Club News
Want to lead or participate in a community project? The Rotary Club of Hudson offers many opportunities to give back to our community while enjoying the programs, events and social interaction with like-minded Rotarians. Many levels of involvement are available as a Club member.
 
Recently concluded strategic long-range planning for the Rotary Club established eight committees for leading and participating in Club activities. All members are encouraged to contribute their experience and knowledge to one of the committees for the betterment of our community. 
 
The following are brief descriptions of Rotary’s working committees, their tasks, projects and expected results:
 
  • Programs Committee--responsible for Rotary’s monthly theme and weekly speakers. Expectations include engaging community/business leaders and accomplished youth for weekly presentations.
  • Community Service Projects Committee--responsible for major undertakings such as the Scout Cabin refurbishing, Ellsworth School pollinator garden and conservancy efforts. Expectations are to maintain a high profile of service to Hudson.
  • Youth Leadership Development and Education Committee--responsible for HHS Service Learning and college scholarships, the 4 Way Speech Contest, the WRA Interact Club and Scouting. Expectations are to promote and sustain all of Rotary’s youth programs.
  • Community Health and Safety Services Committee--responsible for charitable projects including support for Gift of Life NEO, Hudson EMS, Hudson Food Bank and  Hudson Job Search. Expectations are for the continued support of the critical needs of the community and guidance for those in need.
  • Fundraising Committee--responsible for the Annual Gala, the Fall Fund Raiser and Fine Day. Expectations are that significant funds will be raised to support the Hudson Rotary Foundation’s many grants to community causes.
  • Membership Development Committee--responsible for recruiting, orienting and mentoring new Rotary members. Expectations are that the Club’s growth will continue and include increasing numbers of women and minorities.
  • Community Events Committee--responsible for Rotary’s involvement/support of annual community social events and celebrations such as Santa on the Green, Art on the Green parades and concerts. The expectation is that Rotary will continue to be an “involved citizen”.
  • Marketing and Public Relations Committee--responsible for continuing communications with the community regarding all Rotary activities. Expectations are that Rotary will be prevalent in local publications, Facebook, YouTube, HCTV and on the Rotary website.
 
As an example of the cross section of Hudson citizens recently joining the Club, here are the profiles of some new members:
 
  • Phil Butto--Treasurer of Hudson Schools
  • Terry Bortnik--Real Estate Professional, Humane Society
  • Chris Foster--Hudson Council, Publisher, Bee Keeper
  • Nikki Kowalski--Hudson Council, Graphic Arts Marketing, Leadership Hudson
  • Geoff Korff--Entrepreneur, Lawyer
  • Pat Goetz--MD Psychiatry
  • Jane Howington--City Manager
  • Chuck Nnabuife--Home Health Care Finance
  • Bill McClure--Retired, Bikes for Christ
  • Bill Libby--Veteran Cleveland Club Rotarian
 
In addition to these recent new members, the Rotary Club of Hudson includes educators, business owners, financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, printers, foundation principals, food retailers, hospital executives, marketers, entrepreneurs and retired professionals anxious to contribute their ideas and skills.
 
Joining Rotary is easy. All citizens concerned with the welfare and social communications in the community are welcome to apply by contacting Mike Swain at swainmp1448@gmail.com. A simple application, a casual interview over coffee and an expression of your interests will suffice to establish your candidacy.
 
The club has a very relaxed attendance requirement recognizing that many busy professionals and parents of young children might find it difficult to participate every week. The current Zoom broadcasts of weekly meetings will also continue after the pandemic has subsided and the Club returns to in-person sessions
 
You are invited to join our Zoom meetings on Wednesdays at 7:30 am to enjoy one or more of our programs. Our website www.rotaryhudson.org features our upcoming speakers. Please contact Marilyn Orr, President at marilynjorr@me.com for a link. We look forward to meeting you.

The year 2020 has presented the ultimate challenge to the Rotary Club of Hudson, testing its strengths in engaging its members, attracting new members, presenting meaningful weekly speaker programs, raising funds for community needs, serving local youth and planning for the future.

The club reports it had a successful 90th year in most regards including an evolving strategic plan for the coming years. Some of the areas embraced by the club’s membership include the following:

Weekly meetings:

Using Zoom technology, a meeting has been held every week since the pandemic “stay at home” order featuring many of the typical topics from past years. Speakers from a variety of professions, businesses and institutions provided engaging, enlightening and useful presentations that got high marks from Club members. Major topics included medical/psychological guidance, summer fun parks and activities, educator advice, local foundation focuses, major league sports insights, candidates for office debates, local business success stories and panels of our own members sharing ideas. Typical on-line weekly attendance has averaged 35 members and guests. 

New members:

The club lost a few longtime contributing members, but gained some participants from various professions including: John Adams, finance; Phil Butto, HHS administration; Chris Foster, Hudson Councilman; Bill Libby, veteran Cleveland Club Rotarian; Pete Spacagna, General Manager auto dealership; Jane Howington, City Manager; Keith Viers, banking; Chuck Nnabuife, home healthcare finance; and Bill McClure, retired. All have committed to becoming involved in a chosen service area of the Club. 

 

Fundraisers:

Even though the club had to cancel its Annual Gala from which generates a majority of its funds to support local causes, the club in conjunction with the Clock Tower Rotary and EMS Outreach Hudson raised over $25,000 from the public and internally to purchase personal protective equipment for Hudson EMS and Fire Departments. The Gala will return in 2021 honoring our past presidents many of whom are still active with the club.

The group also successfully solicited contributions from club members this fall, in lieu of the annual roses and popcorn sale, to bolster its Hudson High School college scholarship program.

The Hudson Rotary Foundation continues to contribute to community causes even though, understandably, less foundation funding has occurred this year. However, over the past 20 years, the Foundation has granted over $750,000 for Hudson area community needs.

Youth Education support activities:

The Rotary Club of Hudson continues to be involved with Hudson High School and Western Reserve Academy educational programs.

A Rotary Interact Club was recently established at WRA with the students choosing service projects in line with Rotary guidance. Both HHS and WRA participate in the Rotary Four Way Test speech contest providing entertainment and enlightenment for Rotary Club members.

Scouting is also very important to the Rotary Club of Hudson who built the original log cabin on Main Street in 1931 and continues to support Scouting activities in Hudson and at Camp Manatoc. Scouts regularly appear at Rotary meetings to report on their activities and assist with fundraising events.

Strategic Planning:

The Covid-19 pandemic has altered life in the community and in the Rotary Club of Hudson. Consequently, it was decided to develop a strategic plan for the next 3-5 years that would anticipate the club’s challenges and opportunities going forward. A strategic planning committee has been meeting since August and has examined all facets of programming, membership, fund raising and community involvement. Recommendations for the future will embrace its sustainability, leadership, new member recruiting, fund raising and community commitments. A major high profile community project will probably be in the club's future.

All who are interested in the work the club does and the community and school involvement it is involved in are invited to examine the website www.rotaryhudson.org

Hudson Fire/EMS Chief, Jerry Varnes needed $25,000 to purchase a 90 day supply of Personal Protective Equipment for Fire/EMS personnel. The Rotary Club of Hudson, the Rotary Clocktower Club and EMS Outreach of Hudson successfully campaigned to raise that sum, and more, in approximately 90 days.
 
Major Rotary Club of Hudson donors include Akron Children’s Hospital, Northwest Bank, University Hospital Portage Medical Center and the Tobin Family Foundation. Significant donations were provided by individual Hudson citizens through EMS Outreach totaling over $3000. This campaign is an example of how various community organizations can work together for the common good, each reaching varied public and private sectors. The Hudson community as a whole desperately needed this support and will now benefit by better equipped Fire/EMS services.
 
The Hudson Clocktower Rotary Club is currently undertaking a fundraiser in support of the Fire/EMS Department by selling facemasks featuring the Hudson Clocktower that can be ordered online at www.rdpsports.com. Both the Rotary Club of Hudson and EMS Outreach will also continue the campaign. Donations can be mailed to EMS Outreach Hudson at 118 W. Streetsboro St. Suite 209, Hudson 44236.