Club Updates

The members of the Lakeshore United Rotaract club will be skydiving for the fundraiser this Sunday morning at 9 AM. This jump was delayed because of rain and will take place at the Grand Haven airport.
Lou Hallacy's son sent the club a copy of the book telling the history of our club from 1920-1959. He was sorting through his Dad's things and wanted to make sure we had a copy for our archives.

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Water Project

Charles Elwood told us the story of how we became connected with the water project at Pine Ridge. First, he showed us a video that Olympian Billy Mills made for the Rotarians involved.
Billy won a gold medal for the 10K run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He was taught by Oglala Lakota elders that it was important to give back. He created a foundation called "Running Strong" to help indigenous people. When he went to Pine Ridge and asked the elders what would be their first priority need, they said water. The groundwater is contaminated with uranium and arsenic and it shortens the life expectancy by 15 years. He concluded the video by saying "Rotarians what you are doing is sacred".

How did we get involved?


In 2019 Charles formed the 3DC19 project along with other Rotarians and Non-Rotarians. This project created various types of PPE and distributed them without charge to hospitals and other organizations throughout the Americas.

One of the orders went to the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe at Pine Ridge. When Charles contacted Ken Lone Elk about additional needs for the pandemic, Ken said that Charles should deliver the following order in person because he was going to visit his parents.

Houses on Pine Ridge are on large plots of land that were initially given to each family when the tribe was relocated to Pine Ridge. There are a few cities, but no residents. This makes laying water pipes to houses a significant project. It also made Charles' job finding Ken Lone Elk difficult.

After going to multiple residences, Charles eventually ended up at the house of Ken's granddaughter and delivered the PPE. This was significant because she works in the Emergency Room at Wounded Knee Hospital.

After Charles and his family proceeded on to his parents, Ken called him and apologized for being called away on family business. Charles and his family stopped again at the reservation on their way back. It was then that Charles and Ken were able to talk about water projects. Holland Rotary, the Rotary Club of Boulder CO, and other Rotary Clubs have gotten involved with Running Strong to provide water to about 50 residences.

This partnership has led to other projects, including.

  • A 3D printer for the Running Strong organization.
  • Artificial Intelligence equipment to help with pepper plant yield.
  • 3D printed shoehorns for residents of the new nursing homes on tribal land.
  • High-speed internet access through a donation from Steelcase of wireless equipment.