Service Above Self
Our club upholds the Rotary International motto in various ways.
For our Community: Service at The Northwest Project at The Fairbanks; Community Service grants to nonprofit groups; Rotary Basketball Tournament to benefit Special Olympics athletes; K-Park; annual blood drive between Christmas and New Year's Day
For our Youth: Foreign Exchange Programs; Youth Leadership academies; Rock 'n Ribs; Don't Meth with Us; Interact Clubs in high schools
For our Friends: Support to one another through the Family of Rotary and fellowship events that give us opportunity to make new friendships
For our World: Contributing to humanitarian projects in other countries by donations to the Rotary Foundation; supporting Rotary International's goal of eradicating polio (We're This Close) through our weekly Polio Plus raffle; raising money for water well and relief projects around the world through our annual World Community Service auction; support of our Tlaquepaque Twin Club in Mexico
This is why we have a Rotary Basketball Tournament
Basketball teams from Rotary clubs in Springfield and Ozark, and other towns at times, and the Rotaract Club of Springfield have been playing each other in an annual basketball tournament for 30 years. The tournaments raise money for Special Olympics basketball teams to travel to state and regional tournaments. This video shows Special Olympics team players showing their skills on the last night of the 2017 Rotary tournament at Drury University's O'Reilly Family Events Center.
Twin Club Projects
Springfield, Missouri, U.S.A. and Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico have been Sister Cities since 2003. At about that same time, Rotary International began encouraging clubs in different countries to join together to conduct service projects in recognition of the upcoming Rotary Centennial in 2005. So the search for a “Twin Club” became a priority of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast in the 2003 – 2004 Rotary year.
A natural place to begin this search was in Mexico because of the new Sister City connection between Springfield and Tlaquepaque. The first official contact was a letter of invitation from Southeast Rotary President Brad Bodenhausen to the leaders of Club Rotario Tlaquepaque El Refugio – one of two Rotary Clubs in Tlaquepaque at the time.
Club Rotario Tlaquepaque El Refugio was interested in such a connection and two months later club President Mario Alberto Estrada and Immediate Past President Eduardo Reyes visited Springfield to discuss the idea. The club leaders decided on two broad goals that would guide the Twin Club partnership:
Regular exchanges would be important to build fellowship between club members and increase cultural understanding between the U.S. and Mexico; and service projects would focus on benefitting children in both countries.
Club Presidents Brad Bodenhausen and Mario Alberto Estrada signed the official Twin Club agreement on February 26, 2004 at a ceremony in Tlaquepaque. The first service project jointly completed by the clubs was a campaign to encourage students not to use drugs and a campaign to promote environmental protection. The two clubs produced videos that were distributed to all the schools in Tlaquepaque.
In 2005, El Refugio club leaders Estrada and Reyes joined nearly 20 Southeast Rotarians to celebrate the 2005 Rotary International Centennial Convention in Chicago. Over the years, numerous other exchanges and visits to both cities have brought Southeast and El Refugio Rotarians together in the spirit of Rotary fellowship and service.
The two clubs have discussed numerous potential projects through the years, but in 2006 decided to focus on support for children’s centers in some of poorest neighborhoods of Tlaquepaque. A milestone of this effort occurred in 2008 as the two clubs joined with the municipal government of Tlaquepaque to fund improvements to CAI Las Huertas, allowing the children’s center to add a new classroom, office and restroom to better serve the pre-school students there.