Frances Dixon forges partnerships with multiple Rotary clubs

In 1991, Frances Dixon was invited to speak at a Rotary Club about Guatemala’s long-standing 36-year civil war. Dixon had just established her nonprofit organization, Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala, in the unlikely location of northwest Guatemala where the conflict was at its most intense. “The mission of the organization,” she explained to the audience, “is to provide access to education for hundreds of disadvantaged indigenous youth who have suffered the worst hardships of social inequality.”

Inspired by Dixon’s compelling message about the Mayan people of Guatemala, whose human rights had been brutally violated in the government’s genocidal war, the Bonita Springs Rotary Club of southwest Florida awarded Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala $1,000 to purchase a small area of land where it would build its first school.

This event marked the beginning of an almost three-decade partnership with Rotary Clubs to help build schools, water systems, roads, and homes for the poor during the post-war construction era.

The refugees who came flooding back from Mexico after the peace treaty was signed—many suffering from tuberculosis and other illnesses—were aided by Adopt-a-Village through a generous Rotary Global grant.

Dixon, a tireless advocate for social justice and the Mayan people of northwestern Guatemala, was mindful that while these development projects offered much-needed aid to help the Maya rebuild their lives, it would not result in long-term change. She came to believe that the only hope for real and lasting peace in this beautiful but troubled country would come through education. Her goal focused on offering a quality education to Mayan youth—they would be the ones to change their country’s future for the better.

Today, a unique educational community—Adopt-a-Village’s Mayan Center for Education and Development—stands in a remote rainforest mountain where dozens of impoverished young Maya live and thrive as a result of the transformative education they receive. Moreover, surrounding villages have benefited from the organization’s outreach programs, which include initiatives ranging from sustainable gardening and nutrition to literacy training.

Rotary Clubs have helped to fund the solar equipment that powers the middle and high schools in the Center. They have also helped to equip the schools with impressive computer and science labs—the first of their kind in the region. A state-of-the-art satellite system ensures that students can access the Internet for educational research. The Mayan Center’s buildings are architecturally designed to withstand earthquakes, and a rainwater collection system serves the entire campus and its organic gardens. Students share daily chores that include food preparation, grounds keeping, managing the small chicken farm, and tending to the campus gardens that produce nutritious vegetables for staff and students.

The Mayan Center’s curriculum includes community outreach programs designed to provide students with practical training to hone their skills, as well as aid members of their communities. An adjoining rain forest habitat offers students a rare opportunity to experience interactive learning in science and biology while studying the endangered wildlife living in the area.

Drawn to the extraordinary international efforts of Rotary, Dixon became a member in 1994 in Florida where she served as World Community Service chair at club and district levels. She is the proud recipient of a District Rotary Foundation Service Award, is a multiple Paul Harris fellow, and a Rotary alumna. When she moved to southwest Oregon five years ago, she continued her membership by joining the Rogue Gateway Rotary Club. “I am extremely grateful for the wonderful partnerships I have formed with Rotary Clubs over the years. It has been a rewarding experience to be a part of leadership efforts to build peace in the world,” she says.

Install your own Little Free Library

22181242_1657267331012017_1444294764641386064_oA fresh batch of Little Free Libraries are built and ready to be installed. Would you like one in your front yard? We request $60 to reimburse the club for materials, but installation is free. Once it’s installed, it’s yours. Rogue Gateway has books, or ask your friends to help fill it up, and watch how quickly people in your neighborhoods start using it. For more information, call Doug Walker at 541-660-2178.

20689827_1600764823328935_1438522679989164288_oRogue Gateway Rotary club’s four newest members are Kevin Widdison, Suzanne Lavine, Bev Walker and Jim Huber. Interested in joining Rotary, too? Like us on Facebook at and let us know you’re interested.

Rogue Gateway Rotary celebrates 25 years of service

free-clip-art-anniversary-celebration-clip-art-anniversary-4000_2329Rogue Gateway Rotary is marking its 25th anniversary with a potluck picnic and wine fest on the river.

Current, past and founding members are invited to attend the event, scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. May 6. Contact President Doug Walker, for details.

Rogue Gateway Rotary Club was founded on May 6, 1992, with 37 charter members. The board of directors were Don Myrick, president; Dave Thomason, president-elect; Jackie Reithoffer, vice president; Steve Roe, secretary/treasurer; Cheryl Kincaid, director; Roger Harding, director; Thom Martin, director; and Bob Sisk, director.

The other founding members were Mike Chanquet, Linda Beauchamp, Doug Hamilton, David Nelson, Bill Meyer, Katie Duncan, Jim Hitchcock, Harry Mackin, Bob Putney, Carla Robertson, Butch Ulstad, Larry Schwein, Bob Chalupa, Mark Goracke, Tony Lynde, Mike Forshay, Jeri Lynn Gudgel, Kathy Krouse, Diane Swint, Richard Ward, Mike Bird, Cindy Patterson, Debbie Brownell, Vince Matt, Chris Mecca, Brenda Patton, Laurel Samson, Jeff Henderson, and Ed Ley.

Wine Not?

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Rogue Gateway Rotary is conducting it’s annual “Wine Not?” raffle, which raises funds to “do good in the world.” For just $5 a ticket, you can win fabulous Oregon wines and help Rogue Gateway with service projects such as the Free Little Libraries we have constructed
and placed throughout the community, as well as underwriting the Rotary Youth Exchange students we sponsor each year.

Here are the prizes:

  • First — 24 bottles of exquisite wine and a surprise wine-related gift
  • Second — 18 bottles of luscious wine
  • Third — 12 bottles of scrumptious wine
  • Fourth — 6 bottles of tasty wine
Even if you purchase just one ticket, you will be helping a lot. Contact your favorite Rogue Gateway Rotarian to purchase tickets. The drawing is May 26 (need not be present to win).
Thanks for your generosity and support,

Honor thy mother and father

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Give a gift to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Annual Fund in honor of your mom on Mother’s Day and your dad on Father’s Day.

In new District 5110 initiatives called “Honor thy Mother” and “Honor thy Father,” fillable e-cards can be emailed to Rotary members’ parents for their special days.

Just log into, click on “files,” then on “Foundation,” and you’ll find a selection of cards.

‘Giving Tuesday’ is an opportunity to support The Rotary Foundation


Join the “Giving Tuesday” movement Nov. 29 by making a donation to The Rotary Foundation.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, fueled by social media and encouraging people like yourself to help other through the gift of time, donations, goods or by speaking out. And what better way to give than through a donation to The Rotary Foundation?

“The Rotary Foundation is one of the most beneficial philanthropic organizations in the world,” says  Jim Lussier, 2016-17 District 5110 Fundraising Chair for TRF, “because of its international humanitarian work and what it does for communities, children, scholarships and the advancement toward peace on our planet.

This year, each Rotary club president and TRF chair is asking every Rotary member to consider making a commitment to contribute according to their financial capability. In our club, the TRF chair is encouraging every club member to donate at least $100 to Rotary’s Annual Fund in recognition of TRF’s 100th anniversary.

You can be assured your dollars are well spent. The Association of Fundraising Professionals recently recognized TRF with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation. The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.

AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection. They also mentioned that Rotary applies a methodical, purposeful approach to support a wide variety of causes, from providing clean water to educating the next generation of peace professionals.

It’s easy to make a donation to the Annual Fund. Just contact Rogue Gateway Rotary TRF chair Margaret Bradford at Or visit

Go ahead… make a positive difference in the world.