Steamboat Springs residents Sarah Kostin, left, and Mike Forney review their Group Study Exchange team's itinerary for a five-week cultural and vocational visit to New South Wales, Australia. The Rotary International-funded exchange begins Saturday, when Kostin and Forney will join four other team members for the long trip from Denver International Airport to Sydney, Australia.

Courtesy photo

Steamboat Springs residents Sarah Kostin, left, and Mike Forney review their Group Study Exchange team's itinerary for a five-week cultural and vocational visit to New South Wales, Australia. The Rotary International-funded exchange begins Saturday, when Kostin and Forney will join four other team members for the long trip from Denver International Airport to Sydney, Australia.

2 residents headed to Australia for exchange

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— Two Steamboat Springs residents take off Saturday for a five-week cultural and vocational exchange to New South Wales, Australia. The Group Study Exchange trip is a program funded by Rotary International.

Sarah Kostin, youth services librarian at Bud Werner Memor­ial Library, and Mike Forney, a current member and past president of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, were named to the six-person exchange team late last year. Forney is the team’s leader, and Kostin is one of its five non-Rotarian members.

Rotary International funds Group Study Exchange trips to promote cultural understanding and professional development. Last year, Rotary International sent 500 teams to 77 countries. Typically, two Rotary districts agree to swap Group Study Ex­­chan­ge teams. A team from New South Wales will visit Colorado and Wyoming this spring.

Forney is at least the third member of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs to lead a Group Study Exchange team. Sandy Evans Hall led a team to southern Chile in 2009, and Jim Steinberg led a team to Italy several years ago.

Joining Kostin and Forney on this year’s trip are Tiffany Leh­man, a Fort Collins life coach; Joshua Mallonee, a program coordinator at Wilderness Adventures in Jackson, Wyo.; Leslie Sampson, senior vice president of human resources for Home State Bank in Loveland; and Matthew Weisman, information technology director for the town of Jackson, Wyo.

Steamboat’s two Rotary Clubs will seek applicants this fall for next year’s Group Study Exchange team. Look for those announcements in the News in Brief section of the Steamboat Today.

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