Our speaker, Peggie Thornsen of the Rotary Club of Marlborough, explained how to organize and run a Reality Fair for high school students. On March 15th, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is organizing a Reality Fair at Nashoba Regional High School.


Reality Fair Preparations:

  • The Rotary Club works with a faculty advisor from the high school.
  • The chair of the Reality Fair Committee recruits volunteers from the community to participate at the fair.
  • Members of the Business Professionals of America (BPA) student group at the high school do the pre-fair preparation in the classrooms.  They explain to high school seniors what will happen at the Reality Fair.
  • Sponsor – The DCU (Digital Credit Union) has given $2,500 to the Rotary Club of Marlborough to sponsor the fair.  With this donation, pad folios are purchased to give to each participating student.

Reality Fair – How it Works:

  • Each student selects a career and receives a paycheck.  (The name of the Reality Fair’s sponsor is printed on the check.)  (Peggie suggested that our club might want to use debit cards instead of buying $500 of paper Rotary money.)
  • The students go to the paymaster and get Rotary paper money.  (Banks like to participate in the Reality Fair.)
  • Students support themselves with this money, purchasing necessities like: housing, transportation, insurance, food, health care, clothing, pets, utilities, charity, retirement planning, and student loans.  (Peggie suggested asking local real estate companies, super markets, clothes stores, utility companies, etc. to participate at the event.)
  • Wheel of Fortune – Students get unexpected life events like an auto accident, dental bill or unplanned pregnancy at the wheel of fortune and need to pay the bills.
  • Credit Counselors – As students run low on Rotary money, they meet with a credit counselor.  If the students aren’t making enough money, the credit counselors suggest ways to save money or get a part time job.
  • Temptations – Students are given opportunities to buy movie tickets, health club memberships, cell phones, cable TV, trips, electronics, etc.
  • Bad credit card deals – Companies selling credit cards with bad deals are often found at colleges.  The students get a chance to hear the sales pitch for a bad credit card and buy it.
  • Evaluations – At the end of the Reality Fair students are asked to fill out evaluation forms.  Their suggestions are used to improve future Reality Fairs.

Visitors and Publicity: Peggie advised us to let everyone know about this event and how great we are.  She suggested that we invite local dignitaries like politicians, the Chamber of Commerce, the police chiefs, fire chiefs, and the press to the event.

Guests: Kevin Fry (Rotary Club of Acton/Boxborough President Elect), Marvin Gould (Rotary Club of Acton/Boxborough, Membership Chair), Chris Tchorznicki, Peggie Thornsen (Rotary Club of Marlborough, Reality Fair Organizer)

Happy/Sad Fines: 

Happy Fines
  • Cyndi was happy to be at the meeting
  • Carol was happy that two members of the Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough were at the meeting.
  • Rich G was happy that his cataract surgery was successful.
  • Richard S was happy that the presentations he made at Pennsylvania Rotary Clubs were successful.  He has already received 800 tubes of toothpaste!
  • Mary was happy that RichG’s cataract surgery was successful.
  • Laura was happy that the Social Media Rotary event was good and that she attended Hudson’s Rotary Club meeting.
  • Bob was happy to have the Acton-Boxborough Rotary Club visitors.
  • Karin was happy to owe money for members who have attended meetings of other Rotary Clubs.  She handed out a list of the locations and times of area Rotary Club meetings.
Sad Fines
  • Cyndi was sad that her daughter has stomach flu.
  • Rich G was sad that he needed cataract surgery.
  • Barbara was sad that she could not write fast enough to record all of the happy and sad fines!

Non Club Announcements:

  • Bolton Lions’ Club is having an “I Love Valentines” gala to benefit the Perkins School for the Blind on February 9.  Tickets are $125/person or a table of 8 for $875.  For more information go to the Bolton Lions’ Club’s website: www.boltonlions.org.
  • Volunteer Advocate Training for the Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN) begins February 25.  Contact DVSN at (978) 318-3421 to sign up.

Club Announcements:

  • Reminder:  If you attend another Rotary Club’s meeting, District event or a Committee meeting, it counts as a make-up meeting.  Remember to email Allison about your make-ups.
  • Friends of Minuteman Air Field meeting tonight immediately following our meeting.  The summer Cruise Nights will be discussed at the FOMA meeting.
  • There is a Board meeting on January 29 5:30 p.m. at Slater's.
  • The Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough will have its second annual human dog sledding event at Nara Park on February 2 at noon.  We need four people to enter this event.  Perhaps we can get members of our Interact Club to join the team.
  • Super Bowl Baskets for East Fitchburg Rotary Club’s Fundraiser: Since the East Fitchburg Club is donating $1,000 toward our Mobile Dental Clinic project, we are giving them two baskets to raffle off at their Super Bowl fundraiser.
  • Reality Fair Committee Meeting February 4 5:30 p.m. at Papa Gino’s in Stow to prepare for the March 15 Reality Fair at NRHS.
  • Nashoba Regional High School – Reality Fair on March 15
  • We have received our membership packet to the RYLA program.  We need to tell District by February 15 how many students we are sending to RYLA and pay for them.  We expect to send 2 or 3 students.
  • Clubrunner – Karin encouraged us to log in to Clubrunner to see our club’s new website.  Thanks to Ron for his work setting up Clubrunner!
  • Mobile Dental Clinic project update – RichardS told us that he met with several Rotary Clubs in Pennsylvania and told them about the project.  He expects the Haverford club to donate about $1,500.  Richard plans a return trip to Pennsylvania in March and hopes to raise a total of $4,000 to $5,000.  Ralph Hammond is working to get a grant application submitted to Rotary from the Dominican Republic.  After his grant application is approved, our mobile dental clinic project will be an approved Foundation project.  At our February 14 meeting Dr. David Paul from Tufts University will talk to us about the need for our dental mobile clinic.  Richard also reported that he and Dana retrieved two dental chairs, an autoclave, etc. from a dentist’s office and stored the equipment in Richard’s garage.

About Rotary:

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley serves the communities of Bolton, Lancaster, and Stow. Rotarians are business, community, and professional leaders who meet weekly to plan service projects; discuss local, national, and international issues; and enjoy fellowship. For more club information, contact Club President, Karin Gaffney, at karin.m.gaffney@rbscitizens.com or 978-387-5369.

Founded in Chicago in 1905 as the world's first volunteer service organization, Rotary has 1.2 million members who provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and promote world peace. About 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas address today's challenges - including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and environmental concerns - while encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations. For more information, go to www.rotary.org.

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