• Winner: Second Place
  • Date: 1/29/2018
  • Rotary Year: 2017-2018
  • Award Category: Youth Activities
  • Club NameRockingham County
  • Member First NameLydia Heatwole
  • Address: 
    3240 Baybrook Drive
    Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    United States View on Map
  • Email: lydia.m.heatwole@gmail.com
  • Brief Description: 
    1. Chartered a new Interact Club at Eastern Mennonite School (EMS) in Harrisonburg, VA.
    2. Annual Rockingham Rotary All American Soap Box Derby. Our club has developed a partnership with Rockingham County Public Schools to make Soapbox Derby a part of the curriculum for STEM Initiatives (Science, Technologies, Engineering, and Math). Each year more than 20 children and families work together using STEM to design, build, and race Soapbox Derby cars. The winners of each division are then sponsored for a week in Akron, OH for the International Soapbox Derby Race. The club also partners with the local Boys and Girls Club to pair drivers with cars donated by club members and community members.
    3. Annual Car Raffle with donations to benefit Generations Crossing (GC) and First Step. GC is an inter-generational day care center for the kids and elderly. First Step is a shelter for women and children affected by domestic violence.
    4. Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament, in partnership with Waynesboro East-Augusta Rotary Club. The Ronald McDonald House allows families and children being treated at the University of Virginia hospital a free place to stay, relax, fix meals, and gather support from others experiencing similar trauma.
    5. Support of two RYLA attendees and speech contest participants from East Rockingham High School
    6. Christmas Gifts for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Department of Social Services.
    7. A weekly 50/50 raffle to support the Collins Center, a sexual assault crisis organization.
    8. $500 book donation to Reading Makes Cent$ Program.
  • Participation of Club Members: 
    1. 16%
    2. 90%
    3. 100%
    4. 50%
    5. 5%, RYLA chair and a rotary member who drove a student to Blacksburg
    6. 53%
    7. 45%
    8. 2%, club president
  • Resulting Benefits: 
    1. The partnership between our club and EMS will be valuable to both sides. We hope they will call on us for support and guidance as they begin their club. Likewise, they are eager and excited to be involved in our projects. They will have the opportunity to see what successful projects look like from start to finish!
    2. Between our club and the Rockingham County school system, over $36,000 has been invested in the curriculum, soapbox derby cars and supplies, and implementation. A new trailer was purchased in 2017 for $8,000. A non-quantifiable benefit of the project is the public awareness of the STEM program and importance in our school system. In 2017, over 100 students participated in the program and the club sponsored 2 students to attend the international race in Akron, OH.
    3. Car raffle proceeds of $16,000 split equally between GC and First Step.
    4. The Ronald McDonald fundraiser began in 2012 and over the last 6 years has raised a net surplus of $27,000. In 2017, our club raised $2,500.
    5. Our club sponsored and paid all fees ($650 registration plus $50 transportation cost) for 2 high school juniors to experience RYLA and the speech competition.
    6. Gifts for 41 children and 5 elderly adults were collected, wrapped, and hand delivered to the DSS. These individuals would have not normally received a Christmas gift. The monetary value of gifts is approximately $1,150.
    7. Annual minimum support of $500.
    8. A club member made a donation in our club’s name for $500 worth of books to the Reading Makes Cent$ program. This program teaches Standards of Learning (SOL) concepts in the school system through a selection of books, lesson plans, and activities. Their website is www.readingmakescents.com.