Runners are amazing people. They support one another. They train hard together. They easily share very personal stories. They are passionate and determined. They are amazing friends.
Elm City Rotarians are like-minded folks, embracing the friendships and tough work that present themselves along life’s highway. In service above self we too experience a motivation to go farther, to do more, to accomplish miracles, just as runners stretch their hearts and minds to the limit.
This year Keene Elm City Rotary is proud to showcase five of our key projects, projects related to the health and well being of children and youth in our community and from here out into the world. The money we raise in sponsorships, in registration, in donations and now in Team Demar, goes directly to these initiatives.
This year we invite all runners, not just local runners, to join Team DeMar and run for one of these great projects. We will take care of your registration fees and provide you with a free Team DeMar t shirt. Recognition and prizes will be part of the fun as we build team spirit along the way.
We ask that you pledge to raise at least 400.00 by October 10th and it is all easily managed through our Crowdrise website. For those who have already signed up it is easy to switch over to Team DeMar. Consider giving meaning to the miles and making the world a better place. We are proud of our work in the world. Join Team DeMar and become a part of it. Click on a Team and choose the project that speaks to your heart. We thank you and promise you an amazing experience.
We’re helping area second graders celebrate “ME” by presenting them with a brand new pair of high quality sneakers. Each spring, Follow “ME” pairs 60 plus volunteers with over 640 growing feet in over 27 schools in Cheshire county. Our message is simple — Follow “ME” and move every day in your new sneakers.
On sneaker delivery day we let the kids know about the importance of physical activity and that we care about their healthy development. We share with them the meaning behind the gift of sneakers — inspiring them to Move Every Day and to be an inspiration to others as well. We present them with healthy community opportunities for “ME” — passes to the Keene Family YMCA, Keene Ice, MoCo Arts and the Swamp Bats and an opportunity to participate in the Kids DeMar.
Over the summer school children in grades 1-5 log over 25 miles of activity and thus are qualified to run the last 1.2 miles of the DeMar on race day. More than 1,000 kids will participate in the free Kid’s DeMar Race this year. “Follow Me” is such a feel good program and the smiles, hugs and heart-felt thank you notes from second graders inspire us to work even harder. And building on that come September you will see many a second grader in their loved and worn sneakers all high fives and having a blast with the happy energetic throng of local elementary school students. Thank you so much for supporting this fundamental building block for healthy youth. It will enable us to reach even more children to follow “ME” and to participate in the Kids DeMar.Join Team DeMar for ‘Team Follow “ME” and Kids DeMar’
Each February students from Monadnock Regional High School Interact (Student Rotarian) Club give up their vacation time to travel to El Salvador where they work long, hot hours building homes for families who literally live in shacks of cardboard and rusted sheet metal. A few years ago, the village of Talnique saw many homes lost to a devastating earthquake and this has been the focus of our Interact students who volunteer alongside Keene Elm City Rotary’s adult advisors.
Working in a third world country, providing impoverished villagers with permanent housing and a lifestyle change that is unimaginable, these experiences are life-changing for our students. They witness first hand the love and abiding appreciation of the people and in particular the children. With thoughts of these children, our students return with an awareness of their own good fortune and how important it is to give back to those who have so little.
The work is dirty and physically demanding as concrete posts and blocks are hoisted in place, mudded and scraped. Cement and mortar are mixed by hand shoveling with water, gravel and sand being carried uphill in dry wall buckets. There is one day off for a cultural experience shared with us by one of our San Salvador rotary friends. Each of the other 5 days flies by with challenges that reap incredible rewards, smiles, hugs and tears. Not only do the students devote themselves to this work week, as members of Interact they fund-raise during their school year, doing whatever jobs they can to provide funding for building materials and for their room and board. Each student is also responsible for their own airfare and many have to work other jobs to foot this additional bill.
Our club is devoted to this International Service project for what it represents to the families and children of El Salvador and to our own Interacters who are transformed into citizens of the world. We thank you for your support of this very important project. Team DeMar funds will help to build this program by providing opportunities for students who may otherwise not be able to go and to provide additional tools and special village projects such as water, sewer and recreational development.Join Team DeMar for ‘Team Interact’
It is shocking to realize that children in our community go to bed hungry and malnourished. In our state, 1 in 5 households experience food insecurity. Food pantries and emergency food services are turned to an increasingly alarming rate — 146,000 recipients last year alone more than doubles usage over the past 6 years.
And although there seems to be enough healthy food to go around, many families can not afford it or can not access it. Children can, ironically, be overweight and hungry simultaneously. Hunger takes its toll on the bodies and minds of our children as behavioral and learning problems go hand in hand with poor nutrition, threatening the opportunities and successful development of our future generation.
In 2016 Keene Elm City Rotary had heard enough and knew that this problem could no longer go unchallenged. Building upon our mission of supporting the health and well-being of our community’s youth we formed MUCH (Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger) a think tank of rotarians, leaders and professionals in the field of childhood hunger. From MUCH work has come the critical knowledge that summer is a time of great need for hungry children.
This summer we will be launching “Partners at the Table”, a summer feeding program in conjunction with the Keene Community Kitchen. With the help of Monadnock Radio Group, this year’s Thanksgiving in July will kick off an intense public awareness campaign along with a food and dollar drive for our “Partners at the Table” summer program. In addition, every dollars raised by Team DeMar – Team Childhood Hunger will go towards our goal of every child, every meal, 3 times a day. Summer should be a time of fun and healthy growth for our children. We thank you for helping make this possible and helping our goal become a reality.Join Team DeMar for ‘Team Partners at the Table’
For over a decade Keene Elm City Rotary has been helping students who might not otherwise receive much deserved recognition or financial help. The Keene Elm City Rotary “Unsung Hero” scholarship fund is designed to celebrate the courageous students of our region, those who embody the Rotary ideal of service above self.
Recipients have demonstrated significant service in their community, their school or religious organizations or perhaps even in their own struggling families. This service may come at some cost to their academic career, in fact it often takes priority over academic achievement. Their determination to continue their own education is inspiring and many of these students love sharing their ambitions and accomplishments with the club. In their academic careers they continue to set high standards of achievement and leadership.
The demand for these scholarships has increased in recent years and the pool of highly qualified applicants continues to increase in strength. Keene Elm City Rotary has recently adopted the policy of awarding money to more than one student. Last year we were able to give over $8,000.00 to several area students ranging in age from high school to adulthood. The ages of our heroes has ranged from 19-60 and the schools from college to professional, graduate and community college degrees. Thank you so very much for your support of the Team Unsung Hero. It will enable us to grow our funding dollars and our breadth of service to as many heroes as we can.Join Team DeMar for ‘Team Unsung Hero Scholarship’
In America, it is safe to assume that if someone needs a wheelchair they will get it. That is not the case in many places in the world today. In the year 2000, rotarian Ken Behring created the Wheelchair Foundation, a non-profit rotary initiative that provides hope, mobility and independence to handicapped citizens of the world. It is estimated that worldwide over 100 million children, teens and adults are in need of wheelchairs.
To date, the Rotary Wheelchair Foundation has distributed over 1 million chairs. Keene Elm City Rotary has contacts in Jamaica and Mexico to facilitate our participation in the Wheelchair Foundation. Last year two club members traveled to Jamaica to help distribute over 33 chairs. Lives were changed on both sides as we witnessed first hand the joy and freedom represented in these simple chairs.
Keene Elm City Rotary pledged over 5,000.00 in wheelchair aid for 2016 which we would like to build upon in the coming years. Thank you for your support of this gift of movement for those who can not. Please realize that every $150.00 raised a new chair can be purchased for those in waiting. You run so that others can be made mobile. What a gift!Join Team DeMar for ‘Team Wheelchair Foundation’