Ruth and Rick Bot got their award and were surrounded by Minneota Rotary President Cindy Potz (left) and District Governor Steve Harrington, right.

Bots earn Rotary's Community Service Award

Ruth and Rick Bot have given themselves to their community — in extremely different ways. Thursday night the Minneota Rotary Club bestowed its highest honor on the Bots, naming them, "Community Service Award," recipients for this past year.

The Bots earned the honor that began in 1964 when Lester Christianson was named the first Minneota Community Service Award winner. Rick, who is beginning his fourth term as Rotary President, has earned honors far and wide as a Rotarian who, "Gives of himself," both here and abroad.

Ruth Bot is a teacher of 37 years, who, while partially retired, still gives of herself to her school and her students. For Ruth, it’s a matter of, “I really love what I’m doing.”

Serving his community and extending it to other communities, and even other nations, Rick Bot credits Rotary with, “Opening his eyes to needs and necessities around the world.”

He said, “We as human beings, must all help take care of one another.” For Ruth, teaching means, “Letting kids know you are there for them. It’s not just a job with a paycheck, but an opportunity to help kids grow and learn to know themselves.” She believes, “Every student has something to offer and with guidance, will blossom into productive, thinking citizens.” While Ruth has been busy on the home front, Rick has taken the word “service” to other countries.

He learned about a wheelchair program donated and sent to Hope Haven in Sioux Falls. He discovered the Minneota Manor was getting new beds and the Manor was willing to donate their old beds to Rotary. He contacted Hope Haven, an organization that works internationally. Eventually the beds were used in Liberia.

This past February he took a trip to Guatemala to help fit and prepare wheelchairs for handicapped people.” In the past 10 years, Rick has become a strong Rotarian. He is presently serving his Fourth term as president and has been an assistant governor in the district and served as District Fellowship Chair. Through his connections to Rotary, Rick serves on the Marshall area Transportation Board.

Rick’s first exposure to Rotary came when member Terry Van Keulen shared information about Polio Plus — a project which is intent to eradicate polio world-wide. That was the start and he’s been involved every since. That’s included organization and helping with Whopper Feeds to raise funds for scholarships; driving the Rotary float in parades and attending many District-wide Rotary training sessions and events. In addition to Rotary, Rick has served on the Yellow Medicine Watershed Board, the Westerheim Town Board and the Liturgy committee at St. Edward.

He ushers for funerals at the church and is a board member of the Golden Growers Co-op. As for Ruth, she’s taught business classes for 37 years.

For 25 of those years she was the yearbook advisor and was seen at many school events photographing for the yearbook. She’s often been seen on the sidelines, bleachers or at other activities so she could get the best shot. The Bots have been married for 37 years and they have four children — daughters Corinne, Carolyn, Carmen and Colleen and they have five grandchildren. “The family is the best part of our lives,” wrote Ruth Bot.

She too serves at St. Edward Church and she’s been teaching an elementary and high school CCD Class for 12 years. Together, and separately, the Bots help others.

“If it’s sharing a meal with a friend in need or simply offering a smile and a helping hand,” the Bots feel, “they’ve been blessed and are willing to assist others.”

Local Rotary supports St. Lucas Mission trip

The Minneota Rotary Club heard a presentation from Isabelle Hennen, who is going on a mission trip in August with her father, Rotarian Wayne Hennen. The club voted to donate $500 to the trip.

“Dad is a physical therapist for Big Stone Therapies. Every six months Big Stone sends 3-4 therapists to San Lucas, Guatemala to deliver braces, wheelchairs, canes, crutches, walkers and other equipment,” she said. This equipment goes to help those with disabilities.

“The people who receive these items are so appreciate and thankful for everything you do and give them,” said Isabelle Hennen. Half the money donated by the local Rotarians will go towards the cost of her plane fair and other expenses. The rest goes to the group sponsoring the trip. “Some of the people getting help are so poor, they live in shacks and many don’t even have shoes,” related Isabelle.

“I believe this will be a life-changing experiences as I learn how people live with very little and are still happy.”

“I think it will make me more patient, gentle, kind and generous towards others,” said Isabelle.

The Minneota Rotary has donated to wheelchair projects in the past and one member of the club, Rick Bot, has traveled to Guatamala to help those in need. So supporting the project was a perfect fit for the Minneota Rotary Club.

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