Welcome to the Rotary Club of Salem!  We are the largest and longest-standing Rotary Club in the Salem, Oregon area. The club was organized in September 1919, and has an official charter date of Jan 1, 1920. Our usual meeting place is the Salem Convention Center, in the heart of downtown Salem, at Noon on Wednesdays. Occasional off-site meetings are held, usually at the Willamette Heritage Center (about 5 minutes away). With almost 200 members, the club is friendly and active. Numerous committees give members ample and diverse opportunities to pursue avenues of service, locally and internationally.


Weekly Newsletter | August 14, 2018

August 14, 2018
August 15 – Salem Convention Center

Program – Union Gospel Mission

Dan Clem, executive director of Union Gospel Mission, will be sharing a unique perspective on the issues of homelessness and its impact and effect on the local community, in particular Salem’s downtown businesses. Additionally Dan will introduce us to their good neighbor initiative to improve collaborative relationships with businesses, churches, other nonprofits and the general public. Part of that plan includes the building of a new men’s mission. We’ll get a glimpse of the facility, scheduled to open in late 2020, and the difference this new building of hope will make in providing additional and more effective services to our homeless men, women and children. Finally, we’ll hear about the life-changing programs of Union Gospel Mission of Salem.
Program Chair: Shaney Starr
Message from President Rus

Happy middle of August to all. I’m a month and a half into my year driving the Salem Rotary bus and, thanks to all of you, this is proving to be a joy beyond my wildest expectations. The energy in our club is amazing and truly an inspiration. Three Red Badgers, yes three, at the head table last week, another inspiring moment and indication of the incoming excitement to our great club. Thanks to Heather Cordon, Marshall Roche, and Mark Hunter for your participation. You are going to hear it from me over and over the importance of assuring our new members quickly become comfortable in our large environment. It is one of the most important paths to engagement and sustained membership in our club. Please give them a moment of your time and ask how Rotary is going so far.

Talking about inspiration, what a response to the dictionary project! Julie Hilty launches the fundraising and you immediately respond buying 30 cases of dictionaries. Our club share for the dictionary project is about $5,000. To those of you stepping up last Wednesday, my thanks, but wait, there’s more. We have submitted for a $2,000 grant from District 5100.  Just think, with District’s help, for every three dictionaries, you buy, they give us two. We are still climbing the hill to reach our goal, so I hope you will consider buying a case, half case, or partial. That’s a 67% return on your investment in our local children.  If you really want to feel the buzz, please volunteer to label and if you really, really want to feel it, volunteer to personally hand a dictionary to a fourth grader.

That is Impact.

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Meeting Follow Up : Slides from Dr. Duy

August 13, 2018

At last week’s Rotary Meeting, we heard from Dr. Tim Duy on a local and national economic perspective. This presentation brought a lot of interest in accessing Dr. Duy’s slides. You can find them by clicking here.

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2nd Annual Multi-Sport RiverFest

August 8, 2018

Mark your calendar for September 23, 2018!

What started as a dream to offer another open-water triathlon in Oregon has become a multi-sport festival in just one year. The Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem have again teamed up to foster a community experience centered in Riverfront Park, with the aim of raising funds to support charitable initiatives both locally and globally.

The event will include varied races in several distances, food, health and wellness booths, music, and plenty of volunteer opportunities. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring this event to our community and showcase our beautiful parks and Salem’s wonderful downtown,” says John Shirley, Chair of the Rotary Multi-sport Planning Committee. Not just for experienced athletes, the Multi-Sport RiverFest is a community event with an emphasis on promoting active lifestyle habits and an appreciation of Salem’s beautiful and easily accessible parks.

In addition to promoting active lifestyles, the event will raise funds for local non-profits and international humanitarian projects.  Since 2000, the Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem have awarded over 200 grants to more than 50 nonprofit organizations in the Salem area. Additionally, international projects include water wells and sanitation facilities in countries like Haiti and Indonesia, and the nearly complete elimination of the Polio virus.

The 2017 Rotary Triathlon event brought participants from five States and Canada, as well as hundreds of local runners and cyclists. Encouraged by last year’s success, the planning committee has added a Half-Marathon and the “Over the Bridge

and Around the World” Kid’s Run, presented by Salem Health. “Adding a half marathon and events for kids gives even more options for both adults and families,” says Robert Chandler, Co-Chair of the event. The planning committee has also made plans for a back-up swim route in case of rain and runoff into the slough, ensuring that triathletes will be able to complete all three legs of the race this year.

Regardless of fitness level or ability, there’s a place for everyone in the RiverFest. The 5K is open to runners and walkers of all ages, kids can dash through the Kids Run, and if tackling a triathlon on your own seems like an unattainable feat, consider signing up as a team. All told, there are now eight race options to get outside and join in the fun:

Kids Run
5k Walk/Run
Half Marathon


Olympic Sprint
1.6k Run 1.6k Run
40k Bike 20k Bike
5k Run 2.5k Run


Olympic Sprint
1500m Swim 750m Swim
40k Bike 20k Bike
10k Run 5k Run

Signing up for a race event isn’t the only way to participate in the Multi-Sport Riverfest. Over 200 volunteers of all ages helped last year’s event run smoothly, and the race coordinators are hoping to sign up even more this year. Spectators and park patrons are welcome and encouraged to visit the food booths, enjoy the music, and participate in yoga in the park. To learn more, visit https://rotaryriverfestsalem.org.

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Buy a Dictionary - Add Meaning to Life!

August 7, 2018

Every year, Rotary clubs around the Salem-Keizer area gather together with the goal of distributing a dictionary to every 4th grader in the Salem-Keizer School District. To accomplish this goal, we need your help!

We have an opportunity for a one-to-one matching grant through District 5100. All you have to do is buy one! Or a whole box!

Dictionaries are 2.50/each, $30 for a 1/2 box and $60 for a full box. You can make your donation online by clicking here. Just add the details under the ‘note’ section. E.g. “$60 Box of Dictionaries.”

Click here for the order form and to learn more.

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New Member Introduction | Katherine Suchan

July 18, 2018

The first new member of President Rus McCracken’s year was inducted at Wednesday’s meeting. You can get to know more about Katherine Suchan by reading this introduction, written by her sponsor, Brenna Baucum.

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to my colleague and friend, Katherine Suchan. She is a Certified Financial Planner professional with the H Group. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Katherine is passionate about the power of planning and has seen the positive difference a well-crafted plan can make in the lives of individuals, families, and businesses.

Prior to moving to Salem, Kath lived in Eugene for twenty years (go ducks). Katherine has two sons: Ben and Josh. While living in Eugene, she volunteered at their schools, taught Sunday school, mentored middle school girls, and hosted the Cub Scout den.

If that’s not enough to exhaust a working mom with two boys, she also hosted several short term exchange students from a variety of countries including China, France, and Thailand to name a few. Between her sons, their friends, and the exchange students, her Eugene home was full of sights, sounds, and smells of boys.

Katherine doesn’t have to deal with boy smells anymore. She owns a beautiful home in South Salem that she shares with her soon to be Irish Water Spaniel (she’s courting a potential new furry family member so if you know of one in need of a loving home, you come find her).

She’s been here for just over 2 years and has been busily engaging with our community. She serves on the Leave a Legacy board, sorts food at Marion Polk Food Share, and gives of her sweat equity with Habitat for Humanity. I have never met someone who is such an enthusiastic do it yourselfer. She has the heart and soul of a Rotarian, and our club is so fortunate to have her. Please help me warmly welcome Katherine Suchan.

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"Be the Inspiration" Shirt

July 11, 2018

If you were inspired by the new board’s beautiful shirts, we hope you’ll join in the fun by ordering one of your own. $4 of each purchase goes to support the Salem Rotary Foundation. Our friends Lisa Campbell and her team at Print Specialties have made this ordering easy. Here’s your 1-2-3 on getting your very own, Be the Inspiration shirt.

Step 1: Go to https://psofsalem.com/order and enter your personal information. You can leave the PO / Order # blank. For “In Hands” date, please allow at least one week from the date you order.

Step 2: Under “Order Details:”

  • Products:
    • Item # type “Rotary”
    • Indicate the number of each size you would like. (They run a bit small, but don’t shrink when washed.)
      • $17/each up to XL, $19/each for 2XL, $21/each for 3XL.
      • The shirts are Gildan performance tee. 100% polyester jersey knit so they won’t shrink when washed; moisture-wicking, anti-odor properties (not that you need that…)
  • Imprint Type: Screen
  • Placement: Front
  • Additional Information / Notes:
    • Indicate whether you would like a men’s or women’s cut.
    • Indicate whether you prefer design “A” or “B.”


Step 3: Hit Submit. Lisa and her team will be in touch with an invoice and any follow up questions.


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