Posted by Jo Holt
Our meeting on Jan 10, 2017, was a special Club Assembly which focused on making an assessment of community needs. What does the greater Marana community need the most, and how can our Rotary club take action to address these needs? President Mary Straus assembled a panel of local leaders:  Clint Kuntz with MHC Healthcare, Dan Contorno with Marana Unified School District, Lisa Shafer, Community Development Director with the Town of Marana, and Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema. Also present in the audience were guests Aleta Wiener, President of the Dove Mountain Rotary Club; Joe Hentges, District 5500 Governor-Elect; Joseph Farr with Bank of the West, and former Club member Tom Mangold.
Facilitating the panel discussion was PDG and newly-elected Vice Governor for 2017-2018 Randy Brooks, who began the discussion by outlining types of community services that our Club could consider, such as assistance with conflict management, advocacy for those seeking medical treatment, and education and community development efforts through the Rotary Vocational Fund. Randy also discussed needed help with youth, such as through the MCAT program at MUSD, as well as assistance needed, in general, with basic education and literacy. He then raised a series of questions for the panel to address.
1. What are the top two needs in our community?
2. What proper and/or realistic role can we play to help with these issues?
3. Is there a specific role or benefit that can be gained from working with Rotary?
4. Which assistance program have you found to be most effective?
There was general agreement that Rotary could be very helpful within the Marana community, and that many programs could be even more effective with additional assistance from volunteers. In the course of our discussion, two ideas emerged that were of particular interest. Holding a career or vocational fair at a local school was discussed as a means of inspiring students. Developing a resource guide for the Marana area which would list all organizations that provide assistance, and the specific type of assistance provided as well as location and contact information would be very useful both for those in need and those helping them. The Club will be discussing these and other ideas in the near future.