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