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Ak’Tenamit Project

PDG Fred Anderson Memorial Project at Ak’Tenamit

“Set the bar high for service above self.”
Fred Anderson


Fred Anderson served as District Governor in 1990-1991 and was the first to enter the District 6990 Hall of Fame.  He was a model Rotarian who travelled to rural Guatemala along with Fort Lauderdale Rotarian Wilkie Gilbert and a group of Rotarians over 20 years ago to build 5 houses for Q’eqchi Mayan Villagers (Rotary’s Ak’Tenamit Project).  In memory of his inspiring leadership, Rotarians from District 6990 are invited to participate in the upcoming Rotary Action Trip to the Ak’Tenamit school in Guatemala in the following ways:
  • Join us on the trip!
  • Contribute to fund a memorial project in Fred’s name.  Ak’Tenamit is currently raising funds for a new dormitory, and with the generosity of a Rotarian from Cocoa Beach, funds raised will be matched up to US $50,000.00.
Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.
 
To apply for the trip contact:  Kelly Mackintosh, Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale 4444, Telephone: 954-260-8951, or email: [email protected]
 
 
March 2023 Rotary Action Trip to the Ak’Tenamit Project

“The best way to lose yourself is in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi
 
Rotarians from District 6990 are invited to join fellow Rotarians from District 5240 in California for a week of service at one of the most enduring projects supported by Rotarians for over 20 years.

Ak’ Tenamit was started in 1990 with 11 boys and 3 girls in the first class. It was founded by Steve Dudenhoefer from Florida, who remains today as the Chief Technical Advisor of Asociación Ak’ Tenamit. Today, the school serves over 600 indigenous Mayan students and is managed entirely by the Q’eqchi people.  It is viewed as a global model as an effective grassroots approach to vocational education, income generation, and health care. 
 
The goals of Ak ’Tenamit are to:
  • Provide shelter and education for at-risk youth aged 12 and up
  • Help youths develop skills and gainful employment
  • Establish internships and job opportunities
  • Supply initial financial and emotional support for graduates to help ensure success
Hands-on experiences provide the knowledge and skills for gainful employment in Guatemala, which offers an alternative to migration. An outstanding number (85%) of students are employed shortly after graduation. This is because prior to graduation, students complete extensive work study programs in businesses off-campus. After employment, graduates pledge to give back a percentage of their income to their villages.

Rotarians have been huge supporters of Ak’ Tenamit for over 20 years, contributing medical supplies and equipment, funds, and labor to build new dorms and classrooms, a floating dental clinic, solar energy equipment, computer labs, restaurant equipment and supplies, new boat engines, and family water filters.

Each year, groups of Rotarians from all over the USA spend a week at Ak’ Tenamit to gain an understanding of the needs of the children, and to aid the school. We are now recruiting Rotarians and friends from Districts 6990 and District 5240 for a trip March 25 to April 1, 2023.

Steve Dudenhoefer, founder and current Chief Technical Advisor of the Asociación Ak'Tenamit, is excited that Rotarians from Florida and California will be working together to provide assistance at the school.

Friends and family (children over 14 years of age) are also welcome!
 
 
 Destination Guatemala: Rotary Action Trip to Ak’Tenamit
 
Destination:  Ak’ Tenamit, a boarding school of over 600 Indigenous Mayan students aged 12 and up in the Rio Dulce area of Eastern Guatemala. Numerous Rotary clubs (including The Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club) have built and supported this school for over 20 years.

Purpose:  To gain an understanding of the needs of children in this region of Guatemala, and to provide assistance at the school, which is viewed as a model globally for its grassroots approach to vocational education.

Potential Tasks: Light construction, computer training, teaching (English and Spanish, agricultural methods, hygiene, healthcare, CPR), aiding in healthcare clinics. All ages (14 and up) and fitness levels can take part.

Dates of the Trip: March 25 to April 1, 2023

Transportation and Meals (total trip budget: $1500 to $2000)
It is advisable to make your flight reservations as soon as possible, as the flights between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios are SAAB 340 Twin Turboprop with 33 seat capacity.
  • Flights to Guatemala City depart on March 25 from either Miami (American 2241) or Fort Lauderdale (Spirit 243) are approximately 2 hours non-stop; the flight from Guatemala City to Puerto Barrios (TAG 5U714) is approximately 1 hour. Flights are booked separately.
  • Return flights from Puerto Barrios (TAG 5U701) to Guatemala City and non-stop back to Miami (American 1258) or Fort Lauderdale (Spirit 244) depart on April 1st. Flights are booked separately.
  • Hotels: Mansion del Rio Hotel in Puerto Barrios (1 night) and Villa Caribe in Livingston (6 nights); booked by host and payable at end of stay.
  • Transportation from hotels to school: Covered motorized boats holding twelve people.
  • Meals: Lunch at the school restaurant; dinner at Buga Mama restaurant in Livingston.  Both properties are school-owned and managed; please pay individually for meals.
Deadline for registration: January 15, 2023, with a refundable deposit of $150.00.

Contact: Kelly Mackintosh, Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale 4444, Telephone: 954-260-8951, or email: [email protected]

For more information about Ak’Tenamit, visit the Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund (a Charity Navigator 4-star rated 501-C) website for more information: thegtfund.org

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Dan Rizzi

2024-2025 Club President


Club President Letter 2024-25

Dear Rotarians and Friends of Rotary:

 

I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the role of your 102nd President for the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale. As we embark on this new year, I stand humbled by the legacy of our esteemed past presidents who, for over a century, have leveraged their knowledge and dedication to build a remarkable organization committed to service.

 

Rotary International’s Theme: The Magic of Rotary

 

This year’s theme, “The Magic of Rotary,” compels us to consider the transformative power of our collective efforts. Imagine a world free from polio, with communities empowered to secure clean water, cultivate their own food, and connect via bridges that bring families and education closer. This, my fellow Rotarians, is the magic we create when we unite in service.

 

The Enduring Impact of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale

 

Locally, the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale has consistently embodied this spirit. Our enduring impact is evident in a multitude of initiatives, including:

 

  • Partnering with Challenge Air to provide transformative flight experiences for 84 children facing physical and mental challenges, with the invaluable support of 19 pilots, 160 volunteers, and generous sponsors.
  • Annually distributing hundreds of toys and gifts to brighten the holidays for underprivileged children and seniors.
  • Awarding over $3 million in scholarships to deserving students within the Fort Lauderdale school district.
  • Supporting the Wheelchair Foundation, fostering mobility for those in need.

 

Beyond Service, Building Community

 

We foster strong bonds within our club through:

 

  • Engaging monthly socials and happy hours, fostering connections and camaraderie.
  • Annual events like Thanksgiving baskets, Salvation Army bell ringing, and festive holiday and fall picnics that celebrate the joy of giving and shared experiences.
  • Disaster relief efforts whenever communities face hardship.

 

A Look Forward

 

While we celebrate our past achievements, we also embrace new initiatives designed to elevate our service and engagement. These include:

 

  • Weekly member introductions, fostering deeper connections within the club.
  • Inviting inspiring speakers from the business community to share their expertise.
  • Reintroducing the “Teacher of the Year” program, recognizing outstanding contributions within the educational sector.
  • Establishing a “Rotarians Honoring Rotarians” program, acknowledging the exceptional contributions of dedicated members throughout their years of service.

 

Invitation to Serve and Connect

 

The Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale offers a unique space for individuals who seek to serve their community while forging meaningful connections. Our weekly meetings, held Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Global Event Center at First Baptist Church in downtown Fort Lauderdale, followed by a social gathering on the last Wednesday of the month at a local venue, provide the perfect opportunity to experience the magic firsthand.

 

We warmly invite you to join us as a guest. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Together, let’s continue to weave the magic of Rotary, one act of service at a time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Daniel Rizzi President 2024-2025
Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale

International Projects

Volunteer With Us

As we begin our Rotary year, here is a quick reminder of the service projects we have on our schedule so far. We do not have exact dates for everything, but please keep these projects in mind and be on the lookout for more information. If you would like to help with any of these projects, please contact the chair directly. If you have ideas for new projects, please contact Kristin LaFleur or St. George Guardabassi.

  • Find Your Way Home – Jorg Hruschka – Select Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Holiday Toy Drive – Linda Cooke – October – December
  • Thanksgiving Baskets – Steve Botkin – Saturday, November 18
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing – Steve Botkin – December
  • Challenge Air – Dan Rizzi – January 26 & 27
  • Agape Love Breakfast – Gail Auguston-Koppen – February 9 & 10

Rotarians In Action


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