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Discover the Impactful Work of the Gunnison Rotary Club on The Kooler Lifestyle Podcast Ep 29!

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00:00:00 Daniel Bruce
For even able to sustain that fundraiser. So, so those kind of things. I’ve learned over the last 5-6 years of things that we used to do and are doing, but we we seem to be able to fundraise well enough to give out four $2000 scholarships to students, as well as $3000 roughly in in grants that support.

00:00:20 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work, and serve. Through my business Kooler Garage Doors, we’re going to bring you highlights on characters in our communities. Why? Because Community matters, and I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the Community fabric that our relationships make up. And collectively, we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth, and our health. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Kuehlhorn. Today I have two guests from the Rotary Club of Gunnison. We have Dori Scott, who’s the current president and Daniel Bruce, the treasurer, welcome you too. Thanks so much for joining.

00:01:21 Dorlisa Scott
Thank you so much for having us.

00:01:24 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, glad to be here. I’d love to take a moment and offer you to each a moment just to share what you’re doing professionally currently and how long you’ve been a part of the Rotary. How about you, Dori?

00:01:37 Dorlisa Scott
I am currently the Assistant Banking Center manager at community Banks of Colorado and I joined Rotary about three years ago.

00:01:46 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Awesome. And how about you, Daniel?

00:01:50 Daniel Bruce
I’m the executive director of six points evaluation and training, working with. Adults with developmental disabilities providing a whole array of services for them. And I’ve I joined Rotary, actually, back in. Whole 2010,

00:02:07 Matthew Kuehlhorn

00:02:07 Daniel Bruce
and before I even moved to Gunnison. So I’ve been a Rotarian here in Gunnison since 2016.

00:02:16 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Beautiful. I already just wanna flag a, a future conversation with you, Daniel, so that we can highlight and talk about 6 points and the the members of the community that six points, you know, really serves and that’s a beautiful organization.

00:02:34 Daniel Bruce
That’d be great.

00:02:35 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Dori, you and I met years ago through the Gunnison mentoring program, and you were a fantastic mentor. Catch me up a little bit. It’s been a while since we’ve connected. Was there a time where you left the valley and came back, or have you been here for the? All of your life.

00:02:55 Dorlisa Scott
Yeah, so I moved to Gunnison when I was in 8th grade from Michigan and I went to high school here, which is when I joined mentors, and I actually am still a part of the mentors program, so I still have a mentee and I’m doing that. But I did leave. After I graduated high school, I went to Greeley and went to the University of Northern Colorado, and I always told myself that I probably wasn’t gonna come back here. I was going to work on the Front Range and do that whole thing. And then, uh, sure enough, after I graduated college, I didn’t really know where I was going to go or what I was gonna do. I didn’t really have a plan, to be honest. And my dad and my stepmom were both working at community banks of Colorado, and they’re like, hey, there’s an opening. Here. So I was like, alright, I’ll, I’ll come back and do that for a little while. And I’ve been doing it for five years. So now I’m here and not planning on going anywhere. And yeah, still a part of the mentors and I also joined Rotary in the meantime.

00:03:59 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Too. I love that. What brought you to the Rotary?

00:04:03 Dorlisa Scott
Um, when I was in high school I got a scholarship actually. Or well, yeah, I did get offered a scholarship from the Rotary Club for college and then also, umm, I got selected to go to a camp my junior year called Ryla. And so that’s kind of how I got to know the rotor.

00:04:25 Matthew Kuehlhorn
And we may have asked this years ago, but what part of Michigan?

00:04:30 Dorlisa Scott
Um, I’m from like right here in the South Line area, like 45 minutes away.

00:04:36 Matthew Kuehlhorn
From Detroit, right on. I grew up in Traverse City, so Marshall. Also michigander.

00:04:41 Dorlisa Scott
OK. Yeah.

00:04:44 Luke
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00:05:23 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Daniel, how about you, my friend, you did you mention you came out to Gunnison in 2010 or 2016?

00:05:30 Daniel Bruce
2016 or end of 2015 we moved from Durango. We were living there at the time and. Hi my wife worked for Fort Lewis College and and wanted to progress her career and. And. A job opened up here at Western and so we started looking into it. Never sat foot in Gunnison but we loved small town Colorado and we were like Durango, maybe durango’s. Not all that. Colorado has the offer as far as small towns and so we came up and checked it out and. And. I mean just like everybody else is falling in love with with Gunnison and the people and small town feel and. And and so. But it took us, we thought we wanted to move to Big Town, so we moved to Connecticut about. Like February of 2020. And then we were. Right before the pandemic hit and all that mess happened. So we. Decided to if we could ever move back to Colorado, we wouldn’t. And if things turned out where we were able to. Make it back here about a year ago, so. It we’re one of those that that comes back even if they leave, kind of like Dori laughing and came back so.

00:06:51 Dorlisa Scott

00:06:52 Daniel Bruce
Yeah, definitely understand why people do that now.

00:06:54 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, there’s a little bit of that. I think a lot of folks do that. Yeah, we we tried and that three months and went to Montana and came back and. It’s kind of a funny story. Tell me a little bit about the Rotary, so. Hey, I’m interested to know what the real mission of the Rotary is, and then I’ve got a few more questions. But who wants to take on explaining the mission of her Rotary?

00:07:23 Dorlisa Scott
Um, I can’t. So um, our Rotary Club in Gunnison is part of a smaller organization. The Rotary is an international organization and the main focus points of the. Excuse me, Rotary International are basic education and literacy, community economic development, disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, peace building and conflict prevention, water sanitation and hygiene and the environment. So that’s kind of what Rotary as a whole focuses on and they’ve had a really big part in helping to. Kind of stopped polio worldwide. So I think that’s like one of the big things that Rotary International is known for. But I think as the Gunnison Rotary, we kind of focus more on sort of like the education portion of what it Rotary International focuses on. So we fundraise money for scholarships and. Uh, whatnot to support youth education. And then we also in the Gunnison Rotary Club, a lot of our Members are passionate about just kind of staying. Connected with the community and and understanding and knowing the things that are happening in Gunnison and then also just getting to know people that we wouldn’t typically see in our day-to-day lives. And I think this year we’re definitely going to be pushing for a lot more community service just because a lot of our Members are interested in getting out there and kind of getting their hands dirty in the community. So that’s something that we definitely are. Planning on picking up this upcoming year?

00:09:22 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that. So a lot of youth focus locally and education and you are Adoria recipient of a scholarship yourself and you’ve had your heart and passion engaged with youth. Since I met you as a high school student, what is the real draw for you? Where does that come from?

00:09:46 Dorlisa Scott
Um, yeah, I guess that’s a great question. I really just love. Kids. Um. And I think like again. The youth is so important. And when I was younger I had a lot of people who believed in me and who supported me, including the Rotary Club. And I know that I probably wouldn’t have had some of the opportunities that I’ve had. And I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have people supporting me at that age and pushing me and kind of teaching me right from wrong. And yeah, I really just believing in me. And so I think to me that’s really important to kind of give that back because I know that. Um, I again. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for all of the support that I had. So I’m really passionate about like working with the youth and seeing how I can contribute to what was given to me. I guess it’s.

00:10:41 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Beautiful. And Daniel, you had mentioned you did a little research on the history of Rotary before our conversation. What? What’d you dig up?

00:10:53 Daniel Bruce
So basically. Rotary was was created because. To provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace throughout the fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Paul Harris basically started this in Chicago and I believe 1920s three. Open Note 1905, February 23rd of 1905 new there’s a 23 in there somewhere. And so. He brought it together to get professionals together and and. For integrity, integrity of business, integrity of how they run their businesses, those kind of things, but then also for friendship. Which is kind of why I joined. I mean everywhere I’ve gone because I’ve moved around quite a bit like meeting folks and so it it was, it was kind of a way where I could give back to the community but then also meet people in the community and and and and meet folks that are like minded and and create those relationships and friendships. So that was a. No brainer for me cause I. Grew up in North Carolina. My dad and mom volunteered. He was part of many civic clubs. Being a Lutheran minister, he he did that. To give back to the community also. So so I I learned it early on of how. How to do that? And it just stuck with me.

00:12:34 Matthew Kuehlhorn
That’s amazing. I was going to ask you, you know, where that comes from and so I’m hearing it’s a modelled, you know, by your, by your father by. You know, early on in life and. You know, outside of the Rotary, outside of six points, I see you giving your time in Reffing, Ed. That’s not always a you know, it’s not always a a thankful job, right? Great. But kudos to you to giving it up to the to the youth sports and to our recreational sports.

00:13:07 Daniel Bruce
Appreciate that and it’s fun. It’s I mean, but that’s that’s part of it. It’s it’s the way to give back and and and. People see that and like when you saw that, you came up and and and and called me out on it and and school. Hey, that’s pretty neat. And so I appreciate that, yeah.

00:13:27 Matthew Kuehlhorn
All right. So Rotary locally. I can only imagine and you know, I’ve been a member of the Community for a number of decades and I’ve and I’ve been to some Rotary lunches and I’ve had, I’ve seen some of the the Rotary, you know, it almost seems like there’s years where it builds strengths and then there’s there’s years where maybe some of the support is deteriorated over time. It almost from my perspective seems like we’re back into ramping up and the rotaries gaining some momentum and some strength. What is it from your perspective? How many people are involved and and where are we going?

00:14:12 Daniel Bruce
I can tell you that the. It’d be kind of neat to I’ll I’ll explain where what I’ve learned what Rotary used to be and and how they came about here. I mean we’re getting ready to celebrate 101 years here on in April at our How Yell Awards Banquet on April 29th. But when I came in I learned a little bit about what they used to do and and that kind of thing and used to be 100 Members if not more and that kind of thing they used to do. The firework display on July 4th that was they were a big part of that and and and so the fundraising for that went to do what we’re doing today. The scholarships grants for nonprofits those kind of things for youth and. And. But we but I came on too late and didn’t see the fireworks what they used to do and that kind of thing. But people still today go, oh, you’re Rotary. I love the fireworks to play this way and that kind of thing is like well, it’s a great display but we’re not a part of the the fireworks anymore. But so we had to look at other avenues of where we could fundraise. We’ve done. I mean this how yell awards banquet is A is a fundraiser for us where we recognize a pillar in the community and a student in the community and and and invite folks to come out and support that we have an auction part of it and but. But it’s. And then we also have done a. Kind of inherited a fishing tournament. From the Kiwanis Club who used to do it for 30 years and then no longer. Kiwanis clubs no longer in town, so they asked us if we would take it over and we. And have done it for the past five or six years and then last year no water in it. So we weren’t able to do it. And so now we’re trying to determine if we’re even able to sustain that fundraiser. So, so those kind of things. I’ve learned over the last 5-6 years of things that we used to do and are doing but we we seem to be able to fundraise well enough to give out four $2000 scholarships to students as well as $3000 roughly in in grants that support kids. And so it’s it’s moving forward and and when you say the excitements of Rotary is happening we’ve got 20 members now. We’ve got a great. Yeah. Leadership crew that are are looking to expand that and and are getting the word out and that and go towards service and then I’ll pass it over to Dori of what because we just had this meeting which is perfect timing of of where we’re moving forward and what we want to do.

00:17:08 Dorlisa Scott
Yeah, to kind of echo Daniel like, yes, the Rotary Club has been known for fireworks, which we don’t do anymore. The fishing tournament, which we’re not sure if we can continue doing. So we’re really kind of just trying to find that thing that we can be known for. We want people to be able to say, oh look, there’s the Rotary Club out there doing whatever it may be, which we are still trying to kind of brainstorm and and figure out we. I think there’s a lot of people in our. Community who aren’t sure what the Rotary Club is and and and they don’t know what we do and we really want to kind of get out there a little bit more to show people like OK this is what the Rotary Club does because it is a great organization and and we love being a part of it us in the club because we know what it’s about and we like spending time with each other and and doing these things with each other but you know we don’t really get out there enough I think for other people to kind of see what we’re doing. So yeah. Definitely. We do have our incoming president. She is awesome and she has a lot of energy and she’s really excited about Rotary. So we’re really excited about that. And like Daniel was saying, I think we have people who are really excited to continue to build this club and and kind of try to make it. Not necessarily just what it was before, but just build it and and make it into something new and make it into like an awesome organization, but still keeping the traditions that Rotary has always had, the community portion of it, um the community with each other and then also being involved in the community. So we have a lot of exciting things coming forward. We’re hoping that our first meeting every week because we typically meet every Wednesday, so our first week instead of doing our standard. Meeting where we just kind of come together and have a presenter. We’re going to make our first week of every month service base. So we’re all going to do something together to do a community service project. And then the second week and the 4th week are going to be our typical meetings where we come together and we have somebody come in, just somebody from the Community to speak about what’s going on in their organization. That gives us a nice time to get lunch together and also learn about the things that are happening. In the community and also when that person comes in and speaks to us seeing if there’s anything that we as the club can be doing for them as far as service goes. And then the third week of each month, we’re hoping to kind of just be able to have like a planning night for what we’re going to do in the future and kind of like a networking night, maybe grab some snacks or some drinks or something. Um. So that’s kind of where we’re going as far as our schedule goes because before. We kind of just did, um, like. Three meetings it we we are meeting at Sherpa and we just did the three where somebody from the community would come to speak, which is awesome and a super good time to connect with each other. But we weren’t really getting out there and kind of getting our hands dirty, which a lot of our Members are wanting to do now, so.

00:20:24 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that and is the Rotary for any Community member or business owners specifically.

00:20:34 Dorlisa Scott
Uh, no. It is for any Community member. So we, a lot of us aren’t business owners. I’m not a a business owner. And we can have business owners who are members and and either they can choose to come to the club themselves or they can sponsor somebody else to join the club. But it’s for anybody who’s interested in kind of just building a community with each other and getting out there and surveying.

00:21:03 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Beautiful. So it’s true civic oriented.

00:21:07 Daniel Bruce
I think that’s the neat thing is Matt, is we do have business sponsorships or business memberships like we have one here at 6 points and so anyone can go to the meetings or do and and it just. Spread to the love and they’re in the business. I mean the the motto is service above self and. I mean especially nonprofits we’re service above self and so we invite everyone to come out and and and help us. Uh and and so it’s open to to everyone. 

00:21:43 Matthew Kuehlhorn
beautiful. Like this question to land on both of you, I’m interested in both of your perspectives. So from where you sit, how might businesses and community leaders work, even? More. Together for the greater good.

00:22:05 Dorlisa Scott
You want me to go first, Daniel, or do you want to go first?

00:22:09 Daniel Bruce
Go for it.

00:22:12 Dorlisa Scott
I think one big thing could be, um, communication. I think like for me personally, I don’t. Other than like the members that we have in Rotary, we have 20 Members and probably about not all of our twenty members are active members. So I don’t even get to interact with some of the members of the club all the time. So I really. Don’t necessarily like know all of the leaders in our community and I I don’t really feel like I have like a good place. I mean, the Rotary Club could be a good place, but I don’t really. I feel like for me it’s communication because I I’d like to kind of get to know more of the business leaders locally and kind of see where their thoughts are and how we could build a better community, I think. Again, just kind of supporting each other and seeing like that was one big thing that we were missing in our club. We had all these people who are leaders of their businesses coming in and and just kind of telling us what they were doing. But then we didn’t really ask them like hey, what could we be doing for you in return. And I think that was one big thing that was missing like just in our club and I can see like community wide how that could potentially be missing as well like we know what each other do, but like I think we’re focusing more on that. Compared to what can we do for each other kind of thing. So I think just like kind of communicating and having open relationships with each other could really help. With that, and I think if we come together as a team, then we can accomplish a lot more in the Community.

00:23:53 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that. What do you see, Daniel?

00:23:58 Daniel Bruce
It’s actually kind of neat, and that’s kind of why we moved back and why we love living here is is. Cause I’ll go out and and help we’re out and about and I’ll see these community leaders. It’s a I’ll see the mayor downtown I’ll I’ll I mean having dinner right. I mean it’s just such a small town that you always run in the folks that that have these leadership positions and and and that’s the part of Rotary that I enjoy is that. With the Community project service projects that we do. I mean. When I went to the food pantry at the beginning of the month. There are so many people there that. That already knew because I run into him at other leadership or other non service. Harry is, I guess, because they’re always helping. And and then the folks that I don’t know I get to know at those events O when you say how can we work together. A lot of times we’re already are, which is kind of fascinating because you don’t get that in the bigger cities. I didn’t get that in Durango, I didn’t, but here I get that feel and. And and because people wanna help and they wanna come out and do that and and then that’s where the communication part comes in that Dori was talking about. You get to talking and then what else comes out of that. Yeah, you can have a forum, you can have all the, I mean, you invite people, but these little meetings or when you’re out providing service. Good conversations start up and then who knows what kind of ideas could come out. Yeah. And so it’s kind of fun to to go out and and see that.

00:25:43 Matthew Kuehlhorn
I love that. And I appreciate you too jumping on and really talking about the Rotary. I think it’s one of the. As as historically a quieter organization. And it’s not always on other people’s radars. And yet it is doing really good work and it’s part of the community fabric that makes this community what it is and. What I keep recognizing throughout some of my my past jobs and interactions and then my now conversations is, you know our community as what I call a lot of protective factors, a lot of supports for the youth. We still have many challenges ahead of us and it is through this collaboration, it is through the communications that we find the solutions. And so kudos to you for being a part of the Rotary. I’m really excited to get more information out there on the Rotary and potentially encourage some listeners to jump in, get their hands dirty, become a volunteer. So Dori, will you tell us how people can engage with the Rotary and find out more information on how to either get involved or to write a check?

00:26:58 Dorlisa Scott
Yeah, absolutely. So we do have a Facebook page and then we also have a website. So all of our contact information is on the website. And then you can also reach out to myself, Daniel Charles Tudor, directly. Again, our contact information is on the website. So yeah, or if, if you happen to know one of us and you want to get involved, just let us know. You can text us, call us, come up to us. Where we where we work? I’m at the bank. Daniels at 6 points. Yeah, so. These are a couple of different options. And then we have an application process and um.

00:27:40 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, is it? Our lunch is open for guests.

00:27:46 Dorlisa Scott
Yeah. So we are currently meeting at SHIRPA at noon. And again, if that changes, that information will also be updated on our website. But yeah, as of right now, guests are definitely welcome to join. Again, I would say probably reach out to one of us just so that we can. We’re aware that you’re coming and we can make sure it’s not going to be like a a business meeting. I mean, if you’re interested in joining a business meeting, of course you can. But those aren’t always our most exciting meetings to join for the first time. So, yeah, just. Definitely anybody can come to our lunches, but I’d say just give us a heads up so we can be prepared for you and we can make sure that you feel welcomed and that again, we we are. Making your first experience with Rotary like entertaining? Yeah, I guess, if you will.

00:28:40 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Beautiful. So folks listening Rotary Club of is the website. And there you’ll find contact information and reach out if you want to join a lunch to see what that’s all about and certainly reach out to see how you might be able to get involved. As I understand it, businesses can become members and then somebody from that business can represent and and be an interactive part of the Community. And the Rotary is doing great work throughout the community supporting youth and and other civic style events. I love it. Um, any closing thoughts from either of you? Or both of you.

00:29:22 Daniel Bruce
I think. One closing thought would be where we’re looking to. Get out there and then start doing thing. I think Rotary could be an Ave. for folks to to join and and. And be able to get to do that. Mean it’s very minimal membership fee. And so but. But the. Avenues where you wanna look and and where we can get you out there and and and the neat thing is is that we create leadership opportunities. I mean Dori’s not getting paid to be the President of our of our club. It’s a volunteer organization. But she learns those leadership skills or hones in on her leadership skills of what she’s already done. And so it’s it’s to me that that was very appealing whenever I came in and as a past president. It really is. A neat opportunity to to learn those skills. Also.

00:30:24 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Love that, love that.

00:30:26 Dorlisa Scott
Yeah. Yeah, I would just totally agree with Daniel. And then also just say, yeah, it’s been a really awesome experience for me, just kind of getting to know people that I, again, probably wouldn’t have ran into on my day-to-day. Life. So it’s been really nice just getting to know new people. It’s it’s an awesome community and I I’m definitely thankful that I took the leap to get to know or to join the club. So if anybody is interested in joining, definitely let us know. It’s really fun. And thank you Matt, so much for giving us this Ave. to kind of talk about the Rotary and yeah just get to share what we’re about.

00:31:12 Matthew Kuehlhorn
Yeah, I appreciate. Learning about it and I’m excited to get the information out there. And again, if you’re listening, check them out. Rotary Club, I’ve got us in OCOM and we’ll have that link in our show notes. And Dori Daniel, I appreciate you both. Thank you so much for your time.

00:31:30 Dorlisa Scott
Thank you.