LOGAN — The <a href=”https://portal.clubrunner.ca/1740/”>Logan Rotary Club’s</a> weekly meeting at the Logan Golf and Country Club last Thursday, May 11, was Floyd Naegle’s favorite of the year—the club’s annual luncheon to recognize area high school and Bridgerland Applied Technology College (BATC) students receiving Rotarian scholarships to help further their educations. This year, three high school seniors and four BATC students received awards, ranging from $340 to $2,000 each. Scholarship recipients included:
<ul><li>Dallin Clark (Logan High School)</li><li>Merissa Nielsen (Mountain Crest High School)</li><li>Brooklyn Falslev (Sky View High School)</li><li>Nick Vaughn (BATC)</li><li>Sarah Thatcher (BATC)</li><li>Tiffany Wight (BATC)</li><li>Makayla Gibson (BATC)</li></ul>
“Education changes lives,” Naegle said as he introduced the BATC scholarship winners. “Whether it’s younger or a little older, we can all continue in our education, and it’s a good thing.”
Having served on the candidate interview panel, Naegle said, “It made me realize that we’re still in pretty darn good hands. You watch the news and everything just seems to be so negative, but the opportunity we had in doing these interviews made me realize that the future is still bright.”
Dave Kooyman coordinates the Rotary Club’s high school scholarship program and said it was great to be part of an organization that promotes education.
“I thought about my experience with the young people and the years that I’ve had the opportunity to work with these scholarships,” he said. “There’s a lot of challenges for young people in the world today, and to be able to sit down with young people that have overcome a lot of those challenges and have got to a point where they are looking to further their education and change their life and the life of their family and their friends is rewarding.”
Each sharing a personal message with Rotary Club members, the scholarship recipients told heartfelt stories about overcoming obstacles, having big dreams and hoping to serve others. A common theme among them was gratitude.
“It’s just so meaningful to me that you would invest in me, and I will work so hard to continue to invest in my community as well,” said Makayla Gibson.
While Brooklyn Falslev said the money will definitely help in achieving her goals, the award likewise meant much more to her than its dollar value.
“It’s not as much the money,” she said. “It’s like the faith that you guys put in me to give me this money just lifted my self-esteem so much and gives me hope that maybe I can accomplish all the things I want to do in my life, so thank you for believing in me.”
When Falslev expressed having being labeled throughout her life as “average,” Kooyman said, “Brooklyn, you’re not average in any way. None of these kids are average.”
It was also important to Kooyman to help the scholarship recipients develop a better understanding of Rotary International and its “Service Above Self” motto.
“Our goal is to make sure that we are men and women in the business community that operate with honesty and integrity,” he said. “Those people that you just saw stand up make a difference in this community. They dedicate a lot of time and effort to seeing that this community is better and the world community as a whole.”
<a href=”http://www.rotary.org/”>Rotary International</a> began in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, and the Logan Club was established in 1919. Kooyman said there are currently 2,000 Rotarians serving in almost 50 Utah clubs, with more than 30,000 Rotary Clubs housed in 200 countries worldwide.
Rotary International’s service efforts focus on promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies. Kooyman said one of the organization’s most notable achievements has been its ongoing effort to eradicate polio.
“Every Rotary Club in the world, they have that same direction,” Kooyman said.
Locally, the Rotary Club of Logan conducts several highway cleanups each year, maintains Golf Gardens Park and provides dictionaries to every Cache Valley third grader. The club’s scholarship program is funded by its annual “Golf & Ribs” fundraiser, taking place this year on Aug. 25.
“I think the Rotary Club just sets a huge example for our community,” said Nielsen. “This day and age, people aren’t as giving as they should be, and so with this club it really gets students and kids involved in really putting their efforts towards the right things and just helping others. I’m super excited about it.”
NOTE: Dallin Clark was taking an Advanced Placement test on Thursday and was not able to attend the Rotary Club’s luncheon.