The Houston economy receives a boost
Foundation Giving - how WUR can continue to support
Our guests from Rice University
Striving to end conflict and inspire hope in divided societies
West U Rotary Happenings for the week ending November 14, 2015 ….
Howdy all! We are officially in spending season. The Nutcracker Market has again come and gone and I am sure credit cards all around town have substantially less “available balances”.  The credit card bills will be hitting just about time for the annual contribution to our local municipalities and schools.  Welcome to November in Houston. Only 39 shopping days left.
Last week we briefly outlined category 1 of the Presidential Citation – Membership Development. Regardless of the goals that we have met this year, we can never stop seeking new members to join our club. Unfortunately we lose members every year due to a number of different reasons. If we are to continue to be one of the premier clubs in our District, we need to continue to invite guests and prospective members to our club.
This week we will highlight the areas under category 2 of the Presidential Citation - Foundation Giving:
  • Foundation Giving (we must achieve 2 out of 4)
    • Support our Foundation by contributing at least $20. (Whew, we just made this. $82,585 in 2014 – 2015. Way to go WUR!)  
    • Attain a minimum Annual Fund contribution of $100 per capita. (Our AF per capita last year was $546 – our highest per capita in least 5 years).  
    • Have at least 10% of the club members enrolled in the Rotary’s recurring giving program, Rotary Direct. (We just need a couple more members to sign up, it is very easy).
    • Increase the total number of Benefactors, Bequest Society members or Paul Harris Fellows in the club by at least one (It is easy to add Rotary International or WURF to your estate plans and you will never miss it).  
Next week we will highlight the Online Tool Adoption.
Last week our guest speaker was Dr. Joe Karlgaard, the athletic director at Rice University. Dr. Karlgaard, a resident of West University, discussed the challenges and opportunities of the athletic director at Rice University. The athletics program at Rice has received many awards and championships in the recent past and they are always looking to improve the program - who knew there were free sno cones for the kids? He acknowledges the competition in the Houston market is tough but Rice - as always - is up for the challenge. And speaking of Rice and challenging opportunities – how about the EWB Rice Chapter? Aren’t they awesome! Every year they present their projects and they continue to amaze me with the great work they do. I am proud of our annual support to such a great group of students.  
This week, our speaker is Stuart Kensinger – Director of Kids4Peace. Founded in Jerusalem in 2002, Kids4Peace is a global movement of Jewish, Christian & Muslim youth, dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in divided societies around the world. Through a network of local chapters, Kids4Peace operates five international summer camps and a six-year, year-round program for more than 250 Palestinian, Israeli and North American youth.
Here is a list of our upcoming activities:
  • November 21st – Polio Plus events at George Bush Park and dinner at the Southside Rec Center
  • November 22nd – Our monthly Social – Thanksgiving Dinner at Gene and Kathryn McFaddin’s home
  • November 26th – Annual Turkey Trot 5K fun run. Katie Scott is looking for volunteers to assist with the fun run. We will be wrapped up with the event by mid morning so still plenty of time to get back home and help prepare the Thanksgiving meal. Please consider volunteering for this event.  
  • December 10th – lots of activity including the Blood Mobile and our Holiday dinner at Damians 
Please keep our friends in France in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Enjoy the week and we look forward to seeing our members and guests on Thursday. 
Greg Faldyn
West U Rotary Prez