Fellow Rotarians,
 
Another week has gone by and our club continues to make a difference in lives and in the community.  Each year our club interviews high school youth for the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA).  The academy is held in Lawrence at the University of Kansas each summer.  Last year, 28 clubs from District 5710 sponsored 70 students interested in developing leadership potential.   Under the guidance of Cassidi Green and Ken Gartner, our club will sponsor and send 5 students to RYLA May 31-June 3.  This is extraordinary given just a little over half of the clubs in the district sponsor students and the average number of students sponsored per club is slightly over 2 students.  Thanks to Cassidi and Ken for their efforts in making this opportunity a reality for the 5 students selected.  
 
RYLA is just one of many examples of how your annual dues are leveraged to have the greatest positive impact possible.  Without your continued support of the Manhattan Rotary Club, projects like RYLA would not be possible.  As I have mentioned in earlier emails, membership renewal notices will be sent earlier this year than in years past.  We need to have our dues collected and recorded by June 1 due to a change in the billing process by Rotary International.  We will be sending a renewal notice along with an invoice in the next week (assuming I accomplish my assigned tasks in a timely manner).  Your board has also determined it would be beneficial to have a summary of the projects your dues support each year and that will be included in the renewal notice as well.  We are also offering the convenience of debit/credit card payment of your dues as well as online payment if you desire. Please take advantage of these payment methods as it will save your Secretary and Treasurer much work in collecting and recording dues payments. Of course, we will happily accept your payment in the form of a check!   Please be on the lookout in the coming days for your membership renewal and dues notice.
 
Last week, I had the privilege of presenting an award not many club presidents probably get to experience.  We acknowledged the anniversary of Jim Rhine's membership to the Manhattan Rotary Club.  Last week, April 9,  marked the 60th anniversary to the day that Jim joined our club.  Jim became a member on April 9, 1955.  What an amazing milestone and we are extremely fortunate to have such loyal members.  Congratulations Jim and we look forward to many more years of serving with you.
 
Don't forget May 14th will be our annual Awards Program where we recognized many members including our Rotarian of The Year. This week our program features Jennifer Vellenga, presenting on the new Purple Masque Theater and K-State Theater.  I hope to see you Thursday for lunch!
 
Scott Emley