• Winner: WINNER
  • Date: 2/1/2021
  • Rotary Year: 2020-2021
  • Award Category: Douglas A. Newton: Excellence in Communications
  • Club NameFront Royal
  • Member First NameDerrick
  • Address: 
    P.O. Box 85
    Front Royal, VA 22630
    United States View on Map
  • Email: dleasure@rma.edu
  • Brief Description: 
    The Rotary Club of Front Royal nominates past President Bret Hrbek for the Douglas A. Newton: Excellence in Communications Award.

    Bret spearheaded our club's participation in one of the most significant Rotary International projects in recent years, clean water in Africa. Bret secured the club's commitment to donate $30,000 toward the multi-club Global Grant. Bret briefed our club several times via email and meeting announcements and traveled to local clubs to advertise the grant and its needed participation.

    Bret is in charge of the club's social media site and for providing information to news sources. Upon scrolling though our facebook page all the content about Rotary initiatives, birthday announcements, meeting program summaries, and member spotlights we realize just how much work Bret puts into exhibiting the richness of our club. The site has pictures and videos of programs, advertisements for fundraising events, and many award presentations. The site is a literal "yearbook" of all the club does.

    Bret is always looking for a new way to promote Rotary and document its rich history. Recently, he collected all the information about the 1926 establishment of the Front Royal Rotary Club and had it engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted prominently on the downtown building that hosted early meetings. Now, all passersby can see who the founding members were of one Front Royal's most active civic groups.

    For the past two years Bret has also been the club's point person for participating in the Rotary initiative of End Polio Now Tulips. The program has raised over $2,500 locally of Polio Plus. He also took a leading role in arranging for the Rotary Polio Garden in downtown Front Royal to again give visibility of Rotary to our local community.

    Bret has led the Board process of identifying new membership categories to allow for younger professionals who are interested in community service projects to become members. He communicated frequently to the club the possibilities and provided to the Board the official new membership category of Service Member.

    Recently the son of one of our most active Rotary members passed away at a young age. Bret took the lead in finding a way for Rotary to honor this young man and his family. As a young and devoted athlete, there is no better way than to connect this young man's memory to future aspiring athletes in Warren County. Bret established the Brody Michael Youth Athletic Fund through the Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley to assist young people who otherwise may not be able to afford athletics in school or other sports programs. Bret has promoted the fund vigorously and it has passed the $10,000 mark recently. The fund will continue to be an initiative of the Front Royal Rotary Club.
  • Lectern SynopsisXXX
  • Participation of Club Members: 
    Bret has single-handedly attracted more members to our club than any other member. Over his many years of service he has introduced dozens of professionals to the club and sponsored several to full membership.

    Bret has sold Tulip for Polio to more than half of out membership.

    Bret has recruited half of our current Board membership.

    Bret has gained the support of nearly half our membership to support the Global Grant in order to raise the $30,000 our club contributed.

    Bret has also gained the support of more than half our membership to support the funding of the Brody Michael fund.

    Bret has in some way involved or recognized 100% of our membership through his announcements and social media posts.
  • Resulting Benefits: 
    Anyone strolling down the streets in downtown Front Royal can see the benefit of Bret. With the plaque and the tulip garden, Bret has helped communicate the legacy of our Rotary club to all. Local community members will also see members proudly wear their t-shirts with new logo.

    We expect to be able to attract many new members in the next year with the new membership category proposed by Bret.

    In the next several years we expect that dozens of young athletes will benefit from the Brody Michael Fund that Bret established.

    Whole communities in Africa will soon benefit from the RI Global Grant. Bret's work to procure club commitment for the $30,000 donation toward the grant will undoubtedly help these communities.

    As the club's social media site receives hundreds of views and "likes" a year it is clear that the messages of service and fellowship Bret provides are well known across the valley.