Support Our Youth

The Butler AM Rotary Supports Our Youth

Saving the Playground at Butler Memorial Park

In 2017, Butler AM Rotary developed plans with Butler County Parks & Recreation to install play equipment to make Butler Memorial Park’s playground area accessible for all children as well as adults with special needs. In September 2018 we will install the ages 2-5 play equipment with the remainder to follow in 2019. Honorary and memorial bricks will be sold to create a lasting tribute to recognize donations.

UPDATE: Phase 1 of the Butler Memorial Playground project was installed Saturday, October 20, 2018. Our fundraising efforts are still ongoing and needed to pay the balance of Phase I and to pay for the next Phase II. Phase II is scheduled for installation in the Fall of 2019. Please continue your support.

We need YOUR SUPPORT for our kids and their families! Please help us “Save the Playground” at Butler Memorial Park.

Leadership Training for Teens

RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Award scholarship is awarded annually for 3 Butler County incoming high school seniors for a week at Westminster College. It challenges them in the areas of leadership, interpersonal skills, personal reflection and discovery, and service-focused application while offering opportunities to create new relationships with other students from Western Pa. In 2018 we sponsored 6 Butler youth with the help of a matching grant.

ROVA – Rotary Outstanding Youth Award is awarded annually to 4 Butler Area Vo-Tech students who are providing service to the Butler community, the school, and their peers. It is an intensive educational program to encourage leadership of youth by youth. Selection is made by the school counselor in January and February.

PFEW – Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week annually awards 1 or 2 scholarships to local incoming juniors or seniors to be part of a one-of-a-kind summer program that offers a unique and challenging opportunity to see what it is like to run their own business. They will create an “imaginary” management team to learn first-hand about the Free Enterprise System. Their task – turn their failing company into a financial success! They develop their own marketing strategies, design a website and make all of the decisions that are demanded of real life company executives. All work and no fun–NO WAY! PFEW provides students with a chance like no other – to experience what it is like to live on a college campus.

The Butler AM Rotary sponsored 6 RYLA teens this year in 2018. Pictured are ………. with current club president, Joyce Cully – United Plate Glass, and club members Dr. Stu Surkosky, – Care Chiropractic Center, and Candy Hartley – Unlimited Staffing.

Kids’ Weekend Backpack Program

Teacher Kim Thomas in Butler Elementary Schools began in 2016 with Butler AM Rotary as its primary supporter the first year through members’ food and monetary donations. We continue to help children of low-income families to have non-perishable food placed in their backpacks each Friday during the school year to insure they can eat over the weekend. The Club donated over $6500 in donations and food during this past school year.


Camp Cadet (PA State Police)

Founded in Butler County for youth ages 12-15, this statewide program is offered locally in August during a week-long training program at Camp Lutherlyn. It is designed to build leaders and strengthen character in self-discipline, respect for self and others, patriotism, and integrity. Trooper Dan Kesten (a former member of Butler AM Rotary) serves as the local coordinator. Butler AM Rotary donates $1000 annually to support this opportunity for cadets to learn valuable character and leadership traits and overcome challenges.


Kids’ Zone Purple Playground at Alameda Park

Butler AM Rotary’s state award-winning accessible playground was dedicated with a picnic reception and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, September 16, 2002. Local businesses, government officials, community service organizations and private individuals all came together in support of this worth while project. Over $500,000 in monetary and material donations were needed to complete the modern multi unit playground that features a pour-in-place rubber safety surface. It is a testament to what a newly formed Rotary club with about 20 members can do when they have a vision and work over 4 years to mobilize the community and make it happen. Long a destination for children, parents, and grandparents in the area, it is the centerpiece of Butler’s beautiful Alameda Park in Butler Township.



Our McQuistion School Friendship Bench Our Friendship Bench at McQuistion School

Our Friendship Bench was donated as part of a national effort to create a physical place at schools so that kids who can’t ask for help can receive support and the assistance they need. It encourages students to talk with and support each other while helping them to deal with depression and possible suicidal thoughts. This permanent iconic bench serves to remind students to take a moment to sit, breathe, talk, or think about their mental health and that of their friends. The intention is to inspire conversations about mental health in order to reduce the stigma and encourage more students seek help.


Financial support to local groups

Through its Butler AM Rotary Charities the club donates annually to a variety of existing and newly developing programs that provide assistance to and support for local children and youth.