.  In the non-profit sector, I was surprised to learn we have to raise the money to fund our paychecks.”  Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah is one of approximately 1700 affiliates worldwide participating as part of an affordable housing Christian ministry.  In Washington County for 20 years, HFHSWU has built 21 homes for qualified low-income families.  They will soon break ground on the 22nd home on the last lot they own “free and clear.”  In our affluent community, finding affordable property to build homes on, is “one of our biggest issues.” 

To qualify for a HFHSWU home, applicants must meet the following requirements:
·               a resident of Washington County for at least one year
·               legally able to work in the USA
·               meet 30-60% of the area median income
·               demonstrate the ability to repay a 0% mortgage payment each month
·               partner with the affiliate in providing 250 hours of sweat equity
·               graduate from a financial management program
·               save up to be able to afford a small down payment

Habitat for Humanity of SW Utah also tithes 10% of all ReStore profits and pays $4500 for each home built in Washington County to build another home in a 3rd world country.  To date, HFHSWU has provided these funds for homes in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Chile and Haiti.

Linda also indicated her enthusiasm and appreciation for volunteers who willingly come out to help with a variety of projects at the ReStore, assist in the completion of A Brush with Kindness projects and build homes.

There are many opportunities to serve through Habitat.  Call Linda or Lil at 674-7669, ext. 3 or email to or to speak to Lil Barron, Director of Community Development and Engagement.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

SGR and the PDG

PDG Jim Coleman’s eclectic presentation on just about “all things Rotary” was preceded by the induction of SGR’s newest members Holly Laird, a recent “transfer” from Grand Junction, Colorado sponsored by Janet O’Riley and Steve Brough, Director of Commercial Banking for Zions Bank in Southern Utah sponsored by Linda Sappington.

Jim’s program focused primarily on his recent attendance at the Rotary Zone Institute in San Antonio, TX but was also punctuated here and there with a reading of a poem he wrote during the funeral service for Evan Woodbury:

I Know You Don't Want to Hear This
With wit and humor, both story and joke
Would come forth without a miss.
Fun and laughter came from all
With: “I know you don’t want to hear this.”

When Evan Woodbury stood in Rotary,
All present would expect a fix
After hearing those tantalizing words
“I know you don’t want to hear this.”

Evan delighted touching others—
There was always a gleeful twist—
When he uttered those branded words
“I know you don’t want to hear this.”

Now with the passing of this great man,
The St. George Rotary club will miss
Our Rotary friend and brother and the words
“I know you don’t want to hear this.”

He also performed a solo or two on his guitar.  This devout Rotarian, who joined SGR in 1984, then presided for six years over the Dixie Rotary Bowl, invited members to take part in a National Immunization Day in February in India and to attend the Zone Institute, held in October 2016 in Salt Lake City. 

“Rotary International has lost more than 50,000 members worldwide in the past five years,” he noted.  “We are in crisis so there are big changes coming.”

For more information, e-mail him at

Friday, November 13, 2015

SGR's 2015 Dictionary Project

Now in its 13th year, SGR’s dictionary project headed up by Reed Noble, is still going strong despite a concern in past years these paperback wordlists are passé, old hat, antiquated and no longer of value to students.  But last year’s survey of nearly all 3rd grade teachers in the Washington County School District found educators are still anxious to have dictionaries in every desk in their classrooms – a surprising response in our technology-driven world.

Since 2003 when our project started, SGR has purchased and distributed more than 20,000 dictionaries.  This year, 1629 3rd graders and 44 teachers in 72 classrooms (a total of 1673 books) were delivered to 18 of the district’s nearly 30 elementary schools (the other schools received dictionaries from Hurricane Valley, Dixie Sunrise, Red Rock and Zion Canyon Rotary Clubs). 

A district grant in the amount of $1800 picked up a portion of the cost-per-book of $2.50 while SGR paid the balance of $2400. Thanks to Reed for his continuing service to this project and to St. George Rotarians willing to take time out of their already busy days to deliver dictionaries to excited Washington County school children and their teachers.  Another successful St. George Rotary Club “service above self” project! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

SGR Visits TDC

The Tonaquint Data Center is Utah’s premiere disaster recovery and colocation solution for companies throughout the world, including Century Link, EMC, Zao and other Fortune 500 companies. TDC’S geographic diversity and robust connectivity provides unique and profitable solutions to clients looking for a safe and secure location and the ability to connect to the world.  With tight security (we had to leave ID at the front desk then collect it at the end of our meeting and tour), data is securely and safely stored against all possibilities.  This 28,000 square foot Tier 3 data center is the most expensive construction-per-square-foot between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and the largest power user in Washington County … where 65% of data traffic in Southern Utah flows.  TDC can accommodate the data storage needs of DRMC and DSU combined!

Thanks to all who arranged this interesting meeting and delicious lunch provided by “Just A Little Bite” catering.

Monday, November 2, 2015

SGR Learns of the Other White Meat

TODAY IN ROTARY Lowry Snow received his Paul Harris Fellow + 5 recognition for a fifth donation of $1000 to the Rotary Foundation.

Heather Christensen from the Utah Pork Producers Association spoke about “the other white meat” noting there have been a great many changes to the way pork is raised and marketed in the past 30-40 years.  It was in the 1970’s, when Americans became health conscious and rejected high fat pork in their diets.  As they ran, joined gyms and made healthier food choices, chicken became the meat-of-choice prompting pork producers to rethink the way the animals are fed, housed and prepared for market. 

The first pigs came to Utah with the pioneers in 1847, and by 2008 pig production had become a $170 million industry in the state.  Today, Utah is 15th in swine production in the United States and plays a significant role in the state’s economy.  In addition to the meat produced for consumption, the “leftover” parts are used in more than 180 different products, including yogurt, toothpaste, ammunition, concrete, crayons, clothing, shoes, paintbrushes, insulation and more.  Insulin from pigs is used to treat diabetes, pig skin is used to treat severe burn victims and pig heart valves are used to replace damaged or diseased human heart valves.

Pork producers in Utah and the rest of the nation acknowledge their responsibility to:

·                Produce safe food
·                Protect and promote animal well being
·                Ensure practices to protect public health
·                Safeguard natural resources in all practices
·                Provide a safe work environment consistent with our other ethical principles
·                Contribute to a better quality of life in Utah communities

For more information, contact Heather Christensen at

Monday, October 26, 2015

SGR Hears Update on Switchpoint

Hollowell and her husband Bob with U. S. Senator Orrin Hatch
Carol Hollowell, Executive Director at Switchpoint Shelter and Resource Center at 948 N. 1300 West, reported on the progress of her organization in its first year of operation.  Among impressive statistics, she noted the completion of a new 2500 square foot pantry building on their campus which provides food for an average of 2300 families each month.  Approximately 1800 individuals and families were sheltered at SwitchPoint in the past twelve months and plans are in the works for more emergency and transitional housing. 

Currently there are 18 dorm-room style accommodations available for overnight or longer stays for up to 130 individuals.  These accommodations include bunk beds and cots, a shower, and laundry services.  SwitchPoint also offers classes (GED, food handlers, etc) and 13 wraparound services each week on a regular schedule. 

Hollowell and her husband Bob recently returned from a cross country (San Francisco to Virginia) bike ride where they visited 19 of 23 shelters they had on their itinerary (“four we had planned to visit had closed their doors due to lack of funding” she noted).  “Like us, everyone of the shelters are struggling in two areas –long term funding and lack of affordable housing – especially for those with mental health issues,” said the Director.  At the end of the Hollowell’s ride, they met with U. S. Senator Mike Lee (“a champion for thinking outside the box”) who commended Switchpoint as a model for other communities across the country in dealing with issues relating to mental illness and homelessness, including a growing number of children in the Washington County School District categorized as homeless. “Lack of education is the biggest contributor to poverty,” states Hollowell.

How can SGR help?  Switchpoint needs “more of everything … more funding, more volunteers who can teach computer classes, serve meals, provide counsel and write grants.”  For more information, contact Hollowell at 435-627-4663 or by email to

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Light Up Rotary Tourney Another SGR Success

In the second year of SGR’s “Light Up Rotary” Night Golf Tournament fundraiser, nine teams came out to enjoy a fabulous dinner, 18-holes of play at the SunRiver course with lighted balls flying through the dark skies, and amazing support from SunRiver staff.  In short, every aspect of this event fun, fun, fun!

On the beautiful fall evening of Saturday, October 24, 2015, the team from Wall Beds by Wilding took first place, SGR’s own Alan Paige and his friends came in second and most of the 40+ participants took home prizes.  Chairman Lynn Beecher reports “it was a fun event with no problems, although one foursome hit balls into the pond and I had to go out to the #8 hole to sell them new ones.  It turned out OK, because I stayed there all night selling more balls as they went into the pond.”

Thanks to hole sponsors Ray Robinson (hole #4) and B&B Leasing (hole #7) for their generous support.  Kudos, too, to an enthusiastic, hard-working and “service above self” committee including Janet and Pat O’Riley (who “really know how to do it right!”), Alan Paige, Richard Isom and Lynn Beecher (who took his committee’s good ideas and ran with them). 

It was a really fun evening – “more fun than most people expected it to be,” says Lynn – the club made about $1000 and the committee is already planning for next year.  Get your teams together and come join us!

Monday, October 19, 2015

SGR Hears Mission of Charity Anywhere

L. Gordon Carter, Founder of Charity Anywhere Foundation and the 2015 recipient of the LDS Dental Academy Service Award, and his wife Susan Carter who serves as Charity Anywhere Foundation Vice President spoke today on the work and needs of their non-profit 501(c )(3) organization.   The mission of Charity Anywhere is to “give ‘ordinary people’ the life-changing opportunity to provide needed medical care, dental services and basic shelter to Anyone, Anywhere in the world while concurrently changing the mind and heart of the volunteer forever.

Gordon and Susan Carter in Equador
Charity Anywhere has organized service projects as close to home as Twin Falls, ID and as far away as Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Mexico. Charity Anywhere organizes dental and medical expeditions as well as construction and re-construction projects in four expeditions to Tijuana, Mexico every year at Christmas, spring break, the summer months and in the fall.  CA’s office in Quito, Ecuador organizes free dental and medical clinics, and most famously, a dental and medical expedition to the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador.

The Carter’s, whose personal and foundation motto is “I am my brother’s keeper,” have also been instrumental in meeting the needs of those living on the Navajo Nation, outside of Page, AZ supplying adult diapers, school books, gardening tools, coats and firewood through donations.

For more information, or to donate for the purchase of sewing machines and other needed supplies, see

Monday, October 12, 2015

SGR Learns of Social Security

Lance Stallings, an agent with Guardian Life Insurance residing in Tooele, spoke on the topic of Social Security, noting, “there are 1000 ways to collect and 2400 ways to decide.”  He also opined, “Social Security as it currently exists is unsustainable, so some changes need to be made.  Social Security will only continue if the government decreases benefits, increases taxation or if enrollment is delayed for millions of seniors.”

According to Stallings, women are the most likely to be uninformed and negatively affected by their decisions.  Most don’t know they can collect Social Security from the husband they have divorced, as long as they were married for at least ten years.  Men and women who remarry before age 60 will lose benefits from their prior spouse, so consult a Social Security expert and then move forward cautiously. 

A working spouse can “file and suspend” Social Security benefits until age 70, but the non-working spouse can still claim his / her benefits.

Applying to receive Social Security benefits at age 62 can result in the lose of 25% of benefits … but the longer you delay applying you will see an 8% increase for each year you delay.

The SS expert spoke on “how to ensure adequate retirement income,” reiterating the importance of delaying as long as possible, looking for other ways to cover your fixed costs, build a cash cushion, go for investment growth and, “most importantly, manage your spending!”

For more information, see on the web.

Monday, October 5, 2015

RYLA Youth Report to SGR

TODAY IN ROTARY members of SGR met and heard from the enthusiastic participants of RYLA, held in late September in Heber Valley.

Matt Callister, 16-year-old son of Thomas and Cami Callister and a student at Dixie High School, called his time at RYLA "my greatest experience ever," noting he had attended youth leadership programs in the past, but none had left the kind of lasting impression he came home with from RYLA.  He was particularly impressed by the personality test he took at the beginning of the weekend, and which identified him as a lion.  He also enjoyed "amazing guest speakers" but was most excited about the culture walk where he learned to appreciate the differences in people from other cultures, religions, countries and social classes.  "I have always been told to get involved in service, but it was at RYLA where I learned HOW to serve."  He promises to attend again next year as a RYLA alumni.

Megan White, 16-year-old daughter of Terance and Tiffany White and a student at the Success Acade
my, called RYLA "super fun.  I had a great time."  Megan shared her enthusiasm for the lessons she learned, including "the importance of communication and her personal need to be more sensitive and not always be in charge." She is committed to serving as a RYLA alumni next year.

Tiffany White called RYLA "a great experience but no one knows what it is.  We need to do a much better job of educating young people - and school counselors - about this amazing program and about the needs which need to be met right here in our own community."  She also shared her surprise to find out "these kids have so many struggles."  She committed to attend again next year - and to bring Terance along.

Aaron Taylor, son of Jenny Lee and Mark Taylor, and Richard Isom, who also participated in RYLA, were unable to attend.

Monday, September 28, 2015

SGR Hears of Q'ero Efforts

TODAY IN ROTARY representatives of the HeartWalk Foundation, a local non-profit which “supports the preservation of native cultures and earth-honoring traditions” shared their efforts on behalf of the Q’ero tribes, scattered across the Andes Mountains east of Cuzco, Peru, living in tiny villages at elevations between 12,000 and 15,000 feet.  Because access to these remote villages is so difficult, the people lack communication, plumbling, electricity, and access to jobs.  Their lives are extremely harsh.

Since the HeartWalk Foundation was established, the NPO has funded 110 greenhouses to provide leafy green vegetables for every family; and, stocked alpine lakes with over 12,000 trout to provide a protein food source for malnourished men, women and children.

The Heart Walk Foundation also provides the Q’ero with a safe means to earn an income by buying and reselling their weavings with all proceeds re-invested in community projects.

The Heart Walk Foundation has built 12 classrooms in the region and assists with teacher salaries, leveraging our accomplishments to engage Peru’s Ministry of Education to fund teachers and classroom materials in these isolated communities.

The Heart Walk Foundation also sees to improve the health of mothers and babies by supporting the needs of the first modest clinic outpost in the region where a nurse and an assistant provide care to 1000 people scattered across the mountains.

Current needs for the new clinic outpost include:

*          Solar panel system for light and power                 $1000
*          2 burner camp stove w/ a 5-gallon gas tank          $100
*          Portable dental system                                           $2000
*          Satellite phone or short wave for ER’s                  $900
*          Beds, mattresses and blankets                                $900
*          Fetal monitor, battery-powered with gels               $50

For more information or to donate, see or call Penelope Eicher at 435-619-0797 or Tim Eicher at 435-669-0804.

Monday, September 21, 2015

SGR Plays Pickleball

What’s pickle ball?  This is the question Rotarians asked each other on Monday, September 21 when club members met in Dixie Middle School’s gymnasium where they had been invited to try their hand at playing the fastest growing sport in America.  A team of pickleball experts from Dixie Middle School, Dixie State University and the community explained the intricacies of the game best described as a racquet sport combining elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Learning how this sport is played - and how popular it has become in the US - is in preparation for a proposed fundraising pickle ball tournament in our future.  Attendance was good, boxed lunches from Einstein Brothers were tasty, the school and its staff were pleasant and accommodating and “a fun time was had by all!”

If you're wondering about the out-of-focus action shots, its because everyone was enjoying the game and moving quickly in and out of "the kitchen." 

At the end of our time together, there was a drawing for a pickleball paddle.  And the winner was Nick Lang.

Thanks to everyone who made this fun meeting happen!