World Community Service, 2017 - 18

Rotary wcs auction20180330 22310 1ul0ywb
Our World Community Service auction and raffle on March 8, 2018, raised $8,613.   That gives the WCS committee $12,613 towards the Rotary Global Grant application for the keystone for a $110,000 clean water development project with Water Mission.  One of Rotary’s six areas of focus internationally is funding long term successful clean water, sanitation, and hygiene projects.

The fundraising starts with $30,000 in local cash, with the  $12,613 from Springfield Southeast and the rest from other clubs in Springfield. These funds would then be matched with District Designated Funds (DDF), required Host Club/District funds, and a Rotary Global Grant to reach the $110,000 total.

The selection of a specific project will be done closer to the actual submittal of a Global Grant application for a couple of reasons.  First, Water Mission has to identify a project that hasn’t been funded by another source.  Second, a Global Grant project also requires a host Rotary Club and its district to contribute their funds to the project.

About Water Mission

Water Mission ( is a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for communities around the world that lack safe water (Community Development) and also in response to natural disaster and emergency situations (Disaster Response).

It has an office in Haiti that is working with 42 permanent water systems. It also has 10 additional systems that it deployed for disaster relief after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. More recent disaster responses include Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean Ocean after the hurricanes and in Mexico following the earthquake in 2017.  Water Mission has worked with Rotary on more than 90 projects since 2003.

Michael Pessina chairs the planning committee that organized the auction and raffle.  Ray Meyer served as the auctioneer.

In the past four years, our club's WCS auctions and raffles raised about $60,000 for 19 international projects. 

Community Grants, 2017 - 18

Rotary20180226 6483 10zv0i8
Some needy children in Springfield will be able to experience the joy of the arts due to the generosity of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.  Other students will improve their reading skills, take school field trips to learn about gardening and bees, get information and coaching on how to make their homes cleaner and safer, receive healthy food while they’re staying at a temporary home, and improve their art skills as they try to overcome homelessness.

Southeast Rotary Club makes grants totaling $5,000 to local nonprofit groups every six months.  The funds are from members’ annual donations with their club dues.  Rusty Worley, chair of the Community Grants Committee, announced the latest six grant recipients on Feb. 22.

The Springfield Public Schools Foundation received a $1,000 grant for 100 fourth- and fifth-grade students at Sherwood Elementary to take several field trips.  They include trips to the e-Factory to learn how to start a business, to a medical clinic to see how doctors and nurses treat patients and communicate effectively, to urban gardens to learn how to start one at Sherwood, and to an apiary to see how bees make honey.  (The photo above shows Tom Masterson, assistant to the principal at Sherwood); Southeast Rotary member Natalie Murdock, executive director of the SPS Foundation; Amber Howard, a Sherwood teacher; and Rusty Worley, Community Grants Committee chair.)

Springfield Victory Mission received a $500 grant for art supplies for its new Expressions of Victory art training program.  The program provides a means for artists experiencing homelessness to improve their craft and learn how to make money so they can become financially independent.  Victory Mission Executive Director Jason Hynson is a member of Southeast Rotary.

Abilities First received a $1,000 grant for tuition scholarships for several Boys and Girls Club members and students with developmental disabilities to attend two five-week art classes and a 14-week storytelling/theater class.  In addition to learning creative arts, students work on social and communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, and pre-employment skills.

Champion Athletes of the Ozarks received a $500 grant to enroll 10 students in its reading program.  Champion Athletes helps children and adults with disabilities build self-esteem, self-confidence and social skills. It teaches decision-making skills, team skills, appropriate behaviors and the feeling of success through classes on reading, basic money, math, storm preparedness and physical fitness.

The Drew Lewis Foundation at The Fairbanks received a $1,000 grant for its Healthy Home Educator Program, which is part of The Northwest Project that helps people in Springfield overcome poverty.  The Healthy Home Educator Program provides monthly in-home environmental assessments, education, support for behavior change, and resources to help families eliminate unhealthy conditions in their homes.  The funds will pay for household cleaning supplies, lice treatments, bed bug covers, laundry soap, bleach and other cleaning items.

Isabel’s House received a $1,000 grant for its Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids program.  The program provides fresh fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods for children temporarily staying at Isabel’s House because of family crises.  The funds will also pay for educational field trips and learning opportunities for the children, such as trips to farmers markets and farms.

The Community Grants program is another way that Springfield Southeast Rotary Club is More Than a Lunch Club.

Community Grants criteria

The community grants committee of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast is charged with the responsibility of recommending to the board of directors those charitable contributions made in the club’s name for the Rotary year. (Rotary years begin July 1 and end June 30.) The funds for the year are generated from the service fund assessment.

Organizations are welcome to apply for a community grant; however, all applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:

CHARITABLE. Grants must be used for a charitable purpose by a 501(c)3 organization.

LOCAL. Grants must used within southwest Missouri.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT. Proposals must specify a community benefit. Requests for funds for general operating expenses are discouraged.

RECOGNITION. Proposals must specify how the contribution will be acknowledged in a way that promotes community awareness of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.

Springfield Southeast wishes to utilize community grants to achieve the greatest possible impact across a broad range of projects each year. To do this, we award grants ranging from $500 to $1,000+.

Every year, Springfield Southeast determines its scope of grant interest based on Rotary International’s goals and club goals. Usually, grants are focused on literacy, hunger, and health; however, occasionally, other areas are considered.

Community Grants application process

Applications for grants are reviewed by our community grants committee. Requests for funds come from Southeast member suggestions, mail solicitations, personal solicitations from community organizations, and ideas generated by committee members.

There are two grant cycles every Rotary year, and organizations are encouraged to submit their proposals any time throughout the year to be considered for the next review cycle on the calendar.

The grant process includes two steps:
1) A review of the proposal by the committee
2) An in-person presentation (approximately 10 minutes) by the applying organization to the committee.

After presentations, the committee reviews the proposals and makes a recommendation to the board of directors. After the board of directors approves the grants, the committee notifies applicants.

Submit your proposal by email as an attachment, as well as proof of your 501(c)3 status, to

Southeast Rotary helps The Fairbanks

Img 628220170921 7110 1bo3aeg
Southeast Rotary teamed up with the Metro Rotary Club and applied for a District Simplified Grant to support the Drew Lewis Foundation's project to install playground equipment at The Fairbanks. The photo shows the check presentation at our club's meeting on Sept. 14, 2017 (from left to right: David Miller, a volunteer at The Fairbanks; Amy Blansit, who founded and directs The Fairbanks and the Drew Lewis Foundation in memory of her late husband, Michael Brady president-elect of Metro Rotary Club, and Springfield Southeast President Lori Barnes Miller).
The grant, including matching funds from each club, totals $20,000. The Drew Lewis Foundation was able to leverage that grant with a matching grant from KABOOM for a total of $35,000.

Our latest contribution to K-Park at Jordan Valley Park

Rotary picnic pavilion k park20170526 938 2bwmgp
Springfield Southeast Rotary Club and the Springfield - Greene County Parks Department dedicated the new "shade sail structure," picnic tables and the Ted Andrews Memorial Bench contributed by our club and Andrews' family.

The dedication took place during the club’s meeting at the site on May 25, 2017.

The shaded picnic area is in the K-Park section of the park, an area that also includes the K-Man kinetic sculpture, the climbing rock and the Springfield Wagon play feature, all funded entirely through donations now totaling more than $100,000 from Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.

“We’re proud of our partnership with Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, which has donated so many one-of-kind play features at Jordan Valley Park,” said Jeff Cumley, superintendent of Jordan Valley Park and a member of the club. “When the kids aren’t playing in the fountain, they’re on these play features, and now parents and kids have a shady spot to eat lunch while at the park.”

The picnic tables are arranged in the shape of the Rotary logo.  Tables, the underlying concrete pad and the shade sail are in Rotary colors of blue and yellow.

The Ted Andrews Memorial Bench honors the late Rotarian, who worked extensively on the shade sail project. The bench was funded by his family.