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Club Information

Welcome to our club!

Ames

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Gateway Hotel & Conference Center
US 30 & University Blvd.
Ames, IA  50014
United States of America
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Home Page Stories

Rotary Connects the World – this is the theme for Rotary this year. Our international president, Mark Maloney shared this theme with us at the NC-PETS training in March. After attending the international convention with over 25,000 Rotarians from over 130 countries I witnessed how well this theme truly does describe our great organization.  

The Rotary Club of Ames is doing things locally and globally to help connect one another to important causes. How exciting is it to be involved with a service organization that not only pledged $300,000 to the Miracle Park and Field, but has delivered? Thank you to every Rotarian and their families who made this possible. If you missed Monday’s (June 24) meeting, you may not have heard Brian Dieter announce we made our goal with a capstone gift from Jackie Woodin (and family). Club member Austin Woodin was called to the podium and delivered the check directly. If you get a chance to visit with Austin, ask him how important Inis Groove (future home of the Miracle Park and Field) is to his family. 

Because of our gift, the Miracle Field will be named the Rotary Club of Ames Miracle Field in honor of our 100th anniversary in 2021.  If someone in the community hasn’t heard of Rotary, they will know our name once the field has been constructed and is being used. What a great way to showcase to the community Rotary’s investment in our friends, family and neighbors.  

I mentioned on Monday that in April we surveyed our members and had 75 responses.  We asked the question, “Why did you join Rotary?”  Overwhelmingly the response was “Network, Fellowship, Lunch” (86%). When asked “What would you like to see more of?”, the majority responded, “Local Impact” (52%).  

We also gave everyone the opportunity to write in comments.  One that I’ll share is “Grow Members! Not membership!”  I couldn’t agree more.  Let’s work together to make sure all members feel welcomed each week. A smile, a handshake, or an invitation to join you at your table. It really doesn’t take a lot. You’ll hear more in the upcoming weeks and months how you can be more engaged in the club.

 

Jean Kresse

Club President  2019 - 2020

  • On average, each club member volunteers 275 hours annually within the community.
  • We have 210 active members.
  • That’s 57,750 volunteer hours club members give back to our community.
  • At $24.14 per hour, that is an impact of $1,394,085 annually.
The Rotary Club of Ames, IA provided a major grant of $10,000 for the project “​Human Trafficking in Central Iowa: How You Can Be Part of the Solution”.   This grant, together with a matching local community grant of $5,000 from Rotary District 6000, provided funding for building awareness about human trafficking throughout the Ames and Iowa State University communities, and encouraged citizens to educate themselves on identifying victims of human trafficking. 
 
Major outcomes of the Rotary Club of Ames human trafficking project:
The level of public concern and interest in learning about sex trafficking was outstanding as measured by the large turnout for project funded speaking engagements and six major public forums. A grand total of just over 4,500 attended these forums and public awareness events. This Rotary funded project helped to also create enough awareness of the growing trafficking problem in Iowa, that the group able to reach our Iowa legislators resulting in passage of two anti-trafficking bills. One of these bills created The Office to Combat Human Trafficking within the Iowa Department of Public Safety which opened last August 2016.
 
Twenty-four hotel managers and supervisors attended a sex trafficking awareness meeting hosted by Rotary. Seven of these hotels agreed to have their employees trained on how to recognize and report suspected trafficking. Each hotel received a plaque to display in their lobby that certified the training and that the hotel will report suspicious behavior. Rotary funded a showing of the documentary, ​Sex Trafficking in the USA​, and discussion of Nicholas Kristof's new film, ​A Path Appears.
 
​This forum was held one week prior to a lecture featuring Nicholas Kristof. The documentary was viewed by 480 in attendance which far exceeded our expectations. Copies of the documentary were offered to groups, schools and service clubs who were unable to attend the forum. The 2-​ hour documentary has been an excellent anti-human trafficking training tool. Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist for the ​New York Times,​ spoke on the global fight against human trafficking. His address was entitled ​“Why We Should Care About the World and Want to Change It”.
​ An astonishing 1,600 attended the lecture. Rotary was listed as a major funder and sponsor. Kristof began with slides of trips to Asia and his early exposure to human trafficking. He has been expanding his research and discussed writing about trafficking. Domestic US sex trafficking became the focus of the documentary special he wrote and produced. Kristof's writing on human trafficking resulted in winning a Pulitzer Prize. His book was for sale after the lecture, and he signed many copies for those attending.
 
Two Human Trafficking Community Forums were held at the Ames Public Library. The forum included the first showing of ​Any Kid Anywhere. Protecting Our Children was the lead forum sponsor and Rotary was listed as the sole funder. The DVD, ​Any Kid Anywhere​, features interviews of three Iowa women who were trafficked starting in their teens. The Rotary grant funded the production of 100 DVDs which were distributed free to schools across Iowa. The DVD was followed by a local panel discussion. The Ames Tribune had a front-page article about the two forums. Rotary hosted a lecture at which James Kofi Annan spoke on ​Stopping Child Slavery in Ghana.
 
​Through his work, Mr. Annan has rescued and supported over 10,000 children who have been forced child labor slaves. Approximately 460 attended the James Kofi Annan lecture. A Rotarian introduced the speaker. James told his personal story of being sold into child slavery at age 6 and escaped at age 12. He has established a survivors' program which provides safe housing, counseling, medical care and a school. A group from Ames including Ames Mayor Ann Campbell (a member of the Rotary Club of Ames) will be traveling to Ghana to help expand the school and its library.
The Rotary Club of Ames presented checks to four direct service agencies as budgeted in the Human Trafficking grant. Photos were taken of the check presentations with a cutline listing eight Rotarians who were present for the check passing. Rotary published two of these photos in the Ames Club newsletter. YSS, a statewide child welfare agency, used the Rotary funds to print an informational brochure on child sex trafficking. Rotary is listed on the brochure as the funder.
 
Rotary funds assisted the startup of the Ames High School Teens Against Human Trafficking (TAHT). The ​Ames Tribune​ carried a front-page article about the establishment of the AHS group. In addition, Rotary funds helped to expand TAHT in Ankeny, Fort Dodge and Des Moines.
 
Rotary was very fortunate to secure Luis CdeBaca to come to Ames and central Iowa for two entire days to commemorate Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness month. Luis CdeBaca recently stepped down as Ambassador to monitor and combat trafficking in person. He now leads the Department of Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) based in Washington, D.C. Although we had budgeted $2,500 for this Rotary grant line item, very little was spent since Ambassador CdeBaca decided to donate his time and pay for his own travel from Washington, D.C. to Iowa. Ambassador CdeBaca spoke at two major community forums and addressed the Rotary Club of Ames. He also consulted with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, and several and met with non-profits providing rescue and services to survivors of human trafficking.
 
Rotary funded the production and display of anti-trafficking signs for the CyRide buses in Ames. Primarily high school and college students ride CyRide. The signs were designed by Iowa State University students. Houck Transit Advertising produced the signs and displayed the signs on buses. All the CyRide buses rotate to a new route daily, giving full market coverage. The signs were displayed for three months.
 
Information about this successful project will be on display at the Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) booth No. 2926 at the Atlanta Rotary International Convention.
 
The Rotary Club of Ames urges other District 6000 clubs to join the fight to end modern day slavery both here in Iowa, and across the globe. For more information about RAGAS, go to their website www.ragas.online​ and sign up for their regular newsletter. For more information about labor and sex trafficking here in Iowa, go to the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking website at www.iowanaht.org​. Once you connect to this website, please subscribe to the twice monthly blog post written by Ames Rotary Club board member Dr. George Belitsos, by clicking on the contact tab. Dr. George also serves as chair of the Iowa NAHT Board of Directors.
 
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Are you interested in learning more about Rotary or joining our Club? Please send an email to info@rotaryclubofames.org 

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Speakers
Gina McAndrews and Sara Samms
Jul 22, 2019
Mounted Search and Rescue
Off-Site Fellowships
Oct 14, 2019
DG Erna Morain
Oct 21, 2019
 
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