Posted by Carol Crimi
Click here to for the evening's program
Mr. Knaack, who resides in Germany, was unable to attend our celebration and sent this video in his stead.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a longstanding relationship with Rotary International’s initiative to end polio.  Richard Wiland, Kent Rotary President in 1949 – 50 raised $100,000 to end polio and the club has made a substantial contribution to this effort in recent years as well.  For this reason, the 100th Anniversary Planning Committee selected this video to be shown during the celebration of the Club’s 100 year history.
Ben Wolford, Editor of The Portager joined Kent Rotary recently.  Upon hearing about plans to celebrate the Club’s 100th anniversary, Ben graciously stepped forward and offered to produce a video highlighting the Club’s history of fellowship and service.  Jim Myers helped Ben with the research. 
Since 2008, Kent Rotary has partnered with the organization Companion Community Development Alternatives (CoCoDa) to bring fresh water to villages in Central America.  Past Club President and current District Governor Larry Lohman explained this Power Point presentation furnished by Jim Mulholland, Executive Director of CoCoDa.  The presentation explains projects that have been accomplished as well as two others currently in the planning.  Larry has made a number of trips to Central America to visit the project sites and attend related conferences.
Upon spending the evening celebrating accomplishments of the past, the program ended with a note of focus on the future.  Mary Beth Growney Selene, who has served on both the Rotary International Board of Directors and The Rotary International Foundation, provided this video.  Mary Beth, resides in North Dakota and is the founder and owner of Ryan Signs, Inc.  Mary Beth has brought her dynamic message about Rotary to many districts throughout the U.S.
In addition to the video presentations, several representatives of organizations that have received grants from the Club’s Foundation were present to discuss their impact:
Imagination Library – presented by Molly Williams:
The Imagination Library is a program conceived by Dolly Parton to promote literacy.  It provides a free book each month to children from birth to age 5.  Governor Mike DeWine and His wife Fran have worked to secure funding for the program in Ohio, but local libraries must match State funds to participate.  However, the State funds only cover 50% of the cost, and therefore, local communities must come up with their own funds to match State monies.  The Club’s Executive Board sought a District Matching Grant to help support this program at Kent Free Library. District 6630 contributed $2,750 and Kent Rotary, through its Foundation, contributed $3,750 to help establish this program in Kent, thus enabling hundreds of children in our community to participate.  

Molly Williams is a Kent mother whose child participates in the program.  Molly enthusiastically explained the impact of the program on her young child who looks forward to receiving his book in the mail each month.  She brought several of the books along and complemented the quality of the stories.
Pilot Program for Portage County Literacy Council Aspire Program
Kent Rotary, through its Foundation, awarded a $2,000 grant to fund a pilot program to the Aspire Program.    These funds enabled 30 Portage County adults seeking their G.E.D.’s to obtain additional job skills training to enhance their ability to qualify for jobs that pay a living wage. The skills taught were those needed by Portage County employers in industries such as retail and manufacturing.  David Shea, Aspire Coordinator was present to thank Kent Rotary for its support.
One Hundred One Years of Rotary in Kent, Ohio