Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rotary 2017 Awards Dinner

Washington Rotary again had a wonderful Annual Awards dinner at Marr Park Education Center near Ainsworth. Thanks to everyone that attended, and to those that helped clean up!
2017 Rotary Awards Dinner program
Cafe Dodici catered our delicious dinner. Thanks past club president, Tsalika Rich!
Tsalika Rich catering from Cafe Dodici
Dr. Ann Harris was pleased to tell the attendees who had won each of Rotary's scholarships and awards. Thanks Dr. Ann for helping to create a great event.

For a complete list of past award and scholarship winners, visit our web site at:

Dr. Ann Harris told us about the award winners


The Washington Rotary Club has awarded an annual Community Service Award since 1953. Since 2007, the award has been named after Washington businessperson, Rotarian, and philanthropist, Bill Sitler who exemplified the Rotary motto of “Service above Self.”

Bob Ruppert is the 2017 Bill Sitler Rotary Community Service Award winner. Bob was born in Guthrie County, graduating from country school in 1945, when he went on to serve in the Navy. He moved to Washington in 1952 to work at Farmer’s Implement. In 1972, Bob became the co-owner then sole owner of Farmers Implement until he retired in 1994 and sold the business. In 1954 he met and later married Ella May, and they have celebrated 62 years of marriage. Bob and Ella May have 2 children, Dr. Karen (Jon) McFarland of Washington, and Doug (Cindy) Ruppert of Iowa City. They have 5 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter.

Ruppert joined Rotary in 1988 and was named Rotarian of the Year in 2002. In Rotary, he has coordinated working the volunteers at the County Fair entrance gates, as well as being the leading Rotary Turkey Dinners ticket sales leader for many years. In the community, Bob attends and serves the United Methodist Church and served on the Washington County Hospital Foundation board, where he also sold a lot of tickets to the WCHC Pork Dinner fundraiser. Bob has volunteered at the WCHC since 1996, helping to bring mail and other services to patients.

To recognize Bob’s work, Rotary awards him $100 for him to donate to the charity of his choice, for which he selected the Salvation Army.

Bob Ruppert and family - 2017 Bill Sitler Community Service Award Winner


The Washington Rotary Club has awarded the Rotarian of the Year annually since 1995 to recognize a Rotarian who has demonstrated outstanding service to our Club.

The 2017 Rotarian of the Year award goes to Denise Erpelding, a past Club president in 2011. Denise is the chair of the annual Rotary Turkey Dinner, a counselor for Rotary foreign exchange students, and always there to step up to the plate to help when needed. She works at Horak Insurance, and co-owns Archer Appliance and Electronics with her husband Kevin Erpelding. She receives recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary International Foundation.
Denis Erpelding was surprised to be named Rotarian of the Year by Cheryl Kurtz


The Washington Rotary Club has been awarding scholarships to local high school students since 1964, and the first recipient was Illa Mae Ernest.

In 2017, Washington Rotary Club is pleased to announce three scholarship winners, each receiving a $1,000 award. 

Reid Basten is the son of the Sue and Tom Basten. Reid plans to attend the University of Iowa to major in science teaching and chemistry. He participated in Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp in 2015. He was in the National Honor Society, 4-H, Peer Helpers, Speech, and Drama, as well as playing basketball and soccer. He volunteered in Washington Spring Clean-UP, and in his church youth group. He works a part-time job.

John Dillon is the son of Ron and Karen Dillon. John plans to attend Central College to major in business management, and will play college football. He was in the National Honor Society, Boys State, and BPA, as well as participating in football (academic All-State), basketball, and soccer. John did community service and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Hospice Run, annual Tree Giveaway, Blair House repairs, and participated on church youth mission trips, and Carver Hawkeye clean-up crew. John also works a part-time job.

Alexis Turner is the daughter of Eric and Jennifer Turner. She plans to attend ISU to study architecture and design. Alexis was the Vice President of National Honor Society, participated in student congress, Peer Helpers, BPA, attended Girls State, as well as participating in volleyball, track, dance team, and Dance Marathon. She volunteered for numerous school activities including Camp Invention, youth girls volleyball camp, snowball classic, and working concession stands, She has worked several part-time jobs in high school.


In addition, Washington Rotary Club is awarding the annual John Prochaska Rotary Service Award, which includes a $200 award. This years awardee is Aaron Vittetoe.

Aaron Vittetoe, son of Don and Alicia, plans to attend ISU to major in Ag Studies. Aaron was in the National Honor Society, and FFA, volunteered for many community activities, worked a part-time job, and played baseball and golf in high school. He addended Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp in 2014.

The funding for these scholarships and awards comes from Club fundraisers, such as the annual Rotary Turkey Dinner, which will be held again on Monday, September 11. Thanks to the community for supporting us each year!

Assist. DG Bob Freeman spoke about DG Mike Rudy's upcoming year

Michelle Redlinger is the 2017-18 Club President

Congratulations to all the Awards and Scholarship Winners! Thanks for all that you do.
Denise Erpelding, Bob Ruppert, John Dillon, Alexa Turner
Thanks to all the Rotarians and spouses that helped to clean up and do the dishes after the event!
Cleanup Crew


July 27: Gary Murphy - Rabies Eradication in Ethiopia
August 3: District Governor Mike Rudy!!
August 10: Sue Basten - YMCA Update
August 17: Larry Fishbac - RYLA Kids Update
August 24: Denise Erpelding - Turkey Dinner Planning
August 31: Matt Greiner - TBA


Another Rotary newsletter will come out later this week about the Rotary Bicycle project.
If you are interested in donating toward this great international cause, bring your $150 (or your checkbook) to Rotary THIS THURSDAY!


The next newsletter will also have more info about the upcoming Hotel/Motel Tax referendum. The vote is Tuesday, August 1st, but you can vote at the Courthouse any day.
Shall the City of Washington, Iowa be authorized to impose by Ordinance a Local Hotel and Motel Tax at the rate of seven percent (7%), effective January 1, 2018, with at least fifty percent (50%) of the revenues derived from the Local Hotel and Motel Tax to be used for the promotion and encouragement of tourist and convention business in the city and surrounding areas; and the remaining revenues derived from the Local Hotel and Motel Tax to be used for all other purposes permitted by Chapter 423A of the Code of Iowa.