Rotary Club of Scottsdale gives back locally and internationally
August 6, 2018
By Andrea Estrada
Every Monday, members of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale come together for a weekly meeting to follow up on their local and international projects. From mentoring Valley high school students and raising funds for scholarships to working overseas with other rotarians in underprivileged areas, members always have something to go over. Whatever the topic of discussion is, though, one theme always resonates: “Service above self.”
Dr. Honora A. Norton, who joined the Rotary Club of Scottsdale in 2009, said the club was established for a specific purpose. “It’s primarily for business professionals – retired and working – who give back to the community and support those in need,” Norton said.
One of its main focuses within the community is the youth, Norton said. “I think our club is unique in that it works especially with the high schools, and now we’re working, in some cases, with the elementary schools,” she said.
Interact Club – a program the club sponsors – has been particularly popular among high schoolers. “That’s clubs in high schools where we have our members as active mentors,” Norton said. “We do it with Coronado, Chaparral and Scottsdale Preparatory. There’s an interact club at each of those, and they do projects for the community.” According to Norton, one year, one of the high schools had over 350 Interact Club members.
The club also sponsors a program called Youth Salute – an essay contest that rewards five high school juniors with a trip to a national leadership seminar in St. Louis. “We do interviews of the applicants, select 12, give them an on-the-spot question and pick five to represent the youth of Scottsdale,” Norton said.
On top of their youth programs, the club raises money annually for a number of scholarships. “Every year we have a golf tournament that we’ve done for 16 years as a fundraiser,” Norton said. “We do ‘Tennis with a Cause,’ where we have tennis tournaments. The money raised goes to our scholarships and another part goes to helping lower-income kids learn how to play tennis.”
Thanks to a partnership with Rotary International Foundation, the Rotary Club of Scottsdale has also gone abroad and collaborated with rotary clubs from all over the world. “Our club is doing water projects in Mexico and in Sri Lanka. For some of our projects, we’ll partner with five, six other rotary clubs,” Norton said. “In the case of the water projects that we do in Mexico, we try to purchase everything in Mexico rather than trying to get it over the border. So we’re helping the economy there.”
At home or in foreign lands, members of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale hope their service projects get the youth involved and spread the significance of “service above self,” Norton said.
“That’s important. To give back to the community and help our youth advance themselves.”