Rotary is 115 today!! #serviceaboveself

Rotary is celebrating a birthday. This organization founded by Paul Harris on February 23, 1905, is 115 today!! With a core mission of #serviceaboveself, these business leaders in Chicago set out to build a better community. Using their influence and power they used service, the act of reaching out and helping others, and a way to bring business leaders together for the greater good.

Rotary is #serviceaboveself

Locally we have a variety of Rotary Clubs doing good in our community while Rotary international works on their core mission of eradicating Polio worldwide. The 7 pillars of Rotary include Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development, and sustainability. Rotary is open to everyone to join. Most clubs have weekly meetings including a meal to build community within the club members and have a speaker usually telling us about local organizations or activities. These weekly meetings bring us together and allow us to better know each other and our community.

Rotary Soapbox Car

Rotary Club of Rockingham County, the club I belong to, has a variety of service projects throughout the year. Much of our work focuses on youth in our community including our founding and continued support of the Harrisonburg Soapbox Derby. We have also done grants to support PurMadi, Harrisonburg Rockingham Big Brothers Big Sisters, cleaned up Route 42 just outside of Harrisonburg, supported First Step and Generations Crossing, and so much more.

Rockingham County Rotary Club

I encourage you to look at the local Rotary Clubs in your area, each has a different vibe, and find the right fit to magnify your service in your community. Want to visit our breakfast club next Tuesday at 7 a.m.? Just reach out to me and I am happy to have you as my guest.


Happy Birthday Rotary! Thanks to all Rotarians for putting #serviceaboveself.

Rotary end polio

Rotary is #serviceaboveself

365 intentional acts of kindness, please join me #rocktownresilient #365actsofkindness

I have decided that this coming year I am going to do 365 intentional acts of kindness. Please join me in making our world a little brighter for others. #rocktownresilient #365actsofkindness

This year has been filled with a lot of negativity and challenges. On a personal level, I know I am blessed to have enough, maybe even more than enough. I did not go hungry. I have a home. I have stayed healthy. While work slowed tremendously for a few months our small business is surviving. While 2020 was filled with negative things, there were lots of silver linings and blessings.

The opportunity to work from home, spending more time with my girls this year, is incredible. I am still able to serve my clients and be with my family more than I ever imagined possible. The interactions I have had with friends this year have been special, whether through zoom or distanced in-person. Not having the ability to see anyone anytime makes the few meetings much sweeter. There have been so many positives in this year.

Finding ways to support others this year also has brought me incredible joy. Rotary Club of Rockingham County has not had in-person meetings since March and many of our service projects were cancelled. However, that did not stop our #serviceaboveself. I was fortunate to be able to deliver meals once a week to First Step on behalf of our club for a couple of months. I participated in a food drive for Our Community Place, cleaned up a highway, picked up trash along blacks run near Purcell Park, helped hand out food to Harrisonburg school families, and planted tulips at First Step and NENA Community Center. I supported local business by eating at locally owned area restaurants once a week at least and showing love to the servers and delivery drivers.

I also wrote positive online reviews for local companies, donated to local fundraisers and food pantries, purchased music and swag from local bands, and sent notes of appreciation to essential workers. I have tried to remember every day to wish a Happy Birthday to friends on Facebook and have sent out more thank you notes and gift cards this year than any other year before. I helped install solar panels at Eastern Mennonite School in a solar barn raising project. I found places to help others by creating online resources for home schooling, researched and published tips to make buildings safer, and created stress relief coloring pages. I also created a monthly young professionals networking group and hosted monthly education sessions for other architects. In order to support the local arts community I designed an outdoor stage that was used by both EMS and Harrisonburg High School.

I had not thought about all the good that these actions were doing for me until I watched this Ted talk that Nadia posted to Facebook.

So now after seeing this video, I am going to be intentional this coming year about putting #serviceaboveself. I will pledge to do #365actsofkindness over the coming year. Please join me and help spread kindness through the world and bring yourself happiness through action.

#rocktownresilient #365actsofkindness

Get your tickets for the Rock Rotary party supporting local non-profits!

It is that time of year again, The Rock Rotary annual Car Raffle Party! Get your tickets for the Rock Rotary party supporting local non-profits today! This annual event is hosted at JMU’s Bridgeforth Stadium Club Level on February 23, 2019 from 7:00 pm – until. The event benefits several local non-profits that do great work in our community including First Step, Generations Crossing, and The Rotary Foundation. Your donation of $150 provides one pass to get into the party and one chance to win a 2018 Ford Fiesta Hatchback while helping your community. This must attend party includes an vast spread of food and drink along with some of the best networking in the valley. Join us this year for a special scale Soap Box car race event. Just send me an email or call for your ticket. I would love to see you there.

Rock Rotary

First Step: A Response to Domestic Violence believes that all people have the right to live without violence or the fear of violence. This organization is dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence through support and education. First Step says abuse is not always physical. Threats of violence, destruction of property and / or pets, name calling, humiliating you in front of family and friends, putting you down – all of these things are abuse. Abuse is not caused by alcohol. It is not caused by stress. Abuse happens when one person seeks to hold power over another. First Step supports people who are living with violence or the threat of violence in their lives.

First Step

Generations Crossing‘s mission is to provide high quality, innovative adult and child care for our ethnically and economically diverse community. Unique to this program is an opportunity for adults and children to develop meaningful relationships with all ages within their loving, inter-generational setting.

The Rotary Foundation transforms gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. This foundation enables our club to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. This fund supports our local club’s grant program that has in recent years supported a grant for On the Road Collaborative, Big Brother Big Sister, and Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation.

rotary foundation

So get your ticket as soon as possible before they are sold out. This event allows you to help three non-profits, attend a great party, and gives you a chance to win a new car!


Get your Rotary / On the Road Collaborative T-Shirt


Rotary on the road collaborativeGet your Rotary / On the Road Collaborative t-shirts, they are now available for $20. Let me know how many you want!

“I want to make a difference in the world.”

If you have ever said this but feel like you are limited as to what you can do, maybe you should change your perspective. One person might not be able to change the world, but you can change the world for one person. Hopefully you will decide to change their world for the better. It may be a simple smile but even better if it is an outstretched hand of hope and love.

I believe it is our duty to each day work to serve others. This is my “Why Rotary” story. Why, because we serve others.

RotaryRotary allows me to amplify my efforts and multiply my impacts. I call it the magic of Rotary. This year the Rotary Club of Rockingham County partnered with the Rotary Club of Harrisonburg to write a grant to benefit On the Road Collaborative. We are now selling t-shirts designed by On the Road Collaborative students to help fund the grant. This is where each donation, each community member, each action makes a huge difference. We need you to purchase a t-shirt. We can all come together to help our community by offering students love and support through On the Road Collaborative. Sure the OTRC team offers students exposure to different career opportunities taught by community leaders. They give students strong role models to follow. They show students a path for the future that maybe the students did not think was possible for them. However, what I have seen first hand is On the Road Collaborative staff offers love and support to students in our community that may or may not feel that love and support from anyone else in the community.

So how can you make a difference? Purchase a t-shirt. They are $20 each.

RotaryWhen you purchase one, one will be donated to a student participating in OTRC. That $20 directly supports OTRC efforts. If you get a shirt, it has our logo so you can use it to enter the Gaines Group Architect’s Red Wing Roots Music Festival ticket contest. More than anything, you get a cool t-shirt, designed by students, and you show love and support for a student in our community. Check out the contest HERE.

On the Road Collaborative is a non-profit youth empowerment organization that sets under-served middle and high school youth on the road to college and career by connecting them to dynamic educational experiences and caring adults during the out-of-school hours.




Thanks to Brad Cohen for all his work putting this grant effort together!


A huge thank you to Ted Marrs at Abrahamse and Company Builders in Charlottesville for purchasing the first t-shirt! These guys always go above and beyond for their clients and the community. Thanks Ted!


Help Support Three Organizations by Attending an Incredible Party!

Join Rockingham County Rotary in supporting First Step, Generations Crossing, and the Rockingham Rotary Foundation with a $150 donation per person. This donation gets you into one of the best parties in the valley. There will be plenty of food, drink, and of course some of the best people around. The party is held on the club level at JMU’s Bridgeforth Football Stadium on April 27th at 7:00 pm. The ticket also gets you a chance to win a 2018 Chevy Cruze. This donation also changes lives. First Step gives women that have been abused a fresh start. Generations Crossing brings old and young together providing them with activities and interaction. Rockingham Rotary Foundation impacts our community and our world. Your donation supports all three!

Let me know if you want a ticket!

Rotary Car Raffle

First Step strives to provide the best possible accommodations for survivors of domestic and dating violence, and their children, who are in need of support services and / or safe shelter. First Step is staffed 24/7 to ensure that safety and availability are their top priorities with a focus on empowering survivors to achieve their goals.

Generations Crossing provides adult and child day care for the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County community. This unique inter-generational program is an opportunity for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children to interact with adult participants. Generations Crossing is a non-profit 501 (C)(3) corporation.

Rockingham County Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. Our club leverages donations to support local organizations such as On the Road Collaborative, Harrisonburg Soap Box Derby, Love Packs, as well as International projects like Pure Madi.