DENNIS R JARACZESKI started the Federal Way Service Club Network about four years ago with Bob Darrigan of Lions Club, Wayne Triplett of Morning Kiwanis and Dick Meyer. Dennis is a member of the Noon Rotary. His club and Sunrise Rotary- which meets in the morning- recently merged. Byron Hiller of Sunrise Rotary was actually the first person to broach the idea of creating an entity with the objective of getting an indoor range for Federal Way.
The fact that Byron helped to found the ARMED DEFENSE TRAINING ASSOCIATION– and has also played a huge role in ADTA activities, demonstrates a historical truth that has been demonstrated over and over again. The leaders in the community, like Noon Kiwanis President Gordie Olson and SKFR Deputy Chief Gordie Olson- already so busy with official duties- are also volunteering through churches, schools, clubs, unions and other associations. They commit massive time to make Federal Way a better place to play, work, live and worship.
Dennis told me that the Noon Rotary club has been providing significant funding to the Federal Way School District and the two local community colleges for over 25 years! His club also gives scholarships to Highline and Green River for graduating seniors. The Rotary’s budget has been a minimum $23,000 each year.
The Noon Rotary started supporting Valhalla Elementary when Dennis was President of the club in 2007-2008. The club looked at the poor graduation rate in Federal Way. Research predicted that if enough adult intervention occurs by the time students are in 5th grade, it is possible to predict successful graduation from high school.
The Noon Rotary supported Valhalla Elementary for three years with up to $15,000 each year. The funds went for needs that included purchasing dictionaries for each of the third graders but the funds were for the entire school. This year, they are supporting Enterprise Elementary with the same level of funding. Over 40% of Noon Rotary Club’s annual budget supports education for Federal Way schools.
Getting all of the service clubs in Federal Way together on an informal monthly basis is a powerful concept. The Federal Way Service Club Network, FWSCN, now has created a growing matrix of organizational skill sets in which clubs like Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary are uniting to get to know about each other’s clubs and work together. These and clubs like the Soroptomists, Caregiving Network and Masonic Orders have always attracted and helped to develop community leaders.
Ultimately the Network is involving all of the service clubs in joint projects. There are a number of ideas for one big project like a memorial honoring veterans or a sign that announces the names of these clubs that have made Federal Way and communities all over the United States great. My suggestion is that every club raise awareness of how important educational reform is for the safety and prosperity of our communities.
Supporting programs and projects involving partnership between employers and schools gets my vote for interclub cooperation.
Noon Kiwanis, for example, to which I have belonged off and on for years, is represented at Federal High School games by Kiwanis members selling refreshments. You will also see many of the leaders in our community serving salmon at the Annual Kiwanis Salmon Bake in Steel Lake Park. The funds go for scholarships and other worthy programs.
In fact, many of the local service clubs compete to a certain extent. Thus, there is a huge potential when you get them all working together.
Americans take it somewhat for granted that so many volunteers do so many different things. Nevertheless, folks from other countries are astounded when they see what unpaid volunteers produce! Many foreign observers have commented on how volunteerism, almost unique to the United States, contributes to our strength and greatness.