Rotary Club of Los Alamos sweeps awards ceremony

District Conference 2015-16, 1

Rotary Club members Rob and Melissa Metcalf, Alison Pannell, Skip King, Linda Hull and Linda King at the District 5520 luau-themed banquet during the recent annual Rotary Conference in Albuquerque-Los Alamos Daily Post Photo

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently swept several awards categories at the Rotary District 5520 Conference in Albuquerque.
With more than 70 Rotary Clubs, District 5520 is one of the largest geographical Rotary Districts in the world, encompassing all of New Mexico and west Texas.
Under the leadership of President Alison Pannell, the club was chosen as the club of the Year (large club category). This highly respected award was given based upon the club’s gold-level completion of the Rotary International Presidential Citation, a comprehensive set of goals established by K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, the 2015-16 Rotary International President.
This year’s citation required the completion of 16 goals in membership recruitment and retention, youth and international services, online use of technology, public relations and Rotary Foundation support, especially for the eradication of polio.
The local Club’s consideration for Club of the Year was enhanced by several factors:
Its increase in membership, for which it received two District awards: most new members net gain (12) and highest percentage (20 percent);
Its weekly electronic newsletter, which received the Best Newsletter award (large club category);
Its selection for the Significant Achievement Award for the assistive hearing system (audio loop) installed in Smith Auditorium; and
Its District Governor’s $10,000 Scholarship winner, Sara Tuzel, a 2010 LAHS graduate and UNM medical student.
Skip King, membership chair, was recognized as one of the District’s Outstanding Active Rotarians; he and Linda Hull, vice-president, were honored as outgoing Assistant Governors for their three-year terms as mentors to Rotary Clubs in Angel Fire, Chama, Española, Las Vegas, Santa Fe and Taos.

-Story Courtesy of Los Alamos Daily Post

Stephanie Richard Garcia briefs Rotary on Legislative Session


Tuesday, New Mexico House District 43 Representative Stephanie Richard Garcia briefs the Rotary Club of Los Alamos about the recent legislative session. A few of the highlights, she said, was passage of her bill that endorsed naming a U.S. Naval submarine as the USS Los Alamos. Rotarian Jim Nesmith was instrumental in this effort. Another success was fixing the Real ID law. Richard Garcia also mentioned the state government has a new website. “We are trying to be a lot more … transparent,” she said, adding she has always pushed for more openness.

Rotary honors Victoria Cummins as Student of the Month



Photo by Hal Davis

Victoria Cummins is the newest student to be honored as Rotary Student of the Month. Cummins is a caring young woman who is enthusiastic about helping others. On top of her philanthropic activities, Cummings maintains a 4.0 GPA. A member of DECA since her sophomore year, she currently serves as the DECA Vice President of Finances. She is also an active member of the National Honor Society and participates in track and field.

In her essay, Cummins described a community service project called Our Shining Star Cummins and a friend, Melani Moulton-G, designed. Our Shining Star was created specifically for Jesse Miller, a six-year old boy in Los Alamos who was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was only 20 months old. Cummins and Moulton-G organized several fundraising and awareness events in support of Jesse and his mother, Mariah. These events included the Pumpkin Glow concession stand, a car wash with the Los Alamos Fire Department, and the Be Grate-FULL charity dinner. They also established a Go-Fund-Me account to raise funds for hospital bills. Through Our Shining Star Cummins successfully raised nearly $3,000 for the Millers.

The Rotary Club’s motto is “Service above Self.” In addition to serving others through local and international service projects we believe in recognizing those who give of themselves to their community. Our Club sponsors the Student of the Month program to honor high school students who exemplify Rotary’s motto. Los Alamos High School teachers are asked to nominate students who:

Have given positive contributions to their school and the community;
Have a good attitude about learning;
Are good citizens and respectful of their teachers and peers; and
Have good grades, attendance, and classroom participation.

Additionally, nominees write essays describing how they use community service to address a significant problem youth may face today. The Student of the Month committee selected the winners based on their demonstrated service and exemplification of the Rotary Four-Way Test.

9-year-old author shares newest book with Rotary



Denim Padberg of Dixon is not a typical 9-year-old. For starters, he is a seasoned published author. Padberg has penned three books; the first one was published when he just 6 years old. The first two books discuss dinosaurs and his most recent work addresses quantum physics.
Padberg shared his newest book, “How Relative is Relativity: An 8-year-old’s Guide to Quantum Physics” with the Rotary Club of Los Alamos during its regular club meeting Tuesday at the Los Alamos County Golfcourse clubhouse.
Padberg is a fifth-grader at Taos Academy and his parents, Michele and Jesse Padberg, own Vivac Winery.
A gifted individual, Padberg also deals with being dyslexic but he does allow the reading disorder to hold him back. When asked what advice he would give to other children who are dyslexic, Padberg said, “I wouldn’t call it a major disadvantage.” Those who are affected by it just need to realize what it is, he said.
It certainly does not hinder Padberg in exploring his interests. He explained, “I got interest in quantum physics … when I attended a baby shower.”
Padberg said, according to his mother, toy dinosaurs were handed out as party favors and he cherished a toy T-Rex. This set him on the path to learn more about dinosaurs and when he discovered the astroid that killed the dinosaurs, it turned him on to learning about stars and then quantum physics.
Padberg described the process of writing “How Relative is Relativity” as a “couple of months of writing, researching, writing, researching and then editing, editing, editing and editing.” Reading several passages from his book during the Rotary meeting, Padberg revealed his book touches on everything from the Periodic Table of Elements to black holes.
Although he wrote the book when he was 8 years old, Padberg emphasized that the book is not a children’s book.
When asked what his future plans are, Padberg replied he wants to be a writer, a scientist and help operate his parents’ winery.
As Rotarian Linda Hull said while introducing Padberg, “he is destined to do very interesting things in life.”

Dr. Marvel Harrison speaks to Rotary


Los Alamos Daily Post Photo

Los Alamos Daily Post/Hal Davis Photo

Dr. Marvel Harrison, local mental health specialist and counselor, spoke at recent Rotary of Club of Los Alamos meeting about the findings of the Los Alamos Public Schools Mental Health Design Team. Questions from the audience sparked concerned conversation about the mental health of local students and the anxiety and stress they experience.



Rotary Awards Four-way Test Essay Writers

Los Alamos Daily Post Photo

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos awarded $200 to Los Alamos Middles School student Cassandra Storms for her entry in its Four-way Test Essay Contest. The award was presented to to Storms during the March 1 club meeting at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Besides Storms, middle school students Tanna Hollander won $100 for her second-place essay and Gloria Ramos won $50 for her third place essay.
The subject of the essay was how using Rotary Club’s Four-Way Test might make someone a better family member. The Four-Way Test is recited at every Rotary Club meeting and is part of the club’s founding ideals.
The test asks the following questions: Of the things we think, say or do …
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Participants in the contest had one hour to complete their 300-500 word essay. LAMS teacher Suzanne Montoya helped to coordinate the contest at the middle school.
Rotarians will submit Storms’ essay for consideration in the District Essay Contest.

Los Alamos Daily Post Photo

Los Alamos Daily Post Photo

Pay it Forward Raffle has its first winner!


President-Elect Rob Metcalf discusses the Pay it Forward fundraiser during a regular Rotary Club meeting.

J. Barton of Arizona is the first winner of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos’ Pay it Forward Raffle.

Barton’s winning ticket was drawn during the Crab Fest fundraiser Feb. 28 at the Knights of Columbus Hall. He won $500.

Two other winners received $250 and $100.

When contacted about winning the $500 prize, Barton stated, “I bought a ticket from my brother-in-law, a Rotarian in Los Alamos, because he had told me about all the good things the local club does. I was glad to donate, but I am, of course, even happier to win.”

When he was told that his ticket would be re-entered in the remaining five drawings, he added “That’s excellent! I’m going to consider buying more tickets.”

If Barton does buy more tickets―$50 each―his odds of winning will be only slightly diminished as there are still five drawings left before the end of June. The next drawing will be held at the lunchtime Rotary Club meeting March 15.

Sources conducting the raffle report that the full allotment of 350 tickets has not sold out, so the odds of winning a cash prize are still quite good.

To purchase a ticket before the March 15 drawing, contact any one of the Rotary Club’s 65 members or contact Rob Metcalf at 505.670.8336, or Alison Pannell at 505.570.0629.

-Los Alamos Daily Post article

Rotary welcomes new members


Los Alamos Daily Post Photo

Rotary Avenues of Service Chair Nancy Cerutti welcomed five new members into the Rotary Club of Los Alamos during Tuesday’s lunch meeting at the golf course. Shown with the Rotarians who sponsored them, from left, Jaret McDonald with inductees Jen McDonald and Patrick Brenner; inductee Vince Marciano with Rotarian LeAnne Parsons; Rotarian Linda Hull with inductee Cmdr. Oliver Morris; inductee Melanie Bennett and Rotarian Anna Caspersen.


Community turns out for Crabfest

The Knights of Columbus Hall was packed Saturday night with community members who dined on crab, bid on auction items, and purchased raffle tickets-all to support the Rotary Club of Los Alamos and its various programs in the the community and throughout the world. Rotarian Jaret McDonald served as the emcee and Jill Cook hosted the live auction.  A number of high school students also lent a hand as servers for the dinner and presented auction items.