It’s That Time Of Year – Order Your Holiday Wreaths now from Lawrence Central

2015 lcf-fund-card-holly-berryLawrence Central has launched our annual fundraiser for the work we do every year. As in year’s past we will be selling wreaths and other holiday decorations from Lynch Creek Farms and in Lawrence Central’s partnership with them we receive 20% back from every sale to help partially fund the service projects we do.  Some examples of our service activities include:

We want to continue to do this work and more with help from you and all you need to do is simply purchase holiday decorations. You can do this by talking to any of our members  or there’s an even easier way – go to our Lynch Creek fundraising website, peruse what they have an order yourself!  We’ve even set up an easy link:

LCR Holiday Other Items

If you’re not comfortable with ordering online we totally understand – you can also call Lynch Creek direct toll-free at 1-888-426-0781 and please Lawrence Central Rotary Fundraiser #26879

Lynch Creek is a family business that started in 1980, now transformed from selling a few flowers and vegetables at the local farmers’ market on the weekends, to a full blown year-round business that ships throughout the United States.

Lynch Creek Farms have been amazing to work with and they care about the groups that sell their wreaths and decorations. Here’s a video about the business.

Lawrence Central Helps Local Schools with Biking Helmets

Janice Bunker fits helmets for some students at Woodlawn SchoolLawrence Central members Janice Bunker and Fred Aitchison spent a morning going out to Lawrence’s Woodlawn school to provide and fit 9 helmets for kids riding to school who did not have any way to get helmets and were not able to come to the community bicycle rides.

One of Lawrence Central’s goals as a club is to get more and more people to be able to have an active lifestyle but we also want them to be safe. Medical research shows that a bicycle helmet can prevent most cyclist head injuries. Nearly 700 bicycle riders are killed in the U.S. every year, almost all in collisions with cars, and sadly 75% of them die of head injuries. Many thousands more suffer less severe but still debilitating injuries that are far worse than the physical pain of scraped skin or even broken bones.

If you are a educator at a local school and are aware of children who are in need of a helmet (and possibly a bike) please contact us at

Lawrence Public Library Summer Reading Program is a Solid Success

Lawrence Summer Reading proramLawrence Central Rotary (and the other local Rotary Clubs) sponsored a hole for the Lawrence Public Library’s Caddy Stacks Mini Golf fundraiser event.

From Library Executive Director Kathleen Morgan, “Summer Reading is an important annual program for our entire community. Not only does it provide great summertime entertainment, but it also is essential to preventing summer learning loss in Lawrence’s kids. Numerous studies show that students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities over the summer. Low income students who do not have access to these important summer learning activities are particularly at risk. Thanks to your help, 4,176 of Lawrence’s kids, teens, and adults chose to spend their summer at Lawrence Public Library and read nearly 35,000 books and attended 258 library programs.”


Library TY

Fall Lawrence Community Bike Ride – Enjoyment by All

September-CBR-Flyer-2015-TYThe rain finished the night before, there was a sigh of relief when we could see the final rays of sun through the clearing skies to the west on Friday night.

Our latest ride held Saturday September 19th starting in the Haskell Indian Nations University stadium parking lot delighted more than 100 guests riding along the Burroughs Creek Trail. Members of Lawrence Central Rotary with the help of our sponsors and though applying for grants and fundraisers were able to hand out all of the 80 bright neon safety vests we purchased and fitted 42 brand new helmets (mostly to children) to keep them safe while riding their bike not just that day but for many days, weeks, and months to come.

But, that just speaks to the numbers. Everyone who attended had a great morning and the participants had fun… and that is the key thing. People having fun, being active, using their bikes, possibly seeing new trails, and meeting new friends along the way.

We look forward to seeing even more people again next summer for more Lawrence Community Bike rides!


Becca Burns Discusses Shelter, Help, and Hope from The Willow

Kate Campbell & Beccas Burns

Becca Burns presents Kate Campbell with a certificate of appreciation from the Willow.

Shelter, Help, Hope are the offerings of  The Willow Domestic Violence Center  and Becca Burns, Willow director of Volunteer Services , outlined each for Central Rotarians on July 29. Burns also presented Central Rotary president Kate Campbell with a certificate of appreciation for the club’s support of  The Willows through donations of goods and services.

Domestic violence is not just physical violence, although it is often included, Burns said. Violence can be psychological, financial, sexual and spiritual. Abusers can use threats, manipulation, and isolation against a partner.

And, even when children are not the target of the abuser, although 40 to 60 percent are, 100 percent of children who live in an abusive home are damaged.The most resilient children are the ones who have a good relationship with the non-abusive parent and connections to other loved ones, she said.

The Willow offers a 24-hour hot line, a safe shelter home, court advocacy, and intervention. It provides a range of services for children both in the shelter and in the community, ranging from art and music programs to healthy parent classes and information about the effects of domestic violence on children.

“One of our most important jobs,” Burns said “is to make sure people know they are believed and that resources are readily available.It also helps all victims of abuse to know, through The Willow,  that others have been through this and are now doing well. It takes away the isolation.”

The Willow hot line phone is 785-843-3333.

Local Agencies Work to Help Local Kids “Back 2 School”

Back 2 School Supply DriveEven though the 2014-2015 school year is just coming to a close, plans are already underway for “Back 2 School” for Fall 2015.  The project will provide school supplies, backpacks, and new shoes to children who cannot afford to purchase those supplies themselves.

Every child needs school supplies to begin the school year with confidence.  With “Back 2 School,” families who live at 185% of poverty level may apply for assistance.  In USD 497, there are 1,648 children, ages 5 to 17, who qualify.  That is 13.8% of the Lawrence school system enrollment.

Rotarian Jim Evers, Director of Development for Douglas County Salvation Army, introduced the join initiative to Lawrence Central Rotary members.  Kyle Roggenkamp, Human Services Director at The Ballard Center and Penn House, and Colleen Gregoire, Vice President and Campaign Manager, United Way of Douglas County, shared stories about the project.  East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) is also part of the alliance.  Other sponsors include First Christian Church, Hallmark, the City of Lawrence, Office Depot, Walmart and Radio 92.9, KLWN AM 1320, and KKSW 105.9.

Local agencies will work with the school district and other groups to develop a list of families who need “Back 2 School” assistance.  In July, volunteers will encourage donations for paper, notebooks, pencils, and other materials listed by the local school district as necessary for a well-prepared student in the fall.  United Way also hopes to include a new book for each child as well.  In August, other volunteers will pack each backpack with the appropriate supplies for each grade level; buy shoes for children; and prepare for distribution day.

It is the second year of collaboration among these agencies.  In 2013, the Penn House alone distributed school supplies to 598 children.  Last year, the first year of collaboration, Penn House, Ballard Center, and the Salvation Army distributed backpacks and pairs of shoes to 833 children K-12.  The goal for this fall is to serve 1120 children in four school districts:  Lawrence, Perry/LeCompton, Baldwin, and Eudora.