Major Service Programs
Breakfast with Santa
A buffet breakfast is provided for the Head Start kids, their parents and siblings. The festive morning concludes with a photo taking session with Santa, of course, as well as a gift presentation to each child.
Character Education is a whole-school effort to create a community of virtue where moral behaviors such as respect, honesty, and kindness are modeled, taught, expected, celebrated, and continuously practiced in everyday life.
The initiative, operated without taxpayer funding through the Jefferson School District, has become a national model for programs of its kind. Character Ed has been supported by Jefferson Rotary and many other community businesses, individuals, churches, and service organizations since its inception in 2004.
Rotary Riverfront Park
In 1995, Jefferson Rotary embarked on an ambitious community service campaign – the construction of Rotary Waterfront Park on the east bank of the Rock River, immediately south of the Milwaukee Street bike and walking bridge.
In cooperation with the City of Jefferson’s Park and Recreation Department and the Jefferson County Master Gardeners, Rotary undertook the task of landscaping and planting numerous trees, shrubs and flower beds in the previously underutilized land parcel. The rejuvenated and beautified park is now an attractive gathering place and provides a hub for downtown concerts and community events.
Future plans for Rotary Park include construction of a permanent band shell at the edge of the river.
Jefferson Rotary is also responsible for the building the shelters at both Stoppenbach and Tensfeldt Parks.
Jefferson Rotary Clubs biggest undertaking for the Rotary Waterfront Park Pavillion and bathroom/concession stand in 2012. Fundraising efforts are still underway to pay for these two great facilities.
While the Rotary contributes to many worthy community and international causes each year, the Club is perhaps best known for the annual Rotary Scholarships. Learn more here.
At the beginning of each fall school term, high school seniors are encouraged to sign up as Student Rotarians, with three to four students attending Rotary luncheons each week for a month. While the students are at the meetings, they not only enjoy the programs, but also learn about the principles of Rotary Service. At the last meeting of the month, the students are asked to give a short speech on their impressions of Rotary and their plans for the future.
In recent years, the Student Rotarians (at their suggestion) have been enlisted to help at Jefferson Rotary fund raisers and proven themselves to be a real asset to our community service efforts.
The “India Project”
Jefferson Rotary is an international organization reaching well beyond the geography of southern Wisconsin. Rotarian Arvind Shah and his fellow Jefferson club members have been working with the residents of rural Gujarat, India, since 2006.
Through Arvind’s commitment of time and on-site energy, backed by Jefferson Rotary financial contributions, the India Project has provided free eye examinations for more than 1,200 citizens, 240+ cataract surgeries, 300+ refractions, hundreds of eye glasses and even 6 major eye surgeries.
In addition, the India Project has supplied adult tricycles and other equipment to the Society of the Physically Handicapped in Vastrapur, Amdavad. The Project also provides Vitamin A capsules to more than 12,500 primary students in 30 Gujarat schools.
Each spring, the Jefferson Rotary Club honors the Top 10% of the graduating classes of the high schools and middle schools within the Jefferson School District with a special luncheon. A photograph is taken of the group and an inspirational speaker addresses the group.