High school students in Nogales, Sonora put newly refurbished desks, provided by Rotary Clubs in Arizona and Sonora, to good use. Photo by Sue Archibald

News Release

The Mountain Empire Rotary (MER) began 2023 with a recycling and shredding event for our community on Jan. 7 at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Thanks to the community members who turned out for the successful event, and also for their generous donations. Money raised at these events, like all our fundraisers, allows the Club to continue with projects supporting the needs of our community – projects like our dictionary and birthday book programs, high school scholarships, monetary academic awards, Rodeo Youth awards, support for the SCCFRA Fundraisers, Rotary Youth Leadership Camps (RYLA), and support to other non-profit community organizations. 

This year MER sponsored two Patagonia High School students, Rebecca Ford and Nicholas Dekhtyar, to attend RYLA. They were joined by MER member Sue Archibald, who attended as a group leader for the event. RYLA participants, chosen for their leadership potential, attend an all expenses paid, four-day training program designed to build, strengthen, and exercise leadership skills, self confidence and character. These students come together from communities across Southern Arizona and are also joined by Rotary Exchange students from other countries. 

On Jan. 27, several MER members participated in helping deliver refurbished desks to a high school in Nogales, Sonora, as part of the Desk Project Grant with the Nogales Sonora Industrial Rotary Club. On March 11 the MER Club will travel to Nogales, Sonora for a day of working on refurbishing additional desks. Not only will that trip include MER, but also members from Clubs in Green Valley, Tucson and Sierra Vista. Students cannot attend school if there are not enough desks. This grant will provide the financial support to refurbish old desks and improve the education opportunities for the school age children in Nogales, Sonora. 

In February, MER held their annual Valentine’s Day Book event for the pre-schoolers at Patagonia Elementary School. The event is the brainchild of MER member Sue Archibald and, as usual, she was on hand to distribute the free books to the delight of the children. Many thanks to the staff at Patagonia for coordinating this event. 

In addition to these activities, MER members are beginning to work on the Club’s annual fundraising Golf Tournament, in partnership with the Benson Rotary Club. You will soon be seeing flyers around town, and more details in the PRT newsletter on how to participate, so SAVE THE DATE – APRIL 29, 2023! Additional information can be obtained by contacting Mike Veta at vetainsgroup@outlook.com

MER members love supporting the community and our youth and invite anyone from the community to attend our meetings and learn more about Rotary. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month from 5:30p.m. – 7p.m. And remember, if you have an issue in the community that you think the Rotary can help you with, don’t hesitate to contact MER. We are here to listen and hopefully help. If you want to know more about Rotary, attend a meeting, or suggest a project, feel free to contact Keith Barth at judgebarth@gmail.com