RPCVCO

The Board of the RPCVs of Colorado are pleased to announce that we have nominated RPCVCO member Sue Fox for the John F. Kennedy Service Award for her tremendous work to establish a partnership between Peace Corps and Rotary International. We have included her nomination submission below.

Unfortunately, we also have some very sad news to share as well. It is with a great deal of sadness that we let you know that Sue passed away peacefully on Friday night after a year-long courageous battle with cancer. We will keep our membership updated on where you can send your condolences.

Please describe how the person you are nominating exemplifies one or more of the Peace Corps three goals.

On behalf of the Board of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado and its members, I am submitting this nomination for Sue Fox for the John F. Kennedy Service Award in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer category. Sue served in Liberia from 1968 to 1970 and has continued to fulfill the mission of Peace Corps throughout her life.

"Peace Corps volunteers and Rotarians....are bound by a common purpose: service." This quote, from Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director of the U.S. Peace Corps, upon the signing of the formal letter of collaboration between Peace Corps and Rotary International, captures the very essence of Sue Fox.

Through her efforts to establish a formal partnership between Rotary International and the U.S. Peace Corps, Sue Fox exemplifies the third goal of Peace Corps and also assists Peace Corps and PCVs to achieve the other two goals. The formal agreement between the two organizations was finalized in May 2014 as a direct result of Sue’s hard work and determination. The partnership provides currently serving volunteers access to Rotary Club funding, subject matter expertise, and networks, to help fund Peace Corps partnership projects. Many of these projects provide local communities with an array of training and resource development assistance.

In the first year of the agreement, thousands of dollars were given in support of volunteer projects across three pilot countries, Togo, Thailand, and Philippines, including the creation of a clean water initiative in Togo, a book distribution project in Thailand, and the construction of latrines and a learning center for students with disabilities in the Philippines. In addition, her work has helped to connect currently serving volunteers with local Rotary Clubs in host countries, facilitating a better understanding of Americans among local host country Rotarians (over 650,000 worldwide) who are business and professional leaders in their communities. Lastly, Sue’s work in creating this partnership has raised awareness among more than 450,000 Rotarians in America about the people in countries where PCVs serve, the work of currently serving volunteers, and the mission of Peace Corps.

 Regarding Sue’s work on the Rotary Peace Corps partnership, members of our community stated:

 “Sue was the heart, the soul, the inspiration, the driving force, the “Get R Done” person who never wavered from our goal, which was achieved, of a partnership between Rotary and Peace Corps.  One person did change the world and we all appreciate and thank Sue for what she has done.”  Ted Bedelow, RPCV Liberia, Rotarian.

“Sue is the reason that Rotary and Peace Corps were able to work out a cooperative agreement, which will benefit both organizations and their volunteers, members, and alumni, from countries all over the world-forever.” Grant Wilkins, Rotary International Director 1993-1995, Denver Rotary Club President 1978-79.

 “As District 5450 Chair of the Rotary Peace Corps Alliance, Sue worked diligently for several years to bring about the signing of the Letter of Collaboration between Rotary International and the Peace Corps in May of 2014. She is an outstanding human being.” Mary Kay Hasz, District Governor, Rotary District 5450.

“For more than 5 years, Sue worked tirelessly to convince Rotary International and the Peace Corps that an alliance between two organizations made great sense. The success of this historic collaboration is in great part due to the tireless efforts of Sue Fox. Without a doubt, both parties, and most importantly those we serve, will be better off as a result of our working together. Sue Fox was a visionary when she began working on this agreement.” Peter Ewing MD, District Governor 2014-2015, Rotary District 5450

“I am eternally grateful for all that Sue has done for Peace Corp and Rotary. I, at age of fifteen in high school in small town of Hamadan Iran, was one of the students of a PCV. It was a Peace Corp volunteer who taught me English and inspired me to look outside of the environment that I was in. I am indebted to Sue and all PCVs who have so amazingly served the world.” Abbas Rajabi, District Governor 2017-2018, Rotary District 5450.

Sue truly embodies the qualities of a Kennedy Service Award recipient. Her continued service demonstrates a lifelong commitment to promoting the goals and mission of Peace Corps and encourages others to also undertake this commitment.

Please describe how the person you are nominating demonstrates exceptional service and leadership.

Sue has demonstrated exceptional service and leadership through her work to establish a formal relationship between the U.S. Peace Corps and Rotary International, as well as in her in her professional life and service to her community. As a result of Sue’s leadership, Rotary International and the U.S. Peace Corps signed an initial letter of collaboration in May 2014. Subsequently, a new agreement was signed in May 2015 to boost the impact of development programs in the 60 countries where Rotary and Peace Corps overlap. Working with her own Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Denver, Sue has overseen the creation of Rotary grants to villagers in Fiji for clean safe drinking water and a 3,200 school book donation project for children in Costa Rica. Additionally, she has assisted with implementing grants that partnered with Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Togo and Burkina Faso.

Sue has given numerous presentations to Rotary Clubs and RPCV groups to (1) connect these organizations with currently serving volunteers to work on community development projects in Peace Corps countries; (2) encourage Rotarians to continue their service by joining Peace Corps after retirement; and (3) encourage newly returned Peace Corps volunteers to join local Rotary clubs and volunteer in their communities. She has also given presentations to departing Peace Corps volunteers to encourage them to connect with local Rotary clubs in their host country to engage members of the community and for assistance with funding projects.

In addition to her work on the Rotary – Peace Corps partnership, Sue is actively engaged in leadership and service with a variety of other organizations. Sue has been a member of the Rotary Club of Denver, Colorado’s oldest service club, for 15 years. Embodying Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self”, Sue has served as President from 2008-09, on the Club’s Board of Directors from 2006-09, and chaired the World Community Service Committee from 2006-07, which provides grants to development projects around the world. Sue has volunteered her time: (1) manning registration stations at 9News Health Fairs; (2) serving as a mentor to high school students through Denver Rotary’s high school scholars program; (3) volunteering at Junior Achievement programs at a local elementary school to inspire low-income children in our community to stay in school; (4) volunteering at Shining Stars events, which provides programs for children with cancer; and (5) hosting a Rotary youth exchange volunteer. Sue has also worked with the Friends of Liberia, a group of returned volunteers that supports humanitarian programs in Liberia, and shared her experiences as a volunteer.

Further, Sue has demonstrated exceptional service and leadership in her professional life as a lawyer. Over the years, Sue has provided pro bono legal work to community organizations including Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, New Cole Economic Development Corp, Women's Bean Project and the Associates of the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as free legal advice to victims of the 2013 Colorado flooding. Sue has also served on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association, Section Council of its Real Estate Law Section, Chair of the Interprofessional Committee of Lawyers and Realtors, member of the Colorado Supreme Court's Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and the D.U. Law School Mentor Program, Partners at Law.

Sue’s exceptional leadership and service, not only to Peace Corps but also to her community, exemplifies the qualities of a Kennedy Service Award recipient. Her passion for service and her leadership has served as an inspiration to everyone who knows her. Members of the RPCVs of Colorado have told us:

“Sue Fox has been dedicated to things that are special in her life: her family, her religion, Rotary and the Peace Corps and a few other endeavors. She is a friend to everyone and handles all situations with grace and good will. She is a special friend and a great example of the best ideals of Rotary and Peace Corps.” Steve Werner, former Chairman of the National Peace Corps Association, RPCV Korea.

“Sue has been an inspiring and guiding light for me in both my personal and professional career. Her dedication to seeing the Peace Corps Rotary Alliance come to fruition was just one example of the enormous tasks she has taken on with ease. I have enjoyed doing business with Sue, serving as an RPCV with Sue, and working on Rotary projects with Sue.” Zach Roesinger, RPCV Belize & Vanuatu, Rotarian. 

"I have been involved in the RPCVs of Colorado since returning to the U.S. after Peace Corps in 2009 and have seen Sue in action at many events over the years. As an example, the RPCVs of Colorado work with local Peace Corps recruiters to provide a sendoff brunch that aims to connect Peace Corps invitees and nominees, as well as any friends or family, with RPCVs. Sue has been a key speaker at these events, providing information about how PCVs can connect with Rotary for support both during and after Peace Corps service.  Her passion, commitment and enthusiasm for service to others shines through at these times because it is clear that her goal is to connect these future PCVs with the resources and support they need." Suzanne Smith, President and Advocacy Coordinator, RPCVs of Colorado.

“Sue has been an invaluable mentor and example to me in how to be a kind, warm, and strong female leader.” Arianne Burger, Former President, RPCVs of Colorado, RPCV Kazakhstan.

“Service above self is a statement Sue Fox lives by and her service and leadership is an example for others to follow.” Larry Gloss, RPCV Columbia & Peru.

The Board of the RPCVs of Colorado and its members, including Rotarians across Colorado, are proud to nominate Sue Fox for the John F. Kennedy Service Award.

 

There's a great new film about the Peace Corps experience that should be coming to a theater near us soon. The RPCVs of Colorado are supporting this film and hope to help bring it here to Colorado for our group to see. Learn more about the film and check out the trailer!

Adventure and idealism may drive Peace Corps volunteers to serve two years in remote communities, but is this enough to overcome the dissonance between Americans and the developing world? Three Americans challenge themselves and their neighbors to bridge cultural chasms and find common ground during 27 months of getting lost, getting sick, struggling with friendship, romance, humor and the nagging worry that all their efforts will amount to nothing.

Click on the link to watch the trailer on vimeo.

Friday, 12 June 2015 18:22

Update on the Benin School Project

 

Greetings from Benin!  Firstly, thank you again for all of your generosity to support the middle school of Béroubouay. Sarah and I are happy to announce that construction has been going smoothly and the classrooms are nearly completed! 

The community of Béroubouay has been working tirelessly to finish the classrooms in a timely manner. In only two weeks time, they completed all but the painting! They are overwhelmingly grateful for this project and take every opportunity to express their gratitude. They asked us to thank you all for your aid.

Starting in the fall and for every year after, hundreds of students will benefit from these new and improved classrooms.

Merci beaucoup! Thank you very much! Nasiyara toto!

Rachel and Sarah 

The RPCVs of Colorado, through our Don Curtis Giving Fund, have donated $1,000 to support Rachel Bechdolt, a Colorado volunteer currently serving in Benin, to help her middle school complete it's classroom construction project.

Call to Action - Contact Senators about Peace Corps Funding


A record 151 members of the House of Representatives signed the letter requesting increased funding for the Peace Corps for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 2014. This record is largely due to the advocacy efforts of those who support Peace Corps and we're hoping to repeat this success in the Senate. From now until Friday, April 11, please take a few moments to write to Colorado Senators Udall and Bennet to encourage them sign on to the Feinstein-Isakson Peace Corps Funding Letter.

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has a pre-drafted letter, found here, that can be used to contact Senator Udall and Senator Bennet. More information can be found here on the NPCA website.

Thank you for continuing to advocate on behalf of Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Week at the Colorado State Capitol
On Thursday, February 27th starting at 9 am at the State Capitol, Representative Jeanne Labuda, RPCV, will introduce a House joint resolution to honor Peace Corps Volunteers both past and present. Please arrive no later then 8:30am to be seated on the floor. 

The RPCVs of Colorado are invited to attend and sit on the floor of the House while the legislation is being read. You are encouraged to wear clothing from your country of service. 

Please RSVP to Sherry Manning, President of RPCV's of Colorado at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Saturday, 31 August 2013 02:01

Food Security Kick-off on Sept. 18th

Please join us on Wednesday, September 18 as we celebrate the start of our 2-year focus on Food Security!

That’s right- you voted, and the majority of our membership voted for the RPCVs of Colorado to spend the next two years learning more about Food Security, both locally and internationally. We will spend the first part of the meeting getting a basic overview of what “Food Security” means globally, and then will break out into small groups, led by local Food Security leaders, and work to develop how we will focus our energies over the next two year. Join the conversation!

Saturday, 31 August 2013 01:42

Garden off to a fantastic start!

As you can see from the beautiful produce above, our garden is bursting at the seams with delicious produce! Over the past two summers, we have donated over 700 pounds of fresh produce.  Help us reach our goal of 1000 total pounds this summer!

There is still time to volunteer an hour or two in the garden before we put it to bed for the season.

You can easily sign up here-https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_8rDpXmqnLgEI6KYSX0V8mpBhflN4o5J1nreZMgKdk8/viewform

Or by emailing Casey by using our contact form (select Service Projects).

We donated summer camp registrations in the amount of $310 for five youths to attend the Poltava Youth Leadership Conference in Ukraine.  Funding for this project was requested by Lauren Hosp, a PCV from Colorado currently serving in the Ukraine. This camp promotes leadership, active citizenry, and project design and management skills in Ukraine. This is the third annual Poltava Youth Leadership Conference (PYLC).

Thanks to the generous donations and support from you, our members, we have been able to fund a Peace Corps Partnership this summer!

By providing the local community library with a set of one hundred age-appropriate picture books (primarily in French but also in local languages) and basic preschool materials, this project aims to provide young children with improved learning opportunities to develop their reading and critical thinking skills before entering the formal school system.

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