Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 Orem Rotary reports on past activities, comments on current activities, and plans for the future
On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, I was invited to attend a lunch hosted by the Orem Rotary Club. The Orem Rotary Club was established on November 10, 1975 by Darrell F. Robinette. Orem Rotary members are very eager to support students at Utah Valley University through their own branch, the UVU Rotaract Club. I was there to introduce myself to the Orem Rotary members as one of the UVU Rotaract club members and to inform them about my incoming visit to the UN 63rd Session of the Commission of the Status of Women on March 19, 2019 in New York. I will be the first Rotaractor to speak at the level of the UN. I brought the draft of the statement I will present at the UN for their review and revision suggestions. I also brought copies of the written statement, which our delegation was able to submit and being approved as an official UN document, to the lunch as information for the Orem Rotary Club members. This was an important opportunity for me to report what I was planning to do during the trip to UN, which Orem Rotary members co-sponsored financially.
Upon my arrival, I was warmly welcomed by the Orem Rotary Club members. I had previously been acquainted with a couple members of the club including Clark Merkley, the President Elect of the Orem Rotary Club and DJ Smith while we were at the Rotary President Elect Training Seminar (PETS) February 15 and 16. We were able to work together during some of the exercises at PETS and established a warm relationship.
Hannah Bieker giving her book to Clark Merkley at the Orem Rotary Lunch
Attending this lunch further solidified the special bond I have with the amazing people in Rotary. Having the opportunity to learn from service oriented individuals is an indulgence few my age will ever experience. Members in the audience listened to my short presentation and asked questions regarding my upcoming UN trip in general, my recently published book, and some of my personal background and history.
One of the items of business at the lunch was for Orem Rotary club members to raise money to provide dictionaries for children in local elementary schools. As a college student, times when I have extra cash on hand is few and far between. But, I did have two copies of my recently published book Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor: The Making of an American on hand. My book details my grandparents lives from being born into a world at war and my grandfather’s journey of escaping the conflict in Jerusalem following WWII, leaving home at 15 and traveling the world. As well as my grandmother who escaped East Berlin following the Soviet takeover of Eastern Germany and leaving home at 16 where she met my grandfather years later on a ship in a New York harbor, and reaching their goal of obtaining American citizenship together. I brought it to explain to the members of the Orem Rotary club how I was able to be involved in the activities to help women and girls in the communities throughout the State of Utah thanks to my ancestors, who came to the U.S. from mountainous countries like Germany and Armenia. So, I was happy that members of the Orem Rotary auctioned the two copies for twenty dollars each, totalling forty dollars that were then donated to the children’s dictionary fund. After that, it was my special honor and pleasure to sign the books for the members who purchased them. Also, I presented one book with my signature to Mr. Clark Merkley for his leadership in working together with UVU and his support for me.
Hannah Bieker signs a copy of her book for Orem Rotary Club member, DJ Smith
I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend my afternoon with the Orem Rotary Club members. They have placed their trust in me that I will do well in representing Rotaract at the United Nations and it is an honor to hold that responsibility. I can not wait until I get to report back to Orem Rotary about my presentation.
Hannah Bieker, a student at UVU, member of the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU as well as UVU Rotaract club