Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and Organizations Jolly J.J.s discuss events The Jolly J.J.'s 4-H club met on Monday, March 23 at the Extension building. Ellen Hanson, club vice-president, called the meeting to order. Abby Weiss led the Pledge of Allegiance. Jackie Killian led the 4-H pledge. Ashley Sorensen read the secretary report. Pam Hanson gave an updated treasurer report. Club members signed a thank you card that was sent to Harold McDonald, who donated several Ziploc bags of pop tabs to our club, for the Club Kids Helping Kids Community Service Project, the Jolly J.J. 4-H club members are participating in. Upcoming club events were mentioned and discussed. Pam Hanson talked about 4-H fruit. Club members wrote personal notes on the Friends of 4-H Funds campaign pledge letters. A reminder about the April meeting was given. Refreshments were provided by Ellen and Marley Hanson. A good time was had by all. Anyone interested in joining a 4-H club can contact the Extension office at 677-7111 to get more information. Reporters: Jolly J.J. club members Miller speaks to Rotarians May 19 The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, May 19, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD.  President Mary Edelen opened the meeting and led us in the invocation.  This was followed by a round of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests.  This was also a time to celebrate our Rotary exchange student, Rafael Gontijo, as he begins to get ready to leave us for a tour of the United States with other Rotary exchange students and return home to Brazil. President Edelen introduced Leah Miller as our speaker for the day.  Leah is a senior at Vermillion High School and is the daughter of Steve Miller and Jill Tyler.  She used a PowerPoint presentation to show many pictures of her stay in Germany.  She spent last year as an exchange student in Waltrop, Germany.  She told us that she was impressed by how old some of the buildings were ?– much older than "old" buildings in the US.  She also told us about going to a language camp in Kologne, Germany for four weeks prior to meeting her host family. Leah also explained the similarities and differences in the school systems in the two countries.  She attended a "gymnasium", which is a high school for students interested in going on to college.  Students at this school were from the fifth grade through 13th grade.  Students in the fifth grade would attend in the morning only, and as one progressed through the higher grades, more classes were required.  She also mentioned that there was no formal lunch period.  Other high schools catered to students planning on careers in the trades.  Most students had to choose which high school they would attend while in fourth grade!  She stated that there was more emphasis on apprenticeships for those students going into various trades or technical schools. Another interesting point she made was that there were no school sponsored sports programs.  The idea is that school is for learning.  There are club sports for those interested in sports, however. Our exchange student stayed with different families but she stayed with the same family for the entire year.  She also said she was grateful for the opportunity to travel extensively because the distances were much shorter than in this country.  She was able to visit London, Paris, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland, as well as travel to many German cities. She ended her presentation by answering questions from the audience. Hope Haven topic at Rotary The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, May 12, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD.  President Mary Edelen opened the meeting and led us in the invocation.  This was followed by a round of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests.  Professor X. T. Wang was presented with a check for $1,000 for the China Star Program, which he started after visiting an area of rural China and observing the obvious need of school children in the area. President Edelen introduced Mark Siemonsma as our speaker for the day.  He was accompanied by Carl Tonjes and Shelli Masek of the Hope Haven International Ministries Advisory Committee.  Mr. Siemonsma is the director of Support Foundation for Hope Haven International Ministries in Sioux Falls.  HHIM builds, refurbishes, and distributes wheelchairs free of charge all over the world.  All of this work is done by volunteers.  HHIM also insists that the wheelchairs be individually fitted to the recipients and recruit volunteer professionals to travel to all parts of the world to accomplish this.  They believe that this service unleashes potential in people in need of this service by providing mobility, dignity, and hope for a brighter future.  They concentrate on developing countries because they believe that is where the greatest need is. The main countries they have served so far are: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Guatemala, Israel, Romania and Vietnam.  HHIM has so far delivered over 79,000 wheelchairs.  All of the wheelchairs are manufactured by volunteers.  Wheelchairs are also refurbished by volunteers and by inmates.  HHIM is a Christian organization but they partner with many other organizations including Rotary. He also informed us that they partner with local groups in the various countries for distribution and repair of the wheelchairs.

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