This is a "news" item for the Club and for the bulletin.

The International Committee approved a $500 donation to the Altruist Relief Kitchen (ARK), a not for profit organization that provides emergency relief to people in natural disasters and to refugees at the USA border.  The founder of this organization is Lucas Wilcox who was the guest of Clyde and Vivian at Rotary on the 11th. 


Lucas Wilcox will be a speaker at our club meeting on May 2.   Lucas will not solicit funds because his presentations are not about fund raising.  He is interested in sharing what his organization is doing and he wants to get feedback, advice and learn from others' expertise to improve his organization and the services he delivers.  It seems as though the ARK is following four of Rotary's areas of focus:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution 
  • Disease prevention and treatment 
  • Water and sanitation 
  • Maternal and child health
Read more about ARK at < > or on FaceBook at < >
Altruist Relief Kitchen 2019-04-17 08:00:00Z 0
Column: A would-be hustler learns to appreciate the game despite the odds
By Kevin Cook
My Tuesday nights used to be relaxing. I’d open a beer, watch a ballgame, do a crossword if I was feeling adventurous. Then my wife came home with news.  
“José runs a pool league on Tuesdays,” she said. “I told him you’re great at pool. Want to check it out?”
There were some good ballgames on that night. But, I thought, maybe it was time for something more challenging. Something new. 
There’s nothing more cinematic than walking into a poolroom. When I went to the bar that hosts the league, I heard the balls clacking and saw the players leaning over the emerald-green tables, calling their shots.
“Five in the corner.” Down went the orange ball.
“Ten off the 12.” Clack clack and the 12 fell in. 
I found my team captain watching the action from a barstool. Phil, a sleepy-eyed psychology professor at Smith College, thanked me for signing up. I told him I hadn’t played since college, 40 years ago. “I thought I’d just watch —”
“You’re up.”
My opponent shook my hand. “I’m Doyle.” He racked the balls, drew back his custom-made cue, and bang — sent them flying all over the table. Two balls fell into pockets. Doyle made two more before it was my turn.
The game was eight ball, the most popular form of pool. Picking a stick from a rack on the wall, I chalked the tip. It seemed like the thing a league player would do. I made an easy shot but left the cue ball in the wrong place. The rules say your shot must strike one of your own balls first, and I was literally behind the eight ball. Another rule of eight ball is that you have to call your shot. Good players do so with confidence, but I was guessing. “Ten in the side?” 
I banked the cue ball off the 10, which rolled into the pocket. Doyle was impressed. He whistled and said, “Phil, you brought a ringer!” 
Phil called it a highlight-reel shot. Unfortunately, that was my whole highlight reel. Still, Phil said, I’d had a good showing, losing a close one. “You’ll get ’em next week.” 
But I didn’t. Week after week, I lost. There were sharks in the league who could beat me on their worst day, but the tuna and mackerel ate me up too. I liked the guys on my team: Phil and another professor, Jamie, who could beat everybody except an elderly player who looked like Sigmund Freud (“When I play him, I get a complex”), and Eric, a burly bartender. But I was letting them down. 
One night Phil told me I had an easy assignment: thin, bearded Zeke, who knocked in two of my balls but won when I sank the eight ball by mistake.
“Think positive,” said Phil, the psych professor. “We’ll get ’em next week.” But we didn’t. Thanks largely to me, we sank into last place. I started dreading Tuesdays — the consolation handshakes and the long walk home. When my wife asked how it was going, I told her I quit. 
Thirty-five million Americans play recreational pool. Many of them are baby boomers like me, who remember when pool was cool. We wanted to be like Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler, going up against Minnesota Fats. 
To play a sport is to be part of its history, and pool has great history. Minnesota Fats, played by Jackie Gleason in the movie, was a real barnstorming hustler who once hit a shot while the pool-hall floor, unable to hold his weight, collapsed under him. Fats made the shot while plunging through the floor to the bar below, where he dusted himself off and ordered a drink.
But as anyone who has tried it knows, pool’s harder than it looks in movies. One advantage today’s players have is that you can learn a lot online. You’ll find experts demonstrating every sort of shot on YouTube. One of the best tactics is easy: By angling your cue downward you can apply backspin, making the cue ball stop or back up.
After watching the experts, I wanted to try out a few new shots. Why not? Even a quitter can rent a table. 
It wasn’t glamorous, racking and re-racking balls, practicing alone, but it was interesting. Sixteen balls on a table the size of a queen bed make for more angles than a computer can calculate, but an afternoon of practice gave me new looks at them. Bank shots began making angular sense. I saw why you don’t want to hit the cue ball harder than necessary and how sidespin adds or subtracts to its angle off a rail.
There’s one question the experts haven’t solved: What’s the best way to break? Six hundred years after the game evolved from croquet in 15th-century France, with green cloth on the table to evoke the grass of croquet courts, there’s still no consensus. Some players hit the cue ball with overspin. Some smash it into one side of the racked balls. Some make it hop in the air on contact with the racked balls. 
Trying every sort of break I’d seen on YouTube, I wondered if I’d quit too soon. Maybe I should be more like Elaine. One of only two women in the league, Elaine was petite enough to put her at a disadvantage on the break. She couldn’t smash the ball as hard as most of the guys, but she didn’t give up. She’d played me twice and won both times.
Life seems to speed up every year, and the faster it gets, the more quick fixes it offers. But maybe there’s still something to be said for stick-to-itiveness. As Minnesota Fats used to say, “If something’s hard, most folks won’t even try. That’s my edge on them.” 
Fast Eddie Felson didn’t quit. He came back 25 years later in "The Color of Money," the sequel to "The Hustler." Paul Newman was 61 at the time — my age now. He yanked a house cue off the rack and took on Tom Cruise. Fast Eddie’s only concession to age was a new pair of eyeglasses. Maybe I could win a game or two with a little more practice and a trip to the optometrist. 
So I gave the pool league another week. What did I have to lose but a little more self-esteem? Maybe there are more important things. Competition. Camaraderie. A challenge.  
That week I faced José, hottest stick in the league. “Your break,” he said.
I reared back and tried to bash ’em on the nose. To my surprise, the seven ball fell in. That made me solids, aiming for balls one through six, and what do you know — the five and six were perched next to pockets. I bagged those two bunnies and then, by sheer accident, the cue ball rolled to a spot between two more of my solids. I tapped them in, putting backspin on the cue ball. The yellow one ball beckoned from a far corner. 
“Ace in the corner,” I said. And knocked it in. José tapped the butt of his cue on the floor — a pool player’s applause. I had a chance to run the table. 
The eight ball hugged the rail 80 inches away, a tough shot. Lining it up, giving myself about a 10 percent chance, I decided to stay in the league.
• Kevin Cook’s new book is "Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink." Read more stories from The Rotarian.
The Hustler 2019-04-17 08:00:00Z 0
A Day In Homer With Some Exchange Students 2019-04-17 08:00:00Z 0
Are you in danger of getting Diabetes?  Do you want to know more about preventing diabetes, or perhaps keeping yourself from getting diabetes?  Check out the posters below.  A program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is looking for volunteers to take part in a study to help prevent diabetes.  Please check out the posters below, and if you are interested, please contact Leslie Shallcross and take part in the program.
Diabetes--Prevention and Detection 2019-04-16 08:00:00Z 0
They want a productive second act, but not everyone wants to be written into the script
By Joe Queenan
Shortly before my good friend T.J. decided to retire from his high-powered job, I suggested that we collaborate on a play. T.J., who had abandoned a career as an actor and playwright 30 years earlier, almost immediately sent me an engaging one-act play called Alms. I quickly got to work writing jokes and rearranging scenes, and within a month we had the play ready to go.
Before we could schedule a public reading of Alms, T.J. sent me a second play. Because I am still an active member of the workforce, I could not immediately give it the attention it deserved. By the time I started to work up a head of steam, T.J. had sent me the first 40 pages of a third play about two brothers divided by their opposing political beliefs. And he was already sketching out a fourth collaboration. 
It is a basic principle of warfare that you must never fight a war on more than one front. I learned this too late, as did Napoleon. And so I soon found myself facing the same situation as Bonaparte at Waterloo — so preoccupied with the English army directly in front of me that I never noticed the Prussian army sneaking in from the side. Because T.J., who was not even officially retired yet, was not the only Type A person I knew. I have a number of friends who have recently retired, and none of them is going gentle into that good night. They are attacking retirement with all the passion with which they had attacked their careers. And they expect me to help them do it.
Was I free for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Could I go to the Army-Air Force game up at West Point? How about the New York Knicks developmental league game in White Plains? They had an extra ticket for La Traviata. They had an extra ticket for La Bohème. They had an extra ticket for everything.
Alas, these outings were not innocuous social get-togethers, but heavy-duty work sessions. While we were at the game or the film or the opera, they would spring the trap. Could I give a speech at an event they were organizing? Could I read a memoir they had just written? Any chance of my pitching in and helping with their foundation that helps teach ex-cons marketable skills?
Or consider this. My best friend, Rob, retired from the IRS in his late 50s. That left him with a lot of time on his hands. He filled it in various ways: estate planning, helping a sick friend sell his house, the usual. Then one day, thanks to Facebook, he found out that he was living not 15 minutes away from the lead guitarist in the garage band we had played in 43 years earlier while growing up in Philly. Feelers were put out and the bass player from the band was run to earth, and soon the Phase Shift Network had a joyous reunion. At first we merely got together to play “Sunshine of Your Love” and talk about the good old days before Billy Joel showed up on the scene and ruined life as we know it. But then we got a drummer off Craigslist. And then things got serious. And then we started playing all the time. 
Unfortunately, those guys all live in or around Philadelphia, while I live 120 miles away. I found myself flying up and down the dreaded Jersey Turnpike every fourth Sunday, playing “Hey Joe” with a band consisting of the retired, the semi-retired, and the soon-to-be retired. Fortunate son? I think not.
Last year we hired a hall and held a concert for a hundred of our friends. It was great fun. But after that, exhausted by all the travel, I suggested to Rob that we scale back the live music for a while and write a musical together. Rob quickly sent me 30 jaunty, exquisitely crafted songs. All we needed now was a script — which I could easily bang out if I weren’t already writing four full-length plays with T.J.
In olden days, people did not retire. They simply died. This made it impossible to write a musical. But as life expectancies lengthened, people began to live a long time after retirement. That first wave of retirees knew what to do once their race was run. They fished. They knitted. They read Master and Commander novels. They traveled. And they did all this at a relaxed pace. They did not overcommit. They did not overschedule. They chilled.
The first wave of the retirees among my own acquaintance fit into this laid-back, reassuringly generic mold. They packed in their jobs selling computers and moved to Hawaii, sending me an annual postcard telling me how much fun they were having golfing. Or playing tennis. That was fine with me, as I loathe both sports. And as I had no desire to learn Portuguese, or visit those amazing waterfalls in Argentina, or get a master’s degree in theology, their retirement activities did not make me envious. 
But then the second wave of retirees arrived. These were not laid-back old geezers happy to play bridge and drift down the Rhône in a houseboat and learn Introductory Sanskrit to help stave off Alzheimer’s. These were Type A retirees. They had seized life by the throat when they were working, and they were going to seize it by the throat now that they were retired. They were going to serve on the board of their local health clinic. They were going to chair fundraisers for the public schools. They were going to get things built, bills passed, politicians elected.
Once retired, Type A people — accustomed to delegating responsibility to others — must cast about for someone new to task with demanding chores. In my circle of friends, because I am self-employed and therefore appear to have lots of time on my hands, that someone is me. 
I am not a Type A person. I am not a 24/7 kind of guy. I do not take it to the limit one more time. I don’t even take it to the limit the first time. I am not the kind of person who gets things done yesterday. I get them done when I feel like it. Often I do not get them done at all.
But because I am now hemmed in by high-energy retirees, I have been plunged into a vicariously stressful Type A life. I am writing introduc-tions to books. I am listening to self-recorded compact discs. I am reading family histories, self-published astrological guides, novels involving hipster werewolves masquerading as hedge fund managers. It is quite, quite laborious. 
If retirees would embrace their traditional role and sit on the porch whittling or making quilts, the rest of us could breathe easy. But because so many of them fall into the Type A category, the rest of us find ourselves struggling to keep up. 
That’s why we need to cajole our Type A friends into doing things that will get them all tuckered out so they’ll leave us alone. That’s where golf comes in. Despite its negligible merits as a sport, golf performs a positive societal function because it takes four or five hours to finish 18 holes. Five hours spent playing golf is five hours that can’t be spent asking other people to read your self-published book of haiku. That’s why I never disparage the game in front of my retired friends. 
Nor do I ever discourage people from taking a year off to hike the Appalachian Trail or live on a houseboat in Tierra del Fuego. Take two years, guys. Take 10. For similar reasons, I never talk down bridge. I never make fun of people for playing bingo or attending supper club productions of Pal Joey. If retirees want to jump into the Winnebago and visit all 50 state capitals, to them I say, “Godspeed.” I even encourage them to visit every baseball stadium while they’re at it, or go to England and spend a month in the room where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, or visit the house where the lead singer from the Small Faces grew up. To deal with the coming onslaught of Type A retirees, the rest of us need to encourage them to sign up for Danish classes, join the Peace Corps, replace the roof on every abandoned house in the South Bronx, or go on long, long, long trips to Nepal. Otherwise, we’ll never have a minute’s peace. 
• Joe Queenan is a freelance writer based in Tarrytown, New York.                             Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Type A Retirees 2019-04-10 08:00:00Z 0
Why the last mile is so important 
      with Michael K. McGovern
               International PolioPlus Committee Chair
1. There were more cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 than in 2017. Should we be discouraged?  
No, not at all. We’ve always expected the number of cases to fluctuate somewhat as we get closer to zero. We’ve gone four straight years with fewer than 100 cases per year. That’s an indicator of great progress. With dedication from governments and Rotarians in areas still affected by polio, we’ll get there. 
2. Why is it so difficult to eradicate a disease like polio?
Remember that even in the United States, where the polio vaccine was readily available, it still took 20 years to become polio-free. And the areas we are working in now don’t have health systems that are as well-developed as in the United States. 
3. What challenges are you seeing now?
We have been working intensely in the endemic countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan — for a number of years, and some of the citizens in those countries are getting concerned that we are spending money on polio eradication when they have so many other needs. There’s some resistance to keep on receiving immunizations for polio, and polio alone. Our challenge is to find ways to provide other services to the citizens and children so we still have the parental support we need — to provide the “plus” in PolioPlus. 
4. What role does armed conflict play in those areas?
It makes the logistics of immunization far more difficult. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative partnership is not only dealing with governments — we’re dealing with anti-government elements as well. While we’ve worked to gain everyone’s trust and support, we’ve had areas that were inaccessible to immunization teams for months and sometimes years at a time. 
5. Do immunization teams know when they miss children? Or are there children they don’t even know about?
I think we have a good handle now on knowing when and where we’re missing children. The challenge is to keep reducing the number we miss. In Nigeria, we have done a lot of work since we were surprised by the discovery of several polio cases in Borno state in 2016, two years after the country had last seen a polio case. We now know through GPS mapping where the children are, and we are working with authorities there to make sure all children receive the polio vaccine.
6. Where are we seeing successes?
We haven’t had any cases of wild poliovirus anywhere in the world in nearly five years except in the three endemic countries. And in Nigeria, it’s been almost three years since we had any wild poliovirus cases, and those occurred in a small area of the country.
7. What’s the most important thing Rotarians should know?
I’ve been extremely impressed with the dedication and persistence of Rotarians in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. They are working hard to make sure polio is eradicated. It’s pretty amazing what they do in those countries.
Rotarians should continue to be optimistic and to support eradication. We also need Rotarians to bring the need for continued funding to the attention of their government leaders. We can’t lose sight of the goal.
— Diana Schoberg
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Top of Form
7 Questions About Polio  2019-04-10 08:00:00Z 0

The Club's International Committee is asking your help filling out this schedule by giving them ideas, and making commitments to host, hold a social event, help with a volunteer activity, take Maria on a fun event, and/or provide a job experience for her.

Please contact Clyde, Sue, or Vivian for information or to assist.

Maria Kupchinskaya – Russian Intern – July 5-19, 2019 for RC of Homer-Kachemak Bay
Tentative intern experiences, cultural, volunteer, and social events, plus hosts
Work opportunities   (Check on Ulmer's, NOMAR, Chamber, South Peninsula Hospital, City of Homer - Katie Koester and Rick Abboud – city planning, Harbor, water and sewer utilities, Peony farms, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust)
All day options:
Save U More, Mark Hemstreet.
Optometrist business, Andrew Peter
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Beth Trowbridge
Ist National Bank, Cinda Martin? Needs permission
Coal Point, Craig will ask
Half day or less
Van Hawkins and Clark Cripps – Financial advising/consulting, etc.
Charlie Franz?
Volunteer options:  Food Pantry, AKF&G, Kachemak Advocates of Recycling, Farmer’s market,  
Host options: Van Hawkins, Andrew Peter, Vivian and Clyde
Fun options:  Minus tide on July 6.7.8; Send her on CACS tour to Peterson Bay?; Hiking? Boat cruise, Fishing, Dinner with Rotarians, Farmer’s market,
News and a Request From the International Committee 2019-04-03 08:00:00Z 0
How Rotarians are already fighting climate change
By Diana Schoberg
Rotarians are doers. Show them a problem and they look for solutions. But a global problem such as climate change might seem daunting to even the most resourceful Rotary member. 
Our climate change series
Rotarians understand that the whole world is their backyard. They can see the effects of climate change in communities they care about, and they haven’t waited to take action. They’re tackling the problem the way they always do: coming up with projects, using their connections to change policy — and planning for the future.
Read our series to see:
Break that complex problem down into smaller pieces, however, and you find there are many things Rotarians can do — and are already doing, with help from The Rotary Foundation. 
A coalition of researchers and scientists led by environmentalist and writer Paul Hawken mathematically modeled the climatic and economic impact of potential solutions to learn which ones would yield the best results for people and the planet. The list, compiled in a 2017 book called "Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming," included some surprising possibilities, such as educating girls, promoting family planning, and assisting farmers. As it happens, all of those align with Rotary’s areas of focus. 
Drawdown researchers ranked solutions from 1 to 80 based on their potential to avert or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We looked at those rankings alongside global grant projects to see how Rotarians are already helping to fight climate change.
Photo by Brounat
Family planning
Drawdown ranking: 7
In lower-income countries, the Drawdown authors write, 214 million women who want more control over their pregnancies lack access to contraception, which leads to about 74 million unintended pregnancies each year. Giving women the health care they want and need also benefits the planet, reducing population growth as well as greenhouse gas emissions. 
Pregnant women who gave interviews to Rotarians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said that family planning was their top priority — a sentiment echoed by their families and doctors.
This led the Rotary clubs of Finot, Ethiopia, and Darmstadt, Germany, to develop a global grant project that trained skilled birth attendants and midwives in three health centers to provide family planning counseling. Medical staff also conducted home-based counseling for 1,500 women and organized a one-day family planning workshop for 90 women who were receiving obstetric care.
Photo by Ijeab
Girls’ education
Drawdown ranking: 6
A woman with no schooling has four or five more children than a woman with 12 years of schooling, which means that educating girls will have a huge impact on population growth.
While the regions of the world with growing populations are often the ones with the lowest per capita carbon emissions, reducing fertility rates will still have massive benefits — not only for the planet but also in reducing intergenerational poverty. And, the Drawdown authors note, one study found that educating girls is the single most important factor in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, which occur more frequently with the extreme weather events associated with climate change. 
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, about 90 percent of Roma women are illiterate and less than 15 percent of Roma children go to school, leaving them vulnerable to human trafficking, among other things.
The Rotary clubs of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Denver, Colorado, partnered with a local nonprofit on a global grant project that mentored 80 families with at-risk girls. Twenty students from the University of Bosnia volunteered as mentors, and 15 Roma girls enrolled in school as part of the effort. Organizers estimate that at least 1,000 parents, teachers, and girls in 20 communities learned about the importance of gender equality in education through printed materials and workshops.
Regenerative agriculture
Drawdown ranking: 11
Regenerative agriculture practices include avoiding the use of plows to keep from disturbing the soil; planting a diverse array of cover crops; and limiting or abstaining from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. These methods boost the amount of organic matter — carbon — in the soil, improving its health and that of the plants growing in it.
According to the Drawdown authors, regenerative agriculture increases organic matter in the soil between 4 percent and 7 percent over 10 years, representing an additional 25 tons to 60 tons of carbon stored in the ground per acre. That reduces the need for fertilizer — which means regenerative agriculture can help cut carbon in the atmosphere while increasing farmers’ production. 
Forty people from Meihua village, Taiwan, were trained in organic farming techniques through a global grant project of the Rotary clubs of Taipei Lungmen, Taiwan, and Patumwan, Thailand.
The effort, carried out in partnership with the Organic Farming Association of Taiwan, included creating a training facility and providing internships at organic farms. Organizers expected that growing without pesticides would lower farming costs and that selling organic vegetables at a premium price would improve villagers’ earnings.
Photo by Elena11
Reduced food waste
Drawdown ranking: 3
One-third of the fruits and vegetables, meat, and other food the world produces never gets eaten. Instead, it rots unharvested in fields, spoils in storage, or sits forgotten in the back of the refrigerator, only to end up in the garbage.
The production of uneaten food squanders resources such as energy, land, and fertilizer. In landfills, food waste generates methane, a greenhouse gas. From start to finish, uneaten food is responsible for releasing the equivalent of 4.4 million gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, the Drawdown authors write.
Centroabastos, a food wholesaler in Bucaramanga, Colombia, generates about 20 tons of organic solid waste per day. The Rotary clubs of Bucaramanga Nuevo Milenio, Colombia, and Woodland Hills, California, are working with the company’s nonprofit arm to set up a center that will use the surplus produce to provide training in safe food handling and processing. The project is expected to reduce food waste by 15 percent while creating employment opportunities.
Climate Change 2019-04-03 08:00:00Z 0

Here’s an opportunity for you to help Rotary District 5010 and get some added benefits for yourself anytime you travel on Alaska Airlines.

About EasyBiz

EasyBiz addresses the unique needs of busy travelers with rewards and tools to save you time and money.

Enjoy all of the benefits of flying Alaska Airlines when you book your travel using EasyBiz. They guarantee it. Get extra perks yourself while helping Rotary District 5010.

Earn more miles

As a participating EasyBiz® organization, Rotary District 5010 earns 1 Mileage Plan™ mile for every dollar you spend on base fares. These miles are accrued by our Rotary district on top of the miles that are earned by you on your own personal Mileage Plan™ accounts. Everybody wins!

24-hour reservation holds

Alaska’s EasyBiz® service provides time for you to confirm itineraries before you buy. All reservations made through EasyBiz® can be held for 24 hours before you pay for them.

Just remember your tickets must be reserved and purchased through our EasyBiz® portal at  And, you'll always find the lowest airfares for flights at

To enroll, just let our travel advisor, David Berg (, know that you’re interested and he will send you an invitation link.  All he needs is your name and email address.

Once confirmed, you’ll have access to the District EasyBiz account for all your future travel purchases.

Sorry, If you’re already an EasyBiz user with another group, this option is not available to you :(



Andre’ Layral

DGE 2019-2020

An Opportunity to Ease Travel and Help Rotary 2019-03-26 08:00:00Z 0
Heidi Kühn

Rotary Club of San Francisco
Heidi Kühn arrived in Utsunomiya, Japan, in 1975, a few months after the end of the Vietnam War. She was a Rotary Youth Exchange student, and what she saw and experienced in Japan led her to reflect on the post-World War II reconciliation between that country and her native United States. “The idea of former enemies bridging borders for peace left an impression in my heart,” she says.
Heidi Kühn, of the Rotary Club of San Francisco, founded a nonprofit called Roots of Peace to remove land mines and revive farmland.
Photo by Ian Tuttle
More than 20 years later, Kühn had become a successful television journalist. She was asked by the Commonwealth Club of California, a well-known public affairs forum, to host an event featuring Jerry White, a land mine survivor who had escorted Princess Diana on her last humanitarian mission in 1997. It was a short time after the death of Diana, whose efforts to ban land mines had inspired Kühn. “That night, I made a prophetic toast,” she recalls. “‘May the world go from mines to vines.’”
Kühn decided to act on those words and founded a nonprofit called Roots of Peace that has worked to remove hundreds of thousands of land mines and other unexploded ordnance from farmland and replace them with productive fields, such as orchards and vineyards.
In Afghanistan, the organization has helped restore fields in the Shomali Plain north of Kabul, which had been a thriving agricultural region until the Taliban burned vineyards, cut down fruit trees, and laid land mines. Since 2003, Roots of Peace has connected growers with supermarket chains in India. 
Roots of Peace is also partnering with the Rotary clubs of San Francisco and Bangkok Klongtoey, Thailand, which received a $197,000 global grant from The Rotary Foundation to remove land mines and plant black pepper vines and taro in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, and help farmers market the high-value crop.
Kühn and her husband and Roots of Peace partner, Gary Kühn, visited Afghanistan in 2018 to see the fruits of their labor. They flew out of Afghanistan on a cargo plane carrying the harvest. 
“To me, that was the greatest inspiration, the greatest moment in my life, to know that we can turn dreams into reality,” Kühn says. “Not just for ourselves, but for countless farmers and families around the world.” 
— Nikki Kallio
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Profile: A Vine Idea 2019-03-26 08:00:00Z 0
How Rotary has changed to help people get clean water for longer than just a few years
By Ryan Hyland
The lack of access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene resources is one of the world’s biggest health problems — and one of the hardest to solve.
Rotary has worked for decades to provide people with clean water by digging wells, laying pipes, providing filters, and installing sinks and toilets. But the biggest challenge has come after the hardware is installed. Too often, projects succeeded at first but eventually failed.
Across all kinds of organizations, the cumulative cost of failed water systems in sub-Saharan Africa alone is estimated at $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, according to data compiled by the consulting firm Improve International.
Rotary projects used to focus on building wells, but Rotary started to focused on hygiene education projects, which have a greater impact.
Rotary International
Rusted water pumps and dilapidated sanitation facilities are familiar sights in parts of Africa, South America, and South Asia — monuments to service projects that proved unsustainable. A 2013 review by independent contractor Aguaconsult cited these kinds of issues in projects Rotary carried out, and the review included a focus on sustainability to help plan more effective projects.
That’s one factor in why Rotary has shifted its focus over the past several years to emphasize education, collaboration, and sustainability.
With Rotary Foundation global grants, a dedicated Rotarian Action Group, and a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rotary’s water, sanitation, and hygiene, or WASH, programs are achieving greater, longer-lasting change.
“All Rotary water and sanitation projects are full of heart and well-intentioned, but many of them didn’t always meet the actual demands of the community,” says F. Ronald Denham, a founding member and chair emeritus of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group. The group, formed in 2007, stresses a needs-based approach and sustainability in projects.
In the past, equipment and facilities were usually installed properly and received well, but the local ownership, education, and sustainability were sometimes lacking. Communities often did not receive enough support to manage the projects independently for the long term.
One obstacle to sustainability: the ongoing human involvement that’s required.
Rotary members, by their nature, are volunteers. “Like everyone else, Rotarians have priorities like work and family,” says Denham, who has worked with clubs on water, sanitation, and hygiene issues for more than 30 years and led projects in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, and Uganda.
Speaking of the Rotary members who work to make improvements in their own communities, he says, “It’s difficult for host clubs, for instance, to manage WASH projects long-term,” especially if the projects have complex technical components. “We’re extremely dedicated, but we need help. Reaching out is essential to our success.”
Community engagement, community ownership
That success now increasingly depends on collaborations with organizations that provide complementary resources, funding, technology, contacts, knowledge of a culture, and other expertise.
Rotary members work with local experts to make sure projects fit a local need and are sustainable. Educators Mark Adu-Anning, left, and John Kwame Antwi work with engineer Jonathan Nkrumah, center, Rotary member Vera Allotey, and Atekyem Chief Nana Dorman II on a sanitation projects in Ghana.
Photo by Awurra Adwoa Kye
“Clubs need to better engage with the community, its leaders, and professional organizations,” Denham says. “More important, we need to understand the needs of the community. We can’t assume or guess what’s in their best interest.”
The Rotary Foundation has learned over time that community engagement is crucial to making long-term change. It now requires clubs that apply for grants for some projects in other countries to show that local residents have helped develop the project plan.
The community should play a part in choosing which problems to address, thinking of the resources it has available, finding solutions, and making a long-term maintenance plan.
No project is successful, Denham says, unless the local community ultimately can run it.
In 2010, his club, the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton, Ontario, Canada, became the lead international partner in a water and sanitation program in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, where clean water is scarce.
When initial groundwater tests revealed high levels of fluoride, the sponsor clubs changed their plan to dig shallow boreholes. Given what they learned, rainwater collection was a safer approach.
The Rotary Club of Nakuru, Kenya, the local host club, now provides materials and teaches families how to build their own 10,000-liter tanks. Each family is responsible for the labor and maintenance. With a $50 investment, a family can collect enough water to get through the dry season.
To date, the project has funded the construction of more than 3,000 tanks, bringing clean water to about 28,000 people. Family members no longer have to walk several miles per day to collect water, a task that often fell to women and children.
As owners of the tanks, women are empowered to reimagine how their households work. And with the help of microloans they get through the Rotary clubs, mothers are running small businesses and generating income instead of fetching water.
“With ownership comes liberation, not just for the mothers but for their children, who now have the time to attend school,” Denham explains.
Teaching WASH
It takes more than installing sanitation facilities for a WASH project to succeed in the long term. It’s also important to cultivate healthy habits. Good hygiene practices can reduce diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and pneumonia by nearly 50 percent. Washing hands with soap can save lives.
More than 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet, the U.N. says. A lack of toilets leads to disease and also keeps some girls from going to school. In Ghana, Rotary and USAID projects at schools are leading to fewer days missed due to illness or menstruation.
Photo by Awurra Adwoa Kye
The Rotary Club of Box Hill Central, Victoria, Australia, facilitates Operation Toilets, a program that builds toilets and delivers WASH education to schools in developing countries including India and Ethiopia. The group constructs separate facilities for boys and girls to ensure privacy, and Rotary members teach students how to wash their hands with soap. Workers at each school are instructed in how to maintain the facilities.
The program works with the advocacy group We Can’t Wait, which raises awareness of WASH needs and promotes education to the community. Since the project launched in 2015, nearly 90 schools and more than 96,000 students have directly benefited from the program.
In another example of successful WASH education, the Rotary Club of Puchong Centennial, Malaysia, partners with Interact and Rotaract clubs in the Philippines to teach at several schools in Lampara, Philippines. The groups invited several speakers to instruct students about oral hygiene, hand washing, and the importance of frequent bathing. After each presentation, students were given kits that included toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, combs, and other toiletries.
Fluid Approach to Water 2019-03-26 08:00:00Z 0
Is there hope for indigenous Alaskans?
By Mary Robinson
For more than 2,000 years, the Yupik people have hunted and fished in the icy wilds of Alaska’s western coast, digging holes through the frozen sea to catch salmon and stickleback and communicating to one another in an ancient lexicon that includes dozens of ways to describe ice. Passed down from generation to generation, this linguistic adaptation has helped the Yupik to navigate safely as hunters, using specific terminology to describe the ice’s thickness and reliability. But with the advance of climate change, common Yupik words such as tagneghneq — used to describe dark, dense ice — are becoming obsolete as Alaska’s melting permafrost turns the once solid landscape into a mushy, sodden waste.
Our climate change series
Rotarians understand that the whole world is their backyard. They can see the effects of climate change in communities they care about, and they haven’t waited to take action. They’re tackling the problem the way they always do: coming up with projects, using their connections to change policy — and planning for the future.
Read our series to see:
Recent scientific data confirm that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as any other place on the planet, with the average winter temperature having risen 6.3 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years. Alaska’s soaring temperatures are caused by a perfect storm of confluence. When solar radiation hits snow and ice, most of it is reflected back into space. But as warming global temperatures encourage ice to melt, the exposed land absorbs the radiation, prompting yet more ice to melt. Now the people of Alaska — 85 percent of whom live along the coast — are among the first Americans to feel the effects of climate change as the ground beneath them melts and gives way.
Life in Alaska is defined by the cold, by the land, and by the people’s relationship to the sea. To fish and to hunt is to live and breathe, and the rapid melting of the ice is causing many indigenous Alaskans to question their cultural identity. Nobody knows this crisis more viscerally than Patricia Cochran, who has been working with communities across Alaska and the Arctic for 30 years to help them deal with the ravages of climate change. Cochran is executive director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, but she is also a native Alaskan and Inupiat, born and raised in the coastal town of Nome. Cochran grew up in a traditional Inupiat home, setting out across the tundra for fish camp every year and scrambling along the rocky coast with her siblings in the late-summer months, foraging for berries and herbs.
“It has taken science a very long time to catch up to what our communities have been saying for decades,” says Cochran. “For at least the last 40 or 50 years, our communities have noticed the subtlest of changes happening in the environment around them. We were seeing the signs of climate change long before researchers and scientists started using those words. Climate change is more than just a discussion for us. It is a reality. It is something that we live with and face every single day — and have for decades.”
As a child growing up in Nome, Cochran remembers the snow lying thick on the ground most of the year, and the sea — a single block of ice — stretching far toward the horizon late into the summer months. The winters were long and brutal, the summers exceedingly brief.
But over time, the winters began to arrive later and to rush prematurely into spring. Now, when Cochran visits her childhood home, the vast expanse of ice is gone, replaced by an open, glistening sea. “We have had to build a seawall in Nome because the sea ice that used to sit in front of our villages is no longer there,” she says. “That ice used to keep us safe. We have had so much rain that our fish will not dry on our fish racks. We have had such warm weather throughout the summer that berries have ripened twice in the season. Most worrying, the changing ice conditions have caused extreme erosion, flooding, and permafrost degradation across the entire community.”
Permafrost, the permanently frozen sublayer of soil that has anchored Alaska for thousands of years, provides a foundation for homes, schools, and roads, and it keeps the rising sea at bay. But mounting temperatures throughout the Arctic are causing this prehistoric underpinning to melt, turning the soil soggy and releasing more carbon dioxide into the air. As the cycle continues and the warming earth buckles and bends, the houses of Alaska’s indigenous people topple into the sea. As the dwindling permafrost exposes the soil and the offshore ice that normally buffers the villages from storms decreases, the sea advances, eating away at the land. In the late summer, increasingly fierce storms, the results of climatic shifts, batter the coast, eroding the topsoil until it crumbles into the sea.
Photo courtesy of "Glacier Exit," a film by Raphael Rogers, Kristin Rogers, and Paul Rennick.
Combining scientific expertise with her innate traditional knowledge, Coch-ran works to help communities across Alaska that are relocating. For years, the tiny village of Shishmaref, located on a barrier island 5 miles from the Alaskan mainland north of the Bering Strait, has been steadily yielding its shores — and buildings — to the frigid sea. When residents voted in August 2016 to leave their land, it was estimated they would need about $200 million to relocate homes and infrastructure to the new site and to build new roads, utilities, schools, and a barge landing. It is a staggering amount for a community of just under 600 residents, against which the state has offered merely $8 million.
About 400 miles south, the even smaller village of Newtok has been sliding toward the Ninglick River for years by up to 70 feet a year. Residents decided to trade their coastal land for a more secure swath on a nearby island, at an estimated cost of $130 million. While villagers plan their new homes and infrastructure, they still need to live where they are, maintain their daily rhythms, keep their children in school, and continue their ancient way of life hunting for moose, seals, and fish. Some residents fear that their centuries-old culture and identity will suffer if they move. “For communities who have been there for thousands of years, it’s a difficult decision to leave everything,” says Cochran. “It’s not only the physical exhaustion, but the mental exhaustion and trauma that come along with all those things.”
Cochran is redoubling her efforts on what she and her organization can do to help indigenous Alaskans with community-based initiatives, research, and action. She frames climate change as a human rights issue, expanding the dialogue beyond emissions and mitigation to incorporate the language of justice and humanity. As a self-professed “elder in training,” she encourages young people to take part in her climate-justice journey, so that they too can learn the tools to live a sustainable life in their native communities.
“I see that as my most important responsibility and honor,” Cochran says, “to pass on that information and knowledge to the young people who must live with the disastrous situation that we have left them in.” Across the one- or two-room schools that dot the vast Alaskan coastline, new climate programs are being introduced to teach young children the myriad ways to talk about the weather — and to describe snow and ice — in their native languages. It is a way to keep endangered words such as tagneghneq alive, and to help those children navigate a safer future.
While she works to help indigenous people affected by climate change, Cochran takes inspiration from one of her own elders, her beloved mother, who passed away some years ago at the age of 96. As a child, Cochran’s mother watched as a flu epidemic wiped out her entire family except for her father. Bereft and traumatized, she was removed from her village when she was eight and sent to a boarding school, where she would remain until she was 18. “She lost her language, she lost her culture,” says Cochran, who remembers her mother as an eternal optimist and an indomitable spirit. “She fought the rest of her life to make sure that her eight children had what it would take to survive.”
Keeping her mother in mind gives Cochran the focus that she needs — and it helps imbue her message with hope. Knowing about her mother’s experience “really makes me understand that we can deal with anything,” she says. “We have always been resilient, adaptive, creative, amazing people, which has helped see us through the darkest of times in the past. That resilience, that spirit, will help us in the times yet to come.” 
• This story was adapted from "Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future" by Mary Robinson, with Caitríona Palmer (2018). Used by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing. Mary Robinson was president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997 and was a United Nations special envoy for climate change. 
Climate Change 2019-03-20 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay
Minutes of the Regular Club Meeting, March 14, 2019
Meeting was called to order at the Best Western Bidarka Inn at 12:11 PM by President Bernie Griffard.
Board Members Present: President Bernie Griffard, Vice President Van Hawkins, President Elect Don Keller, Treasurer Read Dunn, Secretary Charlie Franz, Director Dennis Weidler and Director Gary Thomas.
Board Members Absent:  Director Lisa Roberts.
Club Members Present:  (24) Rick Abboud, Clyde Boyer, David Brann, Sue Clardy, Clark Cripps, Tom Early, Vivian Finlay, Craig Forrest, Vince Greear, Marianne Gross, Maynard Gross, James Hornaday, Doug Johnson, Ronnie Leach, Cinda Martin, Milli Martin, Marie McCarty, John Mouw, Marvin Peters, Susie Quinn, Paul Seaton, Bryan Zak and Karen Zak.
Quorum:  A quorum was established with a total of 33 club members (55%) present.
Action Item:
          President Griffard introduced the action item for the meeting:  Consideration of an amendment to the Club Bylaws to establish a Finance Committee.
Add to Article 9 Committees:
The Finance Committee - This committee shall assist with the development,
implementation, monitoring and modification of the budget.  The committee is authorized to make budget modifications up to 10% of the board approved committee budgets.  The Finance Committee shall consist of the President, Past President, President Elect and Treasurer.
          The proposed amendment was provided to the membership via e-mail on February 26, 2019 in compliance with the bylaws requirement for amendments that notice be provided at least 10 days in advance of the requested approval.
Dennis Weidler moved and Don Keller seconded approval of the amendment.  Approved – unanimous by voice vote.  A written vote in support of the amendment was also received from Jan Knutson.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:19 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Charlie Franz, Secretary
Minutes of Regular Club Meeting, March 14, 2019 2019-03-19 08:00:00Z 0
At least 15 members and prospective members met at the Duncan House Saturday morning for food, fun, and fellowship.  
Rotary Breakfast Meeting 2019-03-19 08:00:00Z 0

Dear Clyde and Vivian

My name is Mary, a fourth-year student at Irkutsk State University, Baikal International Business School. (Professor Donskoy’s student). Thank you very much for your willingness to host me and put together my internship.

I am looking forward to some valuable international experience in management, marketing, and finance. I'm also interested in logistics, foreign languages, leadership, and American culture. Therefore, project management is one of the areas that I am interested in. At this time, I work on my research on reducing inventory costs in our local trade company. Involvement in a wide variety of volunteering and community service projects through Rotary will give me the boost I need to advance my business career.

In addition to School, I work with a language school where I teach English to young kids. I would love to visit a school where American students study Russian and tell them a little bit about Russia.

I also love to bike, swim and dive. My father is a diving instructor, so we often go diving together. We dive both in summer and winter on Lake Baikal, which, as you know, is the deepest freshwater lake in the world.

I’d like to tell you a little about my family as well. In addition to being a diving instructor, my father has a PhD in Biology and works as an ichthyologist, and is the director of the Lake Baikal Museum. The museum provides educational programming, conducts scientific researches, and puts on exhibitions about Lake Baikal.

My mother works at Irkutsk State University, and my sister has a master’s degree and works as a HR Manager.

My family also loves to travel.



Letter From Mary Kupchinskaia 2019-03-14 08:00:00Z 0
(Issued January 30, 2019)
Rotary District 5010
Call for Resolutions
Consideration at the District Conference
(May 3 - 5, Anchorage)
Each Rotary year, individual clubs in good standing and the Council of Governors have the opportunity to recommend changes to the District 5010 Manual of Procedure thereby ensuring that their contents are current and support the District’s needs.
Resolutions, which present a firm decision to do or not to do something, fulfill three purposes: recognition, amendments to the District 5010 Manual of Procedure, and general purpose District 5010 resolutions, thus:
1.            Resolution of Recognition
Yearly, resolutions are submitted recognizing, acknowledging and thanking certain groups and/or individuals for service to Rotary District 5010 during the Rotary year.
The Administration Chair submits these resolutions.
2.            Resolution for Amendment
Yearly, clubs or the Council on Governors may submit for consideration Resolutions for Amendment that purport to correct or delete existing District 5010 Manual of Procedure language or add language to existing text.
3.            Resolution of General Purpose
Yearly, clubs may submit for consideration Resolutions of General Purpose that inform, persuade, or convey a goal.  Such resolutions may result from an RI directive, e.g. nominating an individual to serve on a Rotary committee.
4.          Council on Legislation and Resolutions
Annually, clubs or the Council on Governors may submit resolutions for consideration by Rotary International’s Council on Resolutions, while every three years, clubs or the Council on Governors may submit legislation which amends Rotary International’s governance documents at the Council on Legislation.
Examples of 1 to 3 are attached. Specific information will be provided soon about Council on Resolutions submissions by Jane Little (Homer Downtown), District 5010’s Council on Legislation representative.
Resolution Process
Prior to submitting a Resolution for consideration, a club’s board of directors must first submit their resolution in the proper format, signed by both the club president and secretary, after approval by a vote of members at a regular club meeting.  The resolution is sent via email by the deadline set out below to the District Governor, with a copy to the Administration Chair.
Once received, the District Governor, in conjunction with the Manual of Procedure Review Committee, will determine whether or not the proposed resolution conflicts with RI’s Constitution, By-Laws or Manual of Procedure, and request the submitter, as necessary, to make changes.  If not, the resolution will be sent on to the Administration Chair which will prepare the resolutions for distribution by the District Governor and to the president of each club and all Past District Governors.  These resolutions will be voted up or down or amended at the Annual Business Meeting.
Should you any questions please contact Don Poulton at 907-863-2268 or  It is hoped that having questions answered during resolution preparation will be helpful.
Email resolutions to District Governor Diane Fejes at, with a copy to Administration Chair Don Poulton at by March 15, 2019.
Emergency Resolutions
Proposed resolutions may be submitted after the deadline and considered during the Annual Business Meeting if two thirds of the club presidents in attendance consider that its consideration is necessary for the District’s needs (District 5010 Manual of Procedure Article XIII.)
Resolution Format
The attached templates set out the information needed and prescribed format for resolutions. If suggesting a modification to the 2018 D5010 Manual of Procedure, underline any language to be added or [bracket] language to be deleted.  A General Resolution Format is attached for your use in preparing your resolution(s).
Please submit your resolution(s) in Word.  Each resolution will be displayed on a video screen and discussed during the Annual Business Meeting.  Any agreed to changes will be so noted in Word’s “track changes” for all to see. They will then be attached to the Annual Business Meeting minutes and included in the Manual of Procedure.
District Manual of Procedure and By Laws
The current Manual of Procedure and Corporate By Laws can be found on the District Home Page under “Documents” and “Quick Links” at D5010 Information and Administration, respectively.
Questions or comments?  Please contact Don Poulton, Administration Chair, at 907-863-2268 (call or text) or
General Resolution Format
Resolutions of Recognition – Example
Resolution of Amendment – Example
Resolution of General Purpose - Example
General Resolution Format
Introductory Comments
Summary Description:
Insert a statement of purpose and effect not to exceed 300 words in order for the proposal to be considered. This statement should identify the issue or problem that the proposed resolution seeks to address and explain how the proposal addresses or resolves the problem or issue.
Impact (positive/negative/neutral) including monetary impact:
This resolution shall have an effective date of __________________________
District 5010 Manual of Procedure
A Resolution of Recognition
A Resolution to Amend District 5010 Manual of Procedure
A Resolution of General Purpose
Resolution No. _____________________
Resolution on ______
Whereas, this Resolution was adopted at a regular meeting of Rotary Club of _______ or at a meeting of the Council of Governors  on _______; and
Now, therefore, be it resolved that…
The Resolution language (if necessary).
NOW THEREFORE, in accordance with Article XIII of Rotary District 5010 Manual of Procedure it is resolved that the RI District 5010 Manual of Procedure be amended as follows:
ARTICLE ___– _______ Section ___ [Text]
Except as set forth in this Resolution/Amendment, the District 5010 Manual of Procedures shall remain in full force and effect.
The Rotary Club of _________/Council on Governors
__________________________                                             ___________________________
President/Chair                                                                          Secretary
Adopted during the Annual Business Meeting held during the District Conference in Anchorage, Alaska on May _____, 2019.
Conference Secretary                                                              Date
Rotary District 5010 Call For Resolutions 2019 2019-03-13 08:00:00Z 0


The two Whitehorse, Yukon clubs (Rotary Club of Whitehorse & Rotary Club of Whitehorse Rendezvous) have voted upon and requested that they be re- districted from District 5010 into District 5370 (the neighboring Rotary District of northern Alberta, Northwest Territories and northeast BC). The request is that this take place as of July 1, 2019, waiving the 2-year waiting period. Accomplishing this redistricting would also require a minor boundary change to provide that the Yukon Territory be moved from D. 5010 to D. 5370. In order for this move to be effective 1 July 2019, all Rotary Clubs in District 5010 have 30 days (starting March 1, 2019) to comment. Please see the attached documents from the Whitehorse Clubs and DG Diane Fejes for background and details.
Unfortunately I was unable to print the letter from DG Diane Fejes.
Whitehorse Clubs Request District Change 2019-03-07 09:00:00Z 0

Here are some of the volunteers that helped make the Ben Walters Park skating party happen.

1 Renee Krause, super help at the Homer City Clerks office.
2  Ingrid Harald, Counselor at Homer Flex School and Women’s hockey team, Chair at Parks and Recreation Commission.
3 Three students from Homer Flex School.
The Manager at Homer McDonald's receives Certificate of thanks from President Bernie.
5 Pat Irwin.
6 Matt Steffy and staff at Homer Parks, City.
7  Homer Chamber of Commerce.
8  Lisa played a key role arranging for parking.
9 Devony provided sit skates for folks to try out and brought some of her friends.
10  Robert Archibald, helper all around, makes it happen.
Groups and People Who Helped With Ben Walters Park Skating Recognized 2019-03-06 09:00:00Z 0

The Russians are really coming to Homer this year. After a couple of false starts, the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay will be hosting a Russian delegation 17-21 May 2019. This visit is a program of the Open World Leadership Center, an independent government agency of the United States Congress, who sponsors and funds the Open World program. Open World brings emerging leaders from mostly Eurasian countries to the United States in order to give them firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise.

The visiting group consists of five delegates, one facilitator, one professional interpreter, and a Rotary International Open World staff member. The hosting theme for their visit is Regional Economic Development: Fishing Industry and Tourism.

The delegation will arrive in Homer on 17 May 2019 and depart for Anchorage the afternoon of 21 May 2019.

We need Host Families for all eight visitors. This is a great experience, so please look at your calendars and take this opportunity to show our visitors real Homer hospitality.

Over the next weeks I will be developing the visit itinerary. Any suggestions you may have will be welcome. 


Thank you,

The Russians ARE Coming! 2019-03-06 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary clubs in Canada invest in the PACT program, an urban peace initiative that aims to break the cycle of youth crime
By Ryan Hyland                                              Produced by Andrew Chudzinski
Akeem Stephenson wanted to go to jail. He believed it was the only way he could free himself from a life of crime — a life he desperately wanted to change. 
After being arrested for a fourth time more than 10 years ago, for aggravated robbery, the teenager in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was set to go to prison. But the judge saw something in Stephenson that suggested that he could redeem himself. So he gave Stephenson a choice: participate in an 18-month youth program, or serve the six-month sentence. 
Akeem Stephenson used the PACT program to turn his life around and launch his music career
For Stephenson, the choice was clear. He decided to transform his life through the PACT Urban Peace Program.
PACT, which stands for Participation, Acknowledgement, Commitment, and Transformation, is a Toronto-based, award-winning charity supported by Rotary clubs in Canada. It works with at-risk young people and those who have committed crimes to change their direction in life. Entrepreneur and Toronto Rotary member David Lockett co-founded the program more than 20 years ago. 
The intensive, step-by-step program aims to break the cycle of poverty and criminal behavior. Its goal is to determine what the participants need and develop strategies “to put them on a positive path in their life, so they can enrich not only their own lives, but their community,” says Lockett, a member of the Rotary E-Club of Social Innovators D7090. 
Lockett says PACT builds peace in urban communities. “It’s all about looking at the impact of violence and criminal behavior, and understanding the dynamics of the problem, and creating highly effective solutions to make investments for at-risk youth at an early stage,” he says. “It’s really quite simple. If you want to help at-risk youth, you really have to understand the simple needs they have.”
He acknowledges that young people who commit crimes should be held accountable, and for many of them, that includes serving jail time. But for some, those he says come from “squalid and deplorable backgrounds” with very little parental guidance, PACT is a resource that can change their lives and reduce the likelihood that they will commit more crimes. 
The organization works with the judicial system to identify repeat offenders ages 12-19 who may benefit from the program. After a young adult is convicted of a crime, the judge or judicial official refers them to PACT as part of a probation order. 
Judges in Canada see how the PACT program can reduce youth crime and help offenders stay out of the judicial system. 
Central to PACT’s success is its LifePlan Coaching program, an intense intervention system that pairs a participant with a certified life coach. The two meet each week for 12-18 months to set goals in six key areas: education, employment, health, relationships, contributing to the community, and staying out of the criminal justice system. Life coaching is a conversational process that provides structure and acknowledgement, builds capacity and self-awareness, and fosters self-directed learning and action. This ultimately helps the young person get from where they are to where they want to be in the future. 
PACT’s LifePlan Coaching differs from the traditional model of therapy or counseling in that it does not focus on the person’s past but rather concentrates on the present and future, says Lockett. The innovative program boasts a 65 percent success rate, with success meaning that the young person completes the program without re-offending. 
It was the relationship with his life coach that gave Stephenson the insight and confidence to reshape his future. “The PACT program will change your mindset,” he says. “They’ll give you the blueprint, but it’s up to you to run with it.”
Stephenson has since obtained his high school equivalency certificate and has been working at a call center. He also honed his passion for music through PACT’s Life & Job Skills Community Service Programs, in which participants learn through practical exposure to activities like music and film production, cooking, gardening, and entrepreneurship. 
Rotary brings compassion
To date, nearly 30 clubs in the Toronto area have supported PACT, many with annual commitments of $3,600 or more to fund the program, according to Lockett. 
PACT participants can hone their skills and passions through the program's Life & Job Skills Community Service Programs, which gives them practical exposure to activities like music, film production, cooking, gardening, and entrepreneurship.
But Rotary clubs are also playing a more in-depth role in PACT. The two organizations created the PACT/Rotary Youth Mentoring Program, which allows members to connect directly with participants. 
Liz Bosma-Donovan, a social worker and member of the Rotary Club of Wellington in Ontario, is the first Rotary ambassador to PACT. She works with Rotary clubs to find members who are willing to become mentors. 
“After learning about PACT and working with David [Lockett] on projects, I saw there was a missing opportunity for Rotary to create a more meaningful connection,” says Bosma-Donovan. “We want to enhance their sense of belonging, to make them feel more a part of the community. Rotary is uniquely positioned in the community to bring about these connections.”
For instance, members can help a PACT participant find volunteer opportunities, get a driver’s license, or secure job interviews. 
“Our members are caring and compassionate,” says Bosma-Donovan. “Those things are crucial to bring about change and to rebuild their lives.” 
  • 225
the number of young offenders PACT has coached since 2006 
  • 65%
of youths coached did not re-offend
  • $3,600
PACT's cost to coach one youth offender 
  • $120,000
the average annual cost of keeping just one inmate in prison
Turning Teens Away From Crime 2019-02-27 09:00:00Z 0

The below amendment to the club bylaws creating a Finance Committee and establishing its membership and authority has been approved by the Board of Directors.

The amendment is provided for your information in advance of a vote as required by Section 15 of the Club's Bylaws regarding amendments.

To comply with the bylaws requirement of at least 10 days notice of a proposed amendment, you will be asked to vote on this amendment at the regular club meeting on March 14, 2019.

Proposed amendment to the Bylaws to address the membership and authority of the Finance Committee.
Add to Article 9 Committees:
  • The Finance Committee - This committee shall assist with the development,
implementation, monitoring and modification of the budget.  The committee is authorized to make budget modifications up to 10% of the board approved committee budgets.  The Finance Committee shall consist of the President, Past President, President Elect and Treasurer.
Proposed Amendment to By-Laws 2019-02-27 09:00:00Z 0

This is a reminder that the second of three meetings to discuss the Council on Legislation Proposed Enactments will be held online on Go To Meeting by your District 5010 Council Representative, Jane Little.  If you have any questions, email Jane at

If you would like to participate, first review the proposed enactments at:

Then follow the instructions below and join the meeting on Thursday, February 28th from 2:00 to 3:00pm.


       Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019; 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM AKST


Please join Go To Meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)

United States: +1 (571) 317-3129
- One-touch: tel:+15713173129,,600852237

Access Code: 600-852-237
More phone numbers:
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)

Canada: +1 (647) 497-9391
- One-touch: tel:+16474979391,,600852237



Council on Legislation Meeting #2 2019-02-27 09:00:00Z 0

From the Desk of President Bernie




Congratulations to all of Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotarians, because of your example and efforts we have achieved the District 5010 goal of plus one in our membership for the Club year. Special thanks to Membership Chair and President-Elect Don Keller for spearheading this effort.

2019-2020 BUDGET

A reminder that the Club Assembly on April 23 will be focused on 2019-2020 budget planning. Budget guidance will be sent to the membership next week and discussed at the Club Assembly.


We are still looking for two volunteer host families for the May 17-21 visit of the Russian delegation. Take advantage of this opportunity to spend time with our Russian guests and learn about each other. International cooperation is based on one-on-one personal relationships. This is our opportunity contribute to this goal.







Hello Rotarians! 

Please check out the changes to our Facebook page! We’ve updated a few small things, but are in motion to give you regular updates, opportunities to help in the community, and share more stories of the lives we’ve touched here in Alaska! In honor of these new changes, we want to see how many awesome Rotarians we have all over! Leave a comment to say, "Hi" and where you’re from or leave encouraging words! Like our Facebook page. Share this post. Comment  below. Set up notifications for our page to stay updated! We hope to hear from all of you, have an amazing day! If you don’t know how to set up post notifications, here’s how: 

-Go to Rotary Cares for Kids page
-Click the "Following" button and make sure to slide down to the "Notifications" and click "All On (posts)"


Created by Natilia

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Many thanks for everyone who has jumped in to get speakers for the rest of APRIL and a start on MAY


Please sign up on the SPEAKER SIGNUP SHEET so that we will know who is scheduled to speak when, and what they will be talking about!! Please also make sure that the names are spelled correctly, so that their certificates are also spelled correctly!  If the Speaker intends to have more than one person speak, please get the additional name(s).


If you had difficulty signing in to the Speaker Signup sheet in the past, you should be able to do so now.  For some reason, Google apparently changed things, and Will was able to get things working again.


If you see " ??", that means some of the information that is needed is missing, or that someone is unsure of what is actually planned.  Please fill it in, or let me know.


WOW, there are only a few Greeters or Invocators needed for the rest of the year!


Being a greeter is a great way to learn names and have a chance to say hi to everyone who comes to a meeting!  And we all appreciate an interesting poem, saying, words to a song, etc. to inspire us for the day.


Thank you for helping us have a great meeting!


Please continue to bring toiletries to our Thursday meetings so we can package them up and give them to Haven House for distribution to residents.  These items that go into the welcome baskets they provide are so important as many may arrive with nothing.


Ask Claudia about what's on her Alaskan "bucket list" and see if you can help her check something off!  It is a lot of fun!!


Bulletin Information:
If you have anything to put in the Bulletin, please get it to me no later than Monday evening.  I am trying to have the Bulletin out Tuesday evening, when possible, as most of my Wednesdays are full, and I cannot work on it until late at night.  I am trying to have the Bulletin be more for Club members and friends of the Club, and the Web Page be more for the general public.




Announcements: April 18, 2019 Craig Forrest 2019-02-25 09:00:00Z 0
This is a friendly reminder to register for this year's District Conference in beautiful and lively downtown Anchorage!  Time is ticking and it’s only a short three months away!  You don’t want to miss out on an inspiring and motivational District Conference, packed full with great fellowship, amazing speakers, and tons of fun! 
We are excited to announce Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, 2005-2006 RI President, will be speaking and joining us for this year’s conference!  Carl-Wilhelm, a Rotarian since 1974 immediately became involved in all levels of Rotary and has held numerous positions at the club, district, and international levels. He began international service to Rotary in 1991 with an appointment to the Youth Service Committee, has been a member of the Audit and Operations Review Committee of RI,  member of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force. To read more about Mr. Stenhammar, click on his full bio HERE.
To register, click HERE or on the following link: 
To check out the Conference page, become an amazing and appreciated sponsor of the event, as well as find information on hotel and airline discounts, click HERE, or on the following link: 
The Conference is the perfect venue to network, reconnect with friends, and find inspiration for continuing service and community leaders as we report on the district, including its successes and challenges. We will have local and international speakers giving information on topics relevant to our district members. Check out their bios here! SPEAKER BIOS
Friday, May 3rd, will be the highly attended and favorite Dinner in the Home event.  If you live in Anchorage, be sure to sign up to host dinner!  If you are coming from out of town, consider being hosted by a local Rotarian and enjoy this fellowship opportunity.
Saturday, May 4th, the Governor’s Banquet will be a time to remember as we enjoy one another’s company and fellowship, topped off with dancing the night away with the Ken Peltier Band!
We want to extend a big thank you to the following sponsors who have committed to helping make this district conference a success:
  • Anchorage Distillery
  • Advanced Oncology Associates and The Alaska Cyberknife Center
  • Anchorage East Rotary Club
  • Alaska Enterprise Solutions
  • Anchorage Women's Clinic
  • CSG, Inc Attoneys at Law
  • Diane Fejes
  • Glacier Edge Maintenance
  • Helping Hands for Nepal
  • Kashi Law Offices
  • The Julie Erickson Team with Janelle & Co
  • Moose Marble Madness
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Spawn Ideas
  • Sitka Rotary Club
  • Susitna Rotary Club
  • Thomas Head & Greisen CPA Firm
  • Wasilla Noon Rotary Club
We are looking forward to seeing you in Anchorage!
Teri Lindseth and Denise Kipke
District Conference Co-Chairs
Reminder 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0
David Ives
Rotary Club of Rhinebeck, New York
David Ives was a 16-year-old in rural Ohio in 1967 when he embarked on a trip that changed his life. With his parents, Ives visited church missions in South America, where he saw people living in shelters made of corn stalks or tin cans, and in homes with no furniture other than a mattress on the floor. He saw rivers that were used as both sewers and sources of drinking water. “That’s the touchstone I can never get rid of,” he says, “the feeling that I had when I saw poverty for the first time.”
David Ives
Photo by Peter Ross
Ives turned that experience into a career dedicated to peace and the eradication of poverty. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, he was a nutrition educator, helping people plant gardens to feed themselves during difficult economic times. While there, he tried unsuccessfully to save the life of a child whose lungs were filled with worms as a result of drinking dirty water. “She’s on my mind a lot,” he says.
Ives is a former Rotary Peace Forum coordinator, an adviser to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and the executive director emeritus of Quinnipiac University’s Albert Schweitzer Institute, which conducts programs based on Schweitzer’s philosophy of reverence for life to bring about a more civil and ethical society characterized by respect, responsibility, compassion, and service. He has organized Rotary peace conferences around the globe which feature world leaders such as former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Óscar Arias Sánchez. At one of those peace conferences, in Côte d’Ivoire, Ives — himself a polio survivor — helped administer the polio vaccine to children in local communities.
With his fellow Rhinebeck Rotarians, Ives helps raise money for U.S. high school students to visit Costa Rica and carry out humanitarian projects in conjunction with Earth University, which teaches students from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America how to work for socioeconomic and environmental change. 
Though now living with Parkinson’s disease, Ives, who turns 68 this month, shows no signs of slowing down his peace efforts — particularly where Rotary is concerned. “I’ve been extremely impressed with the power of Rotarians to be a force for peace,” he says. “We have great potential to do even more.”
                                                                                                                                                                                Anne Ford
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Peacemaker 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0
Received the following e-mail offering a presentation in April.

Interest in presenting to your club on April 4, 2019

Leslie Shallcross <>

1:54 PM (3 hours ago)
to me
Dear Homer Kachemak-Bay Rotary Club,
I am inquiring about the possibility of presenting to your club on April 4th.  I am a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and dietitian who works with health promotion disease prevention programs in Alaska.  I am trying to get the word out about diabetes risks and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program.  The Alaska DHSS Diabetes Prevention and Control Program has grant funding to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program on the Kenai Peninsula for free during the next several years and I want to make sure that everyone at-risk can take advantage of this opportunity.  
I have scheduled a talk with another group in Homer on April 2 and would be pleased to stay and present to your organization on the 4th.  Let me know if this is possible.   
Best regards,
Leslie Shallcross, MS, RDN, LDN

Associate Professor of Extension - Health, Home and Family Development
UAF School of Natural Resources and Cooperative Extension 
Physical Address:1000 University Avenue, Room 109, Fairbanks, AK 99709
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 758155, Fairbanks, AK 99775-8155 
(907) 474-2426 office; (907) 242-6138 mobile
907-474-6885 fax
Possible Speaker in April 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0

Many thanks to Dave Brann and his cohorts from the City Parks & Recreation and FLEX for putting together a great Rotary co-sponsored Community Ice Skating event at Ben Walters Park on Friday, February 15. The weather was perfect and all attendees from all age groups had a great time

Those kids had a ball!
Ben Walters Park Ice Skating Party 2019 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0

If you are headed to Anchorage this weekend, take time to stop in at the Anchorage East Rotary’s second annual Rondy Rotary Beer Festival. It is held at the Alaska Center for Performing Arts, Saturday, February 16 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.

Rondy Rotary Beer Festival 2019-02-13 09:00:00Z 0


Thanks to all who made our second annual Cranium Cup a success. Emcee Charlie Franz kept our enthusiastic participants on their toes and made sure we finished on time. For the second year, the Homer Medical Clinic team, headed by Dr. Bill “Tom Brady” Bell took home the coveted Cranium Cup trophy. Next time you visit the clinic look for it!





Cranium Cup 2019 Contest 2019-02-13 09:00:00Z 0
The first of three meetings to discuss the Council on Legislation Proposed Enactments will be held online on Go To Meeting by your District 5010 Council Representative, Jane Little.  If you have any questions, email Jane at
If you would like to participate, first review the proposed enactments at:
Then follow the instructions below and join the meeting on Friday, February 15th from 2:00 to 3:00pm.
Friday, Feb. 15, 2019; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AKST
Please join the Go To Meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
You can also dial in using your phone.
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
United States: +1 (786) 358-5410
- One-touch: tel:+17863585410,,601054165
Access Code: 601-054-165
More phone numbers:
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
This email was automatically generated by ClubRunner on behalf of Rotary District 5010. Unsubscribe
COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION MEETING #1 2019-02-13 09:00:00Z 0

It’s now easier than ever to strengthen Rotary’s image in your community with the materials and resources available in the Rotary Brand Center.

Launched earlier this month, the Brand Center offers a simple and intuitive way to customize your club logo, create a marketing brochure, or give your newsletter a fresh look. You’ll also find guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions as well as information about why telling our story is important.

“The Brand Center enables everybody to play an active role in promoting Rotary to the world,” says Alan Buddendeck, general manager and chief communication officer for Rotary International.

“What’s exciting is that the site has been designed in cooperation with Rotary members worldwide, which is critically important to the user experience,” Buddendeck says.

Here are five reasons you should use the Brand Center:

  1. You can create your own club and district logos featuring Rotary’s masterbrand signature and see your edits in real time.
  2. You can develop professional-looking PowerPoint presentations, press releases, and newsletters that incorporate Rotary’s visual identity. Templates can be customized as much -- or as little -- as you want.
  3. You can find guidelines for using Rotary’s logos and answers to frequently asked questions about our new visual identity. For instance, did you know that your member pin remains unchanged? Or that free fonts are available along with the commercially licensed options?
  4. You can upload and store the materials and logos you create for future use by creating a basket. Use the Quick Share function to email your basket and share your new materials with members.
  5. You can download broadcast-quality public service announcements, videos, and images to help tell Rotary’s story. Choose from a variety of topics to illustrate including Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, and Take Action -- our three organizing principles.

“With the new Brand Center, anyone can use the tools and templates to create logos and documents that reflect a unified look, yet are personalized to the club or district,” says Elizabeth Smith Yeats, incoming governor of District 6400, which includes parts of Ontario, Canada, and Michigan, USA. “And they can achieve first-class results without hiring a designer or purchasing expensive software.”

Sign in or register to your My Rotary account to discover all the Brand Center has to offer.

Five Reasons You Should Use the Rotary Brand Center 2019-02-12 09:00:00Z 0

That is the question that Louisa Horne, a trainer in District 7820, asks leaders to think about when she runs her version of the presidents-elect training seminar (PETS) in the spring. When she was asked to be a district trainer three years ago, Horne knew she wanted to reshape what she called “drill and kill” sessions that revolved around information participants needed to learn.

“Instead, we leveraged the talents of some highly skilled trainers we happened to have among our members,” says the incoming district governor. “We got people who were adult educators who understood how facilitation should be done and were able to create a very different approach to developing our leaders.”

Rotary members should be thinking about what they can do to make their clubs more interesting to potential members. Good service projects is one way. Rotarians in Tanzania, above, operate a project helping people with albinism become financially independent. 

Photo by Miriam Doan

Horne recruited Doug Logan, a past governor, to help. They named their seminars “Training for Leaders of Clubs” (TLC) to stress the changes they made and persuade those who might not want to attend another seminar to give it a try. They later led a breakout session at the 2018 Toronto convention and have also brought their workshop to others outside of their district.

Strategic doing

The core idea is to get people thinking strategically about what they need to do to make their clubs more attractive to members.

“Decline in membership is not the problem. It is a symptom,” says Logan. “So rather than rushing to develop recruitment strategies, we want people to start thinking, ‘OK, what else is really happening here?’”

Logan and Horne recruit facilitators with a background in management consulting or adult education. They use a variety of tools to encourage “strategic doing.” Participants are asked to create a list of what they’ll do in the next 30 days to help achieve their clubs’ goals and decide how they will evaluate their completed tasks. They then make a list of what they’ll do 30 days after that to keep making a difference.


The seminars also stress succession planning and courageous leadership.

“This is not just for presidents and secretaries. This is for all leaders and aspiring leaders,” says Horne. “You can’t think of it in terms of ‘my year.’ Most clubs need to have a longer-term plan for what they want to accomplish and how they want to have an impact. Those strategic conversations need to involve people who can give it continuity.”

By shifting responsibility from a single person to a team, Horne says, clubs can make a role less consuming and more appealing. Horne plans to exemplify this approach to her clubs by using the title “chair of the district leadership team” in place of “district governor.”

“We expect our club or district leaders to be all things to all people, and that just doesn’t work,” Horne says. “It has to be a team, and there have to be very simple tools that people can use effectively with some basic training.”

What Would It Take to Make Your Club Irresistible? 2019-02-12 09:00:00Z 0
Female surveillance officer for WHO pushes through gender-related obstacles to help end polio in Pakistan
By Ryan Hyland
Dr. Ujala Nayyar dreams, both figuratively and literally, about a world that is free from polio. Nayyar, the World Health Organization's surveillance officer in Pakistan’s Punjab province, says she often imagines the outcome of her work in her sleep.
In her waking life, she leads a team of health workers who crisscross Punjab to hunt down every potential incidence of poliovirus, testing sewage and investigating any reports of paralysis that might be polio. Pakistan is one of just two countries that continue to report cases of polio caused by the wild virus. 
Dr. Ujala Nayyar, surveillance officer for WHO, talks about polio eradication efforts in Pakistan. 
In addition to the challenges of polio surveillance, Nayyar faces substantial gender-related barriers that, at times, hinder her team's ability to count cases and take environmental samples. From households to security checkpoints, she encounters resistance from men. But her tactic is to push past the barriers with a balance of sensitivity and assertiveness.  
"I'm not very polite," Nayyar said with a chuckle during an interview at Rotary's World Polio Day last year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. "We don't have time to be stopped. Ending polio is urgent and time-sensitive."
Women are critical in the fight against polio, Nayyar says. About 56 percent of frontline workers in Pakistan are women. More than 70 percent of mothers in Pakistan prefer to have women vaccinate their children. 
That hasn't stopped families from slamming doors in health workers' faces, though. When polio is detected in a community, teams have to make repeated visits to each home to ensure that every child is protected by the vaccine. Multiple vaccinations add to the skepticism and anger that some parents express. It's an attitude that Nayyar and other health workers deal with daily. 
"You can't react negatively in those situations. It's important to listen. Our female workers are the best at that," says Nayyar. 
With polio on the verge of eradication, surveillance activities, which, Nayyar calls the "back of polio eradication", have never been more important. 
  • 56%  of front-line workers in Pakistan are female
  • 90% of front-line workers in Nigeria are female
Q: What exactly does polio surveillance involve?
A: There are two types of surveillance systems. One is surveillance of cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), and the second is environmental surveillance. The surveillance process continues after eradication. 
Q: How are you made aware of potential polio cases?
A: There’s a network of reporting sites. They include all the medical facilities, the government, and the hospitals, plus informal health care providers and community leaders. The level of awareness is so high, and our community education has worked so well, that sometimes the parents call us directly.
Q: What happens if evidence of poliovirus is found?
Dr. Ujala Nayyar, the surveillance officer for the World Health Organization in Punjab, Pakistan, navigates through barriers to hunt down cases of polio. 
Monika Lozinska/Rotary International
A: In response to cases in humans as well as cases detected in the environment, we implement three rounds of supplementary immunization campaigns. The scope of our response depends on the epidemiology and our risk assessment. We look at the drainage systems. Some systems are filtered, but there are also areas that have open drains. We have maps of the sewer systems. We either cover the specific drainage areas or we do an expanded response in a larger area.
Q: What are the special challenges in Pakistan?
A: We have mobile populations that are at high risk, and we have special health camps for these populations. Routine vaccination is every child’s right, but because of poverty and lack of education, many of these people are not accessing these services. 
Q: How do you convince people who are skeptical about the polio vaccine?
A: We have community mobilizers who tell people about the benefits of the vaccine. We have made it this far in the program only because of these frontline workers. One issue we are facing right now is that people are tired of vaccination. If a positive environmental sample has been found in the vicinity, then we have to go back three times within a very short time period. Every month you go to their doorstep, you knock on the door. There are times when people throw garbage. It has happened to me. But we do not react. We have to tolerate their anger; we have to listen.
Q: What role does Rotary play in what you do?
A: Whenever I need anything, I call on Rotary. Umbrellas for the teams? Call Rotary. Train tickets? Call Rotary. It's the longest-running eradication program in the history of public health, but still the support of Rotary is there. 
Virus Hunter 2019-02-07 09:00:00Z 0
Subject: Rotary Dictionary Day!
Dear Milli and Homer – Kachemak Bay Rotary Club members,
Thank you so very much for inspiring our third grade students and giving each of them a dictionary. Our students love their new dictionaries and had a great time looking through them for the first time in our library! We have included a few pictures from your visit. Thank you so very much from West Homer Elementary and Fireweed Academy!
West Homer Elementary Librarians,
Lisa Whip and Cheryl Illg
Rotary Dictionary Day 2019-02-07 09:00:00Z 0
As you know, we have a Russian University student who will be in Alaska for the month of July, 2019, as part of the University of Irkutsk Business school's internship program.  I am attaching Maria's photo, information about the program from the Director, PDG Vladimir Donskoy, and Maria's goals and resume.
When we return from Mexico, in late February, we need to begin the process of recruiting Rotarians who are willing for Maria to job shadow at their places of work.  We are working with the RC of Anchorage South to host Maria for the last half of the month, so our Club will need to host and find businesses for Maria for July 1-15.  Maria's visa was approved by the US government which apparently is a major achievement!  Our Rotary Club's activities, social events, and cultural experiences sound as important as the business shadowing/learning in this program.
Thank you very much.
Vivian and Clyde

Russian  Business Intern to Visit Soon! 2019-02-07 09:00:00Z 0
By Keri B. Lynch
In 2011, Kiran Singh Sirah turned 35 — “halfway through our life’s journey,” he says, citing Dante’s Divine Comedy. The UK native had been living in Edinburgh and Glasgow for a decade, working on a variety of cultural endeavors. “I felt I had done everything I needed to do and learn in Scotland. It was time to take my experiences and move them to the next level.” 
That’s when Sirah heard about the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Since the program began in 2002, more than 1,200 peace fellows have received fully funded scholarships to study at one of six peace centers at universities around the world. With help from Rotarians in Scotland, Sirah eventually landed one of those scholarships and headed to North Carolina, where he earned a master’s degree in folklore studies and a graduate certificate in international peace and conflict resolution. 
Kiran Singh Sirah, center, marches for peace. Learn why Kiran Singh Sirah believes spinning tales can foster world peace.  
Photo by Johnson City Press
“It felt like a chance at a second life,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to harness new skills, explore new ideas, and get the academic and theoretical knowledge I needed to advance my peacebuilding work.” 
So how does someone become a Rotary Peace Fellow? And how does a district nominate a potential fellow? Follow the steps laid out below.
Step 1: Determine which of the two fellowship programs offered by Rotary best suits your goals and circumstances.
The master’s degree program requires at least three years of relevant full-time work experience and lasts 15 to 24 months, including an applied field experience of two to three months between the first and second academic year. The program is offered at five Rotary Peace Centers based at six universities. Fellows accepted into the program must study at a center outside their home country. The universities are:
  • Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States
  • International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
  • University of Bradford, Bradford, England
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Aimed at candidates with at least five years of relevant full-time work experience, the professional development certificate program provides an intensive three-month program in peace and development that includes two to three weeks of field study. It is offered by the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Residents of any country, including Thailand, may attend the Chulalongkorn peace center.
The Rotary Foundation annually awards up to 50 fellowships in each of the two programs. The fellowship covers tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all research and field study expenses.
Step 2: Review eligibility requirements and application guidelines.
The fellowship application can be found beginning in early February at the peace fellowship page at It includes an online tool that helps prospective candidates determine whether they are eligible for a fellowship and whether they meet the basic requirements related to education, language skills, and work experience. (For instance, candidates must be proficient in English since all coursework is conducted in that language. See step 4.) Rotary employees, members of Rotary clubs, and the children and grandchildren of club members are ineligible for fellowships.
Fellowships are designed for people with professional experience related to peacebuilding or international development. Candidates must have strong leadership skills and a clear commitment to peace, though what that looks like may vary widely and could include, for instance, work in environmental issues, education and literacy, women’s rights, journalism, public health, or disease prevention.
Step 3: Thoroughly research the curriculum at each peace center.
“Each peace center has a different personality,” says Summer Lewis, a Kansas native who studied at the University of Queensland from 2011 to 2012. “UQ was rigorous academically. It’s a master’s in the political science department, so it is heavy on theory versus practice.” 
"Duke-UNC was suggested to me by the Rotarian committee in Scotland that helped pull my application together,” Sirah says. “I looked into the program and realized they had one of the best folklore studies programs in the United States, if not the world. I also liked the interdisciplinary nature of the program.”
Candidates are asked to rank the peace centers in order of preference. For Chance Kalolokesya of Malawi, who will graduate in 2020, this was the easiest part of the application process. “I knew what academic program I wanted to study and what kind of career I was anticipating,” he says. “Not every Rotary Peace Center offers the same kind of program, and that’s why I chose the University of Bradford,” which has the largest department of peace studies in the world.
Step 4: Candidates for the master’s degree program should obtain their academic transcripts and test scores.
Candidates for the certificate program will not need these materials, but, like the master’s candidates, they will want to update their résumés, gather two letters of recommendation, and craft the required essays. All these materials must be submitted through the online application in English. 
When editing her résumé, Zimbabwe’s Chenai Kadungure, who received her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 2018, took special care to outline the role of peace in her life. “I had someone help me navigate where my passion for peace was in my résumé,” she says. “I discovered that, without realizing it, my entire career had been in peace. Don’t underestimate each of the little things you do and have done.”
As you write your essay, find a theme that tells your story. “If you’ve done work in a variety of areas that may appear to be diverse, figure out a thread that connects all those jobs and projects,” Lewis says. “Show how they relate to each other, how they build on each other, and how they all led you to where you are today. Do so in a way that tells your story rather than regurgitating your résumé.”
For letters of recommendation, a candidate should choose references who can provide concrete examples of his or her academic, professional, and volunteer achievements, while also describing how the candidate would be a good fit for the peace fellowship program.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are required for all non-native English speakers applying to the master’s program. GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores are required for the master’s program at UNC and highly recommended at Duke.
"Register early for the required exams,” says Kadungure. “The number of individuals who can take the test on a particular date may be limited in your area, so contact the testing center in your country as soon as possible.”
Step 5: Contact your Rotary district, which will consider your application for endorsement, and request an interview.  
Usually the best way to contact a district is through your local Rotary club; go to and use the Rotary Club Finder to locate clubs in your area. Districts review applications and choose the candidates they wish to endorse.
"Districts can endorse as many candidates as they wish,” says Sarah Cunningham, senior marketing programs specialist for the Rotary Peace Centers. “There is no charge to districts to apply, nor do they incur any costs if any of their candidates are selected for a fellowship.”
Candidates who have trouble connecting with a Rotary club or district should contact Rotary Peace Center staff no later than 15 May. Districts that need help with the process should also contact staff. All questions and inquiries can be sent to “If your district feels inundated by a large number of applications, reach out to us,” Cunningham says. “We can help connect candidates with districts elsewhere that could review and possibly endorse those applications.”
As Kadungure discovered, “finding a club or district to sponsor you can be challenging if you live in an area with fewer Rotarians. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the peace center staff if you’re struggling to make that connection.”
Step 6: Submit your completed application to your Rotary district no later than 31 May.
Begin to prepare for your interview by getting to know all about Rotary. “During your interview, demonstrate that you identify with Rotary’s specific values,” Lewis says. “Talk about how your work ties into the Foundation’s six areas of focus and make it clear how your work aligns with Rotary’s, and how you can then help Rotary advance its work and impact in the world.”
Step 7: District representatives interview candidates.
Among other things, the interview can help determine if a candidate is ready for the program. “I recommend that if at first you don’t succeed, sharpen your application, goals, and plans, and apply again,” says Lewis, who applied twice before being accepted.   
"In the most recent round of applications, 30 percent of finalists had applied previously and not been accepted, and then were accepted this year,” Cunningham says. “So determination pays off.”
Step 8: Districts must submit endorsed applications by 1 July.
Each year, between July and October, the Rotary Peace Centers Committee, composed of appointed Rotarians and university representatives, screens endorsed and qualified applications and selects fellowship finalists. Districts and their candidates are notified of the results by November.
Step 9: Selected peace fellows apply to their universities.
Being chosen for a fellowship does not guarantee admission to the university. Candidates must apply for admission to their designated universities and meet all admission requirements. Carefully review the admission requirements to ensure that you’re prepared. It is recommended that candidates wait to be notified of their selection to the fellowship before applying for university admission. At Duke-UNC, fellows enroll either in the master’s program in international development policy at Duke or in master’s programs under various relevant departments and schools at UNC.
Looking to the future
All Rotary clubs and districts can support the peace fellowship program by recruiting and endorsing candidates. In fact, some districts take the initiative and, with an eye toward the future, build a pool of prospective candidates who might qualify for a fellowship in another year or two.
In 2018, to assist clubs and districts, the peace center staff added new training sessions and resources online. This year the staff will begin a campaign to increase participation in the endorsement process at the district level. The goal is to have a peace fellowship subcommittee chair appointed in each district by 2020, which should strengthen the peace fellowship program and advance Rotary’s peacebuilding efforts. 
"The program and course of study helped me refine my ideas, validate my past life and work experiences, and acquire the academic credentials I needed to build the networks to do my work,” Sirah says. “It has given me more than 1,200 peace fellows and 1.2 million Rotarians to build partnerships and projects with — and it gave me an international family, the people I spent two intense years living and studying with. Our time together created a binding force we can use to take on some of the world’s most pressing challenges.” 
• A freelance writer and editor, Keri B. Lynch also works with Rotary International as a PR consultant.
How to Become a Rotary Peace Fellow 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0

It's that time of year again!  I need your help to spread the word about RYLA and to pass on information to Sophomores and/or Juniors that you think would be good candidates to participate in RYLA.

This year RYLA is March 7-10th and is in Juneau.

The application and a FAQs sheet is attached to this email and we need to have applications submitted by Feb. 1.

RYLA is a great leadership building experience and networking opportunity for youth.  Please help get the word out!


RYLA 2019 -- Juneau, Alaska 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0

Todd Matthews’ first missing-persons case had a family connection: “Tent Girl,” a woman whose remains, wrapped in a tarp, had been found by Wilbur Riddle near Georgetown, Kentucky, in 1968. About 20 years later, Riddle’s son-in-law, Matthews, a factory worker with no detective training, started digging into what records he could find. In 1998, an online classified ad finally led him to uncover the woman’s identity: Barbara Ann Hackmann Taylor, who was 24 when she went missing.

Today, Matthews, a member of the Rotary Club of Livingston, Tennessee, is director of communications at the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, NamUs collects information about unsolved cases from local law enforcement into a single, searchable database. 

Todd Matthews, a member of the Rotary Club of Livingston, Tennessee.

Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

Q: What made you want to find the identity of Tent Girl?

A: My brother and sister passed away as infants. We visited their graves. But Tent Girl’s siblings, her parents, and her children couldn’t visit her grave because they didn’t know where she was. 

Q: How did you go from amateur investigator to working for NamUs?

A: At the time of the Tent Girl case, there were a lot of groups that would gather online to study serial killers or unidentified and missing-persons cases. And we were solving cases! There was a lot of low-hanging fruit, because Chicago didn’t know what was happening in Detroit; they weren’t sharing information. By demonstrating that we were sharing this information, I was able to help develop NamUs.

Q: How does the database work?

A: The public is effective in using data to solve these cases, so NamUs is intended for the public to see. But law enforcement can go deeper. The public will see photographs, brief descriptions, where a person was last known to be or where a body was found. Law enforcement can see the actual fingerprint card if it exists, the dental records if they’re available, where the DNA is stored in a database. The system is even capable of suggesting possible matches based on geography, chronology, physical characteristics. The system can actually develop investigative leads.

Q: How many missing and unidentified people are in the NamUs database?

A: Our database has more than 14,000 missing persons. We have over 12,000 unidentified bodies. That doesn’t include cases we have had some resolution on. Thousands of cases have been impacted by NamUs. For families, missing is worse than dead. That’s what I’d like people to know. You can’t grieve; you can’t move on. 

Q: In 2017, your home state of Tennessee passed legislation requiring law enforcement to enter missing-persons information into NamUs. Three other states have passed similar measures. How does this help your mission?

A: In Tennessee, we have held public events to educate families and friends of missing persons about the database. That means we don’t have to go one-on-one to tell people, “Here’s NamUs, and here’s what it does.” But there are 46 other states that need to pass this kind of law. A number of states are interested, but it’s going to take influential people like Rotary members to push it through. That can change things dramatically. — Fritz Lenneman

• Read more stories from The Rotarian

Rotary Member Helps Close Missing Persons Cases 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0
Cranium Cup 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0
By Jennifer Jones, a member of the RI Communications Committee
Over the past two years, Rotary has undertaken an unprecedented amount of research to study the effectiveness of how we communicate with each other and also to look at perceptions about the organization from the community at large.
What’s likely not surprising is that we determined we have all of the strengths necessary for greatness in our second century of service. However, when we looked at awareness about our organization in the greater public arena, they quite simply don’t know about us. It is very easy to ask the question – how can this be true?
Global research shows that when asked – four in 10 people have never heard of us, another four know us in name only, and the remaining two only have some familiarity, which is often colored by misconceptions. How can we attract and engage new members and partners when they don’t know who we are?
Personally, I think that in order to keep Rotary relevant and enticing for the next 100 years, we need to be innovative, forward thinking, and adaptable to ensure that the rest of the world views us the way we view ourselves. Here’s what I like most about the Strengthening Rotary initiative:
1. It helps us explain who we are, what we do, and why we matter.
Through this process, we have introduced a new framework to help Rotarians better define who we are when asked the inevitable question – what is Rotary? We Join Leaders – Exchange Ideas and Take Action. Of course each Rotarian’s story is different but if we could highlight the common ground, it begins to form a compelling call to action. We are leaders who act responsibly and take action to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. When we are all singing off the same song sheet our message is amplified and it becomes much easier to engage people in Rotary.
2. It helps us present a strong, unified image to the public
For so long we did our good work quietly and not for recognition. While this was noble it made it difficult for people to understand the good work of Rotarians. Now that “telling our story” has become a priority, we need to make sure that we have a united voice.
An exciting new visual identity kit and guidelines have been launched and they provide tools for individuals, clubs, and districts to create a look that begins to introduce continuity across the globe. Of course, there remains room for personal creativity but a unified look and feel will propel Rotary into a very bright future. Everyone will know who we are, what we do and why it matters!
If you’ve visited within the past few months, you’ve probably noticed evidence of this initiative in the form of simpler, more action-oriented words and visuals. I am also so heartened to see the materials that Rotarians are creating with these new tools. They are stunning and I have heard from countless Rotarians that they love the fresh new look and feel.
3. It will help us attract new members and supporters
Strengthening Rotary is essential to Rotary’s future. As we share our story in a more clear and compelling way, like-minded people are going to want to be part of our great organization. This really is one of our best membership opportunities. In the end, if we can elevate awareness and attract and engage new members and partners, our good work will spread and “doing good in the world” will not only remain our organizational compass but it will help us soar to new heights.
Three Reasons to Strengthen Rotary's Image 2019-01-23 09:00:00Z 0
A year after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, local Rotary members continue to rebuild homes and lives
By Vanessa Glavinskas                                       Photos by Alyce Henson
Eladio Montalvo faced a stark choice: risk drowning in his one-story home or climb through a window into the house next door. It was under construction but had a second floor where he could escape the rising floodwaters. He boosted his dog through and scrambled in after him. The two huddled inside an upstairs bathroom for 22 hours while Hurricane Maria raged over Puerto Rico. With 155 mph winds and torrential rains, Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit the island in more than 80 years.  
After the storm, Montalvo went out to see what was left of the home he had lived in since 1958. The walls were standing, but the water inside had risen chest-high. Everything was destroyed. Without any family nearby, he had nowhere to go. He moved into his car. 
“But after the storm came the calm,” he says. “Good people came.”
Rivera greets Eladio Montalvo, who was forced to live in his car before the Mayagüez club helped him rebuild his home.
Faustino Rivera pats Montalvo affectionately on the shoulder. It’s September 2018, a year since Hurricane Maria, and Rivera and several other members of the Rotary Club of Mayagüez have stopped by to visit. Montalvo lives in a fishing town called El Maní outside the city of Mayagüez on the island’s west coast. He invites his guests inside to see the progress he has made adding a shower to his bathroom. There’s a pile of tiles that he plans to lay soon, and he has started painting the walls a light shade of blue. The home is neatly but sparsely furnished: a bed, a TV, and a few plastic bins, including one labeled camisas that has shirts and shorts tucked inside.
“He’s become my friend,” says Rotarian Orlando Carlo, who checks in on Montalvo almost every week.
The Mayagüez club paid $4,200 for the materials Montalvo used to add a second story to his home. Made of concrete, outfitted with hurricane shutters, and built high enough off the ground to avoid flooding, the new addition contains a small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. Montalvo did much of the work himself, calling on friends and neighbors skilled in construction when he needed help. 
To find people like Montalvo who needed help but didn’t qualify for reconstruction aid from the U.S. government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mayagüez club members worked with community leaders and screened each family. “We are trying to help those who really need help,” Carlo explains. “Those who can’t get it from anyone else.”
By the time Carlo met him, Montalvo had been living in his car for nearly six months. A local church leader introduced the two, hoping Rotarians could help Montalvo find permanent housing. “I could tell immediately that he was severely dehydrated from staying out in the sun and sleeping in his car,” Carlo says. “He seemed stunned and needed guidance on how to start rebuilding. We assured him we were there to help him.”
After the hurricane, Carlo was also living alone. His wife had gone to stay in Florida while he remained behind to run his construction business. But the lack of electricity and reliable communication meant his work projects were stalled, so he mostly spent his days volunteering. “It gave me a lot of time to help,” he says. His home survived the storm, but the shortage of gasoline meant he had to plan his trips carefully. He rationed bottled water and food, eating what he calls a “hurricane diet” of canned pasta or sausage and rice.
“We didn’t have power back until the end of October,” says Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, president of the Mayagüez club. “We could use one bucket of water per day. My teenage daughter learned that water is the No. 1 thing you need. She could live without electricity and even without her cellphone, but not without water.”
Antonio Morales spreads a message of hope and resilience to at-risk youth through theater. His project, Teatro Por Amor, is now supported by a Rotary global grant.  “I like coming here because it’s an escape from my life,” says 16-year-old Annie, above left. Student Kelvin Tirado, right, sits next to actress Anoushka Medina, who runs the Santurce Teatro Por Amor group.
Mayagüez is home to 75,000 people and to the island’s second-oldest Rotary club after San Juan. In the past, the club carried out smaller projects, but the massive devastation caused by Maria motivated members to do more to help their neighbors, especially the very poor.
“I’ve been a Rotarian for 40 years, and I’ve never seen so much help come from other Rotary clubs,” Carlo says. After Hurricane Maria, clubs across the United States wired the Rotary Club of Mayagüez about $50,000 directly; more than half of that money came from the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle in California and a group of clubs in New York. As club treasurer, Rivera keeps track of every receipt and sends updates back to the donor clubs. A year after Maria, the club had helped 22 families repair their homes, mostly replacing roofs that were blown off by the hurricane.
Scanning the horizon from a hillside neighborhood nicknamed Felices Días — “Happy Days” — Carlo points out a less-than-happy sight: the many blue FEMA tarps that still stand in for permanent roofs. “There is still a lot of need here. This is not over,” he says. “But we are willing to continue to help as long as it takes.”
And for Montalvo’s part, he has remained optimistic in spite of all he went through. “Hurricane Maria gave me more than she took,” he says.
Rebuilding spirits: Addressing mental health
When Ken McGrath became president of the Rotary Club of San Juan in July 2017, he thought his most arduous task would be planning the celebration of the club’s centennial in 2018. Three months after he took office, Hurricane Maria hit. 
“While Maria was a major disaster,” McGrath says, “it had the beneficial effect of invigorating our club to show those in need the real meaning of Rotary.”
By the time he was able to get an internet connection and check his email, McGrath had received 200 messages from clubs around the world offering to help. Rotarians in Puerto Rico started distributing food and water every Saturday. Working with other clubs, they coordinated the distribution of 300,000 pouches of baby food. They even put dog food out for animals that had been left behind.
Once the immediate needs were under control, they started to think about long-term relief.
San Juan club members distribute mattresses in Villa Santo.
Photo by Gerry Cumpiano
“So much of the damage isn’t only to the infrastructure; it’s to the spirit,” says John Richardson, a member of the San Juan club and a past district governor. To address mental health after the hurricane, fellow member Bob Bolte suggested the club do something unconventional: apply for a grant to support youth theater.
Bolte had met Antonio Morales in 1995 when the San Juan club installed a library in the housing project where Morales grew up. He was impressed to see that Morales, who was just 14 at the time, was running a theater group for other kids living in his tough neighborhood.
“Theater saved my life,” says Morales, now a 37-year-old actor and director. “My father was a drug lord. My mother was a victim of domestic violence.”
Even though his father had forbidden him to pursue acting, Morales persuaded his mother to secretly take him to an audition at the public performing arts school. “Everything I learned at school, I brought back to the projects,” he says.
Eventually his theater group became an unlikely alternative to gangs in his neighborhood. “When boys reach a certain age, it’s very easy for them to join the drug gangs,” Morales says. “We told them, ‘Come join our club, not them.’ Even the leaders of the gangs supported me. They didn’t want their little brothers to follow in their footsteps.”
After the hurricane, Morales, who now runs the San Juan Drama Company and stars in a TV series called No Me Compares, started visiting housing projects with other actors to spread a message of hope and resilience to young people. “People were desperate. They were bored. They were depressed,” he says. “We decided to go into these communities to give love. We didn’t have aid kits, food, or water to give — but we had our theater experience. So we said, ‘Let’s go and make these people happy.’” With schools closed and the power out, teens turned out in droves.
When Bolte learned what Morales was doing, he suggested Rotary could help. “These theater groups provide almost a second family to a lot of the kids,” Bolte says. “I wanted to help him do this on a wider scale, across multiple neighborhoods.” A $99,700 global grant has allowed Morales to expand the project to four theater groups so far and to pay a stipend to the facilitators of each group. Funding for the grant came from Bob Murray, a former San Juan club member who now lives in Arizona, where he’s a member of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale. In December 2017, Murray gave $1 million to The Rotary Foundation for the recovery effort.
After the Storm 2019-01-23 09:00:00Z 0
By Paul Engleman
Last May, my 86-year-old mother-in-law moved from the Wisconsin farm where she had lived for 40 years to a smaller house 15 miles away. With help from seven children and 11 grandchildren, she has accumulated more stuff over her lifetime than she (or they) could ever use, and so during the week leading up to moving day, family members made a dozen round trips in minivans and SUVs, transporting small items — lamps, dishes, knickknacks, plants, wall hangings, her thimble collection, along with a profusion of canned goods  — to her new home.
Illustration by Richard Mia
About halfway through the process, my older son whispered, “Please, don’t let this happen to you and Mom.” Someday, it will fall to him and his brother to help move us. And so — although we have no imminent plans to move — the word “downsize” has crept into our vocabulary. 
As the 65-mile marker begins to fade in my rearview mirror, I had better get started — you know, while I’m still young. Gazing around my basement office at the walls of magazines and books, at the boxes and cabinets filled with outdated computers, monitors, keyboards, and cables, and at the 10 file drawers stuffed with paper, I realize that I should have started sooner. Like maybe 21 years ago, before we moved into this house. 
I’m not sure where to begin. There are enough books on decluttering to fill that big old bookcase you’ve been meaning to get rid of. And if you search the internet for “declutter,” your screen will be instantly cluttered with links to sites filled with tips. But should I be reading about decluttering when I could be using that time to actually do it? Clearly, I need help.
I start with the current world champion of decluttering: Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015. Her approach to decluttering is a six-step process that relies on asking yourself whether a possession “sparks joy” when you hold it. If not, you should thank it and send it packing. 
I don’t doubt that Kondo has helped millions of people get their houses and lives in order. But few of my possessions spark joy — not even my last novel, probably because I know there are two cases of unsold copies lurking beneath the basement stairs. 
I make my way to MakeSpace, a website that calls itself “your closet in the cloud” and offers a page with “15 actionable tips” from six certified professional organizers. 
For parting with sentimental items, one of those pros suggests taking a picture and “writing a short story about its history and significance.” But in my case, those sentimental items include a dozen unpublished short stories that I thought were pretty good, even if a jury of editors unanimously disagreed. Upon closer examination, I discover that the MakeSpace business model is mostly about shifting clutter: “We’ll pick up your stuff, store it in our secure storage facility, and create an online photo catalog of it so you never forget what you have in storage.” 
I decide to consult my neighbor Therese Garrity, one of the most organized people I know. A real estate appraiser and the mother of seven children, she has had to confront clutter on a scale few of us can fathom. She is an ardent devotee of the “FlyLady,” Marla Cilley, a blogger who launched an online support group to help people counter household CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) in 2001. 
“I couldn’t keep up with stuff; I felt like our house was always a mess,” Therese says. “I liked FlyLady because she didn’t come off like she was perfect; I could relate to that.” By following the basic FlyLady flight plan of setting a timer for 15 minutes every day and picking up items with two bags — one for trash, one for things to be donated — she was pleasantly surprised by how much progress she made. 
I like the fact that Therese doesn’t proselytize. “Whatever you do has to work for you,” she says. 
But what I’m doing isn’t working, maybe because I’m basically doing nothing. So I turn to another friend, who recently downsized, for advice. 
Tom Wolfe and his wife, Barb Wallace, have been a comedy-writing team for several decades. Like me, they work from home, they have two kids who have graduated from college, and, as writers, they rely on deadlines for motivation. My own wife, Barb, says that the lack of an impending deadline is our biggest obstacle to getting started. 
“It’s not decluttering; it’s a purge,” Tom says, noting that the process of selling their house and moving “took about six months and seemed like a full-time job.” It included two garage sales and multiple trips to recycling facilities and outlet stores of charitable organizations. “I have a Puritan streak — I hate to waste stuff,” he says. “But I actually started wondering if the carbon footprint of driving things all over cancels out the benefit of trying to be environmentally responsible.” 
During their purge, Tom established a two-year rule: “If you haven’t used or worn something in two years, get rid of it. If it has value, sell it or donate it. If it doesn’t, throw it out.” Along the way, he made a discovery that makes me optimistic about finding the motivation to get started. “There’s a great sense of relief not being surrounded by stuff,” he says. “It’s a very freeing feeling. And I think it’s a great gift you can give your kids, to have your stuff in order.” 
In passing, Therese and Tom both make reference to a book that came out last year: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. The author is a Swedish artist and grandmother named Margareta Magnusson. 
The guiding principle behind Swedish Death Cleaning is that you should try to keep things the way you would want someone to find them when you die. Now that makes sense to me. It has a responsible ring to it. Although it may sound morbid, when it comes right down to it, facing up to our mortality is what it’s all about. 
“If I die — check that, when I die — I don’t want our kids to be burdened with our stuff,” Tom says. 
My sentiments exactly. So I’m adapting advice from both of my volunteer consultants. I’m trimming the 15 minutes a day to 10 and extending the statute of limitations on unused items to three years. And I’m setting a personal goal: reducing my file drawers from 10 to eight by spring. I’m going to get started right away, as soon as I get back from Costco. We need to pick up a few things. 
• Paul Engleman is a frequent contributor to The Rotarian.
Downsize Now. Your Children Will Thank You Later 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0

We will miss you Fredrica!  R.I.P. dear friend!



Marjorie Frederica Hall

Oct. 14, 1924 – Dec. 8, 2018

Marjorie Frederica “Rica” Hall, 94, died on Dec. 8, 2018. she passed quietly in her sleep, the family wrote.

Rica was born in Whittier, California on Oct. 14, 1924 to Frederick Herbert Bahler and Nellie Marjorie Bahler (Sharpe).

She was the eldest of three daughters. Rica was raised an educated in Southern California, earning a master’s degree in education and later a master’s in art history from California State University Long Beach. While attending college she married Stanley Dale Jennings, with whom she had three children: Donals, Marjorie and Richard.

She taught elementary school in Southern California for 35 years before retiring to Bow, Washington with her second husband, Billy F. Hall, who preceded her in death in 1984.

In 1999, Rica moved from Bow, Washington to Homer, Alaska to share in the life of her youngest son, Richard, and his family.

Rica enjoyed painting, and she loved music, having played the piano, organ, accordion and glockenspiel. She knitted, crocheted, quilted and was a welcoming hostess She also made and decorated cakes and chocolate candies.

Rica was an active member of the community wherever she lived. Her community involvement included the American Associated of University Women, Rotary, Patrons of the Pratt, Soroptimist and Skagit Art Association. She was a woman of faith who read her Bible regularly, attended services and participated in church activities.

She is survived by her sisters, Lois Caro and Shirley Nelson; brother-in-law Robert Nelson; children, Donald F. Jennings and his wife Diane, Marjorie A. Lorant, Richard D. Jennings and his wife Rosemary; and six grandchildren, Scott Jennings, Todd Jennings, Weylin Lorant, Rhiannon Elliot, Rhonwen Jennings and Rhoslyn Anderson.

She will be greatly missed.

There will be a memorial service at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 at Faith Lutheran Church of Homer, at 1000 Soundview Ave., Homer, AK 99603.


If you need information or have questions please call 907-399-1226

Obituary Homer Downtown 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0

It’s now easier than ever to strengthen Rotary’s image in your community with the materials and resources available in the Rotary Brand Center.

Launched earlier this month, the Brand Center offers a simple and intuitive way to customize your club logo, create a marketing brochure, or give your newsletter a fresh look. You’ll also find guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions as well as information about why telling our story is important.

“The Brand Center enables everybody to play an active role in promoting Rotary to the world,” says Alan Buddendeck, general manager and chief communication officer for Rotary International.

“What’s exciting is that the site has been designed in cooperation with Rotary members worldwide, which is critically important to the user experience,” Buddendeck says.

Here are five reasons you should use the Brand Center:

  1. You can create your own club and district logos featuring Rotary’s masterbrand signature and see your edits in real time.
  2. You can develop professional-looking PowerPoint presentations, press releases, and newsletters that incorporate Rotary’s visual identity. Templates can be customized as much -- or as little -- as you want.
  3. You can find guidelines for using Rotary’s logos and answers to frequently asked questions about our new visual identity. For instance, did you know that your member pin remains unchanged? Or that free fonts are available along with the commercially licensed options?
  4. You can upload and store the materials and logos you create for future use by creating a basket. Use the Quick Share function to email your basket and share your new materials with members.
  5. You can download broadcast-quality public service announcements, videos, and images to help tell Rotary’s story. Choose from a variety of topics to illustrate including Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, and Take Action -- our three organizing principles.

“With the new Brand Center, anyone can use the tools and templates to create logos and documents that reflect a unified look, yet are personalized to the club or district,” says Elizabeth Smith Yeats, incoming governor of District 6400, which includes parts of Ontario, Canada, and Michigan, USA. “And they can achieve first-class results without hiring a designer or purchasing expensive software.”

Sign in or register to your My Rotary account to discover all the Brand Center has to offer.

Five Reasons You Should Use the Rotary Brand Center 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0
Location:     Chariot Group 
                      3120 Denali St., Suite #1
                      Anchorage, AK
Times:          8:30 AM Check-in Registration
                      Meeting starts at 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
                      Break for Lunch at Noon - 1:00 PM
Cost:             Registration cost is $35 (covers lunch and snacks throughout the day)
This meeting is intended for current and future district leaders, and District Leadership Academy participants. Club Presidents and PE's are welcome and encouraged to register, and any other interested D5010 Rotarians may attend as well.
  • DG Diane will provide an update on the health of D5010 Rotary. 
  • DGE Andre' Layral will speak briefly on the 2019-2020 Rotary Theme, RI Global Priorities and DGE Andre's vision and his goals for D5010 in 2019-2020.  Andre' will introduce key members of his team for 2019-2020.
  • There will be updates provided by Committee Chairs for Foundation, Grants, Membership, Public Image, and other key district committees.   
  • There will be brief reports provided about Rotary Youth Protection efforts, Rotary Youth Exchange, D5010 Crisis Response and Communication, Excess Reserve Fund Projects implemented this year. 
  • A D5010 Strategic Plan progress report will be given, with discussion time set aside for updating the strategies and activities related to the plan. 
  • A 2018-2019 Budget update will be given and the proposed 2019-2020 Budget will be introduced.
Please note: There are two GoToMeetings scheduled, Morning and Afternoon.
AM District Leadership Team Training and Strategic Planning Review 
Sat, Feb 2, 2019 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM AKST 

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

You can also dial in using your phone. 

United States: +1 (646) 749-3129   Access Code: 378-937-485 

If in Canada: +1 (647) 497-9391 

PM District Leadership Team Training and Strategic Planning Review
Sat, Feb 2, 2019 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM AKST 

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

You can also dial in using your phone. 

United States: +1 (571) 317-3129   Access Code: 375-289-701 

If in Canada: +1 (647) 497-9391

D5010 Leadership Team Training Seminar and Strategic Planning Update 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0
Themes for the Upcoming months
             January is Vocational Service Month
  February is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month
Vocational Service focuses on:
  • Adherence to and promotion of the highest ethical standards in all occupations, including fair treatment of employers, employees, associates, competitors, and the public.
  • The recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, not just those that are pursued by Rotarians.
  • The contribution of your vocational talents to solving the problems of society and meeting the needs of the community.
Our 4-Way test has been the foundation upon which we build our credibility as members of Rotary and our communities. I have heard numerous times from Rotarians that they use the 4 way test whenever they are confronted with a difficult issue or problem. 
More than ever – the World needs Rotary and the ethical standards by which we live.
This also covers our Global Grants projects and Vocational Training Teams.  I’m happy to announce that we have several approved Global Grants projects:
  • Belize School Sanitation Project 2018:
    • Thank you Rotary Club of Fairbanks - President Tammy Randolph, Mike and Peggy Pollen and Wayne Clark
  • Making Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) History-Vocational Training Team
    • Thank you Michael Jeffery, Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, Karl Schroeder, Ted Trueblood and Rotary Club of Anchorage International -President Debra Mason
Look for more to come on our Global Grants…..
And remember to Be the Inspiration to those in your businesses, the school children you read to,  the scholarship recipients you help on their way and those around you.
District Governor Diane
January 1, 2019
Be the Inspiration 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary  People of Action Overview 2019-01-10 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Aruba
: 1938
Original membership: 22
Membership: 50
Home port: World-class dive sites, pristine beaches, and unique volcanic features make this Caribbean island a popular vacation spot, but “One Happy Island” is more than just a slogan for the tourism industry, say the members of the Rotary Club of Aruba. The Rotarians bring smiles to their fellow citizens, particularly the elderly and young children, when they need help, and the club’s annual street fair is a beloved island tradition.
Club innovation: The Rotary Club of Aruba is demonstrating how a club can engage Rotaractors to keep them in the Rotary family. Rotaractors regularly attend Rotary meetings, they participate in Rotary club projects — and use their technological savvy to promote them — and they are encouraged to become Rotarians. All this has brought the club new members, ideas, and perspectives.
The Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs come together to clean up Bachelor’s Beach.
Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital, hosts one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated carnival seasons, but locals also mark their calendars for the Rotary club’s annual fiesta, a street fair and lottery that typically generates about $250,000. “I grew up with it,” says Shelby Maduro, the club’s 33-year-old secretary. While the club’s identity among islanders is linked to the festival, many in the community perceived the club to be an exclusive bastion of business leaders, most of them men. But perceptions are changing, and Maduro is one of seven former Rotaractors — all of them women — who have recently joined the club. (Maduro joined in 2016 while still a Rotaractor.)
Several years ago, the club decided to allow Rotaractors who were still building their careers to join. “When you’re 30, you probably don’t have a managerial position yet,” Maduro notes. She credits Club President Edsel Lopez, who happens to be her supervisor at the accounting firm Grant Thornton, with opening the door to membership. “Several of his employees are or were Rotaractors, including myself,” she says. 
Strong connections in the business community have led to successful projects that support the island’s residents. A golf tournament that raises about $70,000 augments the funds from the club’s fiesta to support Centro Kibrahacha, a facility for senior citizens; Sonrisa, which assists people with disabilities; and the YMCA. Rotarians serve on the boards of all three organizations, which also benefit from the participation of Interact and Rotaract volunteers. 
Other hands-on initiatives include an End Polio Now walk and a beach cleanup alongside Rotaractors and Interactors, and routine maintenance of Rotary-built playgrounds on the island. In 2017, the club delivered bottled water to St. Martin after Hurricane Irma.
The involvement of Rotaractors has been critical to the success of club efforts, Maduro says, noting that the heightened use of social media helps to let “people know what’s happening, and to let them know where the money is being spent.”
Every Rotaract club member is expected to attend at least two Rotary club meetings annually, and Rotarians reciprocate. Rotarians, says Maduro, “are really interested in what Rotaract is doing, and they are interested in the people. So you get to know them on a personal level.”
And Rotaractors have infused the Rotary club with fresh talent, she adds. “The flavor of the club has changed a little with the narrowing of the age gap between Rotaractors and Rotarians.”
— Brad Webber
• What is your club doing to reinvent itself? Email Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Fresh Faces 2019-01-09 09:00:00Z 0
In 2011, Rotary launched an initiative to strengthen our image, expand public understanding of what we do, and engage and inspire current and prospective members, donors, and partners.
As part of that effort, we established an internal definition of our brand, confirming Rotary as the organization that joins leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations, who exchange ideas on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, and then take action to bring lasting change to communities around the world.
Rotarians have been working hard to tell the story of our impact in their communities. Thanks to their efforts, our public awareness levels globally have grown from 60 percent in 2012 to 75 percent in 2015.
But there’s still work to be done.
Our most recent research tells us that the public still doesn’t have a true understanding of what Rotary stands for, how we’re different, why we matter, or the impact we make. They don’t know what we do in local communities or what role we’ve played in the effort to end polio. And nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they were unaware that a Rotary club exists in their own community.
As our next step in the brand strengthening initiative, we’re introducing our latest global public image campaign: People of Action. This campaign brings the Rotary story to life in a way that narrows the gap between public awareness and understanding.
The People of Action campaign communicates the essence of Rotary and reflects our values, such as:
  • We build lifelong relationships.
  • We honor our commitments.
  • We connect diverse perspectives.
  • We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.

It tells our story in our own voice, which is:
  • Smart — we are insightful and discerning.
  • Compassionate — we tackle community challenges with empathy and understanding.
  • Persevering — we find lasting solutions to systemic problems.
  • Inspiring — we encourage others to take action, conveying hope, enthusiasm, and passion.

As a Rotarian, you’re also a brand ambassador. You can tell the story of Rotary and how we are people of action in communities worldwide.
To spread this narrative in a clear, consistent, and compelling way, we developed People of Action campaign materials in the Brand Center: print, digital, and outdoor advertisements, as well as videos and other marketing resources. We want to ensure that all Rotarians can support our effort to enhance awareness and understanding of Rotary.
Our story hasn’t changed. But how we share it with the world is vital to our future. Through a unified Rotary image and a clear, compelling voice, we are enhancing our legacy as one of the most respected organizations in the world.
Want to help tell the Rotary story? Read our Messaging Guide.
Strengthening the Rotary Story 2019-01-02 09:00:00Z 0

Ravi Bansal
Rotary Club of Buffalo, New York

Some years ago, my sister-in-law died of cancer. I wanted to find a way to raise awareness of the disease and to raise money for the charity hospital in my hometown, so I got the idea to fly around the world. It was an extremely ambitious plan for me, something like climbing Mount Everest — except that more than 4,000 people have climbed Everest, and more than 500 people have gone to space. But only 126 people have flown around the world solo, and I’m the only person of Indian origin to do so.  

Ready to take flight? Chart your course with the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians at


Part of the reason it’s so hard is logistical. I flew more than 26,000 miles in six weeks, and I had to acquire numerous documents for each trip, customs clearances, and insurance. If you have a problem with a single-engine plane and you’re flying over land, you can usually land safely on a road or a field. But when you fly around the world, 70 percent of the time you’re flying over water. 

The scariest part of my trip was flying over the northern Atlantic, from Labrador, Canada, to Greenland. It was my first time over the ocean, and almost immediately my GPS went out. I later found out that this often happens at higher latitudes. But when I first lost the signal, I got extremely scared. When I looked down, all I could see were icebergs — millions of icebergs. I thought, “Where am I? Where do I go?” My GPS was out for no more than two minutes, but I can tell you: Those two minutes felt like two years. 

As a businessman, I had been to many countries. But I had never been to Greenland. When I finally got there, I could see these huge mountains of ice and that tiny runway, and it was the most beautiful moment of the trip. 

Another sight that I’ll never forget is flying from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia over to Alaska. You fly over the Aleutian Islands, and there are hundreds of them. They are part of the so-called Ring of Fire, because of all the volcanoes. You’ve never seen so many volcanoes! Most of them are dormant. But many are active, and you never know when they might erupt. When you fly in a commercial airplane, you’re up at 35,000 feet, so you can’t see them. But I was flying at 10,000 feet and some of these volcanoes were just a couple of thousand feet below me. It was unbelievable. I’ve never been to space, so I don’t know how an astronaut feels when he or she looks down upon the earth. But for me, the journey showed me how just how beautiful, and how fragile, the geography of our planet is. 

There is so much technology available to pilots today. I had a satellite tracking device that plotted my position, so all my family and friends could find out where I was. During most of my flights, I spent the first hour texting people on the ground to let them know how I was doing and to check on the weather and make sure officials at the next airport knew I was coming. 

Before I flew out of Kamchatka, I had my logistics support person in Russia arrange to ship two barrels of special aviation fuel to the airport. After I fueled my plane, a ground official there suggested I check the dates on the barrels. It turned out the fuel had expired three years before. He recommended that I drain it from the plane. But I didn’t know when I might be able to get another barrel, and the fuel looked good to me. I decided to take off anyway. The man made me sign a liability waiver. For a second I thought, “Oh my God. What am I doing?” But you have to take some chances — without being foolish, of course. I knew, for instance, that I was going to have to circle the plane for 10 minutes to get high enough to clear the volcano next to the airport, so I had a chance to make sure the fuel was OK. 

When I first mentioned flying around the world, my wife did not want me to do it. My kids did not want me to do it. My son wouldn’t even make a website for me. He said, “Dad, I won’t do it, because I don’t want you to go!” But once they saw that I was going to do it anyway, they became a part of the team. It’s something I’d been dreaming about for years. Now, it’s been a year since I finished my flight. I don’t have a desire to do it again at the moment. I’m almost 70 years old. But I’m in pretty good shape, so you never know.

— As told to Steve Almond

Fly Around the World Alone 2019-01-02 09:00:00Z 0
In 2011, Rotary launched an initiative to strengthen our image, expand public understanding of what we do, and engage and inspire current and prospective members, donors, and partners.
As part of that effort, we established an internal definition of our brand, confirming Rotary as the organization that joins leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations, who exchange ideas on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, and then take action to bring lasting change to communities around the world.
Rotarians have been working hard to tell the story of our impact in their communities. Thanks to their efforts, our public awareness levels globally have grown from 60 percent in 2012 to 75 percent in 2015.
But there’s still work to be done.
Our most recent research tells us that the public still doesn’t have a true understanding of what Rotary stands for, how we’re different, why we matter, or the impact we make. They don’t know what we do in local communities or what role we’ve played in the effort to end polio. And nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they were unaware that a Rotary club exists in their own community.
As our next step in the brand strengthening initiative, we’re introducing our latest global public image campaign: People of Action. This campaign brings the Rotary story to life in a way that narrows the gap between public awareness and understanding.
The People of Action campaign communicates the essence of Rotary and reflects our values, such as:
  • We build lifelong relationships.
  • We honor our commitments.
  • We connect diverse perspectives.
  • We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.

It tells our story in our own voice, which is:
  • Smart — we are insightful and discerning.
  • Compassionate — we tackle community challenges with empathy and understanding.
  • Persevering — we find lasting solutions to systemic problems.
  • Inspiring — we encourage others to take action, conveying hope, enthusiasm, and passion.

As a Rotarian, you’re also a brand ambassador. You can tell the story of Rotary and how we are people of action in communities worldwide.
To spread this narrative in a clear, consistent, and compelling way, we developed People of Action campaign materials in the Brand Center: print, digital, and outdoor advertisements, as well as videos and other marketing resources. We want to ensure that all Rotarians can support our effort to enhance awareness and understanding of Rotary.
Our story hasn’t changed. But how we share it with the world is vital to our future. Through a unified Rotary image and a clear, compelling voice, we are enhancing our legacy as one of the most respected organizations in the world.
Want to help tell the Rotary story? Read our Messaging Guide.
Strengthening the Rotary Story  2018-12-20 09:00:00Z 0


N. Diane Fejes

Governor 2018-19,

District 5010 - Alaska/Yukon


On December 15, 2018, the D. 5010 Nominating Committee nominated Cheryl Metiva, Rotary Club of Susitna to serve as D. 5010 Governor in FY 2021-2022.

Five Rotary clubs in the district had also suggested a candidate for consideration for this position:  Rotary Clubs Anchorage South, Fairbanks, Kodiak Morning, Palmer and Wasilla Sunrise.  Anyone of these 5 clubs has the right to challenge the decision of the nominating committee through a resolution adopted by the club and to propose as a challenging candidate the candidate previously suggested by the club.  Such resolution must be filed with Governor Fejes no later than December 31, 2018.  If no challenge is received by that date, then Rotarian Cheryl Metiva will be the duly nominated governor of D. 5010 for FY 2021-2022.

Should a challenging resolution be submitted, additional concurring challenging resolutions must be received from at least 10 other clubs or 20% of the clubs in the district in existence for at least one year if the challenging resolution is to be deemed valid.  Receipt of the required number of concurring challenging resolutions will result in an election to be described further should the need arise.  See R.I. ByLaws Article 14.



District 5010 DG-Nominee 2021-2022 Rotary Year 2018-12-20 09:00:00Z 0
Dear Rotarians,
Remember to register for this year's District Conference by December 31st to receive your early bird discount!  You don’t want to miss out on an inspiring and motivational District Conference, packed full with great fellowship, amazing speakers, and tons of fun!
The Conference is the perfect venue to network, reconnect with friends, and find inspiration for continuing service and community leaders as we report on the district, including its successes and challenges. We will have local and international speakers giving information on topics relevant to our district members. Check out their bios here! SPEAKER BIOS
Friday, May 3rd, will be the highly attended and favorite Dinner in the Home event.  If you live in Anchorage, be sure to sign up to host dinner!  If you are coming from out of town, consider being hosted by a local Rotarian and enjoy this fellowship opportunity.
Saturday, May 4th, the Captain Cook’s chefs will dazzle our pallets during the Governor’s Banquet, where we will finish the night off dancing and singing with the Ken Peltier Band!
To register, click here! REGISTER
To check out the Conference page, become an amazing and appreciated sponsor of the event, as well as find information on hotel discounts ($150/night!), click here!  ROTARY DISTRICT 5010 CONFERENCE
Alaska Airlines has generously provided a discount for attendees traveling to the conference – use meeting fare code ECMC187.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Anchorage!
Teri Lindseth and Denise Kipke
District Conference Co-chairs
Rotary District Conference 2019 2018-12-19 09:00:00Z 0

After a four hour delay, our exchange student Winston departed Homer bound for his home in Nigeria. There were lots of tears shed at the airport as he developed many friends during his stay.

I went snowshoeing with Claudia and the visiting Exchange students on Friday.  Thank you Beth for the snowshoes and the venue! I wish you all could have shared in the joy of watching Claudia playing in the snow.  In her area of Spain she never has seen snow like this.  She is a delightful young lady and I hope that each of you will take the time to interact with her and include her in an activity of yours.  She is participating in a short ice skating exhibition tomorrow at 3:15PM at the ice arena.


Merry Christmas,


After a four hour delay, our exchange student Winston departed Homer bound for his home in Nigeria. There were lots of tears shed at the airport as he developed many friends during his stay.


I went snowshoeing with Claudia and the visiting Exchange students on Friday.  Thank you Beth for the snowshoes and the venue! I wish you all could have shared in the joy of watching Claudia playing in the snow.  In her area of Spain she never has seen snow like this.  She is a delightful young lady and I hope that each of you will take the time to interact with her and include her in an activity of yours.  She is participating in a short ice skating exhibition tomorrow at 3:15PM at the ice arena.


Merry Christmas,


Winston Heads Home--Claudia Discovers Snowshoeing 2018-12-19 09:00:00Z 0
Some pictures of the 2018 Holiday Party.  Great company and Fantastic food!
Holiday Party 2018 2018-12-13 09:00:00Z 0

At the last board meeting, the use of the Club Runner communication system was discussed.  A policy regarding use of the system was subsequently approved and is attached for your information.


A copy of the policy is also available in the "Documents" section of Club Runner under "Club Policies."

Club Runner is primarily a Rotary communication tool.  Our membership does not desire to be innundated with Community information available from multiple other sources.  However, there will be situations where Community information deemed key to our membership and our community mission will need to be expeditiously provided to our members.  With approval of the President, Club Runner may be used to accomplish this task.
ClubRunner Policy 2018-12-13 09:00:00Z 0
Could this be a project for Homer-Kachemak  Bay Rotary?
Alaska House Majority Coalition logoREPRESENTATIVE LES GARA
(907) 465-2647 (888) 465-2647
CONTACT: Mike Mason (907) 444-0889
December 10, 2018
2018 Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive Underway
Laptops Help Foster Youth Succeed in School and Life; Donations Now Accepted
Anchorage – Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Amanda Metivier, a founder of Facing Foster Care in Alaska, are launching a holiday drive to collect laptops for foster youth in Alaska. Since the start of the Laptops for Foster Youth program, over 1,000 foster youth and recent foster care alumni have received laptop computers to use for school, college, job training, and to stay in touch with important people in their lives. Rep. Gara and Metivier, who are both former foster youth, jointly started the Laptops for Foster Youth program in 2010 to help youth through community volunteerism without state funding or the passage of legislation.
"Foster youth deal with the kind of upheaval that can cause lifetime damage and take youth off a track to success. Our goal is to help keep youth on the right track to success," said Rep. Gara.
A group of people standing in front of a storeDescription automatically generated

“Youth matched with a laptop have a greater chance at success in their education because it helps them stay on track in school. I have seen foster youth succeed and graduate thanks in part to the laptop they received through this program,” said Metivier.
This effort to get laptops into the hands of needy foster youth has come a long way. In the early years, the program accepted used laptops, but many of those computers were out of date and unusable. Today, the program matches new laptops with foster youth. Organizers prefer donations of Chromebook computers, which are lighter and come in many brands. The Laptops for Foster Youth program succeeds through a mix of individual donors, especially at the holidays when many people are looking for ways to give, and larger Alaska donors who help on an annual basis.
Facing Foster Care in Alaska, which is a non-profit organization run by foster youth and alumni, provides peer support, training to state caseworkers, and advocates statewide on best foster care practices. The organization can obtain discounts on larger purchases, so tax-deductible monetary donations are the most efficient way to help.
Donations to the Laptops for Foster Youth program can be made online at Please donate what you can afford. Donations do not have to equal the exact cost of a laptop, which normally cost around $200 each. If you can't donate that amount, donated funds will be pooled together to purchase laptops.
Those who wish to donate a laptop(s), rather than donating funds, should contact Facing Foster Care in Alaska at (907) 230-8237 by text, or email so that you can discuss the basic features needed on a donated computer.
Rep. Gara's office is limited by state ethics law to providing information on how to help support the Laptops for Foster Youth Program. His office cannot accept funds. However, Rep. Gara, on his own time, has been allowed to help find individual donors and larger funders. Additionally, the law allows Rep. Gara to distribute information to the public to promote the effort.
For more information, please contact Rep. Les Gara at (907) 250-0106 or Amanda Metivier at (907) 230-8237.
2018 Laptops for Foster Youth Drive Underway 2018-12-12 09:00:00Z 0

Poppy Benson's High School Girl Scout troop is sewing big Christmas stockings for kids at haven House (they have been doing this for a number of years) and are looking for donations of items to stuff them with.  They will be sewing 15 total stockings - but don't need 15 of anything - all the stockings do not need to be the same.

They could use gloves, socks, scarves, little things to pass the time like small puzzles or games that would fit in a stocking, sudoko books, any kind of stocking stuffer stuff. 

A few things from Rotary would help. 

I will have a box at the meeting on Thursday so if you want to bring anything - please do!  They will be sewing the stockings on Sunday.

This photo is from last year's stocking sewing event!

Donations Needed for Haven House Christmas Stocking Stuffers 2018-12-12 09:00:00Z 0
2019 Spring Rotary Scholarships are available.  Please read and pass on the information below to anyone who qualifies for this Scholarship!  Final date for application is January 7, 2019
2019 Rotary Scholarships Application Time 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0
Under the waters of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, along docks in the seaside community of Madeira Park, a population is quietly expanding.
Hand-sewn curtains, supplied by Rotarians, provide a crucial spawning environment for herring, which are a primary food source for salmon and marine mammals in the Salish Sea.
Rotarians prepare curtains on the docks.
Photo by Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park)
“This was formerly a thriving fishing community for both commercial and recreational fishers. Over the decades, the herring stocks have diminished substantially,” says Lorraine Wareham, publicity chair for the Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park), which is about a 40-minute ferry ride northwest of Vancouver. 
The project builds on the work of the Squamish Streamkeepers Society, which in 2005 found “orange goop” covering a creosote-treated piling under the docks at Squamish Terminals, says Jonn Matsen, herring recovery coordinator for the conservation group. “We suspected that the goop was dead herring [eggs],” he says.
In the winter and early spring, schools of herring gather along the coast. Females search out spawning locations, preferring smooth surfaces such as eelgrass, kelp, or wood, but unfortunately often choose dock pilings coated with creosote, a chemical wood preservative.
The conservationists decided to wrap the pilings at the terminals with a nontoxic material that keeps the noxious creosote from leaching through and provides a surface on which the herring can lay eggs. The herring bounced back, and with them came increased sightings of humpback whales, dolphins, and orcas which had been rare for years. 
After a Rotary club meeting where the Streamkeepers talked about their success, Pender Harbour Rotarians launched their own project in 2010. Rather than wrapping pilings, the club decided to hang curtains made of landscape fabric alongside docks. The fabric was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the government department responsible for managing the country’s water resources, and local fishermen donated the floats and lead lines needed to keep the curtains hanging vertically in the water. 
“In November 2010, I made a couple of test curtains with my wife’s sewing machine one weekend when she was away,” says club member Jon Paine.
Pacific herring form schools that remain together for years. 
Photo by Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park)
The next month, the club made a dozen more curtains at a local art studio. Rotarians and other community members cut the landscape fabric, and Paine’s wife, Susan, sewed on the lead lines and floats. Local residents offered their docks.
The curtains go into the water in late February in anticipation of the spawn. (“The first year I was a little too enthusiastic and had some of our club members out in a torrential downpour to place curtains in the water on Christmas Eve,” Paine says.) The club monitors the curtains weekly to ensure that they hang properly and stay clean for the arrival of the herring. If algae accumulate, the curtains must be brushed off so the surface stays smooth.
The 4-foot-wide fabric is placed in the water in 20- and 40-foot sections, several hundred linear feet of curtains in all. The curtains stay in the water for six to eight weeks. After the eggs hatch, the curtains are pulled, cleaned, and stored for the next year.
“The creosote in the dock pilings killed the eggs, and we’ve had a declining amount of eelgrass in shallow waters and rocks where herring usually laid their eggs,” says club member Glen Bonderud. “We’re just trying to reverse Mother Nature a bit.”
Male herring fertilize the eggs with clouds of sperm, “turning the sea into a milky blue haze that can be spotted from the air,” Paine says. “A large herring spawn is a raucous affair with squawking seagulls, diving birds, seals, and other marine mammals in for a feast.”
The tiny black dots in these herring eggs, sitting on a dime, are the developing eyes of the fish.
Photo by Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park)
The eggs start as tiny opaque spheres, about 1/16th of an inch in diameter, Paine says. Viable fertilized eggs will be clear and have a visible sign of life after about two weeks, and within three weeks the eggs are ready to hatch. Juvenile salmon feed on the newly hatched herring.
The number of herring and eggs observed by the Pender Harbour club varies annually, but in a high-return year, eggs are several layers deep, Paine says.  
“We’ve had success at some places, and other places, nothing,” Bonderud says. “The herring just won’t listen to us.”
The Pender Harbour club’s 25 members represent about 1 percent of the population of year-round residents in the community, which is popular with retirees as well as tourists. The club has participated in other sea-related projects, including donating CA$10,000 toward a new marine research station. 
The herring curtain project resonates all the way up the food chain in the Salish Sea. The Chinook salmon population there plunged by 60 percent between 1984 and 2010, leading to government efforts to rebuild it. The herring population decline has received less attention from the government, making local interventions such as the herring curtains crucial. 
While the success of the herring project is difficult to quantify, “one of the main benefits has been public awareness of how essential the health of our marine environment is to all of us,” Paine says.
The project has caught on in other communities, including Egmont to the north and Sechelt to the southeast, as well as Victoria on Vancouver Island, Bonderud says.
“It’s been a topic of conversation for years,” he says. “This is a darn good project, and if we succeed just a little bit, it will help.”
—Nikki Kallio
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Herring Curtains Spawn a Recovery 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0

The below email from DG Diane Fejes outlines how Rotarians can assist in the Alaskan earthquake recovery. Her goal is to ensure that donations from Alaska Rotarians go to assist Alaskans.

From: "N. Diane Fejes" <>
Subject: FW: earthquake help for victims
Date: December 3, 2018 at 12:43:51 AKST
To all Presidents and AGs:
Here is the latest on how to help out the Earthquake victims. These organizations are helping out in  Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla and Eagle River where some damage was extensive.
Please share with your club members. 
Since many buildings are still not safe to enter the physical help for re-shelving etc. will be on hold until we can get in and help.
School is out for the week so kids without a typical place to go and who need food during the day – Beans Café is looking into this – stay tuned.
The best way for now is to give cash to organizations who have the structure in place to disperse where needed most.  Rather than Rotary being the go-between here are the main organizations available to receive funds.                      - see their Earthquake button      Red Cross – general donation site                               - Beans Café – helping those who need immediate food.      - Food Bank – building is physically down for now but will need food to restock and give out   -                           - MyHouse in  Wasilla helps out homeless teens and young people.  
For those in close proximity to the damage we’ll keep you informed as to when we can physically get into buildings to help those in need of re-shelving items or re-stocking inventory or keeping businesses open. 
Thank you all.  
N. Diane Fejes
District Governor 2018-19
Rotary International District 5010 Alaska-Yukon 
How Rotarians Can Assist in the Alaskan Earthquake Recovery 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0

Here's a fun and 'hands-on'  opportunity for Rotarians to participate in a special holiday season event for foster children and foster parents in the Anchorage area.   The event, as described in the attached flyer, has been created on Rotary Cares for Kids Alaska & Yukon Facebook page.  Like the page and get updates on the event,    Our participation is a great way to show Rotary Cares for Kids!

Please be there at 5 pm. Volunteers are needed to help Santa with photos, wrapping presents, serving food, and hanging out with the children while their foster parents are "shopping for gifts". 

If you are unable to attend and would like to donate a gift, please chose one that has a value of approximately $25. Gift Cards at Wal- Mart, Target, Kohl's, Barnes and Nobel and ITunes are popular as are lap blankets, Bath and Body Works items and popular teen books and movies. Gifts can be delivered to any Alaska Club in Anchorage.

Hope you can join us to demonstrate the impact of Rotary and Rotarians!

Rotary Cares for Kids Event 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0

Dana Suskind’s mantra is written on a whiteboard in her office at the University of Chicago. She developed the easy-to-remember shorthand for parents to remind them of the importance of spoken language and warm interactions during a child’s first three years of life: Tune in, talk more, take turns. The “three T’s,” for short.

Suskind’s work in early childhood development started in the operating room. As a surgeon at the university’s Comer Children’s Hospital, she pioneered a cochlear implant program that allowed deaf children to hear for the first time. Yet some children with an implant never learned to speak, even though they could hear. Often, those were children from poorer families. 


Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

That led Suskind to wonder, what is the key to a child’s brain development? The short answer is language, and lots of it. The words a child hears in those first three years nourish the brain. She also made a surprising discovery: It isn’t only deaf children who struggle academically because of a lack of exposure to language in the early years — hearing children who aren’t exposed to enough words also lag behind.  

In 2015, Suskind wrote a book called Thirty Million Words, a reference to the gap in the number of words children from affluent families hear in their first three years, as opposed to children from low-income families. While the exact number may be debated, the science is clear: Affluent children hear millions more words by age three, and that can offer lifelong advantages. 

“Learning starts on the first day of life, not the first day of school,” Suskind says. That idea is the foundation of the TMW Center for Early Learning & Public Health, which Suskind founded to educate parents on the science of brain development and the powerful role that caregivers play.  

 “If we make healthy early brain development our north star, everything else falls into place,” she says. By “everything else,” she means less poverty, better academic outcomes, improved school readiness, even better “soft skills” such as impulse control and resilience. All of it starts with conversation, she told contributing editor Vanessa Glavinskas at Suskind’s Chicago office.  

Q: You wrote Thirty Million Words in 2015 to explain the importance of the words a child hears in its first three years. What has happened since your book came out?

A: The book set the foundation for the idea that it’s language, and parent-child interaction in the first three years of life, that builds a child’s brain. Thirty Million Words evolved into the TMW Center for Early Learning & Public Health. We asked, how do we get all parents from all backgrounds to understand the importance of the first three years of life? We are taking what I like to call a public health approach to early learning.  

Q: What do you mean by a public health approach? 

A: It means thinking about the importance of language in the same way we think about car seats, about “back to sleep” for sudden infant death syndrome, about not smoking around children. Our program meets parents where they are in their child’s first three years of life. For example, we developed a program that is combined with the universal newborn hearing screening. The idea is that every parent, when their child gets that hearing test, should understand why. It’s not simply to see if your child is born deaf; it’s because language is the food for the developing brain.

Q: How do you hope to help parents?

A: Here in Illinois, 76 percent of kids going into kindergarten aren’t ready. Our education system starts too late. The science shows that parents are children’s first and most important teachers, but we have no system to support parents in that. Now, some people say it’s just intuitive to love and nurture your children. Yes, but that’s different from understanding the brain science. We’ve got to share with families the science behind how babies’ brains develop and how powerful parents are in influencing that.

Q: You’re a surgeon specializing in cochlear implants. How did you end up focusing on helping all children, rather than only deaf children?

A: Often, the difference in outcomes among my patients was divided along socioeconomic lines. Children from poorer homes had poorer outcomes. I realized that what was going on in my patient population mirrored the larger population. That’s what took this project from my patients, children with hearing loss, to all children.



Dana Suskind: Talk to Your Baby Early and Often 2018-11-29 09:00:00Z 0
Here are some statistics for the 2018 Homer Rotary Health Fair:

794  = Total number of Pre-Draws - Blood Tests before the 2018 Fair

197  = Blood Draws at the Fair

991  =  Total number of patients that had their blood drawn in 2018

1,100  = Total number of people through the door at the Fair

75 = Number of exhibits

182 = Number of volunteers manning the exhibits

185 = Flu shots administered

68  = Hearing tests administered

84 = Vision Tests administered

87 = Professional Medical Consultations (Interpreting blood test results) 

278 = SPARC passes given out to people picking up their blood test results

What a great day for Wellness in Homer! And now some pictures of the Health Fair courtesy of Maynard!


Homer Rotary Health Fair 2018 2018-11-28 09:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Foundation has been welcomed into the University of Oxford’s Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors for its continuous support of the university.
Mr. Michael Webb, Trustee of The Rotary Foundation and CCB representative, with The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, CH, Chancellor of the University of Oxford,
Photo by John Cairns
Since 1949, The Foundation has provided scholarships to more than 200 Oxford scholars including a former American ambassador to the United Kingdom, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative reporter with the New York Times, and a Director & Senior Fellow at the Ansari Africa Centre.
“The university is enormously grateful to The Rotary Foundation for their support of graduate scholarships at Oxford,” said Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford. “For almost 70 years, this support has enabled students from around the world to benefit from all that Oxford has to offer.”
Membership of the Court of Benefactors is conferred by the Chancellor on those who have been outstandingly generous towards the university. Members may be individuals, or nominated representatives of companies and trusts.
Michael Webb, trustee of The Rotary Foundation, accepted membership on behalf of the Foundation on 11th October at a ceremony in Oxford.
“The Rotary Foundation is honoured to receive this designation and I am humbled to accept on its behalf,” said Mr Webb. “The Foundation has fostered international interaction and understanding through academic scholars at Oxford for decades, and we will continue our efforts to help develop the world’s future leaders through academic support at this prestigious university.”
The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s only charity, established over 100 years ago to support Rotary International in its mission to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programmes.
Ms. Vanessa Picker, Rotary Scholar in 2016-17; Mr. Michael Webb, Mrs. Alison Webb; and Mr. Mark Loong, Rotary Scholar in 2017-18, outside the Divinity School, University of Oxford
Photo by John Cairns
It also provides funding for Rotary projects across the world. More than $277 million (approximately £212 million) has been awarded over the past four years through The Rotary Foundation to support clean water and sanitation, education, prevent and treat diseases, save mothers and children and grow local economies.
The Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors celebrates and recognises Oxford’s most outstanding friends and supporters. Founded in 1990 by the late Lord Jenkins, the former Labour Chancellor and Home Secretary, today there are more than 250 members from around the globe whose significant contributions have assisted Oxford in being the world leading institution that it is today.
The Rotary Foundation joins a prestigious list of members including, Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Skoll Foundation and others on the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors.
About Rotary Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
About Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland is a territorial unit of Rotary International, with 1,750 clubs and over 45,000 members, all using their time and talents to make a difference in communities at home and internationally through volunteering and humanitarian service. Rotary is open to anyone aged 18 and over looking to network, get involved with community projects and activities and have fun in the process.
Website:, Facebook: /RotaryinGBI, Twitter: @RotaryGBI
Dave King,, Mobile: 07918 838680
The Rotary Foundation Inducted into University of Oxford’s Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors 2018-11-14 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary and GPEI have put polio on the brink of global eradication
By Ryan Hyland                     Photos by Monika  Lozinska
After 30 years of bold action, historic achievements, and sometimes discouraging setbacks, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) have nearly brought polio to an end. 
This groundbreaking public-private partnership and its innovative strategies were celebrated Wednesday during Rotary’s 6th annual World Polio Day event, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Dr. Ujala Nayyar, left, a WHO surveillance officer in Pakistan, discussed with Alex Witt about how thorough tracking of the wild polio virus will help eradicate the disease. 
Audience members at the 2018 World Polio Day event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Hundreds gathered to celebrate World Polio Day at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Cable journalists Ashleigh Banfield, right, host of HLN’s “Crime and Justice,” and Alex Witt, host of “MSNBC Live With Alex Witt,” moderated Rotary’s 6th annual World Polio Day on 24 October in Philadelphia, USA. 
Hundreds of people attended in person, including representatives of all five GPEI partners, and thousands more worldwide watched it live online. Cable news journalists Ashleigh Banfield, host of HLN’s “Crime and Justice,” and Alex Witt, host of “MSNBC’s “Weekends Live With Alex Witt,” moderated the event. 
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ron Burton began the program by noting that Philadelphia is where Rotary announced, at its international convention in 1988, that it doubled its fundraising goal of $120 million and raised $247 million.
The moment showed Rotary’s strength as an organization capable of tackling the challenge of ending the disease globally and spearheading one of the most ambitious public health initiatives in history, the GPEI. The other partners of the GPEI are the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“We knew then that the war against polio would be long, and it would have its challenges,” Burton said. “But we knew then, as we do now, that we could do it. Thirty years ago, I was proud to be part of the organization that took on the job, and the promise, of eradicating polio.
Since its formation, the GPEI has trained and mobilized millions of volunteers and health workers, gained access to homes not reached by other health initiatives to immunize children, brought health interventions to underserved communities, and standardized timely global monitoring for polio cases and poliovirus, a process also known as surveillance. 
The results have been monumental. Thirty years ago, the paralyzing disease affected 350,000 children in one year. Because of massive vaccination campaigns around the world, cases have dropped more than 99.9 percent, to only 20 reported so far this year. Polio, which was endemic in 125 countries in 1988, now remains so in just three: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. More than 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated, and more than $14 billion has been invested in the fight to eradicate the disease worldwide. 
Lea Hegg, senior program officer of the vaccine delivery team at the Gates Foundation, gave an update on polio around the world. Despite tremendous progress, challenges remain before we can claim victory, she said in a video interview with Mark Wright, news host at an NBC television station in Seattle, Washington, USA. 
“The fact is in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where we are still seeing cases, we have tremendous challenges that we’re facing: conflict and insecurity,” Hegg said. “We have to come up with new ways to solve those problems.”
Polio survivor John Nanni, PolioPlus chair for District 7630, attends Rotary's 6th annual World Polio Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. 
She praised the brave polio workers who go to insecure areas to vaccinate children and also noted the importance of vaccination sites at transit posts outside these areas. 
Hegg added, “We still have the tools, we have the persistence, and we’re still really confident that we’ll get there.”
In a question-and-answer session with Witt, Dr. Ujala Nayyar, a WHO surveillance officer in Punjab, Pakistan, discussed the importance of tracking the ever-circulating virus. Nayyar said that health workers need to be a step ahead of the poliovirus to interrupt its transmission. She also noted that Pakistan has the world’s largest network for environmental surveillance of polio. 
“It’s a tough job. We have a network of government, private doctors plus informal health care providers, plus community mobilizers,” Nayyar said. “We are very confident on one thing — that we are detecting every polio case.” 
Speakers also included award-winning chef, author, and polio survivor Ina Pinkney, who talked about her experience with the disease.  Jeffrey Kluger, senior editor at Time magazine, spoke about his recent experience traveling to Nigeria with Rotary to report on polio eradication.
Entertainment included a sneak peek from Rotary’s documentary “Drop to Zero” and a showing of its latest virtual reality film, “Two Drops of Patience.” 
Banfield highlighted several End Polio Now activities that clubs organized to raise awareness of polio and funds for eradication efforts, including a rally in Delhi, India, where 2,000 members drove cars or bikes decorated with informational flags and stickers through the city. In Egypt, Rotary members hosted an End Polio Festival, which included a road race, a blood drive, and a concert that attracted thousands. 
Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion to polio eradication since it started its PolioPlus program in 1985. The effort got a boost in August when Rotary announced it would provide an additional $96.5 million in grants to increase immunizations and surveillance.  Most of the funds were allocated to the three countries where polio remains endemic; Afghanistan ($22.9 million), Nigeria ($16.1 million), and Pakistan ($21.7 million). The rest was spread across 12 countries in Africa that are vulnerable to polio. 
Rotary has also committed to raising $50 million a year over a three-year period for eradication activities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to that amount 2-to-1, which could bring the total as high as $450 million. 
World Polio Day Lauds Historic Partnership, Success 2018-11-06 09:00:00Z 0

Hello, my fellow District 5010 Rotarians!

I’m happy to report that I finished my 100th marathon successfully.  I ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon on Sunday, 10/21/18, in just under 4 hours (and even placed third in my age group)!


My polio fundraiser will continue for another week.  Please consider giving if you haven’t already!  We’ve currently raised over $5,400, which of course will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Thank you to everyone who’s participated!


Ways to give (type in your browser, or link from attached updated PDF):

  •, and search for “marathon”, or
  • and please email me ( so I can track your donation, or
  • Write a check to “The Rotary Foundation” and mail to: College Rotary, PO Box 73010, Fairbanks, AK 99707, or
  • Hand cash to Jane!  smiley


A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated!  Thank you all so much.


In Rotary,

Jane Lanford

President, College Rotary

Fairbanks, Alaska
See Jane Run Follow-up 2018-10-31 08:00:00Z 0

Attached is the schedule for the health fair on Friday and Saturday. Please look it over and make sure you are still available to cover your tasks. If something has changed and you are unable let me know. I can be reached at 299 6428.


-Van Hawkins
  2018 Friday Fair Set Up                                                                                                                                                                                    
                 Friday November 2 - SET UP
1:00 Gym Mats                                 Tables to loading dock 1:00 or earlier
            Paula K                                                  Don Keller
            Summer McGuire                                Rick Abboud
            Xander K                                               Winston Ajakaye
            Claudia Tocca                                       Mark Hemstreet
            Isabel K                                              
Gym layout Leader                          Commons Layout Leader
            Bernie G                                             Beth Trowbridge
Table/Chair set up                            Gym Partitions
            Jim Hornaday                                     Dave Brann
            Glenn Seaman                                    Daniel Carter
            Charlie Franz
            Sue Clardy                              Electrical
            Denice Clyne                                      Tom Early
            Paula K                                                 Winston A.
            Summer McGuire                  
            Xander K                                Sound System
            Claudia Tocca                                     Dennis Weilder
            Isabel K                                   Banner and Signs
            Davida Johnson                                  Erik Niebehr
4:00 Set Up Complete
5:30 -6: 30
            Exhibitor Set Up
                                       Fair Day Tasks
SATURDAY --   Clean Up 1 p.m.   -  EVERYONE STAYS TO HELP  
Registration      Milli Martin                        Blood Line- Gary Thomas
            Carol Swartz                                                   Boyd Walker  
            Jim Hornaday
            Mary Ann Gross
            Kathy Hill       
FORMS CHECK                                                      DEPOSITS
Beth Trowbridge                                                         Denice Cline
Boyd Walker                                                                Read Dunn
Katie Koester
Muffins/Set up/Cleanup Food-
Mark and Kathy Hemstreet/ SPH Auxiliary
Exhibitor lounge area
            Lisa Robert
            Marie McCarty
Rotary Booth                                                                         Statistics  
            Maynard Gross                                                           Will Files
            Bernie Griffard                                                           Daniel Carter
                                                                                                  Davida Johnson
Screening- Vision                                                                  Sandwich Signs                                            
Marv Peters                                                                             Glenn Seaman                                                          
Glenn Seaman                                               
Door Prize                
7:15 8:00 Bernie G                 8-10 Vivian F             10-12 Daniel Carter & Davida Johnson
12-1 Rick Abboud
Front Door Count                                                                
7:15-8:00 Rick Abboud          8-10 Clark Cripps       10-12 Bernie G.          12-1 Vivian F
Fair Floaters
            Charlie Franz
            Maynard Gross
            Bernie Griffard  
Health Fair Schedule 2018-10-31 08:00:00Z 0
Multiplier effect          
Rotary Club of Vancouver Yaletown, British Columbia
At first glance, everything about the Rotary Club of Vancouver Yaletown seems modest: its meeting space (a cozy conference room in the lobby of a downtown high-rise); its roster (11 members at the start of this Rotary year); even its short list of past presidents (several of whom have held the office more than once in the club’s 10-year history).
Rotary Club of Vancouver Yaletown members Lejla Uzicanin (from left), Neil Mort, and Rebecca Donnelly.  
But Yaletown’s achievements are disproportionate to its size. The secret to the club’s success? Every member is an active member. 
“We’re a small club, but we do great things,” says Neil Mort, who is in his second term as club president. “They call us ‘the little club that could.’”
Indeed, the calendar that Mort projects onto the wall during a recent meeting is packed with activities: fellowship and service opportunities; networking, fundraising, and outreach events; and a celebration of the club’s first decade. 
Yaletown Rotary was founded in 2008 by Rotarians who wanted a structure that was more economical and convenient than their traditional clubs. They meet for one hour right after work, with no meal, and plan social activities and patronize local businesses together. 
The club is a favorite of out-of-town Rotarians. “We have visitors all the time because of our location,” says Jane LePorte, club secretary and youth services director. The Yaletown neighborhood sits at the southern end of Vancouver’s downtown business corridor, about a mile from where the cruise ships dock at Canada Place. High-rise buildings tower above street-level boutiques and sidewalk cafés. Restaurant menus reflect the city’s many cultures. A few blocks from the club’s meeting place, water taxis zip back and forth across the False Creek waterway to the Granville Island Public Market. A popular bike path parallels the park-lined shore. 
As members joke around and discuss plans for their 10th anniversary party — which, it appears, will likely include either polka dancing or the use of a club member’s recently acquired karaoke machine — it’s clear that this isn’t just a Rotary meeting; it’s a gathering of friends. 
The club’s outgoing nature is reflected on its active social media accounts. Its Instagram page has more than 600 followers, and members recently used Facebook to launch a fundraising campaign called the Every Drop of Talent Challenge, which called on supporters to post a video of themselves performing their talent, then tag three friends to do the same or to make a donation. 
Another tip for small clubs? The Yaletown Rotarians piggyback on other groups’ outreach events, such as a Canada Day celebration put on by the Rotary Club of Lionsgate, which drew more than 20,000 attendees to a park in North Vancouver, a town across the harbor from Vancouver. Yaletown Rotary hosted a booth that featured a small pool filled with dirty water. “People came by and said, ‘What’s that?’” says Karen McDiarmid, membership chair and two-time past president. “We said, ‘Do you want to drink this water, or do you want to drink clean water?’ Then we’d get a conversation started.” 
The Yaletown club’s focus on clean water came after hearing a presentation on rainwater collection last year. The club decided to partner with the Rotary Club of Hurlingham-Nairobi on a project that aims to bring fresh water to four rural schools in Kenya via a rooftop collection system. 
“There’s a desperate need for water there,” Mort says. “They simply don’t have a water source that’s close by and sustainable.” During the dry season, children sometimes have to walk up to 20 kilometers per day to fill a 5-gallon bucket with water of questionable quality. “That’s all they do all day,” he says. “They don’t go to school.” 
At the Canada Day event, a volunteer face painter and a stack of coloring pages kept kids busy while their parents learned about the project. The back of each coloring page featured information and a link to the club’s fundraising page. “We decided as a group to commit to the project,” says Mort, who traveled to Kenya for a site visit last year. Other members are promoting the project on social media.
There are challenges to being a small club, but there are also advantages. Unlike some clubs that have time for only a few members each week to share their news and contribute “happy dollars,” at Yaletown meetings, every member shares a happy thought each week and drops some coins in a can. 
When everyone is engaged, a little can go a very long way.
– Kim Lisagor
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Our Club 2018-10-30 08:00:00Z 0
 “I called them and said, ‘It’s toilets — that’s what I’m supposed to do!’” Jasmine Burton
In 2014, the winning entry in the largest undergraduate invention competition in the United States was a toilet — and a Rotary Scholar led the group that designed it. After incorporating improvements based on user feedback, the SafiChoo — which means “clean toilet” in Kiswahili — is now improving people’s lives in Kenya.
Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa
The portable plastic toilet that took both first place and the People’s Choice Award at Georgia Tech’s InVenture competition was developed by Jasmine Burton and her team. “Conceptually, it was not necessarily the sexiest thing,” Burton says. But this simple idea is a big one.
Burton is the founder of Wish for WASH, an organization that seeks innovative solutions to global sanitation problems. For World Toilet Day on 19 November, Burton wants to help people understand the importance of sanitation in developing nations.
Q: What inspired you to focus on sanitation?
A: In my freshman year at Georgia Tech, I went to a women’s leadership conference and learned that nearly half the world’s population doesn’t have access to safe and hygienic toilets. This is a particular burden on women and girls. It made me angry to hear that when girls reach puberty, they drop out of school because their schools don’t have toilets. So I wanted to do something about it through my product design degree. I’ve always had a sense of service: Both of my parents are ex-military; my mom is a surgeon. It all culminated in the moment when I called them and said, “It’s toilets — that’s what I’m supposed to do!”
Q: How was the SafiChoo developed?
A: The SafiChoo toilet came out of an interdisciplinary project at Georgia Tech that is a kind of lab where engineers and designers make real products to solve real problems. It was a great opportunity to work with an organization called Sanivation, which turns human waste and other materials into briquettes that are a clean-burning alternative to charcoal. They were looking for a toilet that would make the waste easier to process. They also needed a design that could be used in a refugee camp in Kenya where there are no toilets at all. That was the design problem we were given.
Q: How has SafiChoo developed since then?
A: Our concept has changed a lot, which is what happens when you move from theory to practice. Within four weeks, we had to go from a prototype to shipping 10 toilets from Atlanta to the refugee camp. Once we got to Kenya, we had a series of testers, primarily from the South Sudanese and Somali refugee communities. 
Talking about sanitation can be awkward. How do you get feedback that’s genuine, and how do you start conversations about how we can improve the design? We worked with female translators and with female-headed households to open up dialogue. These women reminded us that some people wash rather than wipe. We lowered the toilet height and made the front of the toilet seat slope downward so that both washers and wipers can effectively and efficiently do their business. 
Q: For World Toilet Day, what message do you want to convey?
A: It’s incredibly important to have more female voices. Women are often disproportionately affected by the lack of sanitation, whether it’s because of social stigmas around hygiene, the expectations to be clean during menstruation, or unsafe practices that lead to infertility – things that are uncomfortable to talk about.
— Nikki Kallio
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Nothing Wasted 2018-10-30 08:00:00Z 0

In its work with the United Nations and other international organizations, the Rotary Representative Network advances a century-old tradition of fostering global harmony

By Illustrations by

In October 1991, after a 26-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service, T. Patrick Killough delivered a speech before the Rotary Club of Black Mountain in western North Carolina. The speech’s title captured his provocative premise: “The United Nations: Made in USA by Rotarians.”

To support that assertion, Killough marshaled an array of historical facts. He noted that Cordell Hull — President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of state, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and the “father of the United Nations” — and several other key players in the creation of the UN had Rotary connections. What’s more, Rotarians had organized the 1942 conference in London that inspired the creation of UNESCO and, as early as 1943, had advocated for a “central world organization.” Rotary had also published and distributed pamphlets, papers, and books to educate its members about, and tacitly encourage their support of, the fledgling United Nations. 

“The UN is, beyond question, a thoroughly American, a thoroughly Rotarian product from beginning to end,” Killough concluded. “The United Nations is our own child.”

A member of the Black Mountain club until his death in 2014, Killough dated Rotary’s involvement with global peacebuilding to 1939. But this commitment to peace is almost as old as Rotary itself. In 1914, as war broke out in Europe, Chesley Perry, acknowledged today as Rotary’s first general secretary, wrote, “Let Rotary make International Peace and Good Will its mission as an international organization.” And in 1921 at its 12th annual convention, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Rotary vowed “to aid in the advancement of international peace” when it amended the objects, or goals, of the organization. 

Nearly a century later, Peter Kyle believes that pledge could provide the foundation for Rotary’s future. “Rotary’s peace program has the potential to have a great legacy,” he says. 

Kyle is in a position to make that vision a reality. Since 1 July, he has been dean of the Rotary Representative Network, a group of Rotarians from diverse backgrounds who represent Rotary at the United Nations and other international organizations. (For the names of the 28 representatives and their assignments, see page 49.) The network dates to 1991, when the RI Board approved a plan that included securing the highest possible consultative status for Rotary with the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which it accomplished in 1993. 

By developing connections within specific organizations, the representatives help Rotary succeed at its ambitious endeavors around the world — chief among them the eradication of polio. Its success in fighting this disease has earned Rotary tremendous credibility and sway in the arena of international problem-solving. Kyle has a strategic perspective on that. “We often complain that the world doesn’t know about Rotary’s role in eradicating polio,” he says. “The whole world doesn’t need to know. Policymakers and international organizations — they need to know. Our relationship with key senior policymakers at the United Nations and other global organizations was important for polio advocacy. I intend to maintain and deepen and expand those relationships.”

In April 1945, representatives of 50 nations gathered in San Francisco to finalize and approve the UN Charter. The United States invited 42 nongovernmental organizations to participate in the conference in an official consultative capacity.

Rotary was instrumental in ... creating the United Nations.

the first dean of the Rotary Representative Network

Rotary’s 11 U.S. consultants were led by RI President Richard H. Wells, but the organization’s presence extended further. O.D.A. Oberg of the Rotary Club of Sydney, who attended the conference as a consultant to Australia’s group of representatives, reported in The Rotarian that “27 Rotarians are here as delegates or technical advisors, and five of them are chairmen of their delegations.” Many other Rotary members attended in an unofficial capacity.

“There being few UN staff at that time,” wrote David C. Forward in A Century of Service: The Story of Rotary International, “[Rotarians] guided agendas, performed translations, suggested wording for resolutions, and helped resolve disputes between delegates.” Edwin H. Futa, the first dean of the Rotary Representative Network, is even more emphatic about the organization’s impact on the conference. “Rotary,” he says, “was instrumental in helping to formulate the original documents creating the United Nations.” 

The Future of Peace 2018-10-24 08:00:00Z 0
By Geoffrey Johnson
“Whereas war is universally recognized as a bloody weapon handed down from a dark past … [Rotary should] lend its influence to the maintenance of peace among the nations of the world without recourse to war.” 
An illustration shows the Lusitania sinking off the coast of Ireland.
So resolved the nearly 1,300 Rotarians who gathered at Houston’s Municipal Auditorium in June 1914 for the fifth annual convention of the International Association of Rotary Clubs. The Rotarian published the entire 183-word resolution in its August issue. But by then, the dominoes had fallen. On 28 June, two days after the convention adjourned, a 19-year-old Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, in Sarajevo. On 4 August, Germany invaded Belgium, and within weeks, Germany and its ally, Austria-Hungary, were at war with France, Great Britain, Russia, and Serbia. The lamps had gone out all over Europe.
Buffered by the Atlantic Ocean, U.S. Rotarians were at first only indirectly affected by the war. At the Houston convention, a Texas Rotarian named R.C. Duff captured the mood that would prevail throughout the American branch of the organization for at least another year. Duff delivered a paean to business — “honorable, energetic, wealth producing commerce, trade and industry” — as “the panacea to war.” In the October issue of The Rotarian, L.D. Hicks, a founding member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, introduced a catchphrase: “Don’t talk war, talk business.” 
In their hands-off stance, these Rotarians mirrored President Woodrow Wilson, who on 4 August had issued a proclamation of neutrality. “The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name,” he said two weeks later in a message to Congress. “We must be impartial in thought, as well as action.” U.S. Rotarians anticipated that the distant perch from which they observed the “slaughter of humanity” fit them for a special role. “Let us, as Americans, do what we can,” pleaded the Rotary Club of Minneapolis. “We must not take sides. We cannot interfere. But we can give to the voice of peace a volume that will penetrate the confusion of the most impassioned battle.”
Calls for Rotary to serve as peace advocates came from outside the organization as well. In a September speech to the Rotary Club of Houston, writer and publisher Elbert Hubbard deemed Rotary “the greatest business organization in the world” and urged it “to lend its powerful influence toward universal peace.”
In 1914, Hubbard enjoyed a fame surpassed by few other Americans. With his shaggy mane, broad Stetson, baggy overcoat, and flowing cravat, he cut a distinctive figure, and he backed up his celebrity with prodigious output that included lively monthly magazines — most notably, The Philistine, his “periodical of protest” — and wares produced at Roycroft, his arts and crafts community near Buffalo, New York.
On 7 May 1915, Hubbard and his wife, Alice, were aboard the Lusitania near the coast of Ireland when a German torpedo ripped through the ship’s bow. The Lusitania sank within minutes. The Hubbards were among the nearly 1,200 dead — as was William Mitchelhill, a 44-year-old seed wholesaler from St. Joseph, Missouri, whose Rotary club memorialized him as “a man of unequaled personality, particularly known for his friendship, charity and love for his fellow men.”
The sinking of the Lusitania brought the war home to Americans. Frank Higgins captured that changing mood when he spoke at the sixth Rotary Convention, held in San Francisco in July 1915. One of Rotary’s vice presidents, Higgins was also president of the Rotary Club of Victoria, British Columbia. As part of the British Empire, Canada had already been at war for nearly a year. The world, Higgins lamented, beneath its “veneer of culture, education and refinement,” remained as brutally base as ever. “This is borne out,” he said, “by the fact that the bloodiest war that the world has ever seen is going on today, where men are killing one another as the savages did in the dark ages.”
Higgins feared that “the doctrine of peace and goodwill to all men will remain an aerial nothing” — unless “some uplifting force is injected into the world.” Rotary, he believed, was “that spirit, that force … ever swelling in volume and increasing in strength.”  
Despite evolving perspectives, those not fighting on the front lines struggled to comprehend the conflict. A Rotarian from England, visiting a strategic bridge in Edinburgh, marveled that “the sight of sentries, barbed wire and loopholed sand bag protections brought the war much nearer than we realise it in Manchester, as also did the inspiring sight of the (Royal Navy’s) fleet” anchored in the Firth of Forth.
American pacifists (including Jane Addams, third from left) travel to an international conference.
On 1 July, in northwest France along the Somme River, British troops stormed the entrenched German army. By day’s end, they had suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 soldiers dead from their wounds. Winston Churchill called it “the greatest loss and slaughter sustained in a single day in the whole history of the British Army.”
Fighting continued along the Somme for another 140 days, engaging about 3.5 million men from 25 countries. By mid-November, when winter weather brought fighting to a halt, British forces, which included troops from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, and Scotland, had suffered about 420,000 casualties; the German army sustained at least 430,000, and France, 204,000. The maddeningly snail-paced nature of the fighting meant the daily advance or retreat of armies was often calculated in inches and feet and yards.
In November 1916, readers of The Rotarian got an unexpected glimpse into the trenches along the Somme. Weeks earlier, George Brigden, a future president of the Rotary Club of Toronto, had received a letter from a Canadian lieutenant named F.G. Diver. Dated 11 September, it began: “You will no doubt be quite surprised to receive a letter from me but I felt that I wanted in some way to show my appreciation to you for putting me into the Rotary Club and to let you know that even in the front line trenches away over here in France that I have felt its influence.”
Diver went on to explain that, while in England with a Canadian division formed in Ontario, he had been “one of the lucky” officers ordered to proceed immediately to France, where he joined the 87th Battalion, a Montreal unit known as the Canadian Grenadier Guards. Not knowing any of the officers, he had found it “pretty hard ... to break in to their little circle.” During a lull in the fighting, he stepped into another officer’s dugout “to have a smoke and incidentally see if he had anything on the hip, as it gets mighty chilly around here between four and five in the morning.”
That other officer turned out to be Major H. LeRoy Shaw, a founding member and former president of the Rotary Club of Montreal. What’s more, as Diver learned, two other officers in the 87th were also Rotarians: Majors Irving P. Rexford and John N. Lewis. “From that night on,” explained Diver, “it has made quite some difference for me, for, altho I am not yet one of their happy little family, I am a whole lot nearer than I would have been if it had not been for good old Rotary.”
Before signing off “Yours Rotarily,” Diver described the “great life” in the trenches. “Live like so many rats in the earth and, like rats, never change your clothes. ... But with all the inconveniences there is something that makes you glad you came.”
A little after noon on 21 October, during fighting east of the Ancre River, a tributary of the Somme, the Canadian Grenadier Guards seized a German position called Regina Trench. Leading his platoon, Diver died in the attack.
Four weeks later and less than a mile north from where Diver had fallen, Lewis met the same fate. Born in Tennessee in 1874 and a graduate of the universities of Chicago and Heidelberg, Lewis had worked for a Chicago newspaper before moving on to become editor of the Montreal Star. Second in command, behind Shaw, of the 87th’s No. 1 Company, he had won the Distinguished Service Order for his heroism in the attack on Regina Trench. A little before dawn on 18 November, as a driving rain turned to snow, the Grenadier Guards climbed from flooded trenches and slogged under enemy fire across a muddy no man’s land to yet another German bulwark, this one called Desire Trench. By 8 a.m., the Guards had captured the position, and Lewis was dying, or perhaps already dead.
Rotarian and star vaudevillian Harry Lauder and his son, John.
His obituary in the Star noted that Lewis, a founder of the local Boys’ Club, had, in both Chicago and Montreal, contributed generously “to charitable organizations having the care and upliftment of children as their special concern.” In Lewis’ memory, the Montreal Rotary club raised $10,000 to erect a building at the Shawbridge Boys’ Farm in Quebec with a brass plaque inscribed, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (Home to 30 boys, the two-story brick Lewis Memorial Cottage stood until the 1960s.) As for Shaw and Rexford, they survived the war and returned to Montreal, Shaw to pursue his prewar insurance career (and his passion for curling) and Rexford to assume the presidency of the club, where, in 1929, he led a successful campaign to raise more than $250,000 for the Boys’ Home Fund.
The year closed with one more Rotary-related death as the son of Harry Lauder fell in France. A pawky Scotsman — the modifier, often affixed to his name, connotes someone who is humorously tricky or sly — the elder Lauder cultivated an instantly identifiable public persona, which in his case entailed wearing a kilt and tam-o’-shanter, smoking a short clay pipe, and wielding a gnarled cromach, or walking stick. A singer, songwriter, and comedian, he packed vaudeville theaters in Britain, Australia, Canada, and the United States and sold, by his own estimate, a million or more records. During the first two decades of the 20th century, he was the highest-paid performer in the world.
War and Remembrance 2018-10-22 08:00:00Z 0
In case you believe that they won't hit people like us, I have already received 3 of these messages.  Please be careful.
From: Rick Kick <>
Subject: Fake email and social media accounts target Rotary members in new scam
Date: October 19, 2018 at 14:05:41 AKDT
Reply-To: Rick Kick <>

Dear Rotarian,

Rotary recently learned that scammers have created multiple communication and social media accounts that impersonate RI President Barry Rassin, RI President-elect Mark Maloney, General Secretary John Hewko and perhaps other Rotary leaders. The communication accounts include or involve email, WhatsApp and Viber.  The social media accounts have been on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

These are not authentic Rotary communications. They are phishing and spoofing attempts to obtain money and personal information.  The perpetrators may attempt to convince Rotary members to send funds to support alleged Rotary causes.

Rotary monitors for and responds to these attempts as part of an ongoing effort to keep member, program participant, and staff data safe. We also work with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp to remove imposter accounts.

Neither President Rassin’s, President-elect Maloney’s, nor General Secretary Hewko’s authentic accounts have been compromised.

Rotary members should continue to exercise caution:
  • Disregard any suspicious message that offers money, requests money, or asks for your personal information.
  • Avoid opening attachments or following links in suspicious messages.
  • Pay close attention to the details of the email address and signature block to verify the sender.
If you receive what you believe to be a suspicious message from the president, general secretary, or another Rotary leader, please forward it to and then delete it immediately.

Rick Kick 
Chief Information Officer, RI 

CC: Rotary club presidents and secretaries
Fake Email and Social Media Accounts Target Rotary Members in New Scam 2018-10-22 08:00:00Z 0
Even More of What Rotary Exchange Students Do! 2018-10-17 08:00:00Z 0
An estimated 40.3 million people around the world live in slavery involving either sexual exploitation or forced labor. A new partnership with Freedom United is giving Rotarians a chance to do something to stop it.
By Arnold R. Grahl
Dave McCleary was volunteering at a youth conference in 2012 when a young woman named Melissa explained how she had ended up in the sex trade.
She was living in a nice suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, when a young man knocked on her door and offered her a job as a model. The man turned out to be a pimp, who lured her into prostitution through a combination of drugs, threats, and coercion.
“She was from my town, and was living in an apartment where my wife used to live before we got married,” remembers McCleary, a member of the Rotary Club of Roswell. “After the presentation, a member of my club gave her a big hug. I asked how he knew her, and he said she used to babysit his kids when she was 12. That’s when I realized this wasn’t someone else’s problem. This is happening all around us.”
McCleary is now co-chair of the Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery, which has been coordinating Rotary clubs’ efforts to fight slavery since 2013. A big challenge for the group has been motivating clubs to act. The immense scale of the problem can be daunting. 
The Global Slavery Index estimates that, worldwide, 40.3 million people are subject to some form of slavery: bonded labor, forced labor, child slavery, sex trafficking, or forced marriage. 
“I think many people ask, ‘What can I do? What impact can my small club possibly have?’” McCleary says.
One answer could come from the group’s recent partnership with Freedom United, a nonprofit organization that has mobilized millions of partners, activists, and advocates through online campaigns to convince governments and companies to end slavery. 
Through Freedom United’s website, Rotary clubs of any size can sign up to form “freedom rings,” which raise community awareness of slavery while sharing information with one another through an online platform. Freedom United helps the club plan a two-hour community event by arranging speakers that can include experts, survivors, and representatives of local nonprofits that are already fighting modern slavery. At the end of the event, people are invited to join the ring. The core team this creates then selects yearly projects to commit to.
“These rings are inspired out of a Rotary club but also pull from the larger community,” says Joe Schmidt, CEO of Freedom United. “We have a series of things they can choose to do. We ask them to keep it pretty simple and laser-focused on one particular project.” 
Schmidt, who advises Delta Airlines on its anti-trafficking strategy, met McCleary through Delta’s involvement with Georgia Rotarians, including during the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta.
Rotary and community members gather for an education and engagement event called a Freedom Forum in Raleigh, North Carolina, to learn more about fighting modern slavery.
Freedom United Executive Director Joanna Ewart-James and Advocacy Assistant Miriam Karmali hand out fliers at a flower show being held in London discussing the link between modern slavery and the sponsor of the flower show.
Rotary and community members gather for an education and engagement event called a Freedom Forum in Raleigh, North Carolina, to learn more about fighting modern slavery.
 “Dave and I started to talk, and we recognized that there are maybe 200 to 400 groups just in the U.S. working on modern slavery topics. However, they are all disjointed with no common platform,” Schmidt says. “It sparked in us a connection between Freedom United’s interest in taking our massive online community down to the grassroots level and Rotary’s ability to provide hundreds of groups all over the world who would be foot soldiers in this fight.”
According to Schmidt, a ring in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, is planning an annual gala fundraiser, and one in Raleigh, North Carolina, is working on a walk/run to raise awareness. Another ring is organizing a “red sand project,” where volunteers sprinkle red sand in the cracks of city streets to represent all the people in the world who are enslaved. 
Ian Rumbles, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Clayton, North Carolina, heard Schmidt speak at his district conference in April. His club is in the beginning stages of forming a ring.
“What resonated with me was hearing about the amount of domestic slavery and the number of people forced to work in farm fields in my own state,” says Rumbles. “The fact that people in our country were modern slaves made me think that I can only imagine the amount of slavery around the world.”
Schmidt says Rotary’s experience with polio eradication makes it a perfect partner for this fight.
Rotary’s patience in committing to a cause and its track record with polio have shown that Rotarians are willing to take mature, committed action toward long-term global change, even if it doesn’t give immediate gratifying results.
Joe Schmidt
CEO of Freedom United
“Rotary’s patience in committing to a cause and its track record with polio have shown that Rotarians are willing to take mature, committed action toward long-term global change, even if it doesn’t give immediate gratifying results,” he says. “That’s the thing missing in the fight against modern slavery: large organizations who are willing to step into this thing for the long haul and eradicate slavery once and for all.”
Rotary clubs have been supporting anti-slavery organizations for over a decade. In one of the larger efforts, 14 Rotary clubs led by the Rotary Club of Dunbar, Lothian, Scotland, opened a vocational training center for trafficking survivors in Kalimpong, India, in 2015. The project was funded in part by a Rotary Foundation grant. The group plans to add  a home for women and girls freed from slavery. 
McCleary is hoping that the partnership with Freedom United will better lead to more. 
“The great thing about Rotary is that even though we are international, we are community-based,” he adds. “So if there’s a need in a community, we have Rotary clubs there to make it happen.”
Fighting Modern Slavery 2018-10-09 08:00:00Z 0
See Jane Run! 2018-10-02 08:00:00Z 0
Two Rotarian pediatricians – one in Ethiopia and the other in California – connected to save babies’ lives with the help of a vocational training team
By Arnold R. Grahl
Karin Davies had just finished teaching a group of Ethiopian health care providers a life-saving technique for newborn babies when a third-year obstetric resident came rushing up.
“It really works,” he said. The night before, he had delivered an infant who was born limp and not breathing. After several unsuccessful attempts to stimulate the baby’s breathing, he used a technique, known as positive pressure ventilation, that he had learned only the day before. Within minutes, the baby was screaming. 
We saw the power of vocational training right before our eyes.
Karin Davies 
retired pediatrician, Rotary member
“We saw the power of vocational training right before our eyes,” recalls Davies, a retired pediatrician who led four vocational training team trips to Gondar, Ethiopia, between February 2015 and June 2017. The team, funded by a $107,000 Rotary Foundation global grant, trained 73 health care providers who now teach classes for midwives, nurses, and medical students on resuscitation techniques and post-recitation care for newborns. 
The training team project was designed with the help of members of the Rotary Club of Gondar Fasiledes, in particular 2013-14 Club President Abiyot Tegegne, to address a critical shortage of hospital personnel trained in lifesaving skills. In Ethiopia in 2012, only 10 percent of births were attended by someone trained in newborn resuscitation.
Davies, a member of the Rotary Club of Del Mar, California, marshaled resources and connected key players to establish a curriculum for neonatal care at the University of Gondar’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences which is helping reduce Ethiopia’s infant mortality rate.
Davies was five years old in 1952 when her father helped establish a college in Jimma, Ethiopia, as part of the Point Four Program, a forerunner to USAID. The family spent two years in Ethiopia. Sitting at the kitchen table of her home in San Diego, Davies sifts through old photos and recalls what it was like to grow up there. She recounts how her mother, a nurse, was pressed into service as the primary health care provider for the college’s seven faculty members and their families, its 80 students, and eventually the entire community.
“No one else was there to do it,” Davies says. “My mother would go out and take care of the surrounding villagers when they asked for help, and I would go with her. That is how I developed my interest in medicine.”
Karin Davies, second from left, watches as Ethiopian instructors-in-training practice at a skill station. 
Pat Bromberger, second from right, leads a demonstration in neonatal resuscitation at a skill station. 
Instructors-in-training learn how to administer oxygen to a newborn.
A class of new instructors with their certificates showing they have completed the neonatal resuscitation training and can now teach the skills to other midwives and nursing students at the University.
Three chairs of the pediatric department at Gondar University Hospital, from left Kassahun Belachew, Mahlet, and Zemene Tigabu.
Elisa Imonti shows the Ethiopian nurses how to program the incubators.
Teaching to Save Babies 2018-09-30 08:00:00Z 0

Open hearts

Elaine Case and Bill Wiktor
International Travel and Hosting Fellowship

Elaine Case was president-elect of the Rotary Club of Rochester Risers, Minnesota, and her husband, Bill Wiktor, held the same position in the Rotary Club of Rochester when the couple went to São Paulo for the Rotary International Convention in 2015. At the House of Friendship, they learned about the International Travel and Hosting Fellowship, which connects Rotarians who host other Rotarians visiting their area.

“We travel quite a bit,” says Wiktor, “and we thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be nice. We will open up our home to people coming to Rochester, and we can visit others around the world.’” 

Because Rochester is the home of the Mayo Clinic, Case and Wiktor thought they could be particularly helpful to any Rotarians who came to their city for treatment at the renowned medical center.

For a few years, the couple participated in the fellowship, connecting with fellow Rotarians on their own travels, but they didn’t hear from anyone looking for a place to stay in Rochester. Then in January 2018, they got an email from Cindy Goodman, a member of the Rotary Club of La Jolla, California, who was coming to Mayo for open heart surgery.

Case and Wiktor immediately offered their help and their home. “I asked, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? This could be more than you bargained for,’” Goodman says. “And they said, ‘No, we would like to make this our Rotary mission, to help families who come to Mayo for diagnosis or treatment or surgery.’” 

Goodman’s daughter, Whitney, stayed with the couple for a week while her mother was in the hospital. “They could not have been more hospitable and welcoming,” says Goodman. 

The couple visited Goodman in the hospital and did their best to make both mother and daughter feel at home. They stand ready to host Rotarians in similar situations.

“I just cannot say enough good things,” Goodman says. “They were like a second family.” 

– Frank Bures

Read more stories from The Rotarian

Our World: October 2018 2018-09-26 08:00:00Z 0
2018 Homer Health Fair 2018-09-26 08:00:00Z 0
The potatoes have been harvested (for the most part), weighed, and delivered to the Homer Community Food Pantry.
A few photos and a data spreadsheet are attached.
Pounds of Whites
1st  Place           Marv            36.5 lbs
2nd Place           Mr. X           22.2 lbs
3rd Place            Tom            18.0 lbs
Pounds of Reds
1st Place            Marv            46.5 lbs
2nd Place          Charlie         44.3 lbs
3rd Place           Tom              21.5 lbs
Total of Reds and Whites
1st Place            Marv             83.0 lbs
2nd Place          Charlie          53.6 lbs
3rd Place           Tom              39.5 lbs
Largest White
1st Place             Mr. X             1.51 lbs
2nd Place           Marv              1.30 lbs
3rd Place            Bernie           1.20 lbs
Largest Red
1st Place             Charlie          1.84 lbs
2nd Place           Tom               1.69 lbs
3rd Place            Mr. X              1.34 lbs
(At this time, Mr. X has not been  identified)
Great Potato Contest 2018 2018-09-26 08:00:00Z 0
Winston has been able to travel in and around Alaska.  Here are some of his pictures.
Juneau, Capital City of Alaska
With Alaska's Lieutenant-Governor, Byron Mallott
Mendanhall Glacier
Bear Viewing with Boyd
Alaska's North Slope
Some More of the Things an Exchange Student Does 2018-09-19 08:00:00Z 0
Drop anchor in Germany’s gateway to the world, where it’s easy to feel like a local
By Jenny Llakmani                                    Photos by Samuel Zuder
Walking through Hamburg’s main train station on our first day in the city, my husband, Anton, spots a man sitting in a tiny bar enjoying a beer and a smoke. His peculiar garb – black corduroy jacket, vest, and bell-bottom pants, along with a battered top hat – gives him away. He’s one of Germany’s Wandergesellen, a journeyman carpenter who, in a tradition that dates to the Middle Ages, travels the world for two or three years carrying only a change of clothes, a few euros, and his skills.
Like us, he’s just another visitor to Hamburg. A real person in a real city – a city, as we come to realize, that’s the coolest place we never knew we wanted to visit.
The wavy roofline of Hamburg’s newest landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, breaks above the historic brick warehouses of the Speicherstadt district.
In an age when every destination seems to be making itself over to please tourists, Hamburg steadfastly chooses to please itself. Undeniably authentic, the city greets visitors with a friendly ahoy! and then goes about its business – and business is the business of Hamburg – leaving you to enjoy its many charms.
Situated on the Elbe River, the city’s pathway to the North Sea, Hamburg – which will host the 2019 Rotary International Convention – is the third-largest port in Europe, a thriving hub of global trade. Across the river from the colossal harbor is the inviting downtown, with bridges and canals that locals claim outnumber those of Amsterdam and Venice and a picturesque lake that serves as the city’s playground. As befits a Marktplatz for the world’s goods, shopping abounds, as do options for entertainment. On Saturday nights, people of all ages converge on the Reeperbahn, the once notorious red-light district where, in the early 1960s, the Beatles became the Beatles. And jutting out into the river like a ship at full sail is the new Elbphilharmonie (the Elbphi for short), a brick and glass concert hall whose dramatic exterior and finely tuned interior proclaim Hamburg’s intent to establish a serious performance heritage rivaling anything the continent might offer.
All of this in a city that’s compact and easy to navigate on foot, by bike, on public transit, and – maybe even especially – by boat.
Getting to know Hamburg’s waterways is key to understanding what makes the city tick. Holger Knaack, co-chair of the convention’s Host Organization Committee and a past governor of District 1940, puts it succinctly: “Hamburg is water, everywhere.” Even the Ham in Hamburg comes from an Old Saxon word meaning “marshland.”
The aqueous heart of this maritime city is the Alster, a lake created 800 years ago by damming a small river. It’s divided into two parts: the Binnenalster, or Inner Alster, and the larger Außenalster, or Outer Alster. The Elbe, meanwhile, is the city’s pulsing lifeline: Though Hamburg lies 65 miles from the North Sea, here at the city’s center the river and its canals still rise and fall with the tides.
Along the Jungfernstieg, a stepped terrace that runs along the Inner Alster, Hamburg’s wealthy merchants once promenaded with their unmarried daughters. It’s still a chic showcase of the city’s inhabitants. Anton and I grab a table at one of the open-air cafés and watch the red-and-white tour boats that dock here before heading out to explore the Outer Alster, the city’s canals, and the Elbe. 
We opt to take the footpath around the Outer Alster. People are fishing, sunbathing, reading, walking dogs, biking, and boating. With no private motorboats allowed, says Andreas von Möller, a Hamburg native whose roots here go back for generations, “sailing on the lake is a dream.” Von Möller, a past governor of District 1890, serves as Knaack’s fellow HOC chair.
A little more than 4 miles around, the lakeshore is dotted with cafés and restaurants. At the Alsterperle, a self-service café housed in a former public toilet – far more appealing than it sounds – we pull out our map to plot our next move. The lady sharing our table asks where we’re from. We’ve hardly begun to reply when another café-goer appears at our side and asks, “Did you say you’re from Chicago? I love Chicago!” Our new friends have tips for us in the nearby neighborhood of St. Georg: The bar on top of Le Méridien hotel, we learn, has the best view of the Alster, while the terrace at the Hotel George is a fantastic place to enjoy the sunset. With friends like that, who needs a map?
Though defined by its waterways, Hamburg was forged by fire. Two major conflagrations – the first in 1842, the second ignited by Allied air raids during World War II – devastated the city, leaving few traces of its medieval origins. The first fire broke out on the Deichstrasse, a short street built on a 13th-century dike; despite that, the street today contains the only cluster of buildings in the old Hamburg style of architecture. One of them, Deichstrasse 25, houses a restaurant called Zum Brandanfang, which means “the place where the fire started”; on the other side of the Old Town, there’s a street called Brandsende, or Fire’s End.  
Be our guest
Moin, moin is the traditional Hamburg way of saying hello, and the city’s Rotarians are eager to greet you. The Hamburg Host Organization Committee (HOC), chaired by Andreas von Möller and Holger Knaack, has planned cultural events for every night of the convention to show you the many sides of Hamburg and introduce you to local Rotarians. To learn more and buy tickets, visit
Hamburg Rotarians will host a welcome party for 2,000 convention goers in the historic Hamburg Chamber of Commerce building in the heart of the city.   
The renowned National Youth Ballet, whose general director, John Neumeier, is celebrating both his 80th birthday and his 46th season with the State Opera of Hamburg ballet company next year, will perform for convention goers. (Balletomanes, take note: The 45th Hamburg Ballet Days begins shortly after the convention ends, on 16 June.)
The HOC has reserved Hamburg’s show-stopping new landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, for two performances of classical music. Celebrated for its architecture as well as its acoustics, the building also offers breathtaking views of the city and its harbor.
Local clubs will organize host hospitality events. Experience German Gastfreundschaft!
Public events  
The HOC is also planning several free public events, including a 14-day bicycle tour that will take some 200 riders from Austria through Germany to Hamburg. Each day, the group will stop for an event to raise awareness of polio. Rotarians from around Hamburg can join the ride for the final 20 kilometers, arriving at the Rathaus (city hall) on the morning of Saturday, 1 June. Riders need to register in advance, but everyone is welcome to come to the Rathaus square to celebrate the end of the ride. One of the city’s major thoroughfares, meanwhile, will feature booths presenting Rotary’s six areas of focus to the public.
The destruction wrought by war was on a different scale. During 10 days of bombing in July 1943, at least 40,000 people died as entire neighborhoods were obliterated. To better understand what occurred, we visit the St. Nikolai memorial. The tallest of Hamburg’s five major churches, St. Nikolai remains in its bombed-out state as a memorial to all victims of war. Its crypt houses a small but powerful museum whose account of the air raids provides perspective on the experiences not only of the people of Hamburg, but of the bomber crews themselves.
As we walk through the city, another reminder of World War II is at our feet: Stolpersteine, or “stumbling stones.” These brass plates are fitted in among the cobblestones in front of buildings where Jewish people, Roma, gays, dissidents, and other victims of the Nazis last lived. Each plate is engraved with the name of an individual and, in most cases, the years when he or she was born, was deported to a concentration camp, and died. Conceived in 1996 by Berlin artist Gunter Demnig, the stones are now found in cities throughout Europe.
From the Deichstrasse, we walk down a narrow alleyway to the canal behind the historic row of merchant houses. Here, goods originating in ports around the world were delivered by boat and stored on the lower floor of a house; the second floor traditionally featured offices and a large reception space for clients, while the family occupied the upper floors. Canals also define the nearby district called the Speicherstadt, where the narrow waterways between tall brick warehouses, or Speicher, conjure a Northern Germany-meets-Venice vibe.
The 19th-century uniformity of the Speicherstadt yields to the modern sensibility of the adjacent HafenCity. When finished in 2030, this riverside development project – which features shops, restaurants, apartments, and offices housed in a mix of older buildings and new ones designed by Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas, Philippe Starck, among others – will almost double the size of the city center.
The architectural highlight of HafenCity is already in place: the two-year-old, 26-story Elbphilharmonie concert hall. (None of Hamburg’s buildings rise taller than the city’s principal church steeples.) The building’s base, a repurposed brick warehouse, gives way in dramatic fashion to a glass superstructure that evokes soaring waves. Its midlevel terrace commands contrasting perspectives that capture the city’s ethos: in one direction, a view of the Elbe and the giant cranes lining the immense port, which occupies 17,500 acres of land and water on the opposite side of the river; and in the other direction, the city proper, with its Rathaus (city hall) and the spires of Saints Nikolai, Michaelis, Petri, Jacobi, and Katharinen.  
 ‘Hamburg is a very special city, a very open city, and one of the most modern cities in Germany, both architecturally and in mindset,” says Knaack. This cosmopolitan outlook is a consequence of 800 years of history as a free port – and as not merely a city, but an independent city-state. The city’s official name, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg – the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg – recalls Hamburg’s membership in the Hanseatic League, a confederation of northern European cities that dominated trade on the North and Baltic seas from about 1200 to 1500. 
 “We live from the port,” von Möller adds. “That’s where Hamburg breathes. It’s a gateway to the world.”
 To truly appreciate Hamburg, see it from the water. Tour boats cruise Lake Alster, the Elbe River, and the city’s many canals. Or set your own course by renting a paddle boat, sailboat, canoe, or kayak.
For a close encounter with the towering cargo ships, Knaack and von Möller recommend one of the harbor cruises that depart from the Landungsbrücke, a floating dock in the St. Pauli neighborhood. The boat takes us downriver as far as the suburb of Övelgönne, where hillside villas overlook a popular beach. We pass the U-434, a Russian submarine that has been converted into a museum, and the Altona Fischmarkt. Heading back upriver, we encounter vessels in drydock and watch as massive ships are loaded with as many as 20,000 containers. Finally, we glide past the Rickmer Rickmers, another museum ship, before turning around under the Elbphi and steaming back to the dock.
In St. Pauli, the Reeperbahn – a long thoroughfare where rope-makers once stretched out their hemp – has been home to sailors’ watering holes for well over a century; in 1848 the district had 19 legal brothels. Since the Beatles lived here in the early ’60s, playing nightly gigs in the Kaiserkeller and the Star Club, it has become much more respectable.
 “My wife and I are regulars on Saturday night on the Reeperbahn. We go to the theaters,” says Andreas Wende, the marketing chair for the HOC and a member of the Rotary Club of Ahrensburg. “It’s typical for young people ages about 20 to 40 to go to the Reeperbahn on Friday and Saturday evenings. They go out at 10 or 11 on Saturday night, party until 5 or 6 a.m., then go to the Fischmarkt on Sunday morning” – a sort of hard day’s night in reverse.
Hamburg’s efficient public transit system is another great way to see the city’s sights; passes will be included in the registration for the Hamburg convention. “You’ll have access to trams, ferries, everything,” says John Blount, convention chair. 
A city that prides itself as a global gateway – and that is home to the first Rotary club in Germany – Hamburg is an ideal place to bring together Rotarians from around the world. The convention’s theme, Capture the Moment, “is about the power and potential and force Rotary has in your life and in the world,” says Blount. “We want to capture where we are and what we can do – the possibilities of Rotary as an organization and in our clubs. We want you to be there to experience that.”
The Messe, the city’s convention center, is centrally located – about a 10-minute walk from the major convention hotels, and easily accessible by public transit. Several distinct neighborhoods filled with restaurants, cafés, shops, and parks are nearby: the bohemian Karolinenviertel; the sumptuous Rotherbaum; the historically Jewish Grindel, now the leafy university quarter; and the hip Schanzenviertel, which should be an irresistible draw to young Rotarians and Rotaractors.
Back in the Altstadt (Old Town), the Mönckebergstrasse, which runs roughly from the main train station to the Rathaus, is the city’s major shopping thoroughfare. Haute boutiques line the arcades of the Neustadt, and more than 100 shops and restaurants fill the five floors of the Europa Passage. And that’s just a taste of Hamburg’s offerings, which we’ve only begun to explore when our five-day stay concludes.
As Anton and I head out of town, already plotting to return, we finally figure out Hamburg’s allure. Hamburgers, as its citizens are known, have created a city designed for their own enjoyment – though they happily share the pleasures of their museums and parks, their theaters, restaurants, and cafés, with visitors.
Come 1 June 2019, I recommend you do just that.
Ich bin ein Hamburger 2018-09-13 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary District Governor -Nominee Joe Kashi ( has asked for assistance in identifying local artists who might be interested in working with the Rotary Club of Soldotna. As an artist or maybe you know someone who would like the opportunity to display their work. Please see below.


Community Development Through Public Art 2018-09-13 08:00:00Z 0
Our Exchange Student, Claudia from Spain and her host family, joined Craig on ARCTICA for the 2018 Homer Yacht Club Fireweed Cup September 1st.  Results of the race are not in yet, but ARCTICA did cross the finish line second in a hard fought race.  Here are some pictures of the day.
Some of the Things an Exchange Student Does 2018-09-05 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge, Berkshire, England
Chartered: 2012
Original membership: 25
Current membership: 48 
Club innovation:
Biweekly meetings at a local coffee shop have an air of informality and flexibility along with an emphasis on being family-friendly, with members often bringing their children. They even give the kids roles to play in club meetings, helping nurture the next generation of Rotarians. In keeping with the family-friendly focus, club members serve as marshals at local festivities that are a hallmark of this fun-loving town.
A bridge to the future:
When it was built in the 1830s, the Maidenhead Railway Bridge, which connects communities across the Thames River, was declared a marvel of engineering. The Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge, formed to accommodate the schedules of young professionals and parents with young children, also engineers connections across the community, cultures, and generations. Members emphasize hands-on service and routinely log about 2,000 cumulative volunteer hours each year. They set aside at least as much time for play.
Diabetes testing with nonprofit Silver Star.
Several charter members of the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge had been members of the Rotaract Club of Maidenhead. “We hit 30 and we asked ourselves, ‘What are we going to do now?’ ” says Lisa Hunter, charter president of the Rotary club. “We started talking about what we wanted Rotary to be for us. The main club in town met at lunchtime, and for those of us with careers and young children, it didn’t really work. And we needed to be family-friendly so that members could bring little ‘members’ along.” 
Hunter’s daughter, Chloe, 7, has been attending meetings since she was born. Like the 10 or so children who usually show up, “she is very much in tune with helping other people,” Hunter says. “As they get older we’ve given them jobs to do,” including handing out birthday cards and helping with announcements. “They also help us drum up sales at community events. It’s quite something. They are future salespeople.” 
A signature community initiative has heightened the club’s exposure and forged bonds with other local groups. “There are a lot of charities that are starting up and need support,” Hunter says, such as the Thames Valley Adventure Playground, which caters to children with physical and learning disabilities, and Family Friends, an organization that aids people who are facing hardship.
Club members used their business know-how to help Foodshare, a nonprofit providing food and assistance to those in need, expand operations and reduce waste by better organizing its shelves. “Several of their members are regular – and popular – volunteers at our food bank and have organized regular collections of shopper donations from a local supermarket,” says Lester Tanner, a trustee of Foodshare Maidenhead. “It’s good to know that there is another organization with so much goodwill and capability that we can call on.”
While doing serious work in the community, the club has a flair for the irreverent, says Hunter. Every year, as a fundraiser for The Rotary Foundation, the club organizes a 24-hour event featuring 24 challenges that members have to tackle. “We’ll start at 8 a.m. on a Saturday and go to 8 a.m. Sunday. There’s quite a lot of physical activities and some mental ones. Origami at 3 a.m. is probably one of the most difficult I’ve ever done,” she says. 
“One lovely byproduct of the event was the team building, getting to know fellow members better and having fun at the same time.”
The amusements are part of the club design. “I think it’s the flexibility of our meetings that has fostered growth,” Hunter says. “Don’t be scared or put off by change. Rotary can be what we want it to be.”   — Brad Webber
• What is your club doing to reinvent itself?   Email
Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Friends and Family 2018-09-05 08:00:00Z 0

To Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club,


I just received this email from the Doctor who organized previous medical/health fair missions in Burma/Myanmar.  Perhaps someone else in the Club may be interested in participating in the upcoming one in January.  The deadline to apply is September 15!





Hi  Steve, Noko, Jane & Vivian
Here are the pictures of our Mrauk Oo Charity Clinic. With contributions from myself and donors, we are able to provide salaries of 3-4 rotating weekend doctors, 1 physician assistant (on weekdays), 1 nurse, 1 clerk / cleaner to serve the poor & sick people.
Our 5th annual medical mission will be on January 14-18, 2019. You are most welcome to join us. The last registration date is September 15, 2018.
Thanks for your continuous support.

Invitation to Join a Medical Mission in Burma/Myanmar 2018-09-05 08:00:00Z 0
 Picnic at the Gordon's!!
Great Food!  Wonderful Company! 
Incredible Weather!  Berries Galore!  
Check out the Pictures!
And a FANTASTIC Time Was Had By All!
Labor Day at the Gordon's 2018-09-05 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club Works to Upgrade Ben Walters Park
Ben Walters Park is located in a prime spot adjacent to McDonald’s Restaurant and bordering Beluga Lake floatplane base.  The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club adopted the park several years ago and is working to make the park safer and more user-friendly.  Rotary hosted a “Cranium Cup” trivia night at Alice’s Champaign Palace during Winter Carnival weekend in February with proceeds dedicated to upgrade the city’s parks.  These proceeds were doubled with an award of a Rotary District Grant plus a generous donation by McDonald’s. 
The club has repainted the restrooms, built benches, cleared brush to create more open space, and constructed new picnic tables.  Additional work is planned to brush out more areas and add new playground equipment from available funds.       Submitted to Homer News

Kathy Hill, Bernie, Dave Brann and I cleared some brush several Saturday's ago - can't remember the exact date.  Clyde and Vivian, Charlie Wells, Maynard Gross, Dave Brann and I painted the restrooms earlier this summer.  We still have more brush that needs to be cut to open up more of the area towards the lake and around the large trees at the top of the park.  Rotary purchased the materials and built two picnic tables using the plans provided by the city.


We are getting information from several vendors suggested by the City for playground equipment.  This equipment which is public playground acceptable is very expensive and practically all of it is made in the Midwest.  So shipping is a major expense.  In addition to the $2,000 from the Cranium Cup, the matching $2,000 from a District Grant, McDonald's promised us an additional $1,500.  

Kathy hard at work!

New tables at Ben Walters Park
Ben Walters Park Updates 2018-08-29 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium, British Columbia  
We’re dangling 1,400 feet above a forested valley. It’s a sea of green: no cars, no buildings, just uninterrupted forest bordered by snowcapped mountains. It’s a breathtaking view, and to get it, we’ve boarded a gondola that glides between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The Peak 2 Peak gondola, the first lift to join two side-by-side mountains, holds two Guinness World Records, for height and for length between spans.
 Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium members Jack Carlson, from left, Shannon Kirkwood, and Lyn Stroshin.
Whistler Blackcomb offers more skiable acres than any other resort in North America. The terrain is vast and varied – though much of it is steep – and the snow is reliable. Since its construction in the 1960s, the resort has attracted skiers and snowboarders from around the world; in 2010, it hosted the Winter Olympics. In the summer, more visitors arrive to hike, bike, kayak, fish, and rock climb. 
“This is our backyard,” says Shannon Kirkwood. 
Kirkwood is president of the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium. The club was founded in 2000 when a few members of the Rotary Club of Whistler, which meets at 7:15 a.m., decided to start a lunch club. Kirkwood, one of 13 women in the 23-member club, says she joined for a sense of community in a town where not only the tourists but many of the residents are transient. Many live and work in Whistler for a season, then move on. Only about 12,000 people actually call Whistler home. 
Seasonal work brought club member Liz Peacock to Whistler from Newcastle, England, in 2010. Like many others, she and her husband planned to stay and work for a year. But Whistler felt like home. Peacock has put her degree in art history to work managing the art gallery at the Fairmont Hotel; her husband found work first as a chef and later as a carpenter. Their one-year-old son, Larry, is a bona fide Whistler native. He’s also a born Rotarian, regularly attending meetings with his mom. 
The club meets at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside hotel at 12:15 p.m. Thursdays. Larry, who has just learned to walk, toddles down the hall toward the members as they arrive. Peacock patiently chases after him again and again. “He’s the greeter,” she says with a smile. 
Today, 10 people are on hand for a talk by Tom Smith, the District 5040 membership chair. He’s there to help them assess their club and offer ideas on increasing membership. He notes that the club has an impressive age range: There are as many members in their 30s as in their 70s. Given the club’s small size and baby Larry running around, the meeting feels almost like a family gathering. 
The setting is so idyllic, even the view from the conference room window is impressive. A visitor might wonder, what kind of service project could a luxury resort town like Whistler possibly need from Rotary?
Member Patrick McCurdy says one of the club’s most important projects is to help the town’s seasonal workers acclimate to a new and unfamiliar country. The club hosts a pancake breakfast every November, when new seasonal workers arrive, as part of the Whistler Community Services Society’s “Welcome Week.” Everyone gathers at the local fire station to learn about the area, their rights as tenants, local laws, and how to get help if needed. “Many seasonal workers are young people from other countries,” McCurdy says. “This might be their first time abroad.” The workshops help prepare them for life in Canada and give them tools to stay safe. 
Club members also work to keep the area beautiful, doing things like clearing underbrush to prevent forest fires. “We don’t have a lot of money, but we like to get our hands dirty,” says club member Mary Ann Collishaw. 
With the wonders of the natural world at their doorstep, club members make outdoor sports a part of daily life. A quick survey reveals that they enjoy everything from sailing to snowboarding. So it makes sense that their annual fundraiser is a 10-kilometer run/walk called the Brandywine Boogie. Kirkwood says that last year they raised about $6,000, which they used to sponsor a Youth Exchange student and to support a local cycling association that builds and maintains the trails used for the run. The club also supports the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and it recently sent three students to a weekend RYLA event. 
As members finish their lunch (either a Cobb salad or a ham and cheese sandwich), a piggy bank makes the rounds. This being Canada, the bank is actually in the shape of a bear. Each person adds a dollar or more and shares a bit of news. A visiting Rotarian, Roz, from Guernsey thanks the club for welcoming her. And member Jens Ronneberger highlights one of the simple joys of living here: “I went skiing on Monday,” he says. –Vanessa Glavinskas
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Warm Welcomes 2018-08-27 08:00:00Z 0

4 questions about holding a World Polio Day event


with Mary Van Hout  Past governor of District 6250 (parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin)

1. How did your district celebrate World Polio Day last year?

Our state Capitol in Madison [Wisconsin] has a square around it, and it is a popular place for people to rally for a cause. About 75 Rotarians from our district met on the steps of the Capitol at 4 p.m. on 24 October. At that time of day, there are a lot of people coming and going on the square. We had short presentations from our district governor and other club leaders and members to provide some information and some inspiration, and then we marched around the square holding banners that said End Polio Now. We ended up at a local establishment for a beer and a bite to eat.

The unfortunate part was that the weather that day was really awful. Not only was it really cold, it was extremely windy. It was a nasty day. And that diminished the size of our crowd significantly. The weather can play such an important part in turnout.

2. What was your goal?

Tell us about your World Polio Day event

How will your club celebrate World Polio Day? Will you hold a rally, sponsor a run, have a booth at a farmers market, or host a music festival? Rotary has an event planning guide with ideas to get you started. It includes details about how to use virtual reality during your World Polio Day celebration to show people in your community the impact that Rotary has had in the fight to end the disease. Find the guide, sample press releases, social media graphics, and more at, then tell us what you’re planning at Your event may end up featured on the World Polio Day livestream or in other End Polio Now promotions.

Part of the focus was to be seen. We have a brief window to firmly attach Rotary’s name to the eradication effort. This was all about awareness that there is polio in the world and that Rotary has been working so hard to do something about it. We wanted to provide information to non-Rotarians about it. We did outreach with the governor of Wisconsin and the mayor of Madison, and we received proclamations from them citing the day as World Polio Day. We also advertised on television and on the radio, so even if people could not be at the rally, they heard about Rotary’s work with polio through the media.

 Another goal was helping district Rotarians understand our polio eradication efforts. In the months between the initiation of this project in late August through World Polio Day, there was lots of communication to district Rotarians, such as through our assistant governor groups, direct emails to area club presidents, our district newsletter, and presentations at local Rotary clubs to encourage their awareness and attendance. 

3. What tips do you have for Rotarians planning their events?

Start early! In retrospect, I wish we had planned for a big-name speaker, but we ran out of time. Communicate frequently with clubs and club members.

4. What is your district doing this year?

There is a committee planning a “Pints for Polio” event. They’re working to have local bars and restaurants around the district share proceeds from the sale of a pint of beer or other beverage toward polio eradication. Their goal is to be in lots of small communities so that the awareness about ending polio is broader based, which I think is a fabulous idea.

• Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa. Read more stories from The Rotarian

Our Clubs 2018-08-27 08:00:00Z 0
Take a trip outside your comfort zone and come back with a broader perspective
By Rick Steves                                              Illustrations by Jean-Manuel Duvivier
It was 1969, I was 14 years old, and one night my dad came home and said, “Son, we’re going to Norway to see the relatives.” I thought, “Stupid idea.” 
A few days after arriving, I was sitting on the carpet with my cousins in Bergen watching Neil Armstrong on TV as he took “et lite skritt for et menneske ... one giant leap for mankind.” It occurred to me that this was more than an American celebration. It was a human one.
Without my realizing it, travel was broadening my perspective. While reinforcing how thankful I was to be an American, it was also making me a better citizen of the planet. It was shaping the 14-year-old me to be a force for peace and an advocate for the importance of travel. 
Since 1975, I’ve spent four months a year in Europe. I’m a travel teacher. And for the first decade of my career, my focus was budget tips. I wrote Europe Through the Back Door, which taught travelers how to get a good meal affordably, how to find a charming local guesthouse, how to pack light, and how to enjoy the sights. Then I became interested in teaching people about the art and history of Europe. I wrote Europe 101 to encourage travelers to connect with culture in a deeper register. 
But since 9/11, I’ve realized that my mission is about more than saving money or visiting museums. Travel can also be a force for peace – but that depends upon how you travel and where. If you travel thoughtfully, travel can become a political act. Ever since that epiphany, my goal has been to inspire and equip Americans to come home from their travels with the most valuable souvenir: empathy for the other 96 percent of humanity. And that teaching led me to write Travel as a Political Act.
These days, rather than wish one another “bon voyage,” we say, “Have a safe trip.” As a nation, it seems we’re gripped with fear. But in my travels, I’ve learned that fear is for people who don’t get out much, and that the flip side of fear is understanding. We gain that understanding when we travel. We appreciate the importance of building bridges rather than walls. 
For that reason, I have a crazy fantasy: What if all countries contributed to a fund that provided high school graduates with an all-expenses-paid, three-week international trip? 
Yes, I know this sounds silly. But it could be the single most practical investment the world could make for peace. Because if that happened, each of those young people would forever be more mindful of the love and joy and humanity that fill our world beyond their own borders. Imagine if you had to have a passport and travel abroad before you could vote. The political landscape of the United States – or of any other country – would be much different, and the whole world would be better off for it. Rotary’s Youth Exchange program and Peace Fellowships are a great model for this.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that travel makes a person wiser, but less happy. Muhammad said, “Don’t tell me how educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.” I say travel is a great way to get to know the extended human family.
For an illustration of that idea, take a walk with me through an obscure-to-the-world but central-to-itself village in central Turkey called Güzelyurt. I was a special guest at a wedding there. The entire community had gathered. Calling the party to order, the oldest couple looked happily at the young bride and groom and shared a local blessing: “May you grow old together on one pillow.” 
Leaving the party, I walked down the street. The town struck me as cluttered, with ugly unfinished concrete buildings bristling with rusty reinforcement bars. While I love the Turks, I couldn’t help but think, “Why can’t these people get their act together and just finish these buildings?” That was before I learned that in Turkey, there’s an ethic among parents – even poor ones – that you leave your children with a house. Historically, Turks have been reluctant to store money in banks, because it tends to disappear through inflation. So instead, they invest it, bit by bit, into constructing a building. Every time they get a hundred bucks together, they put it into that ever-growing house. They leave the rebar exposed until they have another hundred bucks, when they make another wall, put in a window, frame in another door … and add more rebar. Now, when I look at that rusty rebar, I remember that Turks say, “Rebar holds the family together,” and it seems much prettier to me.
At the edge of Güzelyurt, I came upon a little boy playing a flute. Just as in biblical times, it was carved from an eagle bone. I listened. And I heard another eagle-bone flute, coming from over the hill, where his dad was tending sheep. As they have for centuries, the boy stays home with the mom and plays the eagle-bone flute. The dad tends the flock and plays his flute, too, so the entire family knows that all is well.
I hiked up the shepherd’s hill and sat looking out over the town. On a higher hill, just beyond the simple tin roof of a mosque, I saw the letters G Ü Z E L Y U R T spelled out in white rocks. Listening to the timeless sounds of the community, I thought how there are countless Güzelyurts, scattered across every country on earth. Each is humble, yet filled with rich traditions, proud people, and its own village-centric view of our world. Güzelyurt means “beautiful land.” While few visitors would consider it particularly beautiful, that’s how the people who call it home see it. They would live nowhere else. For them, it truly is a güzel yurt. 
Our world is full of joy, love, equally valuable lives, and Güzelyurts. And when we travel and meet the people who live in those places, we are forever changed. 
I love Turkey. And Italy. And India. There are so many places that beckon, it’s hard to choose. My travel tip is to visit a place – whatever place – that’s just beyond your comfort zone. A place that wouldn’t normally make the top of your list. Travel to challenge yourself: Find similarities and differences with your own country, and make connections with the people you meet. 
Worried about refugees? Visit Germany, which has taken in over a million of them since 2015. Concerned about Muslims? Visit Turkey or Morocco or Bosnia. Wonder why Israelis and Palestinians can’t get along? Visit the Holy Land. Think undocumented immigrants are causing problems? Visit Mexico beyond the resorts. Think our taxes are too high? Visit Scandinavia. Threatened by communism? Visit Cuba. One of the great joys of travel is the rich insights you gain by talking with people you would otherwise not have met. 
I prefer to travel in a way that forces me to really learn about other corners of our world. In fact, I like to visit lands – such as Iran, Cuba, and Palestine – where I can get to know people who are supposed to be our enemies. When we travel to these places, we humanize each other: They get to know us, and we get to know them. And that makes it tougher for their propaganda to demonize us, and tougher for our propaganda to demonize them.
I believe that if you’re going to bomb a place, you should know its people first. Even if military force is justified, it should hurt when you kill someone. So, a few years ago, I went to Iran.
I traveled there on a mission: to produce a public television special that would help build better understanding between our countries. Rather than focus on the Iranian government’s offenses – its alleged funding of terrorists, threats to Israel, and nuclear ambitions – my goal was to connect with Iran’s people and culture. 
What I experienced in Iran was a revelation. Of course, I saw (and filmed) hateful anti-U.S. and anti-Israel propaganda. But what struck me most was how kind and welcoming the Iranian people were to me as an individual. Iranians consider visitors to be a gift from God, and treat them that way. Routinely I would look up from my note-taking and see Iranians gathered and wanting to talk. They were fascinated that I was an American and curious to better understand me. I found it ironic that, in a country I was told hated me, my nationality was a real plus everywhere I went.
One of my most revealing interactions came in, of all places, a Tehran traffic jam. As we struggled to drive along a congested street, our driver suddenly declared, “Death to traffic.” Startled (and expecting to hear “death to Israel” or “death to America”), I asked him to explain. He said, “Here in Iran, when something frustrates us and we have no control over it, this is what we say: ‘Death to traffic. Death to … whatever.’”
This caused me to think differently about one of the biggest concerns many Americans have about Iranians: their penchant for declaring “death to” this and “death to” that. Did our driver literally want to kill all those drivers that were in our way? Of course not. He speaks English poorly and was merely attempting to translate the word “damn”: “Damn this traffic jam!” If we say, “Damn those teenagers,” do we really want them to die and burn in hell for eternity? Of course not. Just turn down the music.
When we travel – whether to some part of the “axis of evil” or just to a place where people yodel when they’re happy, or fight bulls to impress girls, or can’t possibly serve breakfast until today’s croissants arrive – we enrich our lives and better understand our place on this planet. We undercut groups whose agenda is to manipulate us by sowing fear, hatred, and mistrust. People-to-people connections help us learn that we can disagree and still coexist peacefully.
Another place I’ve traveled to find inspiration for peace in this complicated world is the Holy Land. Where bodies of water converge, you get riptides that mean more fish – and more danger. Where tectonic plates rub together, you get glorious mountains – and devastating earthquakes. And where great cultures meet and mingle, you get more interesting cuisine – and interethnic strife. In places like this, I make a point to practice “dual narrative” travel: hearing perspectives from both sides of thorny issues. If you travel thoughtfully, with an open mind and without an agenda, listening to both narratives helps you gain empathy for a wide range of people and perspectives. In short, you learn.
I had a powerful week in Israel, working with top-notch Israeli tour guides and getting to know people from all walks of life – from falafel vendors in Jerusalem, to young urbanites in Tel Aviv, to settlers living in newly built, supermodern, planned Israeli communities on Palestinian land. 
And then I had a powerful week in Palestine, working with top-notch Palestinian tour guides and getting to know female university students in Ramallah, Palestinian Christians who run a school in Bethlehem, and Arab refugees who have spent a generation living in a 20,000-person refugee camp just outside Nablus.
While I had wonderful opportunities to get to know both Israelis and Palestinians, sadly, I never had a chance to be with both at the same time. Walking a soot-blemished stretch of the barrier separating Israeli and Palestinian lands, I saw graffiti murals honoring bomb-throwing Palestinians – considered freedom fighters on one side of that wall and terrorists on the other. I sensed that the younger generation on both sides wanted to connect. But because of this barrier, there is literally no common ground where people from opposite sides can come together. Walls may be necessary at times, but they represent a diplomatic failure.
There’s a little turnout on the Palestine side of the wall where travelers can conveniently change from a Palestinian car to an Israeli one. When I left Palestine, my Israeli driver was there, waiting for my Palestinian driver to drop me off. While I barely knew either of these men, I’ll never forget their handshake in the shadow of an Israeli watchtower. 
These men were both beautiful, caring people, trapped in a problem much bigger than either of them. In the exchange, I was little more than a suitcase shuttling from one back seat to the other. I watched as they quietly shook hands, looked into each other’s eyes, and said a solemn and heartfelt “shalom.” And I thought, “With all these good people on both sides, there has got to be a solution – and a big part of it will be regular people building not walls, but bridges.”
The examples in this article are a few of the many ways that you can consider political realities in your travels and embrace travel as a force for peace. But travel makes a difference only if you act – that is, if you do something positive with your broadened perspective once you return home. While each of us may have different wattage in our bulbs, we can all bring light to our communities: by voting as if our world depended on it, by donating time or money to worthwhile causes, by seeking out balanced journalism, by promoting sustainability, by confronting problems cooperatively, and by getting out and interacting with the world. That’s how I make travel a political act. And that’s why I close each of my TV shows with my cry for peace – a simple wish that we Americans “keep on travelin’.” 
Rick Steves writes travel guidebooks, hosts the public television series Rick Steves’ Europe, and, with his 100 colleagues at Rick Steves’ Europe, organizes and leads bus tours throughout Europe. He has partnered with the Rotary Club of Edmonds, Washington, to provide a 24-unit apartment building used by the YWCA in a collaborative effort to support homeless mothers and their children. Rick’s newest book is the revised third edition of Travel as a Political Act.
Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Travel As a Force For Peace 2018-08-22 08:00:00Z 0
The 2019 District Conference will be held at the Captain Cook Hotel, Anchorage, May 3-5, 2019. District has published a list of Conference Sponsorship opportunities.  Please see them below.  Jess Gutzwiler from Anchorage South is in charge of sponsors for this years district conference. 
Sponsorship Opportunities at 2019 District Conference 2018-08-22 08:00:00Z 0
McKenzy with Exchange Students and Friends at Homer Airport prior to departure.
And Off to Belgium!
McKenzy is Off to Belgium 2018-08-22 08:00:00Z 0
Claudia (pronounced cloud-e-uh) Fernandez Toca  from Spain is our inbound exchange student
for the coming year.  She arrived at 3AM on August 4 after the plane she was aboard was diverted to Vancouver and delayed due to a mechanical.  To avoid customs issues, the passengers were sequestered in a room for 7 hours--with pizza.  In spite of all that, she greeted me with a hug and a smile.  The following week I had the pleasure of joining Claudia, Winston and Summer at the Fall Orientation with all of the other inbound students from around the state.  She will be joining us this evening at the garden party, and I have been told she is cooking something special to share with us.  Her first host family is the Kulhanek family.  Please welcome her as a part of our Rotary family as well.  You can reach her at 907 435-7257 if you would like to include her in a family activity.   Her host family is the Kulhaneks, so please contact Paula at 907 399-3329 to make sure they have no family plans.
Claudia Fernandez Toca Boyd Walker 2018-08-17 08:00:00Z 0
`DG Diane Fejes took time from her busy schedule to kayak with our newly arrived inbound exchange students. 21 students from 20 countries around the world arrived in Anchorage on August 3 to participate in a weeklong orientation. One of the activities was kayaking (planned) in the rain (unplanned). Even a  downpour could not dampen the spirits of these enthusiastic young ambassadors and our DG. 
DG Kayaks With Exchange Students Boyd Walker 2018-08-14 08:00:00Z 0

What it takes to be a leader in Rotary

By Vanessa Glavinskas          Illustrations by Zulema Williams


RI President Barry Rassin says he learned more about leadership from Rotary than he did pursuing his MBA – or even as president of the hospital he ran for years. “It takes more skill to lead volunteers,” he insists. “It’s harder than leading employees.” Rotary also gave Rassin the opportunity to practice public speaking. “When I started in Rotary, I couldn’t make a speech to save my life,” he says – a remarkable admission from a man who is clearly comfortable addressing large crowds today.

There are other benefits to assuming a leadership position at Rotary. The organization’s leaders gain access to world-class training that prepares them for their roles. As they ascend the ranks, they also expand their networks to include accomplished professionals from around the world. 

A new generation of good leaders is essential to Rotary’s future. They help guide the organization, contribute their professional expertise, and build goodwill with other leaders while working toward a common goal: helping Rotarians create sustainable, positive change. 


Thinking of taking on a leadership role? Read on to learn more about different positions available within Rotary and the myths – here debunked – often associated with them.


Club president


Club presidents plan and lead club meetings, set goals, encourage communication between club and district committees, review expenditures, participate in decisions, and motivate club members. They also collaborate with the district governor and assistant governor. Any member in good standing is eligible to become club president, though most presidents have already served their clubs as a committee chair or in some other leadership role.


MYTH: It’s all on you.


“People think they have to be good at everything to be club president,” says Conor Gee, who was president of the Rotary Club of Chicago in 2017-18. “But you’re building a team around you. You learn what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, and you can rely on others to fill the gaps.”


Gee says he has seen candidates shy away from the office, fearful that they lack adequate administrative ability or some other talent. Instead, he says, look at this as an opportunity to improve those skills. He adds that other candidates worry that they don’t know enough about Rotary, such as the ins and outs of securing a global grant. “You don’t have to be a Rotary expert,” Gee says. “You can rely on your district leaders to train you. You just have to lead the club and tie everything together.”


 “The strongest presidents that I have seen in our club are the ones who bring leadership to the club and board, but don’t do all the work themselves,” says Mary Ann Collishaw, who has served two terms as president of the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium, British Columbia. “Instead, they inspire club members to work hard.”

Collishaw, who works at Whistler’s tourism bureau, notes that her experiences as club president improved her professional skills. “I have learned and practiced leadership, organization, time management, delegation, and more through Rotary,” she says. In addition, “my employer sees the value in having the community connection through Rotary.”

Gee notes that the most important thing a club president should have is a clear vision of how he or she wants to move the club forward. “You don’t have to be a perfect president to be a good one,” he says.


District governor


District governors are an important part of Rotary’s leadership structure. Governors, together with a team of assistant governors and district committees, support, strengthen, and motivate clubs. They also organize training and plan the district conference and other events. Nominees for district governor must have been Rotarians for at least seven years and have served as a club president.


MYTH: It’s impossible to work full time and serve as district governor.


“There are lots and lots of people who were not retired when serving as DG, including me,” says 2017-18 RI President Ian H.S. Riseley. “It’s vital we stop this misconception.”


Riseley, who ran an accounting firm while he was governor of District 9810, worries that misunderstandings about the role discourage too many people from even considering it. “Anything you do that you really enjoy does tend to take over your life a little bit,” he concedes. He suggests leaders ask for support to make juggling the responsibilities easier. “You are part of a family in Rotary,” he says. “We need to encourage people and offer assistance when they put their hand up and want to do the job.”


Because visiting clubs is arguably the most time-consuming part of being district governor, Rotary allows multiclub visits. “There are several districts around the world that believe the district governor is mandated to visit all the clubs,” says 2016-17 RI President John F. Germ. “That potentially weeds out younger people who wouldn’t have the time to get that done.” He points out that gathering members of several clubs for everyone to meet the governor at once can save time and offer opportunities for fellowship.

Sherri Muniz, a Rotarian from San Antonio, Texas, who was a district governor in 2011-12, says that even though she decided to scale back her business selling model cars and trains during her term as governor, her business actually grew that year. The added responsibilities forced her to work more efficiently, focus only on her best customers, and handle more requests remotely, which ultimately benefited her business. “I put Rotary first for a year, and it paid me back twofold,” she says.


RI director


Rotary’s Board of Directors establishes policy for Rotary International and provides guidance to clubs. Past district governors are eligible to serve on the Board, but at least three years must have elapsed since the end of their term as governor. Candidates must have attended two Rotary institutes and a Rotary convention in the previous three years. Each director serves for two years.


MYTH: Directors are appointed by the RI president.


Every director on the RI Board is nominated by one of Rotary’s 34 zones. Regional nominating committees interview candidates and select the one they want to represent them. Clubs then formally elect the directors at Rotary’s international convention.


In 2017, Ian Riseley did appoint a task force of eight past district governors – evenly split between men and women, and all of them in their 40s or younger – to advise the Board during his year as president.


People think they have to be good at everything to be club president. But you’re building a team around you. You learn what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, and you can rely on others to fill the gaps.

Conor Gee

President of the Rotary Club of Chicago in 2017-18

“Most Board members are in their 60s, if not older,” Riseley says. “We have to be conscious of the fact that there are many Rotarians much younger than that.” By offering younger leaders, and more women, the opportunity to weigh in on issues facing the Board, Riseley aimed to diversify the perspectives the Board considered when making decisions. The task force advised on topics such as how to encourage young professionals to join clubs and assume leadership positions in Rotary.

RI President Rassin has opted to keep an advisory panel this year; he says it will play an especially important role because no women are serving on the 2018-19 Board of Directors, which disappoints him. Rassin suggests that Rotarians with similar concerns talk to their zone nominating committees. He also encourages clubs to nurture female leaders at the club and district levels. “That’s where our leaders come from,” he says.

Regional leaders

Rotary’s regional leaders use their skills to support and strengthen clubs, focus and increase Rotary’s humanitarian service, and enhance and heighten Rotary’s public image. They also serve as trainers and facilitators at Rotary institutes, governors-elect training seminars, regional and zone seminars, district training, and other events. Regional leaders are appointed by the RI president or The Rotary Foundation trustee chair and serve a three-year term.

Could YOU Be the Next RI President? 2018-08-08 08:00:00Z 0

An epidemiologist who helped stem the spread of cholera and AIDS in Africa, Gary Slutkin has a new – and successful – strategy to stop the contagion of violence: Treat it like a disease

Twenty-three years ago, Gary Slutkin moved to Chicago to take a break. A doctor trained in infectious diseases, he had spent his career battling tuberculosis in San Francisco and cholera in refugee camps across Africa. Working with the World Health Organization, he played a key role in reversing the AIDS epidemic in Uganda. But he had also spent more than a decade surrounded by suffering and death. “I was exhausted,” he says. 

Gary Slutkin

Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

In 1995, when he was 44, Slutkin left Africa and his job with WHO and moved back to the United States to recharge. Yet the headlines kept him from winding down: Violence dominated the news. “All across the country, I saw that violence was an issue in the same way that cholera or diarrheal disease had been an issue in Bangladesh or AIDS was in Uganda,” he says. So he began to research violence the same way he had investigated the causes and patterns of disease as an epidemiologist.

Last September, Slutkin discussed his findings while speaking about “Peace in the Age of Uncertainty,” the first installment in a three-part Pathways to Peace Series sponsored by Rotary International and the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

 “Looking at violence,” he explained, “we can see through maps and charts and graphs that it behaves exactly like all other epidemic issues.” And like other contagions, violence tended to cluster, with one event leading to another. “How does that happen?” he asked. “It’s because of exposure. That was the insight I came to years ago. What was the greatest predictor of violence? The answer: a preceding act of violence.” What’s more, he insisted, if violence is predictable, it can be “interrupted.”

With that in mind, Slutkin began investigating new ways to treat violence. He started an initiative originally called the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention; in 2000, it implemented its first program – CeaseFire – in a violence-plagued Chicago neighborhood. Known since 2012 as Cure Violence, it’s based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Slutkin is a professor at the School of Public Health. 

The Cure Violence model employs three components used to reverse any epidemic: interrupt transmission; reduce risk; change community norms. Cure Violence outreach workers prevent violence by counseling people exposed to violence in their home or community. These “violence interrupters” work with high-risk individuals to discourage them from acting out violently.

Where implemented, the Cure Violence model typically reduces violence by 41 to 73 percent in the first year. In 2011, a film called The Interrupters documented the success of the program, and today its impact is felt worldwide. “We have a global effort to reduce violence through partnerships in multiple regions, in particular Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East,” as well as in 25 U.S. cities, Slutkin says.

 “Public health has been responsible for some of the greatest accomplishments in human history,” he says. “It’s gotten rid of multiple diseases like plague and leprosy and smallpox. Polio is on its way out. Violence is next.”

Slutkin spoke with contributing editor Vanessa Glavinskas about his pioneering methodology, behavior change, ineffective punitive remedies, and ways Rotarians can lend a hand in the fight to cure violence.

Q: How does the Cure Violence model work?

A: All epidemics are managed from the inside out. They’re not managed by outside forces; they’re managed from the inside. The health sector guides and trains in the specific methods for how to detect, how to interrupt, how to persuade, how to change behavior, how to document work, and how to change local strategies when things aren’t working. Epidemics are managed through a partnership between community groups, health departments, and other services. It works over and over again.

Managing disease is something Rotarians are familiar with because of polio eradication. To vaccinate children, health workers go door to door in the communities and talk to parents about the importance of the vaccine. The most important thing that these health workers have is trust. 

Cholera was managed this way when I was working in Somalia. We used Vietnamese and Cambodian outreach workers to reach Vietnamese and Cambodian tuberculosis patients and their families. This is the way it really works. But the U.S. is in a punitive mode about a lot of things that are health problems. 

Rotarians are committed to promoting peace around the world. To implement the Cure Violence health model, someone from the community needs to take the lead. You can start by registering for a Cure Violence webinar for new communities at

Q: Why doesn’t punishment work? 

A: Behavior is not formed, maintained, or changed by punishment. It’s formed by modeling and copying. It’s maintained by social norms. People care more about what their friends think than what some authority is telling them. Belonging is not just a nice thing; it’s a way to survive. This whole carrot and stick idea doesn’t even work for donkeys. It’s very primitive thinking.

Q: What are you doing to change the way the public thinks about violence?

A: The public still has an ideological and punitive lens on what is really a scientific, epidemic health problem. We’re training health workers to speak up. Right now violence is being explained by a punitive sector. We need to stop using scary words like “criminal” and “gang” – all these demonizing terms – and begin to use words from the health sector like “behavior,” “transmissible,” “interruption,” and “outreach.” I think public perception will change if the language changes.

Q: How do you get people to look at violence as a public health issue? 

A: Arguing against an existing narrative doesn’t work. Science tells us this too. The brain is wired for people to stick to their ideas. But the good news is that everyone has an understanding of health, and even if they don’t know exactly what public health does, they understand contagion. They understand that epidemics can be reversed. If we continue to talk in that way, everyone has a space in their brain for a new set of ideas. Then you have to develop the ability to look at the person – not just the person in the hospital, but the person who did the violent act as a person who’s been exposed to violence many times. The brain picks up [violent tendencies] just the way the lungs pick up flu or the intestines pick up cholera. We need to be exposed to the scientific idea that the person who’s being violent is reacting to exposure. 


A Quarantine on Killing 2018-08-08 08:00:00Z 0
If you missed Winston's Super Fantastic Delectable Delights Nigerian Dinner, you blew it!  Cassava, Chicken with Rice, Potatoes and Nigerian Salmon, Bread, Plantains, and I don't know the names of anything else were fantastic, and to tell the truth, not like anything else I've ever had before.  I wasn't able to eat the Potato and Salmon dish, but Winston gave me some for my wife Gayle, and that earned me extra hugs from her!! 
Over 30 people attended, plus a kitchen crew and a vivacious serving staff (outbound exchange students and friends) along with a movie about ShelterBoxes, and the great food made it a night to remember.  Plus $1000 was raised--sufficient for a ShelterBox!  Wow, what a fantastic group effort!!
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Chef Winston and one of his assistants.
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MacKenzy and Winston getting ready to be ready!
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Fantastic crew plating the dinners.
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Quite a meal!
Winston's Superfantastic Nigerian Dinner Updated! 2018-08-01 08:00:00Z 0


Since 1993, Rotarians in Chile and the United States have teamed up to provide life-altering reconstructive surgeries


By Diana Schoberg                                   Photos by Daniela Prado Sarasúa


Ricardo Román was shopping with his wife at a department store in Chile in 2012 when a woman in her early 20s approached him. He didn’t recognize her, he confesses through an interpreter, but there were two good reasons: He had last seen her more than a decade earlier – and her smile had changed drastically.

 1.      Surgeons Lena Pinillos, left, and James Lehman, talk with a father about his child.


The team evaluated 250 potential patients; the team selected patients based on need and the complexity of each surgery.

3.     A mother finishes paperwork for her son's surgery.

4.      Lehman wears fanciful scrubs to get the kids to smile.

5.      Preparing for surgery.

6.      An anxious father waits on the floor in a hospital corridor; with so many surgeries, there are often more people than chairs. 

7.      Cleft lip and palate have a hereditary component, but their precise cause is unclear.



A Reason to Smile 2018-07-24 08:00:00Z 0
Some Highlights of the July 19, 2018 Meeting 2018-07-24 08:00:00Z 0
Come on out and Devour Deliciously Delectable  Delicacies Delivered by our own Rotary Exchange Student, Winston Ajakaye from Nigeria, who will tempt us with Nigerian Foods on Saturday, July 28th at the Homer United Methodist Church at 6:00 PM.  Those who have been able to sample his cuisine at previous dinners say that we are in for a real treat!
It would be a HUGE help if those who plan to attend contact Winston at (907) 756-3747 or < > to let him know that they plan to attend.  As many of the ingredients are not exactly standard fare in Homer, Alaska it is necessary that he purchase them in advance, it would be a huge help if those who plan to attend RSVP.  You can register through the Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club Website at < > and "clicking" on the July 28th on the Calendar.  Follow the links for Nigerian Dinner to the Registration Page.   This Dinner is open to all Rotarians, their guests, and the general public.
Proceeds will be used to purchase ShelterBoxes and to aid in disaster relief.  See You There!
Winston Ajakaye's Nigerian Dinner 2018-07-24 08:00:00Z 0

Notice from the RI Director

View this email in your browser

From: Director Jeffry Cadorette
Hello Everyone,
We all get many, many, emails from Rotary and on Rotary related topics. I’m respectfully requesting you give your attention to this one. Our topic is the upcoming event planned from September 20-22 in Montreal.
Formerly known as the Zone Institute, we have renamed it the Zone Conference. So, what’s the same, and what’s different. The Institute was originally designed to motivate, inspire, and educate past, current and incoming district governors. That has not changed. We want and need as many past governors in attendance because we know there is a critical mass of that talent and leadership that can make an event magical. The pledge of the entire planning team is that the event will be worthy of your time and resources.
What has changed. Historically attendance at a Zone Institute was restricted to those in the Governor line. If that wasn’t you, you weren’t allowed to register for the entire event. What we know though, and there are examples repeated over and over again, is that club and district Rotarians who have been able to interact with District Governors (past, present, and future) they get inspired by them and become more engaged in our organization. They get more involved. They aspire to higher levels of leadership, some of them even getting on the Governor track. (Our organization and our Zones need more of that engagement NOW)
We decided to facilitate that process and open up Montreal to ALL Rotarians. We want to facilitate and be a catalyst for that engagement between our Governors (and their knowledge, leadership skills, and commitment) and club and district Rotarians. The goal is that it will be meaningful for all. The goal is that the event will speak to all who attend.
Go to
Take a look at the program.
Share the link with Rotarians in your club and in your area. (please)
Register! (please)
Come and enjoy the wonderful city of Montreal.
Come and renew old friendships, and create new ones.
Mingle with RI President Barry Rassin and his wife Esther and other Rotary leaders from around North America.
Participate in the facilitated discussion group breakouts. Share your knowledge. Glean new morsels to take back home with you.
Be inspired by world class speakers.
On behalf of the entire Montreal planning team, we look forward to being with you in September. We appreciate you.
Thanks for your consideration. Reach out to me personally with any questions.

RI Director, 2018-20  

Notice From RI Director 2018-07-24 08:00:00Z 0
Mother of Invention
Ann Moore is a nurse who was an early volunteer with the Peace Corps. She’s also an inventor – recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the nation’s most influential – whose best-known product is the Snugli, a contraption that lets parents carry their infants against their chests or backs. Moore is quick to acknowledge that the Snugli was inspired by an age-old practice of mothers in Togo.
“Anything that we can do to get babies and parents closer together to contribute to trust and bonding is so important for emotional health,” says Moore, who along with her husband, Mike, is a member of the Rotary Club of Evergreen, Colorado. 

Ann Moore poses with the Snugli in the 1960s and in the 2000s with a Weego, which improved on the Snugli’s design.
In 1962, Moore was teaching pediatric nursing at Columbia University’s Babies Hospital in New York. The chief residents at the hospital were organizing the first Peace Corps team to go to Togo and recruited her to join. “I was so excited. I thought, ‘The more we can get Americans out into other cultures, the healthier we’ll be as a country,’” she says.
On the first day of training, which took place at Howard University in Washington, D.C., she met another volunteer, Mike Moore. “He was my French teacher,” she says. “I was from a farm in Ohio – we didn’t speak much French there.”
Six weeks later, they were engaged, and they married two weeks after that. They went to Togo, where Ann was part of a medical team working in preventive medicine and hygiene. She recalls visiting crowded marketplaces in Togo and never hearing a baby cry. The reason the infants were so content, she realized, was that they were being held close to their mothers – either being breast-fed or carried securely on the mother’s back – by means of a fabric sling. 
“When we came back from our Peace Corps assignment in 1964, I was very pregnant,” Moore says. “About a month later, our baby was born and I wanted to carry her the way we had observed with the Togolese mothers.”
The alignment of Moore’s professional work in pediatrics and her personal experience resulted in her most famous invention. She enlisted her mother to help fashion what later became the Snugli, a sort of pouch with leg holes, padding, and adjustable straps. Friends who saw Moore carrying her infant daughter in it immediately wanted one, and then their friends wanted one, and the idea took off.
The Snugli was revolutionary in the mid-1960s, when breast-feeding was just gaining recognition among child-rearing experts as important for nutrition as well as for mother-child bonding. Columbia University conducted a study that found that babies carried in Snuglis exhibited longer eye contact, better language skills, and more emotional security. Low-birth-weight babies also gained weight faster.
The Moores sold the Snugli in 1985. Around the same time, a respiratory therapist asked Moore if she could make something that would allow patients to carry oxygen tanks, and that led to Air Lift, a company that makes soft-sided carriers for oxygen canisters and high-tech instruments. Their oxygen-cylinder backpack helps people who are dependent on supplemental oxygen to be more active. Moore continued to develop related products, including carrying cases for other medical gear.
In the 1990s, Moore developed a baby carrier called the Weego that featured more adjustable straps and other refinements on her original idea. 
Moore says her dedication to making a positive impact in the world can be traced to her childhood on that farm in Ohio, where she was raised in the Dunkard Brethren Church, a group similar to Mennonites in that they dress plainly, live simply, and don’t use certain modern devices. (Her parents were eventually excommunicated for using a radio.)
In high school and college, Moore had her first international experiences, working through the related Church of the Brethren. “I worked in two international camps, one in Morocco and one in Germany, where kids come from all over the world and work together,” she says. “So those influences instilled this wonderful feeling of how we’re all interconnected on this earth.”
The Moores joined the Evergreen Rotary Club after Mike approached the club for a grant related to a singing group they belong to. “Within a week they asked him to join Rotary,” Ann says. “Both of us thought Rotary was a kind of old-white-guys thing, and then when we learned about it, it was like an exciting extension of our Peace Corps work – there was so much international emphasis.” 
The couple have been active in seeking to connect Rotarians with returning Peace Corps volunteers. “It is such a natural continuation of a Peace Corps volunteer’s experience once they return to get involved, especially in the international part of Rotary,” Moore says. 
And Rotary has brought them full circle. “About six or seven years ago we went with Rotary to Ghana to do polio vaccination,” Moore recalls. “We drove to Togo, to the village where we were in the Peace Corps. It was a beautiful experience to go back.”
And she continues to hear from people grateful for the Snugli. “At an International Women’s Day lunch recently, a woman thanked me for the Snugli. Years ago, she had gone to China to pick up her adopted baby from an orphanage, and she carried this new baby in her Snugli for two weeks continuously. That baby is now a teenager and is returning to China to visit and work in that orphanage this summer. Isn’t that terrific?”
— Nikki Kallio
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Our World Nikki Kallio 2018-07-16 08:00:00Z 0

 E-club of nomads builds connections

Club Innovation: Spread out across thousands of square miles in the eastern states of Australia, Rotarians fire up laptops, tablets, and smartphones and log on to weekly club meetings from their RVs using a teleconferencing app. Members map routes for the jamborees, service projects, and fundraising they plan to do with their club and with the clubs they’ll visit on their journeys.

Campers roll with Rotary: Every day, about 135,000 recreational vehicles roll down Australia’s highways. For Rotarians who have answered the call of the open road, the vagabond nature of an RV lifestyle can conflict with the duties of traditional clubs. For them, the Rotary E-Club of Australia Nomads, a concept hatched in mid-2014 by members of the Rotary Club of Jindalee in Queensland, builds connections for service and fellowship.

After the death of his wife in 2011, “I decided to buy a large touring RV,” a 22-footer, says Wayne Kemmis, a past president of two Rotary clubs in New South Wales. As he pondered whether Rotary could fit into his new lifestyle, a notice in Rotary Down Under magazine about a new club caught his eye, and Kemmis signed on as a charter member of the E-Club of Australia Nomads. (The group stresses that members need not be Australian, just driven to service; one member of the Nomads is an American.) “Most members spend a fair amount of time traveling,” notes Kemmis, a retired newspaper manager.

Rotary E-Club of Australia NomadsChartered: 2015 Original membership: 26 Membership: 40  


Geoff St Clair, past president of a club in Lockyer Valley, Queensland, had left Rotary to take up the traveling life when the new club came along. “I was a Rotarian for seven years but left for four years until returning with the Nomads in June 2014, when it was a satellite club,” he says. He rejoined Rotary with his wife, Lorelle, a new recruit, because “the club would allow you to continue traveling but still uphold the ideals of Rotary.” For several months each year, the retired educators roam Australia in their 19-foot trailer with their dog, Josie, a Maltese mix.

Wherever the club members may be, a constant is the Wednesday evening session to chart progress on trips and projects. “The theme of our meetings is having fun,” says Kemmis. “Members come online with their glass of wine or other beverage. They wear casual clothing. Two members usually come in their pajamas. There are no dress regulations.” 

St Clair notes the challenges of developing service opportunities for people who may reside hundreds or thousands of miles from one another. Other obstacles are maintaining a sense of togetherness across distance and teaching computer skills to older members, he says.

Twice-annual musters, some lasting a week, kindle conviviality and rev up good deeds: During their most recent social gathering over four days at Bribie Island, Queensland, club members planted more than 400 trees to stabilize dunes. 

The Nomads adapt their fundraising to their lifestyle. Many club members do crafts such as knitting and crocheting on the road, and when the club holds gatherings, they set up a booth and sell items to the public. And every March they hold a crafts exposition with workshops, speakers, and shopping. The proceeds from these efforts benefit various charities, such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Lending manpower to Rotary-sponsored fun runs, concerts, regattas, and festivals across eastern Australia is the peripatetic club’s hallmark. Last September, it assisted the Rotary Club of Carindale with the Brisbane billycart championships. (The event, with engineless carts racing downhill, is similar to American soapbox derbies.) 

“Clubs appreciate us as we often assist them in their projects,” says St Clair, harking to the club motto, Helping Hands Across the Land. —Brad Webber

What is your club doing to reinvent itself? Email

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Club Innovation 2018-07-16 08:00:00Z 0

TORONTO (June 27, 2018) — In acknowledgment of his government’s efforts to achieve a polio-free world, Rotary today presented Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with its Polio Eradication Champion Award at its 109th annual international convention.

Justin Trudeau accepts Rotary's Polio Eradication Champion Award from RI President Ian H.S. Riseley. See more coverage of the convention


Canada has been a champion in the fight to eradicate polio since 1986, when it became the first government to formally fund global polio immunization efforts. Canada has provided over CAD $750 million in support of a polio-free world, including a $100 million pledge to global eradication in 2017. Earlier this month, Canada, as host of the G7 summit, was joined by G7 leaders in affirming a commitment to polio eradication.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has committed Canada to remain a strong partner until polio is completely eradicated,” said Rotary International President Ian H.S. Riseley. “With the unwavering support of the Prime Minister and the Canadian government and their strong assistance with continued vaccination efforts, I’m confident we will rid the world of polio.”

Later this week, Rotary will announce nearly $50.12 million in support for global polio eradication efforts in countries where polio is a threat. Since 1988, Rotary has contributed more than $2.3 billion and countless volunteer hours in the fight to end polio, with Rotary clubs in Canada donating more than $66.6 million towards polio eradication. Rotary members throughout Canada travel regularly to polio-threatened countries to vaccinate children in mass immunization campaigns.

To help create awareness and support for the global effort to protect all children from polio, Rotary’s international convention will feature two virtual reality videos that will immerse viewers into the lives of those still impacted by the disease, and what it will take to eradicate it worldwide. Download the Rotary VR app in Google Play or the Apple App Store to view “I Dream of an Empty Ward." 

Polio eradication has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and later, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 22 confirmed cases in two countries in 2017. 

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Toronto’s first Rotary convention took place 94 years ago, with subsequent conventions in 1942, 1964 and 1983. 

About the Polio Eradication Champion Award: Rotary established the award in 1995 to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the global eradication effort. Prime Minister Trudeau is the third Canadian Prime Minister to receive the award, joining Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper. Past recipients also include Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; Nevin Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; and Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary-general. 

For more information, contact: 

Amanda Federchuk:  +1 (416) 355-7410, 

Chanele Williams: +1 (847) 866-3466,

Rotary Recognizes Prime Minister Trudeau for Canada’s Commitment to Ending Polio 2018-07-10 08:00:00Z 0


EVANSTON, IL (October 2, 2017) — More than 1 billion people around the world live in inadequate housing according to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. Through a partnership between Rotary and Habitat for Humanity, more will have access to safe and affordable housing across the globe.

The partnership will facilitate collaboration between local Rotary clubs and local Habitat for Humanity organizations, enabling Habitat to extend their volunteer pool by tapping into Rotary’s 1.2 million members in 200 countries and regions.

“Habitat’s aim to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope aligns perfectly with Rotary’s commitment to make positive, lasting change in communities around the world,” said Rotary General Secretary John Hewko. “With Habitat’s expertise and the power of Rotary’s volunteer network, we will help build the foundation for stronger communities.”

“The values of our organizations are so closely aligned, and the desire to help others runs deep for both groups. That makes us such a perfect match,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan T.M. Reckford. “So many Rotarians have worked alongside Habitat and the knowledge, experiences and connections that are so strong in local Rotary clubs will make them valuable Habitat partners in many communities worldwide.”

Rotary members develop and implement sustainable projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children and grow local economies. These projects are supported by more than $200 million awarded through Rotary’s grants programs.

Habitat for Humanity joins a list of Rotary service partners including, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Peace Corps, Dollywood Foundation, the Global FoodBanking Network and Youth Service America (YSA).

About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit

Rotary contact: Chanele Williams 847-866-3466

Habitat for Humanity contact: Laura Layton 404-420-3615

Rotary Partners with Habitat for Humanity 2018-07-09 08:00:00Z 0

I would like to personally invite all Homer - Kachemak Bay Rotary Club members,  and other business and community leaders, to the Rotary Club of Soldotna's second community and economic development forum at the Soldotna Library on July 23, 2018, starting at 9 am.  


This is a no-charge invitation-only event and a catered lunch will be provided to attendees.


Please forward this Email promptly to all of your club members.  We very much hope that your club and its members will participate.


This year's forum will focus very specifically upon identifying underutilized economic resources of all types, matching them with community priorities, then identifying new business opportunities to exploit those underutilized resources and build a stronger local community and economy.  


The intent is to use a well-proven, community-based process to  find new economic opportunities that work for that particular  community by bringing together the wisdom and knowledge of business and community leaders, initially in a brainstorming sort of session and then with more rigorous economic analysis.  The success of this approach depends upon strong participation by business and community leaders.


This process has been used successfully through the US West to help diversity local economies.  I have attached a recent article in The Western Planner journal that discusses the ASAP process and Western counties  where it has been used successfully.


The workshop leader will be Professor Don Albrecht of Utah State University, a leading US authority on economic re-development in the rural US west and the author of the leading book on the topic, "Rethinking Rural".


At the 2017 forum, attendees strongly urged that Soldotna Rotary Club continue the process due to Rotary's non-partisan, non-advocacy community service orientation.


I hope that you can attend and bring along your key staff members and encourage other business and community leaders to attend.  If you have any questions, please give me a  call on my cell, 398-0480 or Email me at   


Yours very truly


Joe Kashi

Rotary Club of Soldotna Community and Economic Development Forum 2018-07-09 08:00:00Z 0

Solid structure

Erin O’Loughlin

Rotary Club of Holly Springs, North Carolina

In a growing number of schools in the United States, children with autism are placed in classrooms with the general student population. The practice, known as mainstreaming, is intended to better integrate children with autism into society. However, they often don’t get the support they need to succeed, says Rotarian Erin O’Loughlin.

“If we’re not providing them with accommodations, how are they supposed to integrate?” asks O’Loughlin, whose 13-year-old son, Marcus, has autism. “We need to provide an atmosphere in which people with autism are within the community, but getting the support they require.”

Erin O’Loughlin, Rotary Club of Holly Springs, North Carolina  

Photo by Justin Cook

One place that provides such support is 3 Irish Jewels Farm, which O’Loughlin created six years ago with her husband, Colm (the organization’s name refers to the couple’s three children). The nonprofit provides services for people with autism as well as their families and operates out of a space in a commercial district of Holly Springs, running programs for children and teens. Eventually, O’Loughlin hopes to set up a residential program in a farm setting where adults with autism can live and work. 

Many schools in the Holly Springs area run year-round, with nine weeks of instruction alternating with three weeks of vacation. This schedule is particularly tough for children with autism, who often thrive on routine. So 3 Irish Jewels created Camp Bluebird, where children from kindergarten through eighth grade can participate in a structured vacation program that teaches skills such as tying shoes, using utensils, sitting still, playing board games, and socializing with other children. 

O’Loughlin had been a Rotarian before moving to North Carolina. When Tim Beck, a member of the Rotary Club of Holly Springs, heard her speak at a fundraising event for 3 Irish Jewels Farm, he recalls, “I immediately thought, ‘We have to have her come talk to the club.’” He asked her if she would be interested in giving a presentation. “She said right on the spot, ‘Actually, I’d like to join.’” 

She became a member of the Holly Springs club in December. “Her passion made me think she was right for Rotary,” Beck says. “We know Erin is going to dedicate the same energy to our projects.

– Anne Ford

• Read more stories from The Rotarian

Our World 2018-07-04 08:00:00Z 0

Former senior U.S. diplomat who worked in Peru, Venezuela, and Cuba receives 2017-18 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award


By Arnold R. Grahl                          Photos by Alyce Henson


A career diplomat who served as the U.S. government’s highest ranking representative in Cuba has received the 2017-18 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award.


John Caulfield served as a diplomat for more than 40 years, in nine countries on four continents, fostering international understanding and the protection of human rights. He has displayed a life-long commitment to community development, education, disease prevention, and other causes that Rotary also pursues.

RI President Ian H.S. Riseley, left, and RI Trustee Chair Paul Netzel, right, present John Caulfield, a career diplomat, with the  2017-18 Rotary Alumni Global Service Award Tuesday at Rotary’s Convention in Toronto.


As a 1973-74 Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by the Rotary Club of Moorestown, New Jersey, USA, Caulfield studied at the Universidade Católica do Salvador in Brazil. During his studies, he attended Rotary club meetings and began to consider a career in diplomacy, as learning Portuguese exposed him to a new culture. 


“When we participate in an experience such as a Rotary fellowship, we end up learning as much about ourselves, and our own countries, as we do about our hosts,” Caulfield said in his acceptance remarks Tuesday at Rotary’s Convention in Toronto. 

“After being an unofficial representative of my country abroad," he said, "it occurred to me that I would enjoy being an official representative."


The Rotary Alumni Global Service Award celebrates alumni whose service activities and professional achievements exemplify the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self. The award was first presented in 1995 and has honored policymakers, ambassadors, educators, and humanitarians.

Caulfield’s assignments repeatedly placed him where diplomatic relations were tense. As chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana, he negotiated agreements on immigration, environmental protection, and cultural affairs that prepared the two countries for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 2014.


Before that, in 2008, as deputy chief of mission in Caracas, Venezuela, he took charge after then-President Hugo Chavez expelled the U.S. ambassador. Caulfield guided the embassy through a tense period, maintaining communications with governments, factions opposed to the government, and businesses.


As consul general in London, England, in 2005, he supervised services for the world’s largest American expatriate community, as well as overseeing U.S. visa services. As deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Peru in 2002, he supported Peru’s return to democracy and economic growth after years of terrorism. He led the embassy for a year after the unexpected death of the ambassador.


Caulfield has received many other awards during his career, including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the U.S. Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Secretary of State’s Award for Innovation in the Use of Technology. Caulfield also supports Carmen & Rey’s Kids, a private organization in Cuba that assists children with cancer.


Recently retired, Caulfield is now a frequent speaker at conferences, universities, and civic clubs. He also consults with companies that seek to expand into the Cuban market. 


Caulfield said that interviewing thousands of people traveling to the United States early in his career helped him learn about the economies of the countries where he was assigned. He learned that it’s important for small businesses to broaden their perspectives and understand how they can participate in the world market.

“Throughout the world, I have seen firsthand how Rotarians support each other in business, and support their communities,” he said.


Caulfield said Rotary has a strong presence in all the countries he was assigned to except the most recent, Cuba. But the country is changing quickly, and he sees possibilities expanding there.

 “My hope, and expectation, is that within a few years, there will be an opportunity to re-establish Rotary in Cuba,” he said.


 • Rotarians, alumni, and Rotary program participants can nominate an alumnus for the 2018-19 award from 1 July to 15 September


Rotary Alumni Global Service Award  2018-07-04 08:00:00Z 0
Re:  Rotary Meal Prices
Fellow Rotarians,
            Past Presidents Tom Early and Gary Thomas met with Doug Johnson (Bidarka Inn Owner) and the Bidarka Inn Management Team, to discuss Rotary lunch meal prices. 
            The Bidarka Inn has generously allowed us to use the upstairs dining room for our luncheon meetings, at no charge.  They have provided a self-serve lunch for whoever wanted it, for $13 per lunch.
            Then some Rotarians wanted to buy just coffee and a dessert.  The Bidarka agreed to offer dessert and coffee for $6.50.
            Then some Rotarians wanted to buy just a salad for $6.50. We tried that for a while.
            Then some Rotarians wanted to fill a large plate with salad and only pay $6.50.  We allowed that for a few months, but finally, the Bidarka Inn said that was not OK.
            So we switched to a large plate for $13.00, or a small plate for $6.50 regardless of what you put on it.  We tried that for about a month.  That arrangement has failed the Four Way Test, since some Rotarians were loading up a small plate with tons of food and making a second trip for refills.
            Doug (Owner) and Francis (Bidarka Inn Front Desk Manager), Tom and Gary discussed the Bidarka Inn situation.  Doug stated that the Bidarka Inn loses money on every Rotary Luncheon.  There are not enough meals sold to cover the cost of the cook and the helper, not to mention the cost of the food, and fixed overhead.  It was pointed out that every other group (Chamber of Commerce, Realtors, etc.) that uses that dining room for luncheon meetings pays $15.00 per lunch. (We only pay $13).  No other group is allowed to buy partial portions at reduced prices.  The arrangement to offer a cup of coffee and a desert for ½ price - has grown beyond its original intent.
            The Rotary Board and the Bidarka Inn have agreed that the best way to move forward is to keep the lunch price the same ($13), but eliminate the ½ price option.  Salad has become as expensive as full meal options for the Bidarka to purchase and offer.  The overhead is the same and the purchased raw food items are almost the same.  Lunch, whether it is the full course meal with a salad, or just a salad, will be $13.00.  If you just want soup and a salad, it is $13.00.  If you just want desert, it is $13.00.  Basically, if you use a plate or bowl of any size, it is called a lunch and it is $13.00.  Coffee will be free and available to anyone. 
            This new program becomes effective as of July 1st.  This new program will allow the price to remain the same at $13.00, and eliminates the management of ½ punches and odd change at the lunch front desk.
            Thank you for your cooperation.
Rotary Meeting Meal Prices 2018-06-26 08:00:00Z 0

Rotarians appointed to committees by the Rotary International president help ensure clubs and districts perform efficiently. All RI committees promote the priorities and goals of Rotary’s strategic plan.

Apply for committee openings in 2018-19 (deadline 11 August)

Learn more about the committees and the application process

2018 International Assembly Committee

This committee assists the president-elect in planning the International Assembly and ensures effective and consistent training of incoming governors. 


Barry Rassin

2018 Toronto Convention

This committee assists the 2017-18 president in planning the Rotary International Convention.


Gordon R. McInally

2018 Toronto Convention Promotion

This committee assists the 2017-18 president in promoting attendance at the Rotary International Convention in accordance with RI policies governing conventions.


Bryn Styles

2019 Hamburg Convention

This committee assists the 2018-19 president in planning the Rotary International Convention.


John T. Blount


This committee reviews and reports to the Board on RI and Rotary Foundation financial reports, the external audit, system of internal control, internal audit, and other related matters.


Michael Colasurdo


This committee guides and advises the Board on effective ways to communicate what Rotary is and what we do, to Rotarians, clubs and districts, and the public. Rotary’s communication tools include printed publications, websites and social media, and multimedia materials.


Bradford R. Howard

Constitution and Bylaws

This committee serves as counsel to the Board on all matters related to Rotary’s constitutional documents and legislative procedures.


Adrienne J. Bzura


This committee recommends any needed adjustments of district boundaries to the Board.


Karen K. Wentz

Election Review

This committee reviews cases involving complaints or disputes over an election to any RI office, such as charges of canvassing, campaigning, or electioneering, and any related matters.


Peter L. Offer


This committee advises the Board on all RI finances. It recommends the annual budget and five-year financial forecast, reviews financial statement activity, monitors revenues and expenses, recommends investment policies, and monitors the performance of investment managers.


Steven A. Snyder

Global Networking Groups

This committee guides and advises the Board on Rotarian Action Groups, and Rotary Fellowships, and on strategies for promoting vocational service. It also assists Global Networking Groups with applications for official status.


Robert L. Hall

Joint Committee on Partnerships

This committee advises the Board and The Rotary Foundation Trustees on partnership and sponsorship matters.


John C. Matthews

Joint Young Leaders and Alumni Engagement

This committee advises the Board and The Rotary Foundation Trustees on building loyalty and encouraging ongoing connections to Rotary with our current Rotary program participants, Rotary alumni, and other youths and young professionals.


Ann-Britt Åsebol

Leadership Development and Training

This committee guides and advises the Board on Rotary’s leadership training program for Rotary members, clubs, and districts, with special emphasis on district governor training.


Jennifer A. Scott

Member Benefits

This committee assists in the implementation and promotion of the member benefits initiative, Rotary Global Rewards.


David J. Harilela


This committee guides and advises the Board on membership development, retention, and education. It considers developing programs to recruit members, educate and retain members, and encourage the formation of new Rotary clubs in countries that already have clubs.


Larry A. Lunsford

Operations Review

This committee advises the Board by reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, administrative procedures, standards of conduct, and other operational and financial matters.


Frank N. Goldberg

Rotaract and Interact

This committee advises the Board on the Rotaract and Interact programs, and reviews issues and suggestions related to these programs. Under the direction of the president, the committee plans and develops program content for the Rotaract Preconvention.


Tommie Buscemi
Laura Sophie Verdegaal

Strategic Planning

This committee develops, recommends, and updates a strategic plan for consideration by the Board and The Rotary Foundation Trustees.


Stephanie A. Urchick

Youth Exchange

This committee advises the Board on the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Under the president’s direction, the committee plans and develops program content for the Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention.


Bruce I. Goldsen

Rotary International Committees 2018-06-26 08:00:00Z 0

In the internet age, literacy means distinguishing between fact and fiction

By  Illustrations by

When the BBC offered a quiz titled “Can You Spot the Fake Stories?” I was confident that I would do well. With a master’s degree in journalism, I thought falling for “fake news” only happened to other people. But I was fooled four times on the seven-question quiz.  

I’m not the only one who has trouble with this. Even the digitally savvy generation now growing up has a difficult time distinguishing credible content from fake stories. In 2015, Stanford University launched an 18-month study of students in middle school, high school, and college across several states to find out how well they were able to evaluate the information they consume online. 

New literacy funding initiative: Have you heard about the new Basic Education and Literacy Major Gifts Initiative? Chaired by Past RI Vice President Anne Matthews, the initiative has a fundraising goal of $25 million over three to five years. Gifts may be donated through directed contributions or by establishing endowments that may benefit a particular geographic area or district. The funds will support educational projects such as teacher training programs, vocational training teams, integration of technology into instructional programs, and adult literacy programs. For more information, email  


Nearly 8,000 students took part in the study, and the results showed that they were easily duped. Many middle schoolers couldn’t tell the difference between a news story and an ad. College students weren’t able to distinguish a mainstream source from a group promoting a certain point of view. Students often decided if something was credible just by how polished the website looked. The study highlighted a fundamental problem: Today’s students are struggling to differentiate fact from fiction online.

“We’re living in the most overwhelming information landscape in human history,” says Peter Adams, a senior vice president for the News Literacy Project, a nonprofit that aims to add information literacy to middle and high school classrooms across the United States. “It’s confusing because people are consuming information in an aggregated stream, and social media gives things uniformity. A post from a conspiracy theory blog looks the same as a post from the Washington Post.”

To help students learn how to evaluate and verify information, the News Literacy Project launched a virtual classroom called Checkology. One part of the web-based tool allows teachers to present students with news reports, tweets, and other social media posts. The students must determine whether they are credible by looking for a variety of “red flags.”

Jodi Mahoney found Checkology last summer while researching ways to educate her students about fake news. Now she uses it in her classroom, where she teaches students about technology, from email etiquette to basic coding.


Are students in your community news literate? The Center for News Literacy and the News Literacy Project offer lessons that teachers can integrate into existing curricula. Free resources from the Center for News Literacy can be found at The News Literacy Project’s virtual classroom is at In New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Chicago, the News Literacy Project also offers the opportunity to bring in journalists to teach part of its curriculum.  “If a Rotary club in one of those markets wants to sponsor a more substantive engagement at a school, reach out to us,” says Peter Adams of the News Literacy Project. Contact them at Michael Spikes encourages Rotary members to visit, where they can also request a speaker from the Center for News Literacy.  

School for Skeptics 2018-06-26 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary’s new president, Barry Rassin, strikes a perfect balance between Bahamian bonhomie and decisive leadership
By Diana Schoberg                                      Photos by Alyce Henson  
Several miles off the shoreline of Nassau, Barry Rassin, the 2018-19 president of Rotary International, balances in the bow of the bobbing Rat Bat. There are no colossal cruise ships out here, no noisy Jet Skis, only the occasional passing pleasure boat and the sound of water lapping against the hull. In the turquoise sea below, giant turtles glide across the ocean floor.
“To me,” Rassin says, “the sea is freedom, it’s peacefulness. When I’m out on the water, everything fades away. You feel like you’re at one with the world and nothing could go wrong.”
Barry Rassin enjoys some time on the water with his good friends Felix Stubbs, left, and Wade Christie.
A few minutes ago it was drizzling, but now the weak December sun struggles to peek through. The Rat Bat sways suddenly in the wake of a passing vessel. Unfazed, Rassin stands perfectly poised, staring toward a patch of blue sky floating on the horizon.
Late in the afternoon of 12 January 2010, Rassin and his wife, Esther, were at home in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, 550 miles away. Shortly thereafter, Rassin got a call from Errol Alberga in Jamaica. At the time, Alberga was the governor of District 7020, which encompasses the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Haiti, as well as several other island nations in the West Indies.
Alberga told Rassin – a former governor of the district and president of the renowned Doctors Hospital in Nassau – about the earthquake and asked him to lead Rotary’s relief efforts. Rassin spent the rest of the evening pacing around his living room as he called other Rotary leaders in the region. In a corner of the room, a television broadcast images of Haiti in ruins – and then, scrolling across the bottom of the screen, came the emergency warning that caught Rassin’s eye: A tsunami might be headed for the Bahamas, a seismic sea wave so formidable it had the potential to wash over the entire country.
Rassin and his wife walked out onto their second-floor balcony and waited. “At night, if you look out toward the ocean, all you see is lights, stretching down to the edge of the water, and then everything turns black,” Rassin recalled in a powerful speech he delivered in January at the International Assembly in San Diego. “I looked at where the lights ended and the black began, and I waited for the blackness to come toward us and swallow the light.”
Barry Rassin at his home office in Nassau, Bahamas.
Fortunately, the tsunami failed to materialize, and Rassin got back to work. Over the next few days and weeks, as Richard McCombe, another past district governor, headed Rotary’s day-to-day response, Rassin coordinated long-term recovery efforts funded by donations from Rotarians around the world to The Rotary Foundation. He created a 132-page spreadsheet to track each detail: how much money was available, how much had been spent, which Rotary club was in charge of which initiative. “At the district conference the year after the earthquake, Barry went through the dollars for every single project,” says Lindsey Cancino, past president of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, Rassin’s club. “It matched to the penny what was in the [disaster recovery] account. I was mesmerized.”
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Rassin worked with Claude Surena, a Haitian doctor and Rotarian who had turned his home outside Port-au-Prince into a makeshift shelter and hospital. There, Surena provided care for more than 100 displaced people. Elsewhere on the island, tens of thousands were dead and tens of thousands more injured. In nightly calls to Rassin and his team, Surena – who, at the behest of René Préval, then president of Haiti, would later oversee the recovery of the nation’s private and public health sectors – detailed the medicine and other supplies he urgently needed. And then, each morning, a private plane flew from Nassau packed with the necessary goods.
Rassin decided to tag along on one flight. On the four-hour journey, flying low over the ocean, he gazed out at the limitless blue of the sky and an azure sea dotted with green tropical islands. “It just looked like paradise,” Rassin said in his speech. “And then we came in over Haiti.”
On the ground below, he saw buckled roads, collapsed houses, and entire neighborhoods turned to rubble. Unable to land in Port-au-Prince, the plane touched down on a grassy strip outside the capital. After unloading its cargo, the plane headed for home. “In a couple of minutes, we were out over the water,” Rassin recalled in his speech, “looking down on that same gorgeous view. Haiti disappeared behind us, the Bahamas lay in front of us, and there we were, in between.
With his wife, Esther, Rassin mingles with fellow members of the Rotary Club of East Nassau.
"And looking down at that water, out at that horizon, I realized that there was no line, no boundary between there and here, between them and us, between the suffering we had escaped and someone else hadn’t. It could just as easily have been the Bahamas. It could just as easily have been us.”
Barry Rassin always felt he was supposed to go into medicine. It was his heritage. His father, Meyer, a notoriously brusque orthopedic surgeon, had arrived in the Bahamas from England during World War II to oversee the medical care of the Royal Air Force troops there. Except for some submarine activity, the Bahamas was outside the theater of war. Nassau’s Oakes and Windsor fields provided flight training for would-be RAF pilots destined to return to the fighting over Europe.
With little in the way of military medicine to occupy him, Dr. Rassin spent time ministering to local residents, including treating people with leprosy who had been exiled from society. This work endeared him to the populace. After the war, he returned to England, but in 1947, a few weeks after the birth of his son Barry, Rassin père returned with his family to Nassau to work in the government hospital. In 1955, he and his wife, Rosetta, a surgical nurse, opened Rassin Hospital to better serve their patients.
Barry was 10 when his father had him watch his first cesarean section. (“That kind of freaked me out,” he says today.) This was his introduction to the family profession. His older brother, David, would earn a PhD, specializing in pharmacology, and devote himself to researching the properties of breast milk.
As for Barry, he enrolled as a pre-med student at Long Island University outside New York City – and flunked out after two years. “I don’t know whether it was too hard for me or I just had no interest,” he explains. “I was never a good academic. Teachers always said I never applied myself.”
Rassin returned to Nassau and worked menial jobs at the British Colonial Hotel. He started at the front desk – “That was not me” – but was soon relegated to microfilming and delivering office supplies. After a year, Rassin realized he had to make a decision: He could either spend the rest of his life working at the hotel and living at home with his parents, or he could go back to school. 
Barry Rassin converses with Charles Diggiss, who took over as hospital president when Rassin retired. 
In 1967, he moved to Miami, enrolled in community college, and took whatever classes struck his fancy. He wanted to figure out what suited him best. “Two days in accounting and I said, ‘This is me,’” he recalls. “It was just so easy. It came to me.”
He transitioned into a business program, improved his grades, and transferred to the University of Miami, where he earned a degree in accounting – with honors. Later, he received his MBA in health and hospital administration from the University of Florida.
Back in the Bahamas, following several prosperous decades, Rassin Hospital had undergone a decline. After the Bahamas won its independence in 1973, a lot of British expats, including many of the hospital’s patients, left the country. That’s when Rassin, with several years of health administration under his belt (primarily at Miami’s Mount Sinai Medical Center), returned to Nassau once again, with his first wife and their kids, Pascale, Michele, and Anthony. His goal was to bring the best in modern medicine to the country – and he planned to do it at a transformed Rassin Hospital.
Charles Diggiss, today the president of Doctors Hospital (as the reinvented facility came to be known), covered emergency room shifts there in the late 1980s, when he was a surgical resident at the public hospital. “Barry was running a hospital that was one block away from the public hospital,” Diggiss says. “He had the courage to take that on. There was no promise of success, but every guarantee that this was going to be frustrating, every guarantee that the physicians were going to be skeptical.”
Looking back, Rassin recounts the challenges he confronted: “It was a battle with my parents. It was a battle with the doctors. It was a battle with my wife.” All that pressure caused the demise of his first marriage, he says. But the friends he made through Rotary steeled his resolve to persevere. “It gave me the support from a group of citizens of the Bahamas who said there was really a need to do this.”
Several years earlier, Rassin was working for American Medicorp in Hollywood, Florida, when a doctor asked him to join Rotary. Rassin declined. “In my mind, he was at least 70,” he explains. “I was 30. People say new members aren’t joining because we don’t ask. It’s not just the ask. I was asked. I didn’t want to join.”
The East Nassau club recently helped clean up a community center for teenagers with HIV/AIDS.
He changed his mind about Rotary when he moved to Nassau and met John Robertson at a fundraiser for the East Nassau club. Robertson was helping out, and Rassin’s daughters, Pascale and Michele, were participating. The two men chatted, and at the end of the conversation, Rassin accepted Robertson’s invitation to lunch at Rotary. Seven years later, in 1987, he was the club’s president. Michele, the club’s first female member, would take the helm in 2009.
Rassin’s rise through the ranks of Rotary coincided with the culmination of his plan to transform Rassin Hospital. In 1986, he worked with a consortium of doctors to buy the hospital from Meyer Rassin and create the newly christened Doctors Hospital. In 1993, under Rassin’s direction, it completed an $8.5 million expansion, and today it’s considered one of the Caribbean’s leading hospitals.
As all this transpired, Rassin’s personal life changed as well when he met and, in 1990, married Esther Knowles. A successful banker, Esther dived into her husband’s life at Rotary. When he was district governor in 1991-92, she accompanied him on a six-month odyssey to every club in every country in the district. Their mutual respect and partnership are evident when you see them together. “Esther has always kept me grounded,” Rassin says. “As soon as she thinks that my ego is kicking in, she makes sure she kicks it back out. After any speech, if Esther was there, I always ask her how it was. She’s the only one who I know will tell me the truth.” 
Rassin retired as the hospital’s president in 2016, though he continues to serve on its board of directors. In retrospect, the long struggle to make his dream a reality was worth it. “You’ve got to take risks in this life,” he insists. “That’s what we’re here to do: not to follow the same old path, but to take out your machete, cut away the bush, and create a new way. People here weren’t getting good health care. They needed it badly.” 
“One of the most appreciable things about his journey is watching how he committed himself wholly and fully to Doctors Hospital while maintaining his involvement in Rotary,” says Charles Sealy, who met Rassin through Rotary and succeeded him as the hospital’s CEO. “To see how someone can balance the two – except I don’t think the word is ‘balance,’ because he was wholly committed to each of them.”
At the hospital, as in Rotary, people recognize Rassin as both a visionary and a detail-oriented administrator. They also salute him as a valuable mentor. “He’s good at identifying leadership talent,” says Felix Stubbs, a board member at Doctors who credits Rassin with creating the opportunities that led to Stubbs’ own stint as District 7020 governor. “When he sees someone with skills that he thinks could be advantageous to Rotary, he makes sure to pull that person along. That’s exactly what he did at Doctors Hospital. He identified good young leaders and pulled them up – and then he was able to retire and dedicate his time to Rotary.”
Barry Rassin helps Rotarians and Rotaractors plant mangrove trees at Bonefish Pond National Park on the southern coast of New Providence Island in the Bahamas.
As befits an island organization, the Rotary Club of East Nassau meets inside a wood-paneled room at a yacht club. Pictures of sailboats bedeck the walls. Sir Durward Knowles, who, until his death in February, reigned as the world’s oldest living Olympian (bronze and gold medals in sailing in 1956 and 1964, respectively), was an active member.
In many ways, it’s the ideal 21st-century Rotary club: Sixty percent of its members are younger than 50, and one member is a dual Rotarian/Rotaractor. At a meeting in October, there were so many women in leadership positions that a man didn’t come to the lectern for the first half-hour. One order of business: handing out attendance awards. Rassin receives one for 30 years of perfect attendance. Since joining in 1980, he has missed only one meeting. 
Though Rotary has been central to Rassin’s life for nearly 40 years, it was never his goal to become president of Rotary International. He was loath to even put his name up for consideration. But, he explains, “the Bahamas and the Caribbean have never had a president, and Rotarians there felt I should put my name in and represent them. I realized that they want to feel part of Rotary, and I was in a position where it was possible. So for them, I thought I should do it.”
Sam F. Owori, a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda, was nominated in 2016 to serve as Rotary’s 2018-19 president. After he died unexpectedly of complications from surgery in July 2017, Rassin was selected to take his place.
Among the first people Rassin called was John Smarge, a past Rotary International director from Florida who had served as Owori’s aide. Rassin asked Smarge to serve as his aide too. “One of his first sentences was, ‘I want Sam’s memory to continue, and I want you to help me do that,’” Smarge recalls. “Barry was uniquely qualified to come in at this time. He will allow Sam’s memory to shine brightly.”
Call Me Barry 2018-06-21 08:00:00Z 0
Tom painting the trim at the restroom at Ben Walters Park.
Maynard painting the restrooms at Ben Walters Park.
Charles racking and Maynard painting
Vivian rolls on the paint!
Ben Walters Park Cleanup-with New Pictures 2018-06-13 08:00:00Z 0

From more than 1,100 entries, our 2018 photo contest winners rise to the top

Reviewing this year’s submissions, we saw photos that capture big scenes of celebration and small moments of connection. We saw images of Rotarians as people of action, working together to make our world better. And we saw breathtaking views of nature. Our judge, Stephanie Sinclair, reviewed the images without any identifying information, with the unexpected result that two people each have two photographs on the following pages. In addition to the winners and honorable mentions in this issue, you’ll see more photos from the contest in The Rotarian throughout the coming year.

First place

Photographer: Anthony Riggio
Rotary Club of Westport, Connecticut
Location: Rabat, Morocco

Sinclair: I am drawn to this photo’s beautiful repetitive geometric shapes and vibrant colors. The eye moves from the door frame throughout the many textures to the subject, the markings on his hat, and the background of the image. The muted tones echo the subtlety of the many layers in the image.

Second place

Photographer: Santosh Kale
Rotary Club of Shirol, India
Location: Pandharpur, India

Sinclair: This image offers a compassionate and relatable view of women in India. Their varied expressions of joy and amusement emphasize their shared humanity. The black and white works to focus the viewer on their expressions rather than the environment in which the women live.

Third place

Photographer: Maureen McGettigan
Rotary Club of Valley of the Moon (Santa Rosa), California
Location: Bagan, Myanmar

Sinclair: This elegant, classically shot photograph is reminiscent of National Geographic images that focus on magical light and landscapes. The painterly quality of the light makes the image seem timeless, and the combination of the temple in the background, the trees in the foreground, and the person working a plow gives the image a spiritual quality.

Honorable mentions

Photographer: Salvatore Alibrio
Rotary Club of Palazzolo Acreide Valle dell’Anapo, Italy
Location: Palazzolo Acreide, Italy

Sinclair: The distance from the color explosion works perfectly within the frame. Most photographers would have tried to be as close as possible, but the distance provides a needed perspective while communicatingto the viewer more information about the event with the surrounding architecture and crowd.

Photographer: Jose Antonio Valdes
Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur, Guatemala
Location: Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

Sinclair: This is a very classically framed portrait, given a slight twist on the expected by the elder’s very relaxed body position. The boy’s expression also makes the image distinctive and fascinating.

Photographer: Carlo Antonio Romero
Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Sinclair: Beautiful landscape with technicolor light. The wide-angle perspective, not normally my favorite in landscapes, makes the viewer feel transported into the experience of being there.

Photographer: Jose Antonio Valdes
Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur, Guatemala
Location: Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala

Sinclair: The use of black and white transforms the harsh light into highlights and shadows that emphasize the composition. The cowboy hats in the foreground make a perfect frame for the race.

Photographer: Hipolito Busgano
Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Location: Bali, Indonesia

Sinclair: This joyful image could have placed in the top three had the person on the far left not been looking at the camera. That said, it evokes a lot of emotion and deserves an honorable mention.

Photographer: Thomas Bundschuh
Rotary Club of Wien, Austria
Location: Sermathang, Nepal

Sinclair: The soft light on this image makes it seem more like a painting than a photograph. While I wish there were more separation between the two female subjects, the painterly quality echoed by the girl’s serene expression still works.

Photographer: Santosh Kale
Rotary Club of Shirol, India
Location: Pattan Kodoli, India

Sinclair: This is a powerful image in that it makes the viewer ask more questions about the event being photographed. The goal of a great photograph isn’t always to answer every question, but to entice the viewer to learn more.

Winners of the 2018 Rotarian Photo Contest 2018-06-13 08:00:00Z 0

Stephanie Sinclair’s photography is just one of the ways she advocates for the rights of girls


Photos by Stephanie Sinclair                                       Story by Julie Bain


Stephanie Sinclair was way ahead of the #MeToo movement. After 9/11, she wanted to tell the stories of people who had survived their world being torn apart. While covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the photojournalist found her passion when she learned about young girls being forced into marriage. After nearly a decade of photographing these girls, she published “Too Young to Wed” in National Geographic in 2011. In 2012, Sinclair formed a nonprofit, also known as Too Young to Wed, dedicated to protecting girls’ rights and ending child marriage. 

While she maintains a busy schedule on other photo projects, documenting subjects such as life on a circus train and the care of elephants in India, she always returns to the stories of girls and young women who are vulnerable to exploitation. She has done more than accrue numerous awards for her photos; she has also raised money to help girls who have escaped their captors restart their education, learn new skills, and regain their self-esteem.

In addition, Sinclair created a foundation to provide scholarships and teach photography, giving girls a way to tell their stories and begin to change the world. Her foundation helped support and educate the young women she photographed for her acclaimed 2017 New York Times story, “Child, Bride, Mother: Nigeria.” In February, two of those girls shared their harrowing stories with U.S. lawmakers and United Nations officials. 

On a snowy late-winter afternoon in Peekskill, New York, while one of her two children was fighting a fever, Sinclair spoke with frequent contributor Julie Bain and did something she rarely does: talk about her own life, her photographic vision, and how she found her true calling.


Two Yemeni child brides stand alongside their husbands. Tehani, left, married when she was 6 and her husband, Majed, was 25.