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Improving People's Lives Locally and Globally Through Service Since 2010


Service Above Self

Generally, the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month at 7:15am. Periodic dinner and happy hour meetings. See event calendar for upcoming meetings!
RollHouse Entertainment
33185 Bainbridge Road
Solon, OH  44139
United States of America
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How far-reaching the causes of the Solon Rotary are was made clear during a fundraising event that combined exercise and entertainment last Saturday.

Presented for the ninth year, a Day for Freedom included a 5K Fun Run at the Solon Community Center and bowling party at Rollhouse Entertainment, all benefiting organizations freeing people from hunger and homelessness and aiding those suffering from addiction. A total of $15,000 was raised that evening.

“We partnered with True Freedom Ministries trying to find and help with the roots of poverty and educate people after they have been incarcerated,” Rotary member and Solon resident Jim Hyde said. “It’s the forgotten piece.”

While these issues are not as prevalent in Solon as they are nation and worldwide, the Rotary attempts to make a wider impact, Mr. Hyde said.

Lakewood resident Alex Zebrowski, who attended the bowling party, said he grew up in Cleveland’s inner city. He said it is critical to support True Freedom’s mission to assist those in need, especially children.

“The kids never get out of the system,” Mr. Zebrowski said, “and they need additional services.” It’s important to “break the cycle,” he said.

The causes supported that evening were a nice tie-in to the club’s overall mission of Service Above Self, South Russell resident and Rotary President Chris Janson said.

The Day for Freedom has gained momentum over the years, with about 100 in attendance last weekend, including Mayor Edward H. Kraus and some city officials.

“The Rotary is a great community organization,” Mayor Kraus said. “They are all Solon residents trying to make a difference. Their whole goal is to give back to the community.”

Solon resident and Rotary member Irina P’Simer said Rotary members are wonderful because they do so much in Solon and Cleveland as well as across the globe. For example, the club is working to bring clean water to the people of Uganda, she said.

“For such a small club to do this is amazing,” she added.

In the Solon community, the club sponsors a monthly food pantry and free produce distribution for older residents. The local Rotary also works with the Solon Interact Club at the high school and travels to El Salvador to build wells for communities without easy access to fresh drinking water.

The Solon Rotary has 22 members.

Attendees of the bowling party enjoyed games of laser tag and games of chance in the arcade, as well as an opportunity to socialize and a 50/50 raffle.

Past Rotary president and Rollhouse owner Glenn Gable, of Pepper Pike, said the Rotary grouped its efforts to also include benefiting the Theo Bowman Center in Cleveland, as well as its work in Uganda.

“Part of Rotary is to do something domestically and internationally,” Mr. Gable said.

“They do such good work locally and internationally,” added Councilman William I. Russo, who was in attendance.

“It’s a good fundraiser,” Solon resident Owen Grossman, 13, a student at Solon Middle School, said. Owen bowled with a group of fellow teens. “It brings together the community to help out.”



A bike share project in Solon is gaining momentum, thanks in large part to a donation from the Solon Rotary.

Last week, Solon city officials accepted a $7,000 donation from the Rotary to support “Solon Spins,” a project to provide residents of all ages an opportunity to bicycle.

The project is a joint collaboration between the Solon Senior Center and Solon Recreation Department.

“It fits perfectly for us, and we are excited about it,” Donald W. Holub, recreation director, said.

Senior Center Director Jill Frankel explained to the City Council Finance Committee last week that although bicycling has both physical and mental benefits, it is not accessible to all.

“It requires strength and the ability to balance, as well as endurance to pedal,” she said. “For some, bicycles are not accessible due to cost and storage issues.”

The Solon Spins program will minimize these challenges, she said, by providing residents an opportunity to borrow age-friendly bicycles.

Although the number to be purchased has not yet been determined, the age-friendly bikes will include all different kinds, such as a child tricycle, a bicycle with training wheels, a step-through bike, adult tricycle and recumbent bike.

Three standard hybrid bicycles will also be purchased, along with bicycle helmets, baskets and bags for transporting items via the borrowed bicycle.

Through the grant, the city will also purchase a storage shed to safely store the bicycles and equipment, Ms. Frankel said.

Bicycles will be available to borrow through the senior center and Solon Community Center.

Beyond just offering bikes to borrow, the Solon Spins project will focus on bicycle education,Ms. Frankel added.

The first educational session was held earlier this month and presented by Bike Cleveland, with a handful of residents taking part and Mayor Edward H. Kraus also taking part in the ride. The Solon Police Department and Solon Bicycle will also offer an ongoing bicycle education program.

“We want our residents to enjoy biking our city, but we also want everyone to be safe while doing so,” he said. “We really encourage everyone to take advantage of the bike safety education that Solon Spins and the Solon Police Department are offering.”

Solon Rotary President Chris Janson said the club and the Solon Senior Center have had a longstanding relationship and the seniors are a “strong group of volunteers” at the Rotary’s monthly food pantry.

“We thought this was a real nice project that fit in with our mission, which is really providing benefits to people who need it,” Mr. Janson said. “We saw a lot of opportunities here and were happy to get involved and give the donation.”

The Rotary, comprised of about 24 members, also provides monthly a produce distribution for seniors.


Rotary Club of Solon Helps with the Perkins Beach Clean-uo – by Irina P’Simer
On July 13, the Rotary Club of Solon partnered with Drink Local Drink Tap (DLDT) and Kids2Kids at Perkins Beach in Cleveland, in support of local efforts to get and keep Lake Erie clean. 
It was a great experience all around. As always, it was great to see our community come together and put Service above Self! With over 50 participants, we outnumbered every other team at the beach cleanup. What was even more awesome was that the kids outnumbered the adults! 
While many of our efforts focus on hunger and poverty, clean water has also become a key focus area for our club. Last year was our first major clean water effort, as we completed a well project to deliver water to a remote village in El Salvador. Residents would walk many miles and spend many hours each day carrying water back to their village. We didn’t just bring water to them; we changed their lives. In return, working on this project and getting to know the villagers was a life changing experience for our club members as well.  
As we considered our next international project, we were fortunate to be introduced to Erin Huber from DLDT. When she showed us the unimaginable conditions in Uganda, we knew that we needed to get involved. Also, as DLDT supports clean water conditions everywhere, they coordinated they beach cleanup along the shores of Lake Erie, and we jumped at the opportunity to make a difference right here in our back yard.   
During the cleanup, we were reminded about the staggering amount of plastics we use; we talked about the almost unbelievable amount of time those plastics take to decompose; and we listened to the kids brainstorm ways to make a change. The younger generation came prepared with reusable water bottles and reusable straws. Although Perkins beach was in pretty good shape from cleanup efforts during the previous month, we still managed to pick up more than 100 pounds of trash! Imagine the huge impact if such a small effort was undertaken at 100 beaches around the world!  It was a perfect morning with friends, in the sun – “saving the turtles,” as the kids said. While it didn’t seem like much of an effort at all, we kept 100 pounds of trash out of our lake, made fond memories, and inspired our next generation! 
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