Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay

 

 

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
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Home Page Stories
Dave Brann has been instrumental at working with Rotary and the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Parks Water Trail group to get the paving of the pavilion done this fall. A Rotary  District Grant collaborative project!  Here are some pictures:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Don't miss the Club Assembly this week!  Maynard has put together a great slide show  about the Health Fair and this is YOUR time to get together with your committee members and map out the rest of the year - and then share all the great things we are doing with each other!

Community Service Committee members - this is an important meeting to make some decisions,

Club Services/Membership Committee - set some concrete goals for this year to move our club and district in a positive direction,

Vocational Committee - there's lots to plan for with the Marine Trades program, scholarships and more,

International Committee - what exciting projects are you going to get involved with this year? - Youth Services - 3 outbound students! confirming host families, making presentations in the schools and RYLA in Whitehorse - so much to talk about!

Public Relations Committee - we have so much to share with our members, the community, the District - how are you going to help us share our story?

Sunshine Committee - Xmas party! revitalization of Firesides?!? Fellowship opportunities - lots to plan for the year!

I hope you will all join us this Thursday!


FRIDAY DEADLINE - NOVEMBER 17th For District Governor Nominations

 

Surely you know someone in your club or region that would make a great District Governor!

 

They have been in Rotary over 7 years and been a club President. This Friday is the deadline for submitting their application. I leave it to you, as an Awesome Rotarian, to speak with them about applying. (All paperwork and forms are listed on the District Website under the second story, Nominations)

 

And you, yes you, who fit the above criteria. We know you have the spark, drive and inclination to be a great District Governor. Where's your application?

 

This position in Rotary will broaden your horizons like you wouldn't believe. It's challenging, confidence building and rewarding all in one. The doors it opens in Rotary are endless.

 

I encourage all of you in our District to be on the look out for qualified Rotarians, even if you find them in the mirror!

 

Yours in Rotary Service,

 

Peggy Pollen, PDG 2012-2013

District 5010 Nomination Chair

(907) 388-2283

News From DG Harry
 

I wanted to send out a quick note to all of 5010 Rotarians on a couple of issues. I will also include the info in the next news letter.

 

First, thank you for your tremendous support in our membership efforts. The figures came out yesterday and our District has recruited 34 new members since the first of July. That represents an almost 2% net gain for the Rotary Year. Your efforts have placed our District in the number 1 position out of 16 Districts in our Zone. Now is the time to plug in our afterburners and go even faster. If we can get 34 net new members in the first 4 months, we can get 68 net new members in the next 8 months which will enable us to exceed our goal of 5% net new members. Don't forget my offer of a District match ($$) on membership events. First City took  me up on the offer and had a very successful social (and new members)

 

Rotary Cares For Kids has become unbelievable . The efforts and support of all of you is humbling. Thank You on behalf of so many wonderful kids who deserve a better than the hand they were dealt.

 

Third, now is the time to submit proposals for the next RI Council on Legislation. If you have an idea please submit it to your club president. Club Presidents please submit your proposals to Jane Little and I not later than 15 December. Here is the guidelines and format.

 https://rotary.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1zb6VhSSzgQXLLL.

To help you and your clubs prepare 

legislation, RI has updated the How to Propose Legislation course in Rotary’s 

Learning Center. The course can be 

found by going to My Rotary>Learning & Reference>Learning Center.

Thank All of You for being such incredible Rotarians

 

DG Harry (AKA Iceman)

 

 
A program created by Rotary scholar Marco Faggella is training engineers around the world to make buildings safer in earthquakes
By Diana Schoberg Photos by Gianluca Cecere
 
We’re in the car, and my traveling companion and local guide Marco Faggella is blasting the stereo. He wants me to hear the music of a friend of his, who has reinterpreted southern Italy’s traditional tarantella rhythms as intoxicating trance tunes. Over dinner the previous evening, Faggella, a member of the Rotary Club of Roma Nord-Est, filled me in on his Top Secret Plan to get his friend to play at the Burning Man art festival. In that conversation, Faggella also educated me on the finer points of Italian mysticism, Magna Graecia, and Pythagoras.
 
Faggella is full of grand plans: When he launched a film festival in 2009 in the beach town of Maratea in partnership with Rotary District 2100 (in part to show off the Oscar-nominated polio film The Final Inch), he called Francis Ford Coppola, whose grandparents came from the region. Coppola ended up sending a video message.  
Marco Faggella, who was left homeless by an earthquake as a child, inspects a model house that engineers use to study the effects of simulated earthquakes. 
 
I’m here to find out more about another of his big ideas, this one in his professional life. Faggella, who was trained through a Rotary scholarship, is a research associate in seismic engineering at Sapienza University of Rome. He looks at how to construct buildings – or retrofit existing ones – so that they don’t tumble down if an earthquake strikes. It’s a passion that makes sense given the earthquake risk in Italy, including in his hometown of Potenza, the city we are visiting at the instep of Italy’s boot. 
Most of the 60,000 people who die in natural disasters every year are killed by a building collapse during an earthquake in a developing country. Instead of going into reaction mode each time an earthquake strikes, Faggella thought, why not educate people to construct safer buildings so that fewer people are injured? 
 
He looked to his experiences with Rotary to come up with a plan. 
 
At the University of Basilicata at Potenza, where Faggella did some of his research, engineers have built a model house that they shake with hydraulic pistons to simulate the effects of an earthquake. It’s made of clay bricks with strong floor beams but weak columns, the way houses were built for thousands of years until modern building codes began to account for seismic activity in the first half of the 20th century. “We’ve predicted extensively how this house will behave, ” Faggella explains as he stands in front of the model. “The bricks will break. The columns will topple.” 
Around the world, people still live in these unsafe structures. “If you look at Kathmandu, a lot of Kathmandu is like this. If you look at Karachi, a lot of Karachi is like this,” Faggella says. “Houses like these can accommodate a lot of people quickly, but they account for a lot of the earthquake risk in the world.”
 
For example, on 26 December 2003, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Bam, Iran, killing more than 30,000 people and damaging 45,000 homes, many of which were built with mud bricks and didn’t comply with regulations set more than a decade earlier. Four days earlier, a 6.5 quake hit the central coast of California, where the losses were limited to two deaths and 500 damaged buildings, thanks to the implementation of modern seismic codes. 
After a series of earthquakes hit Italy in 2016, the government created financial incentives for people to retrofit their homes to make them seismically safe.
 
While we know much about earthquake-safe construction, the application of this knowledge still lags, even in a developed country such as Italy, where 60 percent of the buildings are more than 100 years old. The week before my visit, the Italian government passed guidelines to classify the seismic risk of buildings, along with tax incentives to promote retrofitting them with anti-seismic measures. A senior official from Sapienza University of Rome helped develop the rating system based on the work of the team of researchers to which Faggella belongs.  
 
Faggella had a personal experience with all this at an early age. In November 1980, when he was five years old, he was watching a soccer game with his dad in their third-floor apartment in Potenza. “All of a sudden, everything started to shake like crazy, ” he recalls. “There was rubble coming down from the ceiling. We felt like the whole house was falling apart.” His dad grabbed him, his mom picked up his two-year-old sister, and they rushed, shoeless, down the stairs onto the tiny piazza below, where a crowd of shocked people had gathered, wondering what was going on. 
 
More than 3,000 people died, and over 200,000 were left homeless as a result of the earthquake – including Faggella’s family. They spent the first night at the farm of a family friend, Faggella and his sister sleeping on a coffee table. The schools closed for a few months, so they moved with other families to a beach town two hours away. His parents never felt safe with the idea of returning to the old apartment, so they built an earthquake-proof home in the countryside.
 
Reconstruction after the 1980 quake took years, and the work was plagued by corruption and graft. Government money paid for roads to nowhere and factories that never opened. Despite millions of dollars spent in the region, 28,500 people were still living in canvas tents a decade after the earthquake.
 
You can still see the effects of the earthquake nearly 40 years later. As we drive around the city, Faggella points out the movie theater that never reopened and the clock on the town hall still stopped at 7:34, the time of the earthquake. Pre-earthquake cookie-cutter high-rises that speculators built without seismic provisions are an outrage to someone in his line of work.
 
Faggella studied seismic engineering at the University of Basilicata at Potenza, which was established after the quake. His Ph.D. adviser, Enrico Spacone, suggested he look into a Rotary scholarship for an opportunity to do research in the United States. Faggella called Gaetano Laguardia, a family friend who was a member of the Rotary Club of Potenza, who helped him through the application process. He received an Ambassadorial Scholarship, the predecessor to today’s global grant scholarships, to study at the University of California at San Diego, another city on a major fault. 
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Through a scholarship program set up by Faggella, students are conducting research in Matera, a 9,000-year-old city in southern Italy that will be a European Capital of Culture in 2019.
 
In San Diego, Faggella connected with Fary Moini, who was later honored at the U.S. White House in 2012 as one of 10 Champions of Change, and Stephen R. Brown, who went on to become a Rotary Foundation trustee. Moini and Brown, members of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, have long been involved in Rotary projects in Afghanistan, including establishing several Rotary clubs. Inspired by their work as well as that of a professional contact, Brian Tucker of GeoHazards International (a nongovernmental organization that works in disaster preparedness), Faggella successfully applied for a Rotary Peace Fellowship to study the intersection of natural disasters and peace. 
 
He was ready for a career working in developing countries, bringing his engineering background to bear, but fate intervened. As a teenager, he had been a daredevil: He was a competitive skier, he cliff dove, he did flips while wakeboarding. But when he was 17, a motorcycle accident nearly severed his foot at the ankle. Doctors saved his foot, but just barely. While in San Diego, Faggella had a bone graft, but he had to decline the peace fellowship and set aside his dreams for a career in developing countries.
 
Instead, he went back home, joined Rotary himself, and came up with his biggest idea of all: He created a scholarship program to bring students from high seismic-risk countries in Asia to the European Union to study earthquake engineering. When they return to their countries, they become professors or government officials who work to make construction safer. 
 
“I managed to get developing countries to come to me,” he says later as we look out over a ghost town that was never rebuilt after the 1980 earthquake, a destiny he is trying to prevent for other communities. “I live in a cool region that everyone wants to come to, but I’m stuck with this, let’s say, disability. Let’s just flip the story.” 
From 2010 to ’14, 104 students and researchers from 14 Asian countries studied at five European universities, funded by a €2.5 million grant from the European Union. Faggella’s Rotary district in Rome helps provide hospitality for visiting students.
 
“It’s a kind of dilemma that Rotarians face all the time,” notes Stephen Brown. “To what extent can one person make a difference that would impact hundreds, as opposed to providing food and shelter after the fact? Rotarians can’t help themselves – when there is a natural disaster, they’re going to write checks. If we look more at the cause of the problem, it’s a better investment.”
This elementary school in Potenza features braces that dissipate energy, one way to retrofit buildings to make them safer during an earthquake. 
 
Twenty-two of the scholars who went through the program were from Nepal, including Surya Narayan Shrestha, the deputy director of Nepal’s National Society for Earthquake Technology. Now he is using his knowledge in the rebuilding after its devastating earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people in April 2015. (Faggella appeared with him on Italian television shortly after the quake.)
 
Aslam Faqeer is another scholar who went through the program. Before studying in Italy, Faqeer had taken courses on seismic engineering at NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, a city where he estimates 20 to 30 percent of structures are earthquake safe. “At that time, people in Pakistan had limited knowledge,” he says. Faqeer received his Ph.D. at Sapienza University of Rome in 2015, advised by Faggella and Spacone. Now an assistant professor in Karachi, he has trained more than 120 master’s students and practicing engineers on modern seismic analysis and design, and researched how structures will perform if they are built to international standards. 
 
On my final day in Basilicata, Faggella drives me to the ancient city of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that will be a European Capital of Culture in 2019. The city dates back 9,000 years and is among the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements. Early inhabitants drilled into the city’s cliffs to make caves, then used the materials to make bricks and build houses on the caves’ faces. 
 
Looking to expand its international collaborations, the University of Basilicata at Matera asked Faggella to set up another scholarship program. This time, the initiative aimed at protecting cultural heritage sites in Latin America and Europe from natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. A total of 119 students are participating: 83 traveling from Latin America to study at schools across Europe, and 36 Europeans going to Latin America to study at universities there. The program, which is running from 2014 to 2018, is funded through a €3.7 million grant from the EU. 
 
We stop outside one of the cave buildings, but this one is surrounded by scaffolding and covered with tarps. While Matera is not in a high-risk earthquake zone, its protection is still of concern because of its cultural significance. Students here do simulation trials in the lab and advanced computer modeling before they do any work on-site. “We prefer to do it in a virtual environment rather than go and smash an artifact, ” Faggella says. 
 
Rotary’s investment in Faggella and the exponential number of students touched by the programs he has set up are paving the way to keep this and other culturally important structures around for years to come, he says. “I’ve always tried to drag the science community toward cooperating with the international aid field,” he says. “Rotary gave me the idea of how to make this have a large, global impact.” 
 
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Rotary Day at the United Nations pushes peace from concept to reality
 
By Geoff Johnson Photos by Monika Lozinska
 
On the 99th anniversary of the end of World War I, more than 1,200 people gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for Rotary Day at the United Nations. 
Representing 87 countries, they convened on Saturday, 11 November, at the Palais des Nations, originally the home of the League of Nations, and dedicated themselves to the theme introduced by Rotary President Ian H. S. Riseley: “Peace: Making a Difference.”
 
Rotary International honors six champions of peace at the United Nations on 11 November.
“The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace have always been among Rotary’s primary goals,” said Riseley. “It is past time for all of us to recognize the potential of all of our Rotary service to build peace, and approach that service with peacebuilding in mind.”
For the first time in its 13-year history, Rotary Day at the UN was held outside of New York.
Rotary Day concluded Geneva Peace Week, during which John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International, noted the “close and longstanding ties between Rotary and the UN in (their) mutual pursuit of peace and international understanding.”
Rotary members “can transform a concept like peace to a reality through service,” said Ed Futa, dean of the Rotary Representatives to the United Nations. “Peace needs to be lived rather than preached.”
During a Rotary Day highlight, Hewko introduced Rotary’s 2017 People of Action: Champions of Peace. He praised them as “an embodiment of the range and impact of our organization’s work,” and saluted them for providing “a roadmap for what more peaceful, resilient societies look like.”
Rotary honored six individuals, who each made brief remarks. They were:
1.     
Alejandro Reyes Lozano, of the Rotary Club of Bogotá Capital, Cundinamarca, Colombia: As "part of the generation that grew up with uncertainty and fear,” as he put it, Reyes Lozano played a key role in negotiating an end to the 50-year conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Now he's using a Rotary Foundation global grant to lead peacebuilding efforts among women from six Latin American countries.
2.    
Jean Best, of the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and gallowayScotland: “Without peace within ourselves we will never advance global peace,” said Best, explaining The Peace Project, the program she created to help “the future leaders of peace” develop the skills they need to resolve the conflicts in their lives.
3.    
Safina Rahman, of the Rotary Club of Dhaka Mahanagar, Bangladesh: “Education is a powerful and transformative vehicle for peace,” said Rahman, a passionate advocate for workers’ rights and workplace safety who also promotes and provides educational and vocational opportunities for girls. 
 
4.      
Ann Frisch, of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA: Frisch’s Civilian-Based Peace Process introduced the radical concept of “unarmed civilian protection” in war zones around the world. “Sustainable peace,” she said, “requires strong civilian engagement.”
 
5.      
Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow: As the president of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, USA, Sirah uses stories to foster peace, nurture empathy, and build a sense of community. “Stories matter—and I believe they matter a lot,” he said.
6.      
Taylor Cass Talbot, Rotary Peace Fellow: Currently based in Portland, Oregon, USA, Cass Talbot partnered with SWaCH, a waste-picker cooperative in India to form Pushing for Peace, which promotes safety, sanitation, and dignity for waste pickers in Pune, India. Her advocacy displays an artistic flair: her Live Debris project creatively addresses issues of waste on a global scale.
Later, the six honorees participated in workshops devoted to sustainability and peace, as well as a workshop on education, science, and peace designed by and for young leaders in which Rotaract members from around the world played a prominent role. 
Dr. Michel Zaffran, the director of polio eradication at the World Health Organization, provided an update on efforts to eradicate polio. They noted the tremendous progress made by Rotary, WHO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners in eliminating 99 percent of all global incidences of polio. 
Returning the focus to peace, Zaffran said: “This same international relationship (that’s eradicating polio),” he said, “can be used to achieve world peace.”
Zaffran was joined Her Excellency Mitsuko Shino, the deputy permanent representative of Japan to the international organizations in Geneva and co-chair of Global Polio Eradication Initiative's Polio Partners Group
In his keynote address, Riseley made a similar observation. “The work of polio eradication, has taught us . . . that when you have enough people working together, when you understand the problems and the processes, when you combine and leverage your resources, when you set a plan and set your targets — you can indeed move mountains,” he said. “And the need for action, and cooperation, is greater now than ever before.”

Earthquakes and emigration are draining the life out of rural communities. Rotarians are giving young people a reason to come back.

By Diana Schoberg      Photos by Gianluca Cecere

Arquata del Tronto was never an easy place to live. Picturesque, yes: The snowcapped peak of Monte Vettore forms the backdrop to this collection of medieval villages sandwiched between two national parks in central Italy’s Appenine Mountains. Tiny chapels line the local trails, and one village is known as the land of the fairies, a mythological place where shepherds were lured in by beautiful fairies with goat feet. But the municipality, which includes 15 villages, had a population of 1,200, and the nearest city is 15 miles away along the narrow, winding mountain roads. For a young person, for a young family, there was not much reason to stay. And that was before the earthquakes hit.  

In villages damaged by a series of earthquakes last year, Italian Rotarians are working to help rebuild not only buildings but livelihoods. 

Maurizio Paci explains all of this after he escorts us through an army checkpoint to view this community where he and his family have lived for generations, which  was reduced to rubble after three major  earthquakes hit central Italy in 2016. He experienced the tragedy up close: Here in Arquata, he has been on the municipal council for 11 years, while in nearby Amatrice, which was also pummeled during the disasters, he is a police officer. “I was hit on all sides,” he says.

It’s a cool day in March, and the wind blows a shutter open and shut, revealing the plush headboard of a bed inside one of the still-standing buildings. We see a purple ironing board peeking out of an upended roof, a squashed red car, mattresses, bed frames, and bales of hay strewn about. 

But we also see signs of hope. With the help of Rotarians, some people see a future for these abandoned towns.

It was 3:30 a.m. on 24 August when the first earthquake struck. Paci awoke to the sound of a large mirror crashing to the floor, his parents yelling. He ran outside and saw his neighbors pouring out onto the street. He went to help in Pescara del Tronto, an area village that was so devastated that the mayor told the Italian newspaper il Giornale that it looked like Aleppo, Syria. 

“I saw people dead on the street who had escaped from their homes but were hit by debris. I pulled somebody alive from the rubble,” Paci says as we stand outside the ruins. “It was really dark. Everybody was yelling. You didn’t know where to go or who to help first.” 

Nearly 300 people died in the 6.2 magnitude quake, including 50 in this area. Two more earthquakes hit the region in late October. The three in rapid succession left thousands homeless.  

Earthquakes are not unfamiliar to Italians. Two plates of the earth’s crust, the African and Eurasian plates, are slowly colliding in northeastern Italy, a geologic shift that created the Alps. Meanwhile, the entire area where that collision is happening is drifting southeast. The result is that the ground underneath the Tyrrhenian Basin – the portion of the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by mainland Italy and Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica – is being stretched apart. It’s that stretching that is causing the tectonic activity in the Apennines. 

The municipality of Arquata del Tronto was still uninhabitable six months after the earthquakes because of continuing aftershocks.

The last of the three earthquakes had a 6.6 magnitude, the strongest to hit Italy in 36 years. It created a huge crack in Monte Vettore and caused the land in a nearby village to drop 2 feet. Homes that had survived the initial earthquake were damaged. Arquata’s villages were declared uninhabitable because of the continuing aftershocks (including one early in the morning of our visit), and its residents, including Paci, now live in hotels or with family somewhere safer. A tunnel that had connected Arquata to other towns collapsed, and what had been a 15-minute trip became two hours. “The biggest problem is that people have left,” he says. “People are afraid to come back.” 

In the weeks after the first earthquake, Rotarians began meeting with members of the affected communities to find out what they needed most. “The days following the earthquake were full of phone calls from everyone who wanted to go help, who wanted to collect materials and so on,” recalls Paolo Raschiatore, 2016-17 governor of Rotary District 2090, home to about 90 percent of the communities damaged by the earthquakes. But too many well-intended helpers jammed the mountain roads, making the work for emergency crews harder, he explains. “It’s not only not necessary; it’s a problem. I asked them to stay home.”

Less than two months before the first temblor, Italian Rotarians had already embarked on a landmark earthquake initiative that was years in the making. The 2014-15 district governor-nominees had decided to focus on earthquake safety as a group, prescient given what was to come. They signed a memorandum of understanding with the national Department of Civil Protection in July 2016 in which Rotarians agreed to create a task force for disaster aid in each district. The groups would organize activities to use Rotarians’ professional skills – technical, legal, medical, and industrial – to support civil protection activities in both ordinary and emergency situations. The project had to be put on hold as the government responded to the recent disasters.

After an earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009, Rotarians had stepped in and raised €2 million to rebuild a wing of the school of engineering at the University of L’Aquila. But following the 2016 earthquakes, the Italian government promised to reconstruct the buildings. So, instead of a construction project, members of District 2090 decided to draw on their expertise as businesspeople to help the communities rebound economically and give young people a reason to return. 

The district already had an active mentoring framework called the Virgilio Association, named for Virgil, the guide in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Rotarians had founded the organization several years prior to foster new economic activity in the district. They decided to use the Virgilio Association to develop programs for young entrepreneurs, including business mentoring, marketing, and facilitating access to bank credit. 

Rotarians Vincent Mazzone and Paolo Raschiatore talk with Aleandro Petrucci (right), Arquata’s mayor, about Rotary’s role in bringing young people back to the village.

In June, the district signed agreements to build two business incubators, one in Arquata and one in Camerino, a city about 50 miles away with a university that will manage the programs to ensure sustainability. Rotarian professionals will handle the design and contracting for the construction of the facilities, which will cost an estimated €300,000 to €400,000 each. “If we want to maintain these places, it’s important to build new occupations for people, especially for young people,” Raschiatore says. They call the initiative Progetto Fenice – the Phoenix Project.  

As of the end of June, the district had raised €600,000 from Rotary members, clubs, and districts in Italy and abroad for the initiative, as well as a substantial portion from non-Rotarian donors. They launched about 20 mentoring relationships, with another 20 in the works. Rotarians are also working to create an e-commerce website to help businesspeople sell their products. “The youth are waiting on us. We absolutely can’t fail,” says Vincent Mazzone, president of the Rotary Club of Ascoli Piceno, the nearest club to Arquata. 

At the trailer serving as Arquata’s town hall, Paci introduces me to Aleandro Petrucci, the mayor of the munici-pality. Boxes are stacked along the floor in the office, and a space heater helps warm the cool mountain air. Petrucci says he has three main goals: jobs, housing – “and churches, of course,” he says with a laugh – and bringing back youth, something he’s glad to have Rotary’s help with. Just a few days earlier, Rotarians met to talk about the project. “Rotary will bring structure that would not be there without it,” he says. “That will bring jobs and young people.”

Giovanni Palaferri is precisely the kind of enterprising young person the Rotarians are trying to keep in the area. Palaferri’s home was built with anti-seismic measures, so it is still standing. But since the area is deemed uninhabitable, he makes a 40-mile daily round trip to care for the animals on his farm in Spelonga. A calf born the previous night mews as we talk, the larger cows crunching on hay in a temporary barn.

Giovanni Palaferri, who has begun raising cows on his family’s ancestral land, has joined with other young people to form a business group that is receiving assistance through the Italian Rotarians’ project.

After spending time in his early 20s traveling Europe as a tour bus driver, Palaferri returned to the area and started raising cows a year ago on property his grandfather had farmed. He wants to expand his effort to making specialty cheeses and products with the chestnuts he harvests from his and his neighbors’ properties. With other young people in the area, he founded a business association to help increase production and sales, which is receiving assistance from the Rotarians’ project. “Rotary will let this business go further,” he says. “I could go national.”

And that, he hopes, will make Arquata a destination. “The ultimate goal would be that Arquata and all of the small villages in the area will compete with the famous centers around here,” he says. “If we can put Arquata on the map, it will attract more young people to come here.”

But life is so tough here, why would anyone want to come back? 

Palaferri left this rural area to seek a better life elsewhere, but what he discovered is that this is his home. “I love it, and for me it’s the best place in the world. It’s almost like paradise when this is what you see,” he says, gesturing to the mountain view outside the barn door. 

For Paci, whose girlfriend hopes to launch a beekeeping business to sell honey and related products through the Rotary project, it’s even simpler. This is where his family has always lived. “I have the option to leave; I have a job in Amatrice. I could forget about it here. But I’m tied here because of my ancestry. 

“Before the earthquake you had to have resolve to live here,” he says. “Now my resolve is even stronger. I feel motivated not just about building a home, but building a community.” 

And that’s something Rotarians know how to do. 

-- Translations by Francesco Bruno, RI communications specialist/Europe-Africa

• Read more stories from The Rotarian

Another great success!!!!   The final count was 1087 people coming to see our health fair!!!!!

 

Looks  like we did about 900 total blood draws this year. We have done about 900+- for three years in a row. We are holding steady and exceeding our budget.

 

Expanding into the middle of the gym freed up some space in the commons and made room for everyone this year. The event took on a whole new life in the gym this year and the energy was great!

 

Set up had a few bumps but we dealt with them and  were ready on time for the exhibitors to get in at 5:30 to set up. Take down was perfect and we walked out the door  2 pm.

 

There are too many of you to thank by name. Every year  you  folks step up and make this the big successful event  our community deserves and has come to expect from our Rotary Club. Please give each other a pat on the back for our success.

 

We hear from many of the folks who travel the state doing other health  fairs that there is not one health fair that even comes close to ours in size, scope and professionalism. The folks who came up with the original  model and standards gave us a plan that has stood the test of time and continues to grow.

 

This partnership with South Peninsula Hospital is a gift to our club and to this community. The staff at SPH continue to be the best partners we could ask for. We will be treating the lab to lunch as our thank you for all  their time and effort.

 

The Rotarians and SPH staff who serve as your Rotary Health Fair committee once again have provided Homer with an incredible opportunity to "Take a Day to Be Well?

 

It has been an honor to serve as the Rotary Health Fair Coordinator. As many of you have heard me say, " In 2006 I did not even know what a health fair  was and now I am one." Just look how far we have come together. 

 

Thank you all for the cards, flowers and kind words. The people in this club are some of the very best on the planet. It takes a Rotary Club to put on such a huge successful event year after year.

 

I know you all will continue to give this event all your support and assistance.  Today is  bittersweet as I step back from my role and make room for new leaders.  I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve our community thru our club.   Gary and Van can build on what we have created and foster new innovations.

 

Here's to continued growth  and success of the Rotary Health Fair as the club moves forward to  the 35th Annual Rotary Health Fair on November 3, 2018.

 

35 years is something to be proud of!

 

 

Yours in rotary Service,

 

Sharon Minsch

Former Coordinator

Rotary Health Fair

 Pre-Health Fair Blood Draws at South Peninsula Hospital

 

At the Health Fair

 

 

 
 
Speakers
Thanksgiving
Nov 23, 2017
No Meeting
Mark Hemstreet
Nov 30, 2017
Jim Levine
Dec 07, 2017 12:00 PM
Renewable Solar Energy Production
Homer High School Swing Choir
Dec 14, 2017
Holiday Program
Holiday
Dec 21, 2017
No Meeting
Holiday
Dec 28, 2017
NO MEETING
 
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