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After Hours News
Connecting the World With a Virtual Reunion
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has kept us from meeting in person, RAH joined with all four of its former exchange students in its first worldwide meeting.
6 pm in La Crosse. 1 am in Austria, Italy and Poland. 7 am in Taiwan.
 
A typical Tuesday evening RAH meeting became a first for the club as four former youth exchange students joined from their respective homes. The virtual event gave both the students and members a chance to reconnect with friends and get a global perspective on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Thanks to questions from Laura, club members learned how different countries are managing lockdown orders. From relative easing due to quick action in Taiwan to more gradual lifting of restrictions in places like Italy, the students shared their struggles and how they're keeping busy. A current outbound exchange student living in Taiwan also shared how she's coping with remaining a world away from friends and family in the Coulee Region.
 
The students also touched on some of the things they miss from their time in La Crosse. From favorite restaurants like Buzzard Billy's and Huhot to RAH events like the Ugly Sweater and Hixon maintenance efforts, some even said they miss the Wisconsin winters.
 
RAH invites our friends from around the world to join us for future virtual meetings and in-person visits to La Crosse, whatever the season, when the time comes to meet again.
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A call to act in a time of crisis
While maintaining social distancing, RAH explores new ways to put Service Above Self into action
At our last club meeting we presented a $5000 check to the Razia's Ray of Hope project to purchase a bus and a van for a school for girls in Afghanistan. I'm confident this will be a great project that will significantly impact many lives in the best way possible through access to education and opportunity.
 
We also explored how our club can leverage our strengths to serve our community during this difficult time. Below are the question headers and the top ideas for each as determined by those at the meeting.
 
WHAT DO WE SEE AS OUR ROLE IN SERVING THE COMMUNITY AT THIS TIME?
  • Support local businesses or restaurants.
  • Raise money for meals and educational items for students and kids out of school
  • Be a supporter and promoter of other initiatives happening
  • Partner with another organization that has a plan or system in place
  • Encourage social responsibility to keep people healthy, but also support needs with funds. local businesses, people without access to resources, etc
WHAT SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES DOES COVID-19 PROVIDE FOR US?
  • Letter writing to individuals socially isolated (E.g. nursing homes, Hagen); kids draw pictures, etc. Include writing letters to Hagen as part of any letter writing we might do?
  • Mobile Meals delivery
WHAT ARE SOCIALS OUR MEMBERS WILL WANT TO ENGAGE IN VIRTUALLY?
  • Game nights/HH (Trivia, Apples to Apples, Bingo, etc)
  • Movie Night
HOW DO WE LEVERAGE OUR STRENGTHS TO SUPPORT OUR AFTER HOURS MEMBERS (& OTHER AREA ROTARIANS) DURING THIS TIME OF UNCERTAINTY?
  • Virtual meetings
  • Subsidize dues for those members who may have job loss
 
The board will be discussing these and other ideas at the next board meeting. Feel free to reach out and share any additional suggestions to any board member.
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UPDATE: Razia's Bus donation and resources
UPDATE: RAH donates $5,000 to transportation project for Razia's Ray of Hope

Following a passionate presentation at RAH's first March meeting and input received from members, the RAH board voted to donate $5,000 from club funds to the school in Afghanistan run by Rotarian Razia Jan. In a newsletter late last month, Jan provided an update on the school amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

As many countries around the world grapple with the pandemic of novel coronavirus, so does Afghanistan. All public and private schools have been closed through April 3, and we expect that this date will be pushed out. Simply, Afghanistan is not equipped to deal with a pandemic. 
 
The impact of closing the Zabuli Education Center and The Razia Jan Institute is enormous. As you know, we are more than a school; we are a second home, a trusted source of daily meals and security. Here’s what we can do: 
 
1)    While we must close the schools, we continue to pay all staff their full salaries.
2)    We are exploring creative ways to support our students while they stay home - - academically as well as nutritionally. 
 
Obviously, we have to cancel all of our upcoming fundraising events for the coming season. But I am hoping you can help. Through a generous donation or sponsorship, we can maintain the trust of the community, keep our teachers, and continue to support our girls who will greatly suffer, not only from the school closure, but from the general lack of access to healthcare as well. 
 
Thank you for whatever you can do to help us during this period of unprecedented challenge. I wish you safety and good health, and will continue to send you updates on our beloved schools.
 

Video & Website Links

What Tomorrow Brings documentaryFree on Amazon Prime, otherwise $3.99 https://ff.hrw.org/film/what-tomorrow-brings  (2 minute trailer)

Razia Jan – CNN Hero clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddccn8XhQuo

Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation website for more information: https://raziasrayofhope.org/

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Upcoming Events
Ugly Sweater 5K Virtual Style
Myrick Park to Riverside Park
Dec 02, 2020 - Dec 12, 2020
 
Club Meeting: Gundersen All Of Us Research Program
Zoom
Dec 08, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 
Leadership Series with Dr. Jeff Thompson
Zoom
Dec 10, 2020
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
 
Rotary Lights Volunteering
Dec 13, 2020
4:45 PM – 10:15 PM
 
Remembering Dave Knutson Trivia Night
Big Al's Pizza & Virtual
Dec 16, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
 
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President
 
President Elect
 
President Elect Nominee
 
Immediate Past President
 
Treasurer
 
Secretary Elect
 
Secretary
 
Sergeant-at-Arms
 
3-Year Director 20/21
 
Programs/Socials
 
Past Secretary
 
1-Year Director
 
Membership Chair
 
Public Relations/Social Media
 
Service Projects
 
Foundation Chair
 
Youth Exchange Officer
 
Youth Protection Officer
 
Youth Exchange Counselor