June 28, 2010

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

Pohnpei, FSM-The Rotary Club of Pohnpei celebrated its 20th anniversary on the evening of June 10, 2010 at Club Cupid in Nanpohnmal. Over the years the Rotary Club has raised thousands of dollars locally and from sister Rotary Clubs from around the world. They've put that money to good use for many good causes in Pohnpei.

On the day of the celebration, Rotarians met at the Pohnpei Public Library to celebrate the donation of two new computers for the Library's computer room. The computers were donated by the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay in Guam. Mr. Don Clark was on hand to present the computers to the library.

Penny Weilbacher, a founding board member of the Pohnpei Public Library said that during the school year the library attracts 200 to 300 students after school. Of the users of the library, she said 80 to 90 percent of them are children. "That was exactly our intention when we founded the library."

She thanked the Rotary Club for their donation of new metal shelving for the library that took place several months ago and put in a bid for the Rotary to help the library to find a way to get a new roof. Currently, when it rains, employees must place buckets around the library to catch the dripping water from the leaking ceiling. Mr. Clark said that he would make it a priority to raise the issue with his own home Rotary Club.

It's what the Rotary Club does. It helps the community and even if the Pohnpei Rotary Club can't do it themselves they seek help from other donors who might be willing to help in Pohnpei.

The Power Point Presentation prepared by Freddie Ricafrente, club treasurer was presented at the anniversary celebration. It said that since the club was founded in 1990 it has had 136 members and currently has 22 members, 10 of whom are women or 45% of the membership.

The presentation listed dozens of Pohnpei Rotary club accomplishments in their 20 year history that included donations of books, community clean up projects, medical missions to the FSM, PATS fundraisers, facilitation of the donation of over $90,000 to the COM Endowment Fund, medical and dental equipment, supplies, a new ambulance and VHF radio equipment donations to the Pohnpei State Hospital, donation of solar powered water purification equipment to five schools to the Mand community, donation of portable dental equipment to the PMA Ship Hospital, donation of handheld stop signs and reflective vests, donation of a fire truck to the Pohnpei Fire Station, donation of a school bus to Pohnpei's Early Childhood Education program, four Low Vision projects to provide vision correction for achromatopsia patients, donation of sports equipment to the Salvation Army Youth Center, donation of 400 water stills for Chuuk outer islands, donations of soccer goals, basketball backboards, and other donations to the tennis club, and much more.

The presentation also listed projects on which the club is currently working.

The Rotary Club holds an annual Quiz Night each November to raise money for the club's scholarship project. Last year the club raised over $9000 for scholarship. On the first Fri-day of every month the club holds a raffle at Coco Marina that also benefits the scholarship program.

The Pohnpei Rotary Club meets at 12:15 pm each Thursday. Individuals interested in the possibility of joining the club are welcome to attend.