Why we do ‘Students of the Month’

Ever wonder why the Rotary Club of Westerville sponsors our Students of the Month throughout each school year?

It’s because – if you haven’t been paying attention – we’ve got some awesome kids in this community! It’s a pleasure to honor those chosen by our local high schools each month from October through June.

Four students – one each from Westerville Central, North and South, and St. Francis DeSales – attend our first weekly meeting of the month. We spring for lunch and they become part of our meeting program for the day, telling us about themselves, their studies and their hopes for the future.

I’m always impressed, as I know you are. We usually get to meet their parents as well. Thanks to Janet Withers for serving as out longtime coordinator of this great program. And of course, thanks to the Westerville school district for choosing the students and allowing us to recognize their hard work and good citizenship.

Last year, we started a new bonus to the program. We chose one of the year’s SOTM for a small monetary award. The $250 went to Forlefac Fontem, who was the SOTM from Westerville South for December 2016.

I bring this all up because we received a wonderful surprise this week. Unsolicited, a great thank you letter to the club arrived via our website – from Forlefac! It came in yesterday, Sept. 16 and provides a nice update on what he is doing now. The young man graduated with honors from South in May and this fall, he heads to Ohio State to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

With that, I’m going to stop writing and share Forlefac’s letter. Don’t know about you, but this makes me really look forward to hosting our next group of Students of the Month in October … and throughout the new school year.


Forlefac’s letter

Dear Westerville Rotary Foundation,

Prez Says

Forlefac Fontem

I want to just thank everyone who is participating in the Westerville Rotary Club. Without wonderful groups like these many students in America would not be able to get scholarships to fund their college education.

It is truly a blessing to know that there are wonderful people in this world who are willing to support hard working students in their effort to get a college education. Not only do you guys contribute to students, but also to the Westerville Community.

Without the help of groups like this, Westerville would not be as great of a community as it is now. Just more information about me: I am a Westerville South High school graduate, and I will be attending The Ohio State University this fall as a freshman. I will be majoring in Computer Science and Engineering.

I was selected as Westerville Rotary Club Student of the Month in December of 2016. Thank you again for the wonder scholarship donation you have given me recently in order to help me pay for my college education.


Forlefac Fontem


Thanks for writing, Forlefac, and good luck at OSU!

Lisa Janszen is 2017-18 President of the Rotary Club of Westerville

Welcome Natalie; Meet this week at the Bucket!

welcome bucketThe Westerville Rotary is growing again! Welcome to our new member, Natalie Shaffer!

Remember that this coming Thursday, Aug. 17, we are shifting into casual mode … no lunch meeting, but an evening get-together at the Rusty Bucket on Polaris Parkway.

Join your fellow Rotarians for a snack and a beverage at 5:30 p.m.

There is no fee for our evening happy hour. This excludes any beverages. Please come, bring a Rotarian that hasn’t been able to make a day meeting in awhile, bring a friend, bring yourself!

But come out on the 17th and say ‘Hi,’ while munching a chicken quesadilla!

Thanks to Dave Krebs for his wrap up of the Fantastic Fourth of July! Thank you to all the Rotarians that assisted with packing the pumps and preparing them for shipping at EMC on Saturday. Rotarians in Action!

Mark your calendar for our annual visit from Pat Tiberi at Villa Milano on Aug. 24. His meeting is always informative – be sure to bring a guest to this meeting.

See you at the Bucket!

Lisa Janszen is the 2017-18 president of The Rotary Club of Westerville.

Welcome to our new blog, ‘The Prez Says’

Hello and welcome to The Prez Says, our new Rotary Club of Westerville blog!

We’ll use the blog to share club news and updates with members, as well as to communicate about the great service work we do with the larger Westerville community.

Speaking of club news, we had a GREAT program at our weekly luncheon Thursday, Aug. 3, with Dr Greg Bixler, CEO of Design Outreach, telling us how we are changing lives by investing our grant money in Life Pumps.

The Life Pumps bring incredible positive change to areas of the world where water is life-threateningly scarce, providing a dependable and easy to access source of clean drinking water.

He was so interesting, we ran out of time so I think the club needs to invite him back!  Not only was our program fascinating, our entire meeting had an awesome energy to it!

From the music playing when members walked into the Villa, to our Rotary Raffle, to the installation of a new member, Christina Romanelli, we were rockin!

Pastor Jim really brought all of us full circle as he talked about the importance of the past, present and future of our Westerville Rotary Club.

Sergeant-at-Arms Dawn kept the members laughing as she collected all kinds of fines – birthday bucks, happy bucks, as well as fines for not taking a stint on the Food Trailer,  and more.

Join us next week for another great meeting at Villa Milano. This Prez will be out of town but Justin – Prez to Be – will be at the podium!

Lisa Janszen is 2017-18 President of the Rotary Club of Westerville.