Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay



May 2017
Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay - Celebrating Over 30 Years Serving Homer and Abroad

Homer-Kachemak Bay

Four Way Test: True, Fair, Goodwill & Beneficial to All

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Best Western Bidarka Inn
575 Sterling Hwy
PO Box 377
Homer, AK  99603
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories

Linked through sister cities, Rotarians save newborns in Brazil

By Photographs by

A mother is in labor, and she’s frightened. Her baby isn’t due for three months. The closest hospital is 30 miles away, and although she makes it there in time, the baby is born weighing barely 2 pounds. 

And there’s another problem. 

The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit has only seven incubators, and all are in use, so the baby must be transferred to another hospital to receive the critical care he needs. If he survives the transfer, his parents will need to find a way to make trips to that hospital for months.

Many new mothers were facing similar situations at Dr. Leopoldo Bevilacqua Regional Hospital, a state-run facility in Brazil’s Ribeira Valley. Lack of equipment meant some of the hospital’s most vulnerable newborns had to be transferred, which was a factor in São Paulo state’s high infant mortality rate. 

Rotarians funded incubators, ventilators, heated cribs, vital-sign monitors, and other equipment for a state-run hospital outside São Paulo. 















































Rotarians funded incubators, ventilators, heated cribs, vital-sign monitors, and other equipment for a state-run hospital outside São Paulo.














“There are two realities here: people who can

pay for a private hospital and those who can’t,”

says Lina Shimizu, who spearheaded the project

for the Rotary Club of Registro-Ouro, Brazil.










“There are two realities here: people who can pay for a private hospital and those who can’t,” says Lina Shimizu, who spearheaded the project for the Rotary Club of Registro-Ouro, Brazil. Those who can’t, she says, often have to travel long distances to get to a state-run hospital such as Leopoldo Bevilacqua, which serves 24 towns. 

By partnering on a Rotary Foundation global grant with two clubs in Nakatsugawa, Japan, Brazilian Rotarians raised $172,500. They funded equipment including five incubators for the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which nearly doubled the hospital’s capacity to care for fragile newborns. In 2013, 129 babies were admitted to the NICU; since the completion of the project, the hospital has been able to care for about 220 babies per year. 

Other equipment provided through the grant included five ventilators, a bilirubin meter, three heated cribs, five vital-sign monitors, and a super LED microprocessed phototherapy unit to treat babies with jaundice. The grant also funded the cost of publicity to inform residents about prenatal care workshops conducted by area health workers. The publicity campaign aimed to reach mothers in remote areas who may not know what services are available to them or about the importance of prenatal care and breast-feeding. 

The Rotary clubs also used the grant to launch a publicity campaign on importance of prenatal care and breast-feeding. 


This global grant marked a turning point for Rotarians in Nakatsugawa, who had stopped contributing to international projects after experiencing difficulties on a past grant. The difference this time was in the relationship between the cities of Registro and Nakatsugawa, which established a “sister city” affiliation in 1980. 

“This was initially a project of another Brazilian club, but they spent five years trying to find a partner and funding,” Shimizu says. “We were able to implement it in three years because of our sister city relationship.”

Rotarians from both cities meet regularly to foster their friendships, alternating between Brazil and Japan, and because of their close relationship, the Japanese Rotarians felt confident that their financial contributions to the project would be managed well. In addition, Shimizu, who is of Japanese descent and speaks fluent Japanese, helped build trust and effective communication. 

A group of Japanese Rotarians visited the NICU after the project was completed. “After 37 years,” says Mitsuo Hara, a member of the Rotary Club of Nakatsugawa, “there’s a friendship and bond between Rotary members of both countries.” 

• Read more stories from The Rotarian



Rotary program boosts scientific literacy in Taiwan’s schools

The sky above the playground at Lao Mei Elementary School in New Taipei City, Taiwan, is dotted with kites of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Below, groups of students are busy making more kites and testing their construction skills in flying competitions.

To a passerby, the scene looks like just a fun day at school, but teachers know this is much more than play. It’s science, or to be exact, physics.

The basic ability to fly a kite teaches lessons of aerodynamics and physics.

Lao Mei science teacher 

“As a matter of fact, it’s pure physics. The basic ability to fly a kite teaches lessons of aerodynamics and physics,” says Lao Mei science teacher Tsai Shin Yi, who believes that making and flying kites helps students see how science affects their daily lives — including playtime — and motivates them to learn more.

And in this class, even failures are seen as positive teaching moments. When some of Yi’s students were ready to quit after several failed attempts to get their kites airborne, he asked them, “Can any of you tell me why some kites fail to fly successfully?”

The kite classes at Lao Mei School, affectionately referred to as Love Kites, Love Lao Mei, are part of the Rotary Science Education Program, the flagship project of the Rotary Club of Taipei Pei-An. The global grant project aims to improve science education for students attending public schools in rural areas of Taiwan.

“We realized that science teachers and classrooms, particularly elementary and secondary schools in rural areas, receive fewer materials and resources, and even less institutional support” than other subjects, says Pauline Leung, past governor of District 3520 in Taiwan and the club’s former president.

Applying their knowledge of physics and math, students at Lao Mei School build and fly kites during classes supported by the Rotary Science Education Program.


Local teachers and Rotary club members agree that without a proper foundation in science, students become scientifically illiterate. And science teachers need strong classroom management skills and an in-depth understanding of their subject to help their students develop an interest and aptitude for science.

“So, we designed a science education program that provides a systematic approach to learning with a number of components, including audiovisual and instructional materials, professional development, material resources, community support, and evaluation,” says Leung.

Building on the success of the Rotary Science Education Program, Lao Mei School added a new component that teaches students basic science topics using simple machines and the application of energy.


Lao Mei School has used kites to help students learn about a variety of subjects, including math, engineering, and basic science. Because of the program’s success, the school added a new component that helps students understand basic science theories, says Leung.

The program involves working with simple machines — levers, wheels, axles, gears, and pulleys — along with energy. To ensure the program’s sustainability, teachers also received training. Leung says the program is partly funded by a global grant from The Rotary Foundation with help from the Taiwan district’s international partner, Rotary District 3700 in Daegu, Korea.

“We wanted to participate in projects that support literacy and education. The Rotary Science Education Program in Taiwan exemplifies Rotary’s enduring commitment to this effort,” says Seung Ho Lee, a member of the Rotary Club of Daegu-Seongseo in District 3700.

Teachers at Lao Mei School believe that making and flying kites helps students see how science affects their daily lives — including playtime — and motivates them to learn more.


Since the Rotary Science Education Program launched three years ago, teachers in the 20 rural schools where it’s been implemented have reported a new enthusiasm for learning among their students and increased participation by students with learning difficulties.

Yi says the program has also affected teachers, adding that the professional development elements have helped teachers increase their science knowledge and improve their teaching techniques.

Last year, members of the Taipei Pei-An Rotary Club visited Lao Mei School to see the program firsthand.

“We realized that what students learn is greatly influenced by how they are taught,” says Irene Lu, club president. “The actions of science teachers are deeply influenced by their understanding of the subject matter.”

The Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom receives gift of £1.25 million from accomplished pianist and teacher

Helen Ruddock
Helen Ruddock of Suffolk, England, promoted the goals and values of Rotary through her leadership, service, and integrity.

Helen Ruddock of Suffolk, England bequeathed a generous donation of £1.25 million to The Rotary Foundation. Having passed away in 2015 at the age of 96, and although not a Rotarian herself, Mrs Ruddock had a passion for improving the lives of others.

Her introduction to Rotary and The Rotary Foundation was made by a close friend, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Halstead for a number of years.

Complying with Mrs Ruddock's wishes, the spendable earnings from her gift, known as the Helen Ruddock Foundation Endowed Fund, will exclusively fund charitable service projects in the area of water and sanitation to improve the provision of clean water and hygiene practices in communities across Africa through the Rotary Global Grants programme.

Despite not being a member of Rotary, Mrs. Ruddock exhibited many of the values of Rotary throughout her life with her involvement in her local community and by devoting her time and talents to help others.

Music was central to her life and for many years she split her time between tending the farm her parent's had owned and teaching piano, after being educated at institutions including the Royal College of Music.

She married her beloved husband Ted in 1956 and after his death in 1970 she went on to become a highly respected piano teacher, sharing her knowledge at South Lee School in Bury St. Edmunds, Fairstead House School in Newmarket and Riverwalk School, where she worked with children with severe learning difficulties.

Renowned for her ability to inspire her pupil's to get the best out of themselves, a number of those she taught went on to study at the most prestigious universities and music colleges, with many more holding fond memories of her as a teacher.

The Rotary Foundation this year celebrates its centennial anniversary. Over the last 100 years, the Foundation has funded over $3 billion worth of projects in Rotary's Six Areas of Focus in communities around the world.

Alison Budge from Ashtons Legal, who provided legal advice to Mrs Ruddock said: "We are seeing more and more clients leaving money to good causes in their Wills, and know how much these charities rely on legacy gifts. I knew Helen for many years both as a friend and a client and I greatly appreciated her lively character and indefatigable spirit. Helen was very explicit in her wishes and it was a pleasure assisting her in setting up the Helen Ruddock Foundation Endowed Fund."


Taking your club online

Charlotte Ahlberg of Färjestaden, Sweden, traveled around the world in her career as a business coach, had small children at home, and just couldn’t fit Rotary meetings into her schedule – until e-clubs came along. She joined an e-club in London in 2010; started the E-Club of 2410se, Sweden’s first e-club, in 2012; and was 2015-16 chair of the Rotary International E-Club Committee. In 2016, the Council on Legislation voted to remove the distinction of e-clubs versus traditional clubs to emphasize that both are Rotary clubs that meet in different formats. The Council also approved electronic means such as webinars, teleconferences, and live-streaming as flexible meeting options for all clubs. We spoke with Ahlberg about the Rotary club of the future.

Q: What motivates Rotarians to join clubs that meet online instead of in person? 

A: There are three reasons. One is they find it too hard to get to a meeting but they still want to support Rotary. Second, they want to visit other clubs to have networking opportunities all over the world. The third reason is the reason I joined – because the concept fits me. I need the communication online and the flexibility in the format.

Charlotte Ahlberg


Q: How have clubs rethought Rotary meetings to work online? 

A: The biggest mistake is when clubs take the traditional meeting format and just try to do it online. We need to split up what clubs do into information and communication. The first step is to focus on information. Board meetings are an easy place to start, because most people today are used to online business meetings. You send the agenda out digitally, with background information. Then you use an online meeting or a webinar to actually meet. If you are developing a document for the club, you might have an online meeting with a draft and you keep sending it around and people add things and then you’ve got the final version. 

Q: So why meet in person at all? 

A: There are things we can’t do virtually. The other day we were doing a project to feed children. It’s very difficult to pour the rice and the ingredients virtually, right? When we come together in the future, it will be for physical activities. The essence of Rotary is that we join leaders, exchange ideas, and take action. If we focus on the action part, that could be done hands-on, but the information about it beforehand could be done online. 

Q: What are some first steps for clubs that want to adapt to the changing digital climate? 

A: First, gather correct email addresses for all the members. Second, update the club’s website. The website is your club’s business card, so it should have a way to contact you. You might also have a Facebook group. Use it to chat and to drive traffic to the web page. You could also have a little film clip on the website saying, “Hi, I’m the president of this club. We would love to welcome you to one of our meetings.” Keep it simple and do it step by step.  

– Diana Schoberg

Be prepared for a lot of fun!!

    This from Cheryl Combs, the District's Youth Exchange Chair:  We are planning a small road trip with the inbound students as they wrap up their exchange year.   Beginning Sunday, June 5 2017  all 22 inbound students will be visiting the cities of Alyeska, Seward, Soldotna/Kenai, Homer, and Anchorage.  Our tour will bring the students to Homer on June 7.  Throughout the day we plan to do some sightseeing on the Homer Spit and doing some beach coming.  The students represent 19 different countries.  This could also be used as a great opportunity to showcase the program to potential students and parents in your community for future student  recruitment!   In total we will have 12 male students, and 10 female students in our group.  

At last week's meeting it was brought up that we could have a picnic/BBQ at the Karen Hornaday Park firepit​.  Keep track of the Website or, even better, come to the MEETINGS for more information!!


My report is that the conference was fun with live music 2 nights, and a DJ one night, and a couple of inspirational speakers including Past RI President Rick King.  Dave Brann did a good presentation about our Russian Club projects.  We had plenty of time to enjoy Sitka and to explore...the final event ended at 10am on Sunday, and most of us were on the 7pm flight back to that gave us most of a day!  We had an umbrella parade that was also fun.

Next year's DC will be in Seward on 18-20.  If people register before end December, they receive a discount...go to the District website to


Mari Anne and Maynard Gross donated a bunch of items for the Youth Exchange Auction (on behalf of our club) which is held at the DC and where every club is expected to donate item(s) worth at least $75.  We were able to keep track of one of the Gross' items because the bidding on it was "fierce"...that item raised $115, and all their items raised good money, - each was bid separately and we couldn't keep track of the earnings on them all.  So that was wonderful.

Kathy Hill donated some Rotary shirts.  However, the youth exchange person in charge of the auction mistakenly took those home with her (in Sitka) so they weren't available for the auction, much to my annoyance since I had packed them all and given them to the organizers of the auction, along with the Gross' gifts!  I was later told that they would auction of the shirts at another venue...


Rotary Exchange Students in Opening Ceremony

Homer Rotarians and an Old Friend

Dave Brann Delivers Report on Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club's Activities in Russia and Neighboring Countries

Clyde and Beth

Tom and Sandy Line Dancing

Tom, Sandy, Beth, and Others Dancing

Louise at Rotary District 5010 Conference



Rotary’s highest honor recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering
their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive and is granted to no more than 150
Rotarians worldwide, and no more than one from each district, each year.
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