• Winner: WINNER
  • Date: 1/29/2021
  • Rotary Year: 2020-2021
  • Award Category: International Service
  • Club NameBlacksburg
  • Member First NamePaula Alston
  • Address: 
    325 Diamond Avenue Northwest
    Christiansburg, VA 24073
    United States View on Map
  • Email: paulakalston@gmail.com
  • Brief Description: 
    1) Hope to Walk - Our club continued its work on the $50,000 Global Grant for the Hope Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This grant supported the training of local Hondurans to provide low-cost prosthetic legs to give the gift of mobility to Honduran amputees. Blacksburg Rotary member Peter Weimerskirch completed his second trip to Tegucigalpa in early 2020 to help distribute the prosthetics.
    2) Youth Exchange Student - Our club completed our hosting of Rocio Fernández, from Chile, in July 2020. She attended Blacksburg High School. We welcomed her to several Rotary club meetings and awarded her with a Paul Harris Fellow. An outdoor picnic was held this past summer to say goodbye and wish her well in the future.
    3) Group Study Exchange - A GSE team from Turkey spent a day in Blacksburg and was given a tour of Virginia Tech.
    4) PolioPlus – Our annual drive netted $2,410 for our contribution.
    5) NewGen Peacebuilders Peace Education Program – two members contributed to a global grant for the NewGen Peacebuilders Peace Education Program in Beirut Lebanon
  • Lectern SynopsisXXX
  • Participation of Club Members: 
    1) Hope Center grant - The club had 80% participation in this endeavor contributing $8000 and hosting two club meeting presentations by Hope to Walk including the first trainee trained and certified by the Hope Center.
    2) Youth Exchange Student - Our club had 80% participation as we shared in the
    opportunity to meet Rocio during club visits, her participation in the Blacksburg High School Interact Club, awarding Rocio the Paul Harris Fellow as well as the fundraising our club members participate in to provide for the monthly stipend and costs associated with hosting a Youth Exchange Student through our Local Foundation funds
    3) Group Study Exchange – 3% - Three members took the team on a tour of Virginia Tech.
    4) 45% of our members contributed.
    5) 1%
  • Resulting Benefits: 
    1) Hope to Walk - This program has lasting and priceless benefits to the recipients of the prosthetic legs as well as the benefits to the families and friends of those recipients. The Hope Center has placed over one hundred below knee prosthetics and just started above knee prosthetics when the pandemic halted operations. In addition, we have been able to get to know our partner club in Tegucigalpa. A final benefit is that this endeavor has been so successful and deemed so worthwhile that a follow-on grant request is being prepared in order to start a Hope Center in Guatemala.
    2) Youth Exchange Student – Both the student and the host club and families benefit from sharing 9 months together.
    3) GSE is a benefit to anyone who gets to know the team from another country. They particularly enjoyed their tour of Cassell Coliseum and getting kicked out of the Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Facility. Apparently they [VT] frown at having strangers take pictures of their practice….who knew!!
    4) PolioPlus is a passion for many Rotarians. We have several members who have been touched by polio.
    5) This contribution helped meet the goal for this global grant.