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?