September 18 2020 Wayne Roush 2020-10-01 05:00:00Z 0
September 11 2020 Wayne Roush 2020-10-01 05:00:00Z 0
September 4 2020 Wayne Roush 2020-09-12 05:00:00Z 0
August 29 2020 - Rusty Wayne Roush 2020-09-01 05:00:00Z 0
Program August 14, 2020 2020-08-18 05:00:00Z 0
Program August 7 2020 Wayne Roush 2020-08-12 05:00:00Z 0
Program on July 31, 2020 Wayne Roush 2020-07-31 05:00:00Z 0
Go Away Coronovirus Wayne 2020-04-02 05:00:00Z 0
Willowbrook Activities Week of November 11 Wayne Roush 2019-11-17 06:00:00Z 0
YMCA Nov 1 2019 Wayne Roush 2019-11-01 05:00:00Z 0
Club Activities on October 18, 2019 Wayne Roush 2019-10-25 05:00:00Z 0
Willowbrook Rotarians walk for Alzheimer's Wayne Roush 2019-10-06 05:00:00Z 0
Flying Without An Engine Wayne Roush 2019-10-02 05:00:00Z 0
08-30-2019 Mosquito Control Wayne Roush 2019-09-03 05:00:00Z 0

2016/17 Scholarship Recipients

Posted by Ernie Honig on Aug 10, 2016
WRC Scholarship recipients [L-R] Jose Sagrera, Julie Nguyen, Catarina Do, Amangelin Jalbuena, Xavier Elliott, & Venkata Adsumilli with Ruben Santos & David Thompson.
2016/17 Scholarship Recipients Ernie Honig 2016-08-10 05:00:00Z 0

Beaudachita Haiti Micro Lending Program

Posted by Randy Thompson on Jun 22, 2015
In the first quarter of 2015, the Beaudachita  micro lending program received a $5,000 grant from the Moody Memorial PEF. The loans were distributed in $110 increments to 44 new recipients in March of 2015. Each loan bears an interest rate of 3% and a maturity of 3 months.  In total, the program has $8,000 in loans outstanding to 63 beneficiaries.  Additionally, the program has an additional 50 beneficiaries who have been trained and are awaiting loans and we have $4,600 in additional funds that we have raised to fund this next class of beneficiaries. We have also set up a network of prayer partners. When a beneficiary receives a loan, they are asked if they would like a prayer partner from JWUMC.  We believe that this will establish a closer connection between our community and theirs and make the experience deeper for everyone. So far we have 22 prayer partners.                                          
We believe that the overall program is going very well. Below are two testimonials from loan beneficiaries that indicate that our relationship is helping improve the lives of the people of Beaudachita.
“I am Bien-Aime Odeline . I lives in Bouda Chita municipality since childhood I am a beneficiary from this program. I have 2 kids a boy and a girl.three ( 3) year from now, they did not go to school because I couldn’t pay school for them. Thanks to John Wesley Micro credit. this year I make a big different and they go to school like all the other people in my village and I myself become an entrepreneur where I sell Mangoes and Bananas, my husband doesn’t work. On the benefit, I feed the house. Thank you.”
“Roland Medina, A very enthusiastic beneficiary of John Wesley Microcredit. Recently, we have no support from anyone, I mean we do not exist for local leaders, but now thanks to PWW determination  and its innovation, we have now a supporter. PWW provided us clean and safety water  that the first thing the village needs to live healthy; no drinking water, no life, but waterborne diseases. Finally, I borrow 5,000 gourdes. With this money, I sell bread in city of Bouda Chita and also in my house. Life begins to improve in many different ways for my family. Every day, I come home with something that all my people could eat. I must tell you the truth in the future; I intend to have a bakery where I can become a boss.”
We are blessed to serve and blessed by our relationship with the people of Beaudachita. Thank you for your support of this program. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
The Haiti Committee.  Randy Thompson Chair 281 630-8040

Beaudachita Haiti Micro Lending Program Randy Thompson 2015-06-22 05:00:00Z 0

The Way We Were

Posted by John Mitchell on May 01, 2014

ImagePrior Rotarian Bob Gamache attended our May 2 meeting and shared this historic photo of Willowbrook Rotarians gathered for a marathon race wearing the fabled "Grasshopper Hats".  Those pictured from the left are Bob Ullom, John Gilligan, Tom Jackson, Rich Bills, Judy Jackson, Exchange Student, Ed Charlesworth, Phil Baker (in the back), Robin Charlesworth, Bob Gamache, Charlesworth daughter, and I don't have a name for the last on the right.

The Way We Were John Mitchell 2014-05-02 00:00:00Z 0

Klein High Interact Project

Posted by John Mitchell on Feb 04, 2014


Image Image
Klein High School Interact club recently completed a project to make goodie bags and valentine’s cards for the senior citizens.  Their sponsor, Mina Chacon, a Spanish Teacher at Klein, said "I was impressed by the amount of people that showed up. Look at the pictures." 
Klein High Interact Project John Mitchell 2014-02-05 00:00:00Z 0
2014 Klein BearKat Interact Club Officers David Thompson 2014-01-24 00:00:00Z 0
2014 Monte Carlo Charity Gala -February 15 Thomas W. Jackson 2014-01-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary helps close out the year with gains against polio

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 28, 2013

Rotary News


When Julia Yank and a team of Rotary members and health workers entered Kaduna, Nigeria, to immunize children against polio they expected to encounter some tough situations. They found one in a mother of three who stubbornly refused to have her children vaccinated.

"She argued with us for over 15 minutes," says Yank, a member of the Rotary Club of St. Clair County Sunset in O'Fallon, Illinois, USA. After the team explained to her the importance of what they were doing, she finally agreed to allow her children to be immunized.

"We were told later that she only consented because of the presence of the Rotarians. That moment, I realized the impact we can make," says Yank.

This type of persistence by Rotary and its partners in the  (GPEI) has helped reduce the number of polio cases in Nigeria by half, as compared to this time last year. Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where the transmission of polio has never been stopped. Overall, polio cases in the three countries have decreased by 35 percent -- thanks in part to Rotary's advocacy with government and business leaders, PolioPlus grants, and mobilizing support on the ground.

From celebrating milestones and responding to outbreaks to signing commitments and honoring our supporters, learn how the Global Polio Eradication Initiative made a difference in 2013.


The last case of type 3 wild poliovirus (WPV3) occurred in Nigeria on 10 November 2012. Rotary and its GPEI partners have helped reduce transmission of WPV3 to its . "Although it is too soon to say that WPV3 has been eradicated . . . the world has a unique opportunity to get rid of the second strain of wild poliovirus" (after WPV2), reports the GPEI.


Confirmation of cases in previously polio-free Syria "serve as a stark reminder that as long as polio still exists, unimmunized children everywhere remain at risk," says Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert S. Scott. In , Rotary and its GPEI partners, along with local health authorities, are conducting large-scale campaigns to immunize children in the region as quickly as possible. Rotary is the first donor to announce funding for the GPEI's new Middle East strategic plan, a $500,000 emergency grant for Syria.


On 12 November Rotary, Brazil's government, and the Pan American Health Organization signed a Declaration of Commitment and Collaboration toward the Goal of a Polio-Free World. The event took place at a symposium in São Paulo where strategies for eradicating the disease were discussed.

"The document highlights the importance of technical support and the exchange of experiences to support countries that are still fighting against the disease, and the need for continued financial and political commitment by the global community until the world is certified polio free," says PolioPlus Director Carol Pandak, who spoke at the event.

Rotary members in District 4420 in Brazil also announced their commitment to donate 40 percent of their District Designated Funds to PolioPlus. Through the  fundraising campaign and World Fund match, these funds will be matched 2 for 1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and generate $250,000 for polio eradication.


As president of Ethiopia, Girma Wolde-Girogis played a pivotal role in helping his country be polio-free during his last five years in office. In recognition of his work, Girma received the Rotary International Polio Eradication Champion Award in November. Ethiopian native , governor of District 5030 in Washington, USA, presented the honor to Girma. Teshome was in Ethiopia leading a team of North American Rotary members to participate in the country's National Immunization Days.

Although the polio outbreak in the  has affected Ethiopia, a strong response has slowed the pace of transmission in the region. The , if fully funded, is equipped to stop such outbreaks.

"We will keep coming back until the disease is gone," says Teshome. "We are determined to get the job done."

Rotary helps close out the year with gains against polio Tom Lewis 2013-12-29 00:00:00Z 0

The benefits of a Rotary Peace Fellowship

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 28, 2013
By Julia Smith, Rotary Peace Fellow 

In 2008-09, I was lucky enough to be awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship to complete my master’s degree at theUniversity of Bradford. Five years later, I continue to build on that remarkable learning experience.

The University of Bradford is famous for its conflict resolution expertise and I took full advantage of this by taking courses on African Approaches to Conflict Resolution and Applied Conflict Resolution. I used skills and knowledge from both when, following the peace fellowship, I went to work in Sierra Leone. In particular, I remember mediating a dispute between blacksmiths and farmers in a rural village still recovering from civil war. By drawing on indigenous practices and negotiation skills we were able to reach an agreement that resulted in improved food production, as well as community harmony.

The peace fellowship includes an applied field experience component, and I was placed at the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division in South Africa. The research I conducted there informed my Master of Arts thesis and was published widely. From this formative experience I built networks and research expertise I continue to draw on. For example, I recently conduct research to inform a program that aims to enhance the ability of citizens in Sub-Saharan Africa to hold their governments to account for how they spend HIV/AIDS resources.

One of the greatest benefits of the peace fellowship is the opportunity to study with people from around the world. Peace Studies at the University of Bradford has a remarkably diverse student body, and the skills that are developed by learning from other perspectives and working with people from around the world cannot be underestimated – I use them everyday.

I am now trying, in my own small way, to pass on some of what I learned as a peace fellow. This fall I had the opportunity to teach a course similar to one I took at Bradford – the Politics of International Peacekeeping – at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, Canada. It’s inspiring to be able to pass on some of the remarkable learning I was lucky enough to benefit from as a Rotary Peace Fellow.

The benefits of a Rotary Peace Fellowship Tom Lewis 2013-12-29 00:00:00Z 0

Santa’s helper leverages dollars for polio eradication

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 28, 2013
By Bruce Templeton, a member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada (Editor’s note: this post first published 10 May, 2013.)

While I know that RI President Ron Burton’s theme is “Engage Rotary: Change Lives,” I would like to add the thought that we can multiply the dollars we raise engaging Rotary before we turn them over to those who change lives.

I live in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada. I am a Rotarian but also a good friend of Santa Claus and he and I have travelled together for 34 years. We make about 50 visits a year to children’s groups, seniors’ homes, parades and children’s hospitals. Some of the visits are very happy and some will break your heart.

Last year, I wrote a book called “The Man in the Red Suit.” It was printed four times and made the best seller list in Canada. But the Rotary connection was when my wife said “why don’t we donate our writer’s first printing proceeds to Rotary’s PolioPlus fund?”

I thought about that for a while and then set about to take what we would donate and see how much I could leverage through matched funding from local companies before the money went to RI. That was a great deal of fun and within a few days, we turned $5,000 into $30,000. Then the Government of Canada matched the $30,000 and so did the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. So $5,000 “engaged by Rotary” turned into $90,000, and we can now buy the vaccine for 150,000 children to “change lives.”

When I sat with Dr. Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization, who was visiting here in Newfoundland from Geneva, we talked about his mandate to eliminate polio in the world. I went home that night thinking about the 150,000 children.I don’t know whether the children are in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, or Nigeria. But they are out there somewhere and the proceeds of a little book (and a Rotary wife’s suggestion!) will “Engage Rotary and Change Lives.”

Learn more about how you can help us end polio

Santa’s helper leverages dollars for polio eradication Tom Lewis 2013-12-29 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Concern for the Aging

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 28, 2013
One current area of special emphasis for Rotary clubs focuses on providing "new opportunities for the aging." In 1990, the R.I. Board of Directors urged Rotarians to identify new projects serving the elderly that emphasize intergenerational activities and the integration of seniors into society and the workplace. The following year, the board called for an approach that stressed service "with" the elderly as well as "for" them. With the substantial upswing in the worldwide population of older persons, their needs for special attention have greatly multiplied. As citizens grow older, it becomes increasingly important for them to retain their personal independence and to remain in control of their own lives to the extent this is possible. Many Rotary clubs are seeking ways to serve the older persons of their community who face problems of deteriorating health, loneliness, poor nutrition, transportation difficulties, inability to do customary chores, loss of family associations, reduced recreational opportunities, inadequate housing and limited information about available social agencies for emergency assistance. Some clubs have initiated a valuable community service to assist older persons in retirement planning and adjustment by organizing and sharing the wealth of information available within the club's membership. Other clubs have developed foster grandparent programs and other intergenerational activities that allow seniors to use their experience and knowledge to help young people. Rotarians often can provide services which seniors can no longer do for themselves. The greatest need of aging individuals is frequently a mere expression of real caring and concern by thoughtful friends. All Rotarians should seriously consider how they and their clubs might actively participate in programs for the aging. It is one area of community service in which there is a growing possibility that each of us may some day be on the receiving end.
Rotary Education - Concern for the Aging Tom Lewis 2013-12-29 00:00:00Z 0
Merry Christmas! Tom Lewis 2013-12-25 00:00:00Z 0

Voice lessons: strengthening Rotary’s image through words

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 21, 2013

Rotary News

For years, we described Rotary by the numbers: 1,220,115 members in 34,558 clubs in 200 countries and regions. Impressive figures, for sure, but they only tell part of our story. What numbers can't convey is the essence of Rotary –- what sets us apart and inspires people to get involved.

So we interviewed members around the world to discover why they're passionate about Rotary. What we found was a new way of talking about Rotary that focuses on three core ideas. Through Rotary, you can:

  • Join leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations
  • Exchange ideas, bringing our expertise and diverse perspectives to help solve some of the world's toughest problems
  • Take action to bring lasting change to communities around the world

It's not a new story but it is a new way of telling our story, one that conveys the top two reasons people join Rotary: for friendship and to make a difference in their communities.

When you share your passion for Rotary, you have the power to change a stranger into a volunteer, a colleague into a donor, and a family member into a Rotarian.

So the next time someone asks you, What is Rotary? you have a clear and compelling answer: "Through Rotary, I have a friend, partner, and adviser in communities around the world who are helping me make a difference."

Of course, this is just one example. We want to hear how you'll describe Rotary when you're asked.  to share your words.

 to get more ideas

 with club members


Voice lessons: strengthening Rotary’s image through words Tom Lewis 2013-12-22 00:00:00Z 0

Discounted early registration extended for the 2014 Rotary International Convention

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 21, 2013

Rotary News

RI President Ron D. Burton is extending the early registration deadline.  Rotarians now have until 15 January to complete discounted early registration for the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, saving $100 off the onsite registration fee.  The 15 January deadline will remain firm, so act soon to take advantage of the discount. 

You can take advantage of special travel discounts to make it easier to get to – and enjoy – Sydney, which is packed with family-friendly activities.  Save on international and domestic travel to Sydney offered by our official airlines, Emirates Airlines and Qantas Airways. The New South Wales Government is offering convention-goers free transit passes for travel on ferries, buses, and trains in the greater Sydney metropolitan area from 29 May through 5 June. Learn more about the discounts and the other details for this year’s event at 

Register today  or by returning the downloadable  and make this a convention to remember.

Discounted early registration extended for the 2014 Rotary International Convention Tom Lewis 2013-12-22 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange November report from Spain - Scarlett

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Dec 21, 2013

            Since last month, I had been in contact with Joliann, another exchange student that is from the french-speaking part of Canada, trying to establish a plan for her to come and visit me for a weekend. I asked my tutor what had to be made in order translate the plan into actions, and he said we had to detail what we were going to do during her stay. According to that, I asked my friends at school about what we could do while she would be here. But the arrival date we had talked about was not until next weekend, so I believed we had time. Meanwhile, we were planning all of my friends were signing up to all of the activities we were going to realize. After a day or two I had it all clear, so I sent it to my tutor.

            However, his reply was that he had found out that what we needed was a letter from my host parents inviting Joliann to stay for a weekend. When I learned this information I started writing the letter for my host parents, because I learned about their family customs is that if you want something you should do it. And I have seen them telling Ana, my host sister, to make stuff for herself, that I would normally ask my mom for help. My host dad told me it was just so afterwards in life she would know what to do and how to do it. Although, if while doing it by herself she feels unable they will intervine but otherwise they would not. And I feel it makes a lot of sense and I respect their ways.   Eventually, a day I had to arrive to school late because I had to go ask for my student card that would work as an I.D. for me here, very useful because instead of carrying around my passport running the risk of losing it I could use this card, they made me write the note that I would present my teacher at school in order to let me into class late and they signed it at the bottom approving what was said in the note.

            Therefore, when I finished writing the invitation letter from their part I sent it to my host mom and she changed a few things and then send it. She told me it was a big help because she was very busy with work and did not increment her list of things to do.

            After the invitation was sent, my tutor replied and said that now we needed approval from both parties her host family, her tutor, and mine. A few days later, we finally received complete acceptance from all the people required and everything was settled. Although, when I got to school to tell them the great news the plans I had written in had completely changed. So, I did not have an specific view of the weekend when Joliann came to visit, which was right around the corner.

            In the end, she came and everything worked out fine. All of my friends were able to meet her and we all had fun.

            Another group accompanied us to a museum in “La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias” a touristic point.  

            And then we also spent time with my host family, she actually came for my “yayas’”, grandmas’ birthday and we celebrated it twice. Once with my host family alone. Later on, with my host uncles’ family as well.

            Moreover, closer to the end of the month we saw each other again because Rotary hosted a Youth Seminar in my city, so she other exchange students around the area came. And we repeated the tour. 

            Continuously, I returned to “La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias” because my host mom was offered very cheap tickets to attend to a luto concert in german. Even though, I did not understand anything at all I thought it was very instructive. I learned a lot about etiquette in classy concerts, and my host family’s musical preferences. 

            Another cultural visit I realized this month was to the theater. It all started with my literature class, the teacher wanted to go see a play with us, it was not related to the class she just thought it would be fun and informative, and that if we decided to go it would help us to relate future information we would learn on the class. In addition, she said we could invite other people, that it did not have to be exclusive for the class. Almost everyone in 2o de Bachillerato, my grade, ended up going, but it was very good. We all had positive comments about everything, the play itself, all of us in the theater, everything.

         Regarding Rotaract, we are already pulling forward some projects. One is called “Cupcake Solidario”, were we sell cupcakes, cakes, cake-pops, cookies, and other sweets for a lady who is considered a senior citizen but is currently living off of donations because they fired her from her job due to certain incapabilities of hers. Such as the fact that it is very hard for her to move constantly, and other issues, that do not make her qualified for any job. In addition, the government can not give her the pensions she deserves by law because of her age. Technically, she cannot receive them yet until a few months when it is her birthday. After her situation becomes stable we will continue this project with other people who are in the same position of struggle, allowing them to prosper with their own abilities, because in this case, the lady is the one who bakes all the products we are selling, because that is what she used to do. She used to make cupcakes for a vegetarian restaurant.

         Another, project we are molding is a Christmas one, just the typical gathering of toys and giving it to institutions with low recourses like orphanages, or some public schools.

         I really like forming part of this group because we do not only make good deeds and help people but we become united and therefore make the people we help feel that way as well. For this reason, I look forward for mondays’, because those are the days our meetings are held.

Rotary Youth Exchange November report from Spain - Scarlett Anais G. Watsky 2013-12-22 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Functional Literacy Program

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 21, 2013

It has been estimated than a billion people--one-fourth of the world's population--are unable to read.  Illiteracy of adults and children is a global concern in both highly industrialized nations and in developing countries. The number of adult illiterates in the world is increasing by 25 million each year! In the United States, one quarter of the entire population is considered functionally illiterate. The tragedy of illiteracy is that those who cannot read lose personal independence and become victims of unscrupulous manipulation, poverty and the loss of human feelings which give meaning to life. Illiteracy is demeaning. It is a major obstacle for economic, political, social and personal development. Illiteracy is a barrier to international understanding, cooperation and peace in the world. Literacy education was considered a program priority by Rotary's original Health, Hunger and Humanity Committee in 1978. An early 3-H grant led to the preparation of an excellent source book on the issues of literacy in the world. The Rotary sponsored publication, The Right to Read, was edited by Rotarian Eve Malmquist, a past district governor from Linkoping, Sweden, and a recognized authority on reading and educational research. The book was the forerunner of a major Rotary program emphasis on literacy promotion. In 1985 the R.I. Planning and Research Committee proposed, and the R.I. board approved, that the Rotary clubs of the world conduct a ten-year emphasis on literacy education. Many Rotary clubs are thoughtfully surveying the needs of their community for literacy training. Some clubs provide basic books for teaching reading. Others establish and support reading and language clinics, provide volunteer tutorial assistance and purchase reading materials. Rotarians can play a vitally important part in their community and in developing countries by promoting projects to open opportunities which come from the ability to read.

Rotary Education - Functional Literacy Program Tom Lewis 2013-12-22 00:00:00Z 0
December 13 meeting pictures - Men of Leisure Ernest Honig 2013-12-18 00:00:00Z 0

Nelson Mandela remembered as an ally for peace, polio eradication

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 14, 2013

Rotary News


In 1996, routine polio immunizations in Nigeria and other African countries were anything but routine. Competing health priorities and lack of funding hampered many governments from putting polio eradication high on their agenda. The drive for a polio-free Africa needed a playmaker.

Enter Nelson Mandela. Herb Brown, Rotary's president in 1995-96, recalls seeking the South African leader's support.

"President Mandela was so gracious and listened as we described the problem," Brown says. "I told him only he had the influence to persuade the countries to resume immunization."

Mandela agreed to help. "I'm well aware of Rotary and all the work you've done, and all the work you did while I was in jail," he told Brown. At a press conference, with Brown at his side, Mandela asked all the heads of state in Africa to open their doors to polio National Immunization Days.

Mandela helped launch the Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign later that year with 1996-97 Rotary President Luis Giay and Rotary Foundation Chair Rajendra Saboo. Almost immediately, Africa's polio eradication effort was back on track. Using soccer matches and celebrity endorsements, the campaign raised public awareness of polio and helped spur more than 30 African countries to hold their first National Immunization Days.

In recognition of his vital work, Rotary presented the Rotary Award for World Understanding to Mandela in 1997, then Rotary's highest honor. "We chose President Mandela because of his significant contributions to world peace, human rights, and freedom," said Giay, adding that Rotary members especially appreciated "his strong support of the eradication of polio throughout Africa."

Mandela called the award "a tribute to the people of South Africa's rainbow nation." Rotary's work toward eradicating polio "has shown the power of a global network of people who are ready to roll up their sleeves and put their heart and soul into saving children from disability."

Mandela donated the award's $100,000 prize to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

Following his death, Rotary members in South Africa lauded Mandela as "one of the 20th century's iconic symbols of freedom and equality," "the father of the nation," and "a leader of service."

"Mandela was a man who overcame unimaginable hardships to emerge as one of the greatest leaders of our time — and one of our greatest humanitarians . . . . [His] legacy of courage, determination, and commitment will forever inspire us to move forward in our effort to achieve a better, more peaceful world," said Rotary President Ron Burton.

Nelson Mandela remembered as an ally for peace, polio eradication Tom Lewis 2013-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Relief aid pours into typhoon-struck communities

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 14, 2013

Rotary News


For more than three hours, Typhoon Haiyan violently shook the roof, walls, and windows of Edgar Chiongbian’s house. The heavy winds and flying debris threatened to collapse his home to its foundation at any moment.

After the winds subsided and the rain stopped, he emerged from where he and his family had taken cover and inspected the damage.

“We were one of the lucky families,” says Chiongbian, governor of Rotary District 3860 in the Philippines. “There was no major damage to our house.”

The outcome was very different for communities and towns in central Philippines closer to the sea. One of the  strongest storms in history, the typhoon brought overwhelming destruction to coastal towns, killing more than 5,200 people, displacing 4.4 million, and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Soon after the storm, Rotary clubs worldwide began rushing relief aid and funds into devastated communities.

Chiongbian, whose district includes hard-hit Bohol, Cebu, and Ormoc, quickly coordinated efforts with other Philippine districts and clubs to bring lifesaving emergency aid, including food, water, medicine, and clothing, to survivors.

The district also set up a disaster relief fund to channel money where it’s most needed. Chiongbian says they will continue to focus on providing emergency aid, then shift into rebuilding communities.

“To help the victims through the immediate hardship and get them back to having functional lives will take at least one year,” he says. “The rebuilding and recovery phase that follows can be much longer.”

Chiongbian says the typhoon destroyed homes and meeting places of Rotary members throughout the country, “but in spite of their situations, they are working around the clock to aid other victims. We’ve received support from Rotarians all over the world. It is very heartwarming. We are very grateful.”

Other Rotary relief efforts:

  • The Rotary Club of Woodstock-Oxford, Ontario, Canada, raised more than $20,000 in relief funds, which will be matched by the Canadian government.
  • The Grind Earth Project, founded by members of the Rotary Club of Northwest Austin, Texas, USA, is working with the Rotary Club of San Pedro South, Laguna, Philippines, and WakaWaka Light to supply thousands of solar-powered lamps to affected areas.
  • WorldWaterWorks, an initiative of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge, England, has delivered more than 500 Water Survival Boxes to disaster areas.
  • Five Rotary districts in Denmark raised more than $60,000 for emergency aid. The clubs plan to raise more for long-term projects.
  • The International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians donated $30,000 to affected districts. Several fleets are distributing aid packages in hard-hit remote areas.
  • ShelterBox Response Team members are on the ground across five typhoon-struck islands to distribute nearly 600 ShelterBox tents, benefiting more than 4,000 families.
  • Rotary clubs in District 3450 (Hong Kong; Macau; Mongolia) have contributed more than $70,000 toward relief aid. 
  • Disaster Aid International, an emergency relief organization sponsored by clubs in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, has provided survival kits and temporary shelter to more than 9,500 people in Leyte Island. 

Read a blog entry from a member of the ShelterBox Response Team 

Relief aid pours into typhoon-struck communities Tom Lewis 2013-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Vote for Rotary in United’s 10 Million Charity Miles giveaway

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 14, 2013

Rotary News

Help us earn miles by voting for Rotary in United’s 10 Million Charity Miles giveaway. United is giving at least 25,000 miles to each of its nonprofit partners participating in the promotion. The more votes we get, the more miles we’ll receive. The remaining portion of the 10 million miles will be distributed to participating charities based on the percentage of total votes received.

Vote daily between now and 31 December. And share your vote on Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to support Rotary, too. You can follow our progress on United’s webpage, where our ranking is listed along with a running tally of the votes we’ve received.

Rotary has been United's partner for many years through the Rotary Miles program, which provides free airfare for hundreds of children and adults in need of lifesaving surgery and other worthy causes.

Finishing in second place, Rotary received 2.5 million charity miles in last year’s promotion.

Vote for Rotary in United’s 10 Million Charity Miles giveaway Tom Lewis 2013-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Responds to Polio Emergency in Syria

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 14, 2013
Contact Kimberly Dunbar, 847 866 3469,

EVANSTON, Ill., USA (Dec. 10, 2013) — Rotary International will provide a US$500,000 emergency response grant to support efforts to quell a recent outbreak of the crippling disease polio in strife-torn Syria. The funds are the first to the World Health Organization in direct support of a Global Polio Eradication Initiative plan aimed at outbreak response throughout the Middle East, as the region gears up for a multi-country response to the threat of polio.

As of Dec. 9, there have been 17 cases of wild poliovirus confirmed in Syria since October, the first reported cases in the country since 1999. The Rotary grant to the World Health Organization will support immediate response activities in late 2013 and January 2014, such as the establishment of emergency response control rooms and initial vaccination rounds to immunize children in Syria and surrounding countries against polio.

“It is imperative that we stop this outbreak quickly to protect children in Syria and throughout the region, and that is the purpose of this grant,” said Dr. Robert S. Scott, chair of Rotary’s PolioPlus program. “Rotary and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are working together with local health authorities to activate the outbreak response.”

He noted that the cases in Syria appear to be “imported” from Pakistan, one of three countries where the wild poliovirus remains endemic. “These and other recent polio cases in previously polio-free countries serve as stark reminders that as long as polio still exists anywhere in the world, all unimmunized children everywhere remain at risk,” Scott said.

Today, seven countries across the region rolled out vaccination campaigns aiming to reach 22 million children. These campaigns are planned to be repeated over the next 6 months to protect children in the region from the polio outbreak.


In 1988, Rotary helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more than $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication effort.

Overall, the annual number of new polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the 1980s, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. Only 223 new cases were recorded for all of 2012. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing 13 million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths. Polio today remains endemic in only three countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, although “imported” cases in previously polio-free areas – such as the Horn of Africa -- will continue to occur until the virus is finally stopped in the endemic countries.


Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary's 1.2 million members hail from more than 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. For more information, visit and

Rotary Responds to Polio Emergency in Syria Tom Lewis 2013-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Women's Groups Associated With Rotary Clubs

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 14, 2013
Some very significant programs of Rotary service are not conducted by Rotarians. This is true because of the many projects sponsored by organizations of Rotarians' wives and other women relatives associated with Rotary clubs around the world.


Women's groups-often called Women of Rotary, Rotary Ann Clubs, Las Damas de Rotary, Rotary Wives or, the more formalized organization, The Inner Wheel-annually conduct hundreds of notable projects of humanitarian service in their communities. The women's groups establish schools, baby clinics, food and clothing distribution centers, hospital facilities, orphanages, homes for the elderly and other service activities, and they frequently provide volunteer service on a day-to- day basis to operate child-care centers for working mothers and provide necessary resources for Youth Exchange students. Usually the women's groups complement and supplement the programs of service performed by the local Rotary clubs. Many of the women's groups actively conduct international service projects as well as local projects.

The RI Board of Directors in 1984 recognized the excellent service and fellowship of the clubs and organization of women relatives of Rotarians and encouraged all Rotary clubs to sponsor such informal organizations.

Rotary Education - Women's Groups Associated With Rotary Clubs Tom Lewis 2013-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

NAM Elves

Posted by Richard Bills on Dec 13, 2013
NAM Elves Richard Bills 2013-12-14 00:00:00Z 0

Nelson Mandela Speech to the District Assembly (9210) and Conference of Rotary International May 23, 2003

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 05, 2013

Your Excellency President Muluzi

Chairman of Rotary Mr Nathanie


Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honour to share with you in this occasion of the district assembly and conference of Rotary International.

We are delighted at the opportunity of once again visiting your beautiful country. It has always held a special place in our hearts and we fondly remember all of our previous visits here. The warmth and hospitality of the Malawi government and people had always been overwhelming in its depth and sincerity.

Our brother, President Bakili Muluzi, holds a special place in our esteem and affections. He has led his country with wisdom and commitment and left his mark on Southern African and African affairs.

We have always admired the manner in which he acts as a dedicated member of the SADC team while retaining his independence of spirit and thought. It is for us a special honour to be his guests once more.

It is testimony to his generosity of spirit that he saw fit to extend such an invitation to a retired old pensioner who no longer holds office or wields power. I am sure the President in his caring wisdom realised that an old man sometimes needs such a break at a beautiful resort like this one, and we thank you most sincerely Mister President.

That generosity does, however, not surprise us in any way, because we know of the compassionate and caring manner in which the President interacted with his predecessor. President Muluzi embodies that African spirit of ubuntu of which we speak so often.

It is that same spirit, we believe, that has drawn us together here today in this conference of Rotary International. We wish to commend Rotary International for the choice of its conference theme: "Mankind is our business". There can be no more appropriate theme for our times than one of putting the concerns of the entire humanity at the centre of our activities and pursuits.

We are at a crucial conjuncture in mobilising the collective energies of humankind towards working together for a more humane, compassionate and just world. We are at a moment in history where the world can either be drawn into ever intensifying rounds of global conflict and increasing inequality, or from which it can emerge with a renewed commitment to peace and global co-operation.

To make humankind our business is one way of ensuring that we follow the latter route.

Human beings distinguish themselves from other species in that they are to a large extent the architects of their future. We have the capacity to rationally decide upon courses of action that can ensure a better future for all of humankind.

The phase we are currently going through and that appears to be so crisis-ridden, has within it the potential to make of the world that better place for all of the people of our planet.

We made such unprecedented advances in science and technology that we have the capacity to address most of the serious challenges facing us. Our productive capacity is such that we can feed, clothe and shelter all of the people of our globe. Communications technology has brought the world closer together than it has ever been in human history, with events in one part of the world being within reach of the most distant parts almost at the moment of occurrence.

International and multi-lateral bodies have the ability, if there is the political will, to solve and prevent conflicts and to introduce regimes of mutual co-operation throughout the world. National governments are increasingly becoming aware of the obligation to put the interests, needs and human rights of their citizens supreme in all their actions and decisions.

Players in commerce and industry, as those gathered here today, have a particularly important role to play. The ties that bind us through trade and commerce in today's globalised world, must also be used to bring us closer together in a caring and humane manner. The sense that business has for opportunities and risks must also be used for the pursuit of peace and prosperity for all.

Humankind is your business; its long-term survival in peace and prosperity is essential for your goods and products. Humankind is your resource; its well-being is essential for the production of your goods. In short, humankind is your business; look after and care for it well.

In sub-Saharan Africa particularly an essential part of that caring would be to involve yourself in the comprehensive partnership in the battle against HIV/AIDS. It presents the greatest threat to progress we have faced in centuries. Yet, once more it is a battle we can win if we work in comprehensive partnerships.

May your conference help map out a route that places humankind firmly on the high road to the kind of world we dream of.

I thank you.

Nelson Mandela Speech to the District Assembly (9210) and Conference of Rotary International May 23, 2003 Tom Lewis 2013-12-06 00:00:00Z 0

December is Family Month

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 03, 2013
Assistant Governor, Ken Zeman
Hanford Sunset Rotary

When you think about Family, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Mother, Father, Sons, Daughters, Grand Children, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, family Pets, what do you think about?  The Family core has changed in America over the last few decades with Single Parent Families being more frequent, as well as Grandparents raising their Grandchildren for one reason or another. Family is important to all of us, as Rotarians, we give, we help, and we care.  This is what makes Rotary special, and makes you a Rotarian.

If you had a chance to watch the Movie “Dolphin Tail”, there is a part in the movie that leads to the phrase, “Family is forever!”  During the Holiday Season we all think about Family, but what about our extended Family, or closest most dearest friends, or neighbors, and our Rotary Family.

Your Rotary Club is part of your family.  This is one of the reasons for joining Rotary, to have friends and make new ones.  As we do our Rotary Work in our Communities and throughout the world we must remember the word Family.  We need to have more Family oriented events, where our new generation of Rotarians can bring their spouses and children too.  What about a spring time club picnic in a local park, a baseball game, or bowling outing?  When was the last time your Rotary Club met in a Bowling Alley?

My Heart fills up with Joy when I think back on my family, my Wife, my Daughter, and my deceased Father.  Family is always inside all of us.  Sometimes Family is not always perfect but for the most part Families can work through some pretty tough times.

During the month of December, Remember and Celebrate Family, your own and your Rotary Family.


December is Family Month Tom Lewis 2013-12-04 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - World Community Service

Posted by Tom Lewis on Dec 03, 2013
World Community Service is the Rotary program by which a club or district in one country provides humanitarian assistance to a club in another country. Typically the aid goes to a developing community where the Rotary project will help raise the standard of living and the quality of life. The ultimate object of World Community Service is to build goodwill and understanding among peoples of the world.


One important way to find a club in some other part of the world which needs help on a worthy project is to use the WCS Projects Exchange, a list of dozens of worthy activities in developing areas. The exchange list is maintained in the RI Secretariat in Evanston and is readily available upon request. It outlines projects, provides estimated costs and gives names of the appropriate contacts.

Clubs which need assistance, or are seeking another club to help with a humanitarian project, such as building a clinic, school, hospital, community water well, library or other beneficial activity, may register their needs. Clubs seeking a desirable World Community Service project may easily review the list of needs registered in the Projects Exchange. Thus, the exchange provides a practical way to link needs with resources.

Every Rotary club is urged to undertake a new World Community Service project each year. The WCS Projects Exchange list is an excellent tool to find a real need, a project description and cooperating club in a developing area. The job then is to "go to work" to complete the project, and at the same time build bridges of friendship and world understanding.

Rotary Education - World Community Service Tom Lewis 2013-12-04 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting locations

Posted by John A. Maxwell on Dec 03, 2013
 Date Location

Dec 6 Holiday Party at Pearl Fincher Museum
Dec 13 Men of Leisure at Clementine’s Restaurant, 6448 FM 1960 West
Dec 20 Dr. Coker is arranging a great program
Dec 27 Merry Christmas - no meeting
Meeting locations John A. Maxwell 2013-12-04 00:00:00Z 0

December meeting leaders

Posted by John A. Maxwell on Dec 03, 2013
Date  Invocation Pledge Rotary Minute 60-second Commercial
 6 Dec Schlattman, Rusty Honig, Ernie

 13 Dec Roush, Wayne Fraske, Patricia

 20 Dec Moyer, William Davis, Mimi

 27 Dec Mitchell, John Coker, Elbert

December meeting leaders John A. Maxwell 2013-12-04 00:00:00Z 0

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 27, 2013

Thanksgiving at Plymouth

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

Thanksgiving Becomes an Official Holiday

Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving Traditions

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

Thanksgiving Controversies

For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."

Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

Thanksgiving's Ancient Origins

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

Happy Thanksgiving! Tom Lewis 2013-11-28 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Italy - Annie

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Nov 26, 2013

Another month goes by and my report is late.  I do not know where the time all goes.  I apologize!

I can tell you that my days are shorter after school.  My host mom dropped a bomb on me.  She told me she wasn’t going to drive me home from school anymore.  I have to take a public bus home every day.  I actually have to take two busses with a 15-30 min wait in between stops and walk the rest of the way home. The first bus is but 8 or 9, whichever comes first and the second bus is a short bus which is bus 10. Bus 10 only comes once an hour so I can’t just go home whenever, the time I take bus 8/9 depends on the time bus 10 comes. Bus 10 is short because the regular sized busses are too long to make the tight turns to go up the hill where my host mom lives and it only comes once an hour because not many people have to take it. It takes one hour to get home now instead of 15 min.  The busses have been an experience. One time I got lucky and my host sister saw me at the bus stop when she was driving home from university and picked me up.

I have noticed the speed bumps in Italy are not like the speed bumps in Texas.  The speed bumps in Italy look like the road has a small hill under it.  Everyone just speeds over them.  I had to take a video as I watched the cars drive by without slowing down.  It looks like a lot of fun to drive over. One time my host mom was driving me and my host sister to school and we were driving down a back road and here in Italy, some streets are made up of a bunch of rocks all put together in a design and she was driving so fast and she hit her side mirror on the wall of Citta Alta and it broke off haha. I laughed so hard…Italians drive so crazy. :p They drive so fast always!

I have been in Italy for 2-1/2 months now.  When I hear Italian it is hard for me to think about English.  I know Italian much better without thinking hard about it and know how to speak some now.  The language barrier is getting easier.  I am no longer taking Italian lessons after school anymore but I am still taking th 2 hour lessons every Tuesday at school.

The more time I spend with Kitty from Taiwan, the more I learn about her language.  We sometimes text each other in her language.  I will be trading host families with her in two months or less.  I am excited.  Her family lives in the Center.  I love hanging out there.  It is where all the shops are and where my friends and I like to hang out and drink Cappuccinos. Me, Kitty from Taiwan and Luci from France always go out and get a Cappuccino and then walk to Citta Alta and explore. All the employs at the café we go to know us and we don’t even have to order..we just sit at a table outside and when they see us they bring us 3 Cappuccinos with a heart drawn in it with cream J  We tried roasted chestnuts the other day and they were so delicious.  Everyone needs to try them. I crave these things ALLLL the time. Every time I smell them, I turn into a whole new person and stop what I am doing and search until I find them!

For Halloween we really didn’t do anything.  Here they celebrate “Holiday for the Saints” or “All Saints Day”.  We had three days off from school to celebrate.  I really am enjoying my sculpting class.  I can’t draw an ear to save my life but but I can sculpt one really well. J

I was in OVS (my favorite store here that we don’t have in Texas) the other day I saw a shirt that said “Austin, TX” on it and I thought that was funny.  I’ve been to Austin a few times J  The grocery carts do not have that bar on the bottom like in Texas.  I kept trying to rest my foot on it and there is no bar… haha. The first time I tried it I laughed and was thinking, “Oh my gosh this is so strange..people can’t run with the buggy and then jump on the bar and ride..they are missing out on so much!” then the second time I tried to rest my foot on the bar I just laughed at myself and though I wouldn’t do it again but I did it another 2 times haha. It’s a habit that will be hard to get rid of.

I baked my host dad some Nutella Cookies the other day.  I had to find a recipe without vanilla because I could not find vanilla here.  I haven’t seen it yet.  When I was at a gelato place they asked me what flavor I wanted.  I said “vanilla” and they started cracking up laughing so I ended up with a flavor called Stracciatella and now I am hooked on it.  Yum! My host dad freaked out when I told him I wash my hair every day and told me to wash it every 3 days and I couldn’t imagine doing that. I know that’s what you’re supposed to do and it is healthy to do that but I am so used to washing it every day! So one day we were on our way to get gelato to bring to my councilors house for dinner and he made me ask the ladies serving gelato how many times they wash their hair in a week and it was so funny and embarrassing at the same time hah. They said 3 and I let my host dad have a moment of, “BOOM IN YOUR FACE! I TOLD YOU!” and then we went for dinner.

My host dad’s mom can cook!  She is the best cook here.  The other night she made us lasagna, bread and oil, thin pieces of chicken, fries, tomatoes and some chocolate desserts.  She makes a lot of food but everyone just eats a little of each.  I love eating at their host dad’s father reminds me of my grandfather so much! He is so funny and he doesn’t try to be. One time he picked a had full of grapes out of the bowl and threw them on his plate and they went everywhere and his wife looked at him like, “How many times do I have to tell you not to throw your food..” and he started to flinch as if she was going to smack him as a joke.  Speaking of eating, you have to eat french fries and everything else that Texans call “finger foods” with a fork and a knife.  Alberto, my host dad, says, “Use your fork; we do not live in the jungle!”  Even bread and oil, use a fork, only use your hands to break the bread.  Use your fork to dip the bread in the oil and eat. 

I was told we are going to Switzerland for Christmas.  I will be learning how to snowboard. But I will be taking lessons in German so wish me luck!  I am from Houston, Texas and haven’t seen much snow!  This should be fun.  I am glad I bought a new coat when I was in Milan the other day.  I am really going to need it there.  The money here is also strange but genius..It gets shorter as the value gets smaller.  I will definitely bring some Euros home to show everyone. I have also collected money from Taiwan and Australia from other exchange students J The money from Australia won’t rip! I have tried so hard haha.

My parents back home in Texas were sweet enough to send me two Texas flags.  The cost of shipping is outrageous.  So I have advice for future exchange students,

 “Do not put off buying your state’s flag before going to your future country.  You will want a flag before you go so you will have them for the Rotary Meetings.  Please take your state flag or an American flag with you so mom and dad can send YOU money to spend instead of spending it on shipping for your flag.  J And I recommend bringing your state flag and country flag just in case there are a lot of American exchange students because odds are there will be. Almost all exchange students in my district are from America but only one other is from Texas but she is in another district! ”

            I really did enjoy my box from home.  My mom packed two Texas flags, a Buccee’s t-shirt, a Duck Dynasty cup, small package of Cheetos, a small package of Twizzlers along with my favorite writing/drawing pens.  I am loved!

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Italy - Annie Anais G. Watsky 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

November 22 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Nov 26, 2013

On a blustery cold day, the intrepid Willowbrook Rotary once again ventured out to the Pearl Fincher Museum for our weekly meeting and a presentation by the Museum director - Tim. Being at the museum reminded President John of his favorite museum from his childhood, the Kit Carson Museum. Prominently displayed in the lobby was a large skull which was said to be the actual skull of Kit Carson. Next to it was a much smaller skull which was Kit's skull when he was a child. As if that weren't enough, he told about the opening of a new Children's Museum. Their greatest challenge had been in finding enough old refrigerators on which to display the artwork.......Groan........


Due to a scheduling conflict, we had our speaker first and all of the other stuff after. Tim told us about all of the wonderful things going on at the museum and their hopes for expansion to a second location. At the conclusion of his presentation, President John presented a donation of $500 from the Club.


The schedule for the next few weeks is as follows:

Nov 29 - informal meeting at Victors on FM1960.

Dec 6 - No noon meeting - Christmas Party at Anais's.

Dec 13 - Men of Leisure at a location TBD

Dec 20 - Dr. Coker is arranging a great program

Dec 27 - Merry Christmas - no meeting


There will be several volunteers working at NAM on Dec 14. Let David Smith know ASAP if you want to help.

Forms for solicitation of Auction Items were passed out. Tickets for Monte Carlo and the Raffle will be distributed at the meeting on the 13th.


Good News:

1. Massy was just back from Hawaii but wanted to thank everyone who had attended her party and for all of the nice gifts and notes.

2. Linda Honig had attended a reunion of her graduate school at Arizona State. They had expected 30, but 80 showed up. Some of her rambunctious lab partners from years past had mellowed somewhat.

3. Wayne Roush noted that Linda's talk of reunions reminded him that Louella had volunteered to chair the planning for her 50th High School Reunion. He was not going to be ale to attend the Christmas Party as they would be celebrating his grandson's 18th birthday. Tom Jackson recommended that he not advertise that on Facebook. Wayne then gave a lesson on the history of Thanksgiving and the fact that FDR had moved it from the last Thursday in November to the 4th Thursday after being pressured by dome Ohio retailer.

4. Randy Thompson had sent out a link to an article on polio eradication that was in Wired Magazine. He also had $22 in honor of the 22 people who had lost their lives working to administer polio vacine this past year.

5. Lyncee Shuman thanked Mimi for something that I could not hear and also shared about finding a Mass card in her mther's old Bible related to the assassination of Kennedy.

6. John Maxwell shared how his Nanny tried to drag him out to see Kennedy in Houston the day before the assassination, but he resisted, but that was his first recollection of being impacted by someone's death.

7. Rich Bills said that he always remembered the 22nd of November since it was his Dad's birthday. He would have been 86, but that birthday 50 years ago had not been too joyful. Also, he had a great time interviewing Rotary Youth Exchange candidates to include Lyncee's daughter Sierra.


Have a great Thanksgiving all. Join us at Paneras at 8am tomorrow morning and weather permitting at 7am for a brisk walk in the CyChamp Park.


November 22 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

A Lesson in the Power of Clean Water

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 26, 2013

Rotary News

Early each morning, the students of Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta in El Tunino, Guatemala, trek down the mountainside on their way to school. They carry the essentials for the day: books, backpacks, and class projects. But one other item they used to haul from home is thankfully absent: a bucket of clean water.

The community of El Tunino is part of Sumpango, a rural region where access to clean running water is limited. Schools in the area offered the basics in education, but students learned quickly that drinking water and working toilets were not part of the curriculum. Today, that lesson is very different.

Using a global grant, the Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur, along with clubs in the United States, have provided washing stations and latrines, as well as kitchen equipment and furniture for this school and eight others in Sumpango. 

Jorge Luis Chiquito, principal of Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta, says the availability of clean water and sanitation have had a significant impact on his students. With fewer illnesses caused by polluted water, the students are absent from school less and able to concentrate on their studies more.

“Having a hand-washing station and new latrines has made a huge difference,” he says. “We now have a better way of life for our students and their families, thanks to the help we received from Rotary.”

Clubs in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, all part of District 4250, sponsored 43 global grants, five of which were led by the Guatemala Sur club. Providing clean water was one of the club’s top priorities.

“Everything begins with water,” says Jorge Aufranc, past governor of District 4250 and a member of the Guatemala Sur club. “If there is no water, we cannot have peace. Where there is a lack of water, there is conflict.”

In the rural communities of Guatemala, it’s not uncommon for women and children to walk for 45 minutes, four or five times a day, to get water for the home. The water, which comes from polluted sources, is used for everything, including drinking, cleaning, and cooking.

The Rotary Club of La Antigua, Sacatepéquez, another local club, also took advantage of global grant funding to provide a chlorination system and latrines for the community of Chipastor in San Martin de Jilotepeque. The club partnered with the Rotary Club of Centerville-Farmington in Utah, USA, and Behrhorst Partners for Development, a U.S.-based nongovernmental agency that works with Guatemalan communities to improve health and well-being.

Community involvement was key to the success of both projects. Several of Guatemala Sur’s global grant projects were made possible by the volunteer labor of local workers and input from community leaders during the planning process.

“To have a good project, a sustainable project, you have to involve the community,” Aufranc says. “We have to think of it as their project, not ours. It is a project of the community, not a Rotary project.”



A Lesson in the Power of Clean Water Tom Lewis 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

Jack Sim Wants You to Talk About Toilets

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 26, 2013

Adapted from a story in the November 2013 issue of The Rotarian

By age 40, Jack Sim was a successful entrepreneur running 16 businesses. He had enough money to retire, so he started searching for a neglected cause to which he could devote his time and effort.

Realizing that people don’t want to talk about toilets, he set about making the humble commode into a media darling, founding the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and holding a special day every year to draw attention to sanitation. This year, the United Nations voted to make World Toilet Day, 19 November, an official UN observance.

Sim credits Rotary with helping him break the taboo around the subject. In October, his organization inducted Ron Denham, chair emeritus of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, into its hall of fame. The honor recognizes the work Rotary and the action group have done to change behavior and improve sanitation.

“It is good to see Rotary being recognized for the impact we are having on people in the developing world,” Denham said. “But this award is a wake-up call as much as a recognition. No progress has been made toward the [UN’s] Millennium Development Goal of increasing access to safe sanitation. We as Rotary members must shift our focus from water to water and sanitation.”

We sat down with Sim, also known as Mr. Toilet, at the action group’s World Water Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in June.

The Rotarian: You use humor to break through the toilet taboo. How did you come up with that approach?

Jack Sim: Once you make people laugh, they will listen to you. I saw another person who did it very well: Mr. Condom from Thailand. He promoted the condom by making people laugh, so I did the same with toilets.

Everybody has their personal toilet horror stories, whether about their travels or about their children. You just have to let the conversation flow naturally, and everybody will talk about toilets. In fact, once they feel it’s a legitimate topic, they can’t stop.

What can Rotary members do to get people talking about sanitation?

Sim: More than 100 years ago, one of the first Rotary projects was to build a public toilet. Every Rotary member should know this story. When members do water and sanitation projects, at least 85 percent of them focus on water. But you cannot have clean water if people are still defecating into the river. You cannot improve quality of life for the poor if people are still getting sick because of lack of proper sanitation. Women cannot be safe if they are subjected to rape or molestation because they have to go to the toilet in the bush. You cannot achieve education for girls if they have no place to change their sanitary napkin, so they drop out of school for a week every month to avoid embarrassment, and eventually cannot catch up and drop out altogether.

You and others talk about approaching sanitation from the angle of behavior change and getting people to want to use toilets. What should Rotary be doing differently to promote sanitation?

Sim: The way to do it is to make toilets sexy, to make toilets a status symbol just like a cell phone. Even schoolchildren in the slums have cell phones, yet they have no toilets. The best way to know that a person wants a toilet is when he buys it.

A market-based solution is the most sustainable model. Instead of putting toilets in the ground and hoping people use them, if you invest this money in training people to set up a factory to produce toilets and train local ladies to sell toilets on commission, then you create jobs, you create entrepreneurship, and you deliver proper sanitation. Even after your investment is used up, the business continues to grow.

Jack Sim Wants You to Talk About Toilets Tom Lewis 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

Membership is her Message

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 26, 2013

Adapted from a story in the October 2013 issue of The Rotarian

It’s not hard to find Kristi Govertsen in the restaurant. She’s wearing a royal blue T-shirt reading RIOTT. It stands for Rotarians in Our Twenties and Thirties, but of course there’s more to it than that. “You should always,” Govertsen explains, “name yourself something that’s both a noun and a verb.”

Just as she puts a new twist on the rules of the English language, Govertsen bursts beyond the usual lines of Rotary – and she did it about 30 times last year, traveling to districts around the western United States and suggesting, among other things, that there’s a way for Rotary to bring in people who don’t look like the guy already sitting across the club lunch table.

In casual conversations with Rotarians, she often jokes about being the Mr. Rogers of Rotary: Instead of asking people if they’d be her neighbor, she asks if they’d like to have lunch next Thursday – not to join Rotary, just to have lunch, and maybe not even talk about joining. After all, she says, before marriage comes dating.

“People are starved for connection,” she says. “They want to get permission to be the nice, wonderful human beings they are inside.” If everyone lets that out, Govertsen says, people – and Rotary clubs – have a chance for all kinds of unexpected connections.

In Portland almost 10 years ago, a family friend invited her to a Rotary lunch, and she got caught up in the organization – especially during an outside planting effort on a wet Saturday. “We don’t vote the same, we don’t worship the same, we don’t believe the same things,” she recalls about the group. “But everybody’s here in the rain, shoveling and smiling. I fell in love.” She joined the Rotary Club of East Portland soon after.

Her secret identity – part Rotarian Wonder Woman, part youthful sidekick – came about by accident. Several years ago, the small group of younger members in her club playfully suggested banding together at the next meeting. A senior member dared them to do it, and pledged to donate $100 to The Rotary Foundation if they did. At the next meeting, they appeared in a group and seized control of the invocation – they read Dr. Seuss, a generational guru comparable to Mr. Rogers – and soon the RIOTT T-shirts were created. Word spread, and there was chatter about them at the 2008 RI Convention in Los Angeles.

These days, she notes with the rueful grin of a borderline 40-year-old, she barely qualifies for RIOTT. (She jokingly envisions membership in another group, RIF RAF, Rotarians in Their Forties and Fifties.) But she still sees generation X and generation Y as fertile soil for service organizations.

“Generation Y is about a globally connected world. There’s never been a time when members of this generation were not connected to people on the other side of the planet.” Still, she notes, they’re not naturally drawn to Rotary; only 11 percent of members worldwide are under 40. To increase the number, she thinks, clubs have to be willing to let younger members chart their own path – like the members of RIOTT.

“If you want young people in your club,” Govertsen says, “you have to do it as a group, have a place for younger people to get together. You might want younger members, but if you never let them be in a leadership position, that’s not good.”

Her presentation is a multimedia blast of figures, photos, and anecdotes, with pie charts showing what a small proportion of Rotarians typically invite guests or work to enlist new members. It features quotes she finds moving and stories that have stayed with her. “A statistic I got from a zone coordinator always produces gasps from the audience,” she says. “It’s that only 15 percent of Rotary members ever propose anyone else for membership.”

“She’s such a dynamic speaker. People appreciate the fact that she can take a topic like membership and make it fun and exciting. It is a revolutionary way to talk about membership that we’ve never had before.” And it has an impact. Membership in District 5030 had been sliding steadily over five years, he says. After Govertsen’s appearance at training workshops, the decline stopped, and numbers even rose slightly – including among members under 40.

Kristi Govertsen is all about empowering people, bringing out what’s inside them – and bringing them into Rotary. She’s passionate about how it can be done – by being nice, by listening to people, by reaching out to them. She brings lessons from Mr. Rogers, and from her own experiences.

She’s an explosion of energy. Enough to be both a noun and a verb.


Membership is her Message Tom Lewis 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

Ugandian VTT Meets Dr Cooley, Heart Transplant Pioneer

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 26, 2013

Jon R. McKinnie

Ugandan Vocational Training Team posing with Dr. Denton Cooley, heart surgery pioneer and living legend. First heart transplant in the US and first implant of a fully artificial heart.  Dr. Cooley is 93 years old and still comes to work every day at The Texas Medical Center.  Team leader Rotarian Dr. Isaac Okullo, Dean of the Schools of Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy at Makerere University, the largest institute of higher learning in Uganda, is standing in the rear to the right of Dr. Cooley.  Thanks to Posey Parker of the Rotary Club of West U for facilitating this meeting.
Ugandian VTT Meets Dr Cooley, Heart Transplant Pioneer Tom Lewis 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

November is Rotary Foundation Month and an exciting month it has been!

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 26, 2013

First, I'm happy to report that 58 of our 61 District 5890 Clubs have already made a donation to The Rotary Foundation (the Annual Fund or Polio Plus) this Rotary Year. See the attached MCR Report to see how your club is doing so far. Remember that fifty percent of the donations we make this year will come back to our District in the 2016-17 RotaryYear. Our District's Paul Harris Society (those pledging to donate $85+ per month to the Annual Fund and/or PolioPlus) continues to grow. Please encourage your members to join. An anonymous Rotarian has agreed to match the first $1,000 donated by all new Paul Harris Society Members this year. Click on this story heading to learn more about the District Foundation activities...

PolioPlus - despite some setbacks in re-infected countries, continues to make progress and new plans are underway to increase the quality of routine childhood immunizations in countries still threatened by Polio. You will be hearing more PolioPlus news in the coming weeks.

In addition, we just received $98,832 from The Rotary Foundation to reimburse each club which was awarded a 2013-14 District Grant. Remember to complete your final report when your District Grant Project is complete for reimbursement.

Our Districthas over $1 Million in Global Grants under way or in the works - including a Vocational Training Team of 6 medical professionals from Uganda which were here for the last two weeks training at Texas Children's Hospital thanks to Baylor College of Medicine. The other half of the VTT will be arriving here to train in March. Special thanks to Bill Davis, Ed Pettitt, and Jack Wallace for all of their work to make this VTT such a success.

And last but certainly not least, five outstanding Global Grant Scholar Applicants were selected this past week. They are Michelle Heard (sponsored by the Houston Skyline R/C), Alexandra Sutherland (sponsored by the Space Center R/C), Jesus Sotelo (sponsored by the University Area R/C), Sarita Panchang (Sponsored by the Harrisburg R/C), and Melody Tan (Sponsored by the West U R/C). Congratulations to each Scholar Applicant and their sponsoring club!

Thanks for your continuing support of Our Rotary Foundation!

Terry R. Ziegler
District 5890 Rotary Foundation Committee Chair

November is Rotary Foundation Month and an exciting month it has been! Tom Lewis 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - "Every Rotarian An Example To Youth"

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 26, 2013

In much of the official literature of Rotary International relating to service to young people, a special slogan will be found- "Every Rotarian an Example to Youth." These words were adopted in 1949 by the Rotary International Board of Directors as an expression of commitment to children and youth in each community in which Rotary clubs exist. Serving young people has long been an important part of the Rotary program.

Youth service projects take many forms around the world. Rotarians sponsor Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, athletic teams, handicapped children's centers, school safety patrols, summer camps, recreation areas, safe driving clinics, county fairs, child care centers and children's hospitals. Many clubs provide vocational counseling, establish youth employment programs and promote use of The 4-Way Test. Increasingly, drug and alcohol abuse prevention projects are being supported by Rotarians.

In every instance, Rotarians have an opportunity to be role models for the young men and women of their community. One learns to serve by observing others. As our youth grow to become adult leaders, it is hoped each will achieve that same desire and spirit to serve future generations of children and youth.

The slogan accepted over 40 years ago is just as vital today. It is a very thoughtful challenge-"Every Rotarian an Example to Youth."

Rotary Education - "Every Rotarian An Example To Youth" Tom Lewis 2013-11-27 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Poland - Megan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Nov 18, 2013


After the very long journey from Houston, Texas, USA, I was very happy to see my host family on the other end, in Warsaw, Poland. When I first caught sight of them, I saw my host mother holding the Polish flag, my host sister holding the USA flag, and my host father holding a very nicely decorated sign that said "Welcome Home Megan." That will be a sight that I will always remember. I have a rare host family situation because I became friends with my host sister, Ola while she was on an exchange in Houston, Texas 2012-2013. She was the main reason why I included Poland in my list of countries I was interested in, because she was such a great ambassador of Poland... even when I first met her I could tell what a great person she is. So, instead of meeting each other for the first time in the Warsaw airport, we hugged each other and she said, "Welcome to Poland, kruszynka!" I know that I should've been tired and jet-lagged but the excitement of being in a different country kept me awake during the car ride from Warsaw to Bydgoszcz. The day after I arrived, Ola showed me around Bydgoszcz and I said that I felt like I was in Disney World. We don't have public transportation in my town in Texas, so riding the bus and tram for the first time was very cool to me. I even kept my first bus ticket to keep as a souvenir. I was amazed by the beauty of the architecture in Bydgoszcz since I had never seen buildings that looked quite the same. A few days after my arrival in Poland, I went to Berlin with Ola, her friend Anna, and her uncle who works in Berlin. I had a great time doing touristic things around the city and seeing the famous and historic aspects of the city. A few days later, I went to the 2-week long language camp for all the exchange students in Poland, which was in Bydgoszcz. It was so much fun getting to know all of the other exchange students. There is something that separates exchange students from normal people... exchange students are always so open to new people, ideas and cultures. We had fun sharing a little of our cultures with each other, whether it was through language or dance moves. I was hoping that after this language camp I would be well off speaking Polish... haha! Polish is a very difficult language and although I learned the basics at the language camp I knew I still had so much to learn.


School started on the 1st of September. I started out in a class that focuses on math and physics. A girl named Dagna, who I knew because she helped out with the language camp, was in this class so I was glad that I knew at least one person. She was very nice and introduced me to the class which meant a lot to me! The next day, I was moved into a different class which the principal thought would be better for exchange students. Everyone in my new class was also very friendly. Polish school and American school are different in many ways... neither of them are better, just different. I have been going to school for almost 3 months now and I am enjoying it and getting to know my classmates. My host family and I took a trip to the mountains and castles of southern Poland and Prague, Czech Republic. Hiking through the Polish Mountains was very fun, I love nature and enjoy hiking. The view from the top was beautiful! I also really enjoyed seeing Prague. I have heard numerous times that it is one of the prettiest cities in Europe and in the world and I don't have any doubts that that is true. I think I took a total of 1000 photos just in these few days! Also in September, we had a district conference in Lublin. I was dreading the 7 hour train ride but it ended up being so fun, how could it be boring when you're traveling with 6 other exchange students? Lublin is a beautiful city and I loved touring it. In Lublin we were presented with numerous Rotary-organized trips which I am really excited about! My birthday was September 16th. All of my classmates sang Happy Birthday to me in Polish and my friend Dagna made me cupcakes that said "Happy 18th Birthday Megan" and also had the flags of the USA and Poland. I was so touched! My host family gave me a beautiful amber bracelet which I'll always treasure!


October started with a trip to Gdansk and Sopot with my host family. Since we live in a city, it was nice to go to the seaside for a couple of days. The Baltic Sea is beautiful, and although it was too cold to go in the water I enjoyed watching the waves and taking nice pictures. One of my classmates invited me and another exchange student for a day trip to Warsaw since his mother works there once a week. Visiting Warsaw was very interesting to me, especially its history. My favorite part was the beautiful Old Town and before we left Warsaw I had 2 bags full of Polish souvenirs. I had never experienced a true fall until I came to Poland, since the Texas weather is too hot for the leaves to change color before they fall. I mentioned to my friends that I've always wanted to jump into a pile of orange leaves but never have been able to. Then we decided to make a pile of leaves and spent the next 30 minutes taking turns jumping into the pile, and seeing who had the most interesting way to jump into it. Great memories! I am a member of the Bydgoszcz Rotaract Club and in October we had a Halloween party for the children in an orphanage in Bydgoszcz. We made all kinds of decorations for the party and planned games for the kids to play. Since Halloween isn't very popular in Poland, the kids had fun getting their faces painted and playing Halloween games since it was pretty new to them. I dressed up like a cat and the kids all never stopped pulling my fake tail- haha. Also during October, my host brother Adam was accepted into Rotary Youth Exchange 2014-2015, I'm so excited for him!

These are some of the things I've learned while in Poland:

1. If you think you're a fast eater, there will always be a Polish person who eats faster than you. Before I came to Poland, I thought I was a fast eater. Within my first week in Poland, I realized I was wrong when my whole host family would finish dinner while I was only half way done. I made one comment about how I thought I was a fast eater until I came to Poland and my host father jokingly said, "Eating is a competition in our family!" Now when we eat together the person who finishes first is the "winner."

2. A sandwich a day keeps the doctor away. Polish sandwiches are much different than American sandwiches and when I first arrived in Poland I was surprised at how often people eat them. Especially at language camp, when there would be a huge buffet at night, just with all the components of what you needed to make a good sandwich. I love Polish sandwiches!

3. Tea, tea and more tea. I think before I came to Poland, I had tea maybe once or twice in my whole life. In Poland, I sometimes drink 5 glasses of tea in one day!

4. "House shoes!" In Texas, I always walked around my house barefoot. Now, I always wear my house shoes and my host mom even bought me a pair for my own. At first, it seemed a little silly to me, but now it is normal for my house shoes to be the first things I put on in the morning.

5. The true meaning of "It's the little things that mean the most." I was so touched when my friend Dagna did such a nice thing for me on my Birthday, and also when my host parents hugged me and said "Sto Lat, Meggie!" and kissed me 3 times on the cheek. When you're in your comfort zone, you don't think much of things like this. But when you are pulled from everything that is normal to you and everything you are used to, you really appreciate the little things that people say and do... even the smallest of things, like a smile.

Megan Scofield

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Poland - Megan Anais G. Watsky 2013-11-19 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Books for the World - New Sorting Schedule

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 16, 2013

Jon R. McKinnie

An International Service Project, started in 2000 and supported by Houston area Rotary Clubs, Rotaract Clubs, and Interact Clubs, is proud to announce the shipment of our 200th40’ shipping container of books (for a total of over 6-3/4 million pounds), as well as several containers of bicycles & bicycle partsto Rotarian led literacy projects in Africa and countries around the world.Would you & your club like to help with the shipment of the next container?


Rotary Books For The World–Please bring a group of your club members, Interactors, Rotaractors, friends and family members to help sort and palletize books on the following dates:

Satruday, November 16, 201310:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Saturday, December 14, 201310:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Saturday, February 22, 2014 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Saturday, March 15, 2014 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

This is a non- air-conditioned/non-heated warehouse. Please dress appropriately.

Yes, you are welcome to bring used books to donate to this project.


116 Main St. Pasadena, TX

Park on Eagle St. or under Hwy 225

Be careful crossing the street and do not leave valuables in your car


Questions?Terry Ziegler -bigzlumber@aol.comor 713-825-1176.


We always need more funding to purchase containers and to pay for shipping. Please consider asking your club to donate to this great project at the project

Rotary Books for the World - New Sorting Schedule Tom Lewis 2013-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Recipient Reflects on his Journey to Rotary

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 16, 2013


This story originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of The Rotarian.



My father moved us from Vietnam when I was a child to provide us with more than what we’d had under the communist regime. We ended up in a ghetto in Oakland, California, USA. I went to Fremont High School, one of the worst schools in a neighborhood plagued by violence, poverty, and high dropout rates.

Our house was on a busy street, and every night we heard gunshots.

The spring of my junior year, a group of Rotarians visited my class. They told us about the Rotary Club of Oakland’s Enterprise Institute, a three-day camp that allows students to develop and test their business skills. Spending time in the Santa Cruz Mountains, creating a business plan with my peers, didn’t appeal to me so much as escaping the projects for a few days. In my world, the only businesses I saw were funeral homes, liquor stores, and drug dealers.

The Enterprise Institute exposed me to a new reality. I met teenagers who talked about Plato and Shakespeare, not drive-by shootings and AK-47s. It was at camp that I heard the word “entrepreneur”for the first time. Surrounded by high school students from schools that were far superior to my own, I learned just how little I knew. As we considered case studies and came up with our own business plans, I also saw a future that didn’t involve assault rifles and prison cells. These kids talked about going to college and starting their own companies, and I realized I wanted the same things. Coming from the streets, I knew I was at a disadvantage and would have to work even harder to achieve the same goals. That was one of the most important lessons I took away from the Enterprise Institute–not a business outline, but a sense of ambition and self-motivation.


We didn’t have much money, so I applied for every college scholarship I could. I filled out 20 applications and received 19 rejections because I was not a U.S. citizen. Only one scholarship program accepted me: the Rotary Club of Oakland’s. The Rotarians met with me and my family and listened to what I had been through and where I wanted to go. I know they had many applicants, and when they awarded me the $5,000 scholarship, it proved they believed in me. The scholarship, along with financial aid, allowed me to go to college.

At the University of California, Davis, I used the scholarship money to pay for rent and books. The first three years I was in school, the scholarship meant that I didn’t have to work and could concentrate solely on studying. Whenever I would talk to my Oakland club counselor, Terry Turner, he would always ask how I was doing, and I would tell him truthfully that I was struggling. Fremont High School had not prepared me for UC Davis. Terry offered me advice, and I listened to it. I started at Davis at the same time as three other Fremont High School graduates. By my second semester, I was the only one left. The Enterprise Institute had jump-started my future. The Rotary scholarship kept it in motion.

I spent several years working for a series of small companies before striking out on my own with Novateck PC in 2004. As soon as I opened my business, I joined the Oakland club. Its members became some of my first clients. Novateck has grown since then and now has three employees. My family has also grown; I now have a wife and two young daughters.

Last year I took my wife and oldest daughter to Vietnam. The little fishing village I left as a child 30 years ago is now a bustling metropolis. My childhood home in Oakland has also morphed into something else; the basketball court where I used to play has been replaced with apartment complexes. The Rotary Club of Oakland’s Enterprise Institute is one of the things that remain unchanged. Now in its 30th year, the institute continues to take dozens of high school juniors to the mountains and teach them how to make their own future in the business world. I have helped with the institute for the last seven years and am now co-chair of the committee that runs the whole thing. I know that the camp experience will help other teenagers change their way of thinking and give them hope for a better future. That’s what it did for me.

Scholarship Recipient Reflects on his Journey to Rotary Tom Lewis 2013-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Celebrate Interact

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 16, 2013
Rotary News

In 1962 Rotary created Interact, a program for young people 12-18 years old. Since then, Interact has grown to more than 15,000 clubs in 142 countries. Interact members volunteer in their communities, make international connections, and develop leadership skills while making new friends. See how Interact is giving young people the chance to make a real difference.

Celebrate Interact Tom Lewis 2013-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - No Personal Privileges

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 16, 2013
Frequently, friends ask whether Rotarians receive special business benefits from their Rotary membership. Should Rotarians expect a special discount or some preferential service just because they are dealing with a fellow Rotarian?


The answer is clearly "no." The Rotary Manual of Procedure expressly states the Rotary position on this matter. The policy, originally approved by the RI Board of Directors in 1933, is that in business and professional relations "a Rotarian should not expect, and far less should he ask for, more consideration or advantages from a fellow Rotarian than the latter would give to any other business or professional associate with whom he has business relations." Over 50 years ago the concept was expressed that "true friends demand nothing of one another, and any abuse of the confidence of friendship for profit is foreign to the spirit of Rotary."

On the other hand, if new or increased business comes as the natural result of friendship created in Rotary, it is the same normal development which takes place outside of Rotary as well as inside, so it is not an infringement on the ethics of Rotary membership.

It is important to remember that the primary purpose of Rotary membership is to provide each member with a unique opportunity to serve others, and membership is not intended as a means for personal profit or special privileges.

Rotary Education - No Personal Privileges Tom Lewis 2013-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

November 15 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Nov 16, 2013

Despite our best efforts to conceal our meeting location, a pretty good sized contingent of Rotarians were able to find their way to the Pearl Fincher Museum for a great meeting and delicious fajitas from Gringos. President John had a funny story about an author/musician that was told to quickly for me to write and I waited too long to create my notes so I've forgotten the punch line. It's hell to get old!


Our guests today included Jim Lemmerz, Bob Gamache, and Christian Collins. 


Announcements: The Christmas party will be on December 6th at 7pm and the Watsky's. There will be heavy hordervezs (or however you spell it), desserts, and libations. Anais passed the hat for donations to buy our three exchange students Christmas presents.


John Maxwell wanted to make it clear that the discussion about Monte Carlo Ticket sales should be interpreted as a plea for everyone to up their sales, but that no one is going to be kicked out of the club if they do not meet the 10 ticket "quota" however members remain responsible for the same number as in the past, but are asked to give the extra effort to insure the success of our event.


Good News:

1. Wayne Roush (remember Wayne?) finally made it back from Ohio. Wrapping up his mother-in-law's estate took longer than expected and when they finished that, they got back just in time to leave on a cruise of Australia and New Zealand. We then got an extended lesson on the difference between their two flags.

2. Anais Watsky welcomed former member Bob Gamche. Also, we have 21 students scheduled to interview for the Youth Exchange. She thanked everyone that has helped to date and that will be helping with interviews tomorrow.

3. David Smith thanked Kit and Gary Aguren for attending the EAFK Knighting, and for Ernie Honig's picture taking.

4. Tom Jackson Jr said that the 8pm Ben Jackson show on 11/23 is sold out, but tickets remain for the early show so please sign up for a great show and to raise money for Pure Water. Also, the ScyFy Channel had called Ben about appearing on some reality show but he had a conflict and was unable to make it work.

5. David Thompson had put in a dollar last week in anticipation of his new grandchild, but he's still waiting.

6. Rich Bills had a buck for Massy's party. We had a good crowd and he was able to experiment with the panorama function on his iPhone. (sample attached to this letter) He had also run into former member Doug Crawford at an open house. (no not that Doug Crawford, but another Doug Crawford from back in the late 80's)

7. John Maxwell echoed Rich's comments about Massy's party.


Tom Jackson Jr invited his neighbor, Warren Hanson, to entertain us. Warren is an accomplished author, illustrator, and musician and gave us a wonderful program. Check him out at

November 15 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Belgium - Marisabel

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Nov 13, 2013
Sorry to send my report in so late it has been kind of hectic around here, we had all of last week off and my family and I travelled.

This whole month has been amazing , first I would like to say Belgians have A LOT of vacation time at the beginning of their school year! A couple of days after I sent in my last report I went on a club to club exchange with my host club to Mersea in the U.K. it's something they do every year to keep the connections between clubs positive. Last year the Mersea club came to Belgium but fortunately for me and the two other girls in my club it was our turn to go on the trip. Mesea is known for its oysters so the club too us on a whole day expedition to a packing shed in the middle of the ocean where we ate oysters and huge trays of assorted seafood, it was also the first time they had met exchange students that club has never hosted and are trying to start an exchange there so the girls and I got to talk about our experience and tried to convince them. It was a great experience talking to the Rotarians and getting to spend time with our club for the weekend.

The next weekend my host dad and one of my sisters went to Amsterdam, it was also amazing! There were so many things to see and it is such a beautiful city, my family and I wandered around the city and it could not have been any better we got to appreciate the buildings , see the train station, eat in great little restaurants and see the inmense amount of bikes parked everywhere. One of the best things was going to Anne Frank's house, I have read her diary many times and had always wanted to go, it was really great to put the story into the real place, they still have the original bookcase and her diary there! Unfortunately Saturday night it started raining and it didn't stop until after we left so our second day there we spent the day inside of the Van Gogh museum, it was a great experience too I had never really known his story and after that day I had the chance to appreciate his life and work.

The Friday before our week off (last week of the month) I went to the fair of the city where I go to school at, it's really strange to see a whole fair with a big ferris wheel and attraction in the middle of the city but I had a grat time! I went with some friends from school and they had me try their hamburgers and a Belgian dessert called Laquements that has a syrup made in the outskirts of the city. The dessert was very good but the burger was totally not what I expected considering the picture of a regular burger on the side of the stand I received a patty split in half inside of a small baguette, my friends laughed because they knew it wasn't the American way but I enjoyed it anyway.

On the last weekend of the month we had our first Rotary trip, 60 other exchange students from all of Belgium and I went to Paris! I had been once before but when I was young so this was amazing I don't usually get to spend much time with other exchange students since I live pretty far out but I got a lot closer to the other exchangees and got to fulfill my dream of going back. The highlight of my trip was going up the Eiffel Tower at night, the lights were beautiful and looking down at Paris I really felt how little I as compared to the rest of the world which just made me realize how much there is left to explore!

A day after I came back to Belgium I went to Barcelona to visit one of my host sisters! I had been in Spain before but never to Barcelona, it really is nothing like any city I have seen before. The food, the people , the beach it was all so different and so colorful. My sister showed my dad and I around the city, Sagrada Familia, Park Güel , San Miguel beach and Las Ramblas were some of the places we visited. I got to experience the warmest weather I've had in Europe , 72° and because I've gotten so used to the weather here I was sweating! I have no idea what will happen when I go to Texas!

This month has truly been amazing, I have gotten to do things I would do in years or a lifetime in one month all thanks to my family and Rotary. I can't ever stop thanking you and all of the other Rotarians for having this program, working so hard and letting me participate. I apologiwe for any mistakes I've made I feel like I'm starting to lose my English!

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Belgium - Marisabel Anais G. Watsky 2013-11-14 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Youth Exchange

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 13, 2013
Rotary Youth Exchange is one of Rotary's most popular programs to promote international understanding and develop lifelong friendships. It began in 1927 with the Rotary Club of Nice, France. In 1939 an extensive Youth Exchange was created between California and Latin America. Since then the program has expanded around the world. In recent years more than 7,000 young people have participated annually in Rotary-sponsored exchange programs.


The values of Youth Exchange are experienced not only by the high school-age students involved but also by the host families, sponsoring clubs, receiving high schools and the entire community. Youth Exchange participants usually provide their fellow students in their host schools with excellent opportunities to learn about customs, languages, traditions and family life in another country.

Youth Exchange offers young people interesting opportunities and rich experiences to see another part of the world. Students usually spend a full academic year abroad, although some clubs and districts sponsor short-term exchanges of several weeks or months.

Approximately 36 percent of Rotary Youth Exchange students are hosted or sent by the clubs in the United States and Canada. European countries account for about 40 percent, and 12 percent come from Australia and New Zealand. Asian clubs sponsor 5 percent, and 7 percent come from Latin American countries. Over 70 percent of all Rotary districts participate in Youth Exchange activities.

Youth Exchange is a highly recommended program for all Rotary clubs as a practical activity for the enhancement of international understanding and goodwill.

Rotary Education - Youth Exchange Tom Lewis 2013-11-14 00:00:00Z 0
November 15 bulletin John A. Maxwell 2013-11-14 00:00:00Z 0

November 8 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Nov 07, 2013

Having been away the last two Friday's I've fallen out of practice in my note taking, but here goes anyway...


President John discovered an opportunity for Community Service. He read about a gentleman in Washington who killed a congressman and rushed to his preacher to confess. The preacher told him he was there to forgive him for his sins, not to praise him for Community Service. Bada Bing.....


He also suggested that we have plenty of money for Monte Carlo - the bad news is that it's still in your pockets.


Jinni Kaltenbach presented our Rotary Minute. Since Monday is Veteran's Day, she read about a Club in District 5810 in Dallas that had started a program called Operation Veteran's Support and have raised $6.8M to date.


Our guests today included Massy's mother Mimi and mother-in-law, Jan Williams.


Announcements: David Smith encouraged all Rotarians to attend the next Knighting Ceremony at Klenk next Wednesday at 12:30pm.


Anais Watsky had 26 potential Rotary Youth Exchange candidates at her Parent/Student meetings and will need help with interviews Saturday the 16th at NAM. Please let her know if you can spend a couple of hours helping out.


Good News:

1. Randy Thompson said that there were only 3 polio cases this week so progress continues. He told a story about taking Tom from Thailand back to the airport to return home, and Tom asked him if he remembered picking him up when he first arrived. Randy assured him that he remembered to which Tom responded - I not understand a word you say!

2. Bob Ullom - (who I assume you heard suffered a stroke last week) announced that he retired.

3. Linda Honig told about a fellow named Paul Marshall who works with Cypress Cares. She said that his daughter had been murdered by her boyfriend last week, but that the body was still missing. She also gave a shout out to the work that our Club does with a particular notice of Anais's work with RYE, David's work with EAFK, and our participation at REACH.

4. Randy Thompson chimed in again about our exchange student from Denmark donating $4 to polioplus. He also mentioned that Arbor Day is January 18th and he's workig on a tree planting opportunity for us.

5. Jan Williams (Massy's mother-in-law) mentioned how excited she was to be at our meeting and how much Rotary widened the world and made great opportunities available.

6. Rich Bills told of his vacation to Miami and mentioned that Saturday morning is not the time to try to go to South Beach as traffic as impossible. He was able to pick up his son's Iron Man shirt since Nathan had to cancel his trip, but at least got a $300 T-shirt out of the registration.

7. David Thompson is expecting grandchild number 7 next Tuesday. That's the 5th for this particular daughter.

8. Tom Jackson Jr. mentioned that tickets are selling fast for the Ben Jackson Magic Show on 11/23 that is raising funds for Pure Water of the World. will get you to the ticket booth. Don't delay.


Our speaker today was Jon Williams. Jon shared an interesting video of his club's project in Nepal which was very interesting. 

November 8 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-11-08 00:00:00Z 0
November 8 bulletin John A. Maxwell 2013-11-07 00:00:00Z 0

November is Rotary Foundation month

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013
November is Rotary Foundation month! It's a good time to reflect on the great Rotary Foundation sponsored programs we support and on how each of us can contribute to make sure these programs continue.

Our Rotary Foundation sponsors a broad range of Educational and Humanitarian programs that save and change lives here and abroad: Group Study Exchange (GSE), Ambassadorial Scholars, Polio Eradication, District Matching Grants and Health/Hunger & Humanity (3H) Grants, to name a few. These programs are the lifeblood of Rotary, creating world peace and understanding through the lives touched by the programs. Ask any past GSE team leader or any Rotarian who has visited/worked on an international project about the difference made by these programs . . . there are many wonderful stories of saved and changed lives around the world. 

Our contributions to The Rotary Foundation fund these Rotary programs. While our Foundation is quite healthy (one of the largest Foundations in the world), there is so much more we need to do. Your annual contribution and/or a contribution to the Foundation permanent fund (through a major gift or benefactor contribution) fuels our Rotary programs. A contribution to the Foundation is one of the best investments you can make with nearly 100% going to Rotary programs that save and change lives. 

I encourage each of you to learn more about The Rotary Foundation and make a contribution to continue saving and changing lives.  These programs work and are a great investment for a better and safer world.
November is Rotary Foundation month Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

On World Polio Day, Rotary Spotlights the Fight to End the Disease

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013


Rotary News 



Rotary helped put polio eradication on center stage on the day best known for rallying support to finish the job – World Polio Day, 24 October.

A special Livestream presentation  –  World Polio Day: Making History – showcased the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Co-hosted by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health, the 60-minute program took place before a live audience at the John Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern’s Chicago campus and streamed online to viewers worldwide.

RI President Ron Burton kicked off the event by noting that Rotary began immunizing millions of children against polio in the 1970s, first in the Philippines and then in other high-risk countries.

“Polio rates in those countries plummeted,” Burton said. “As a result, in 1988, Rotary, the World Health Organization [WHO], UNICEF, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came together to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.  More recently, the initiative has benefited from the tremendous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation . . . . It is so very important to finish the job.”

Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern’s Center for Global Health, emphasized that polio eradication “is completely doable. . . . [It] will result in preventing billions of cases of paralysis and death, saving billions of dollars, assuring that no parent in the world will have to worry about this terrible disease ever again.”

Dennis Ogbe, polio survivor, Paralympian, and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to promote child immunization, spoke compellingly about the challenges of living with the disease and the opportunity to protect people from it for all generations to come.

“I have learned not to look at anything as impossible, and that includes, especially, the eradication of polio,” said Ogbe, who was born in Nigeria. “We have come a long way since the start. So let us finish strong and End Polio Now.”

Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general for Polio, Emergencies, and Country Collaboration at WHO, emphasized that the global fight is winnable, noting that the number of cases in the endemic countries –Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan – is down 40 percent in 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. He also said that the type 2 wild poliovirus has been eradicated, and said November will mark one year without a case of type 3 virus anywhere in the world.

Aylward also pinpointed challenges to the global initiative, including the outbreak in the Horn of Africa with 200 cases. Because of the strong response to the outbreak, however, the region “is again rapidly becoming polio free,” he said. Moreover, the polio endgame strategic plan, if fully funded, is equipped to stop such outbreaks.

“Today, all children everywhere can have a better future, not just against polio, but against every disease . . . if we as a global society get behind the vision of Rotary 25 years ago to reach every child with something as simple as polio vaccine.”

The World Polio Day event also featured a short video showing the tireless efforts by health workers and Rotarians to immunize children in Pakistan. “We are very optimistic that the challenges will not be able to deter us and soon Pakistan will become polio free,” said Pakistan PolioPlus Committee chair Aziz Memon in narrating the video.

Event moderator and Canadian Rotary member Jennifer Jones encouraged people to donate to the End Polio Now: Make History Today.  fundraising campaign, which makes contributions work three times as hard with matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also invited everyone to join the more than 50,000 people in 150 countries who have expressed their support for a polio-free world by becoming part of the World’s Biggest Commercial.

Emmy Award-winning actress Archie Panjabi spoke passionately about why she is so committed to her work as a Rotary ambassador for polio eradication.

“When I was a child 10 years old, I went to India. As I walked to school, I would see children younger than me with no [use of their] limbs, begging for money,” Panjabi said. “It broke my heart.”

Inspired as an adult to learn more about polio, she was “amazed by the amount of work that Rotary has done,” in helping India be free of the disease since 2011, and joined a team of Rotary volunteers to immunize children there last year.

“I will do whatever I can to support Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative . . . . And if you do whatever you can, then together we can eradicate polio forever.”

Jones challenged the audience and online viewers everywhere to share their voice for polio eradication with friends and followers on social networks and encourage them to do the same. “And write or email your government officials to urge them to commit the resources we need to finish the job,” she said.

“We need you – and we want you to help us make history!”

On World Polio Day, Rotary Spotlights the Fight to End the Disease Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Partnering with Mercy ships to Fight Disease in Guinea

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013

A team of health professionals is touring Donka hospital in Conakry, Guinea, in March when they spot more than a dozen large, greenish masses covering the ground. To the U.S. team members, they look like an art installation; in fact, they are hospital gowns and surgical drapes, laundered and spread out to dry. They are a vivid example of the group’s objective: to lower deadly infection rates caused by unsterile procedures.

This Rotary Foundation vocational training team is the first to serve under Rotary’s partnership with the nonprofit Mercy Ships. Rotary District 7690 in North Carolina, USA, sponsored the team with a packaged grant, part of the new Rotary grant model that launched worldwide 1 July. The team’s five members will train Guinean health professionals at the two national hospitals.

The Africa Mercy, a 500-foot oceangoing hospital ship, is docked in Conakry for a 10-month medical mission. The Mercy Ships staff and visiting experts, such as this team, will tackle a range of tasks, including setting up medical and dental clinics, conducting health screenings, performing surgeries on board, and conducting health care outreach throughout the country. The ship also will serve as a steel-hulled security blanket.

“Mercy Ships looks for ways to continue helping local medical professionals after the ship leaves port, ” says Michelle Bullington, who helped advise the team. “Improving sterilization techniques would have a sustainable impact.”

Rick Snider, former governor of District 7690, worked on a Mercy Ships vessel for five years with his wife, Linda, and coordinated the Guinea project. He recruited assistant governor Jenny Braswell as team leader. A recently retired public health official, Braswell has volunteered on numerous Rotary projects in rural Nicaragua and Jamaica. Her husband, Sherrill, a physician, became Braswell’s first recruit for the Guinea team. She handpicked the rest from among former public health colleagues in North Carolina.

In Guinea, the team’s work begins with a tour of the century-old Ignace Deen Hospital. Laundered gauze bandages droop over railings to dry in the sun for reuse. The well-worn examination tables have no sterile paper, and the medical units are nearly devoid of supplies and equipment such as autoclaves and medical waste boxes. Doctors and nurses provide their own rubber gloves and sterile masks and gowns. Germ-killing bleach is rare.

In the generally clean wards, the patients’ family members sleep under the beds; they are the main caretakers. Food is stored on the floor where it is accessible to vermin, and flies and mosquitoes glide freely through doorways kept open to contend with the heat.

The team also visits Donka hospital, where toilets are flushed with water from a pail, and power outages are common. “The staff members touch patients without gloves, going patient to patient without washing hands. There are unbandaged wounds, flies and roaches, open sewage right outside a patient facility and no sterile barriers, ” says Sherrill Braswell, adding an observation that he later repeats so often it sounds like a campaign slogan: “They are doing the best they can with what they have. ”

For a week, the team provides training in reducing infections, covering topics such as using surgical gloves, masks, and gowns; controlling rats and mosquitoes; disinfecting with bleach; tracking infectious diseases; and hand-washing.

“Fifty percent of hospital-associated infections could be prevented with hand-washing, ” Lyon says. Knowledge gaps soon become apparent. A serious misunderstanding exists about hand sanitizer: that it causes germs to stick to the hands. “It is important to clarify that hand sanitizer kills bacteria ” – particularly in a place where running water is unreliable, Jenny Braswell says. An exchange on wound care illuminates the need to treat wounds immediately to avoid infection instead of waiting until symptoms appear.

Donka’s director, Hadja Fatou Sikhé Camara, says her hospital wants to reduce infection, “but we lack the equipment and supplies. We are willing to do what you do, but as an undeveloped country, we lack the means. ”

When Sherrill Braswell presses for what is needed to reduce infections, the answer is lengthy: more autoclaves, antibiotics, vaccines, bed nets, and rubber gloves, in addition to computers for blood analysis and a water tower to maintain running water. Of six operating rooms, only the new maternity units have UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), a standard sterilization method.

After decoding the health system and enduring the non-gridded power, the team accomplishes its objectives, at least according to pre- and post-tests that show significant learning. Positive results also are evident in the participants, who voice a new commitment to educating family caregivers.

Even small changes could have a big impact, the team says. “If they could get patients and caregivers to wash their hands, and if they would hang up the surgical drapes instead of drying them on the ground, significant improvement would result, ” Jenny Braswell observes.

But the lack of supplies and equipment cannot be ignored, she notes. Providing bars of soap would help, as would arranging for inexpensive solar-powered autoclaves for sterilizing surgical instruments.

Back home in North Carolina, the team is continuing its work by trying to acquire and deliver materials the hospitals need. “The hospital workers are able to do the job,” Braswell says. “But they need the supplies. ”

Read the full version of this story in the November 2013 issue of The Rotarian


Partnering with Mercy ships to Fight Disease in Guinea Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

‘Good Wife’ co-star Archie Panjabi partners with Rotary, Northwestern to put polio eradication on center stage Oct. 24

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013
Contact Kimberly Dunbar, 847 866 3469,

EVANSTON, Ill. (18 October, 2013) — Emmy-winning actress Archie Panjabi, best known for her role as Kalinda on the hit series "The Good Wife," will talk about her volunteer work in support of polio eradication during a special program co-hosted by Rotary and Northwestern University's Center for Global Health on Oct. 24 – World Polio Day 2013 – in downtown Chicago.

The program, World Polio Day: Making History, will include remarks by Dr. Bruce Aylward, the world's leading expert on polio eradication and assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration at the World Health Organization; Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern University's Center for Global Health; and U.S. Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, a polio survivor and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life program.

The event will be streamed live to a global online audience at from Northwestern University's John Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CST on Oct. 24. About 200 invited guests are expected to attend.

The program will include an overview of the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which Rotary co-launched in 1988; the challenges that remain in the corners of the developing world where the crippling virus persists, and a discussion of the ways private citizens, corporations, and non-profits can participate in the historic final push now underway to end polio once and for all.

Due to the eradication initiative's success in reaching the world's children with the oral polio vaccine, the disease today remains endemic to only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Ogbe, the Paralympian, is originally from Nigeria, where he contracted polio at age 3.

Panjabi is one of Rotary's End Polio Now celebrity ambassadors. Last year, the British born actress helped Rotary volunteers immunize children in India, her parents' homeland, where she spent part of her childhood. Once considered the nation facing the most serious challenges to eradication, India was removed from the polio-endemic list in January 2012.

"Seeing India become polio-free is tremendous, and I am committed to making sure that no other child anywhere suffers from polio again," Panjabi said in an interview published in the November issue of The Rotarian magazine.

"How fitting that we are holding this important program in Chicago, Rotary's hometown," said Dr. Robert S. Scott, MD, who chairs Rotary's polio-eradication program. "Rotary began the fight to end polio, and today – World Polio Day 2013 – we and our partners have never been closer to our goal of a polio-free world. Rotary invites everyone -- private citizens, businesses, non-profits – to join us in this historic effort. Only one disease – smallpox – has ever been beaten. Now is our best chance ever to make polio the second."

Dr. Murphy of the Center for Global Health concurs: "It is very important to finish the job soon, because we are so close. Eradication is completely doable, and when it happens, it will be a huge public health achievement."

Dr. Aylward notes that when Rotary began its polio eradication work, the disease infected more than 350,000 people a year, compared with the 223 cases for 2012 – a drop of more than 99 percent. "When Rotary set out to eradicate polio over 25 years ago, most of the world thought it was impossible," Aylward said. "Today, it is very close to inevitable. There is still huge work to do, but Rotary has shown the world how the impossible can be converted to the inevitable with the right strategy, the right tools, and the right commitment."

Ogbe, now the wellness coordinator at Brown-Forman in Kentucky, claims a personal stake in the effort.

"This fight to end polio is personal to me," he said. "Polio still exists in Nigeria and is still killing and disabling children. We cannot afford to lose the fight against polio."



In 1988, Rotary helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more than $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication effort.

Overall, the annual number of new polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the 1980s, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. Only 223 new cases were recorded for all of 2012. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths. Polio today remains endemic in only three countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, although "imported" cases in previously polio-free areas – such as the Horn of Africa -- will continue to occur until the virus is finally stopped in the endemic countries.

This year, World Polio Day fundraisers will have greater impact due to the new fundraising campaign, End Polio Now: Make History Today, recently launched by Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation will match two for one every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to US$35 million per year through 2018.



Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary's 1.2 million members hail from more than 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. For more information, visit and


‘Good Wife’ co-star Archie Panjabi partners with Rotary, Northwestern to put polio eradication on center stage Oct. 24 Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary and UNESCO-IHE Partnership Leads to 16 New Water Scholars

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013

Contact Stéphanie Tobler, +41 387 71 16,; Alida Pham, +31 15 21 51 722,

EVANSTON, Ill. (17 October, 2013) — Building on the success of the Rotary and UNESCO-IHE partnership to train future water leaders, the second class of students – 16 in total – began graduate studies this month at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, the premier postgraduate water education institution in the world.

The first class of Rotary sponsored scholars, who began their studies in October 2012, successfully completed their first year of an 18-month Masters of Science degree program at UNESCO-IHE, a United Nations Institute in Delft, The Netherlands.  They are now embarking on a six-month thesis period. After graduation in April 2014, the scholars’ expertise will be put to work improving water and sanitation conditions in their own communities with projects the scholars and sponsoring Rotary members will design and implement together in their respective countries of Argentina, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Ghana.

“Students finished a year of challenging class work and are beginning their 6-month research component on issues of water management,” said Michael McClain, professor at UNESCO-IHE.  “After completion of their thesis projects, students will be ready to enter into the broader water management area and focus on the more important issues of bringing people, water, and economic development together,” said Dr. Michael McClain.

“I will work at the National University as a lecturer and consultant, training future water professionals and contributing to public interests,” said Gonzalo Duró from Argentina, a student from the first Rotary/UNESCO-IHE class. “Based on the idea that the future generation is key to start a change in how humanity uses water in an increasingly challenging world, our plan is to build a traveling educational program to educate kids on water care.”

Through this unique partnership, Rotary is providing more than funds for scholarships.  Rotary clubs and Rotary members are mentoring students both in their home country as well as during their stay at UNESCO-IHE in The Netherlands. These relationships and networks will enable the students to effectively implement their skills upon return to their home country. 

“These highly motivated individuals are fully committed to raising the standards of water sanitation in their home country,” said Henk Jaap Kloosterman, member of the Rotary Club of Voorburg-Vliet, The Netherlands.  “With their dedication and with the support of the local and sponsoring Rotary clubs - they will deliver tangible results and save lives.”

According to a joint report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, about 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. About 884 million obtain water for drinking, cooking, and washing from unprotected sources. Waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and dysentery, claim nearly two million lives a year, most of them children under age five. The continuous task of fetching water keeps millions of people, especially women and girls, from going to school and holding productive jobs. Improved water and sanitation is key to reversing this trend.

"I am proud of the partnership between Rotary International and UNESCO-IHE in developing the capacities of young professionals in countries and regions where they are needed the most,” said András Szöllösi-Nagy, Rector of UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. “Safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation are vital factors in human health and quality of life. But much knowledge and capacities are needed to build strong local and regional education and research environments and adequate institutions to enable sustainable change.”

“In Uganda, a number of water supply systems have collapsed due to poor design, poor operation and maintenance structure,” said Hilary Muhereza, one of the 16 scholars to start in October who plans to tackle the issue in his home country of Uganda. “There is a lack of technical expertise especially in flood risk management to mitigate the problem. Uganda lacks professionals in the water industry to work with new technologies and tools such as web based information and knowledge networks.”

The Rotary Scholarships for Water and Sanitation Professionals was established in 2011 to address the world’s water and sanitation crisis and promote long-term productive relationships between Rotary members and highly skilled water and sanitation professionals in their communities. Through this strategic partnership, The Rotary Foundation – the charitable arm of Rotary International – provides grants to Rotary clubs and districts to select and sponsor students each year for scholarships to any of three 18-month Master of Science degree programs at UNESCO-IHE including: MSc in Urban Water and SanitationMSc in Water ManagementMSc in Water Science and Engineering.


First class: The UNESCO-IHE students selected for a 2012-2013 Rotary Scholarship include: Temesgen Adamu (Ethiopia), Godfrey Peterson Baguma (Uganda), Kenechukwu Okoli (Nigeria), Bernice Asamoah (Ghana), and Gonzalo Duró (Argentina).

Second class: Sixteen UNESCO-IHE students selected for a 2013-2014 Rotary Scholarship: Hector Nava Oritz (Mexico), Badruz Zaman (Indonesia), Emmanuel Umolu (Nigeria), Fidel Vargas-Albornoz (Bolivia), Saheed Yinusa (Nigeria), Fatai Adelani (Nigeria), Adeniyi Adebiyi (Nigeria), Bhekisisa Mkhonta (Swaziland), Bongani Bhembe (Swaziland), Hilary Muhereza (Uganda), Anthony Akpan (Nigeria), Mohamedelfatih Eljalabi (Sudan), Ruchira Jayathilaka (Sri Lanka), Juma Yahaya (Tanzania), Mark Johnson (Liberia) and Sachin Tiwale (India).


UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is the largest international postgraduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The Institute confers fully accredited MSc degrees, and PhD degrees in collaboration with partners in the Netherlands. Since 1957 the Institute has provided postgraduate education to more than 14,500 water professionals from over 160 countries, the vast majority from the developing world. A unique combination of applied, scientific and participatory research in water engineering is offered combined with natural sciences and management sciences. More information:


Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary’s 1.2 million members hail from more than 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. 

Rotary members contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in the areas of peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy and economic and community development. For more information, visit Rotary. A promotional video includes interviews and footage of current scholars.  For broadcast quality footage and photos, go to Rotary’s Media Center.

Rotary and UNESCO-IHE Partnership Leads to 16 New Water Scholars Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Foundation Receives Guatemela's Highest Honor

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013


Rotary News



The government of Guatemala awarded the Order of the Quetzal, the country's highest honor, to The Rotary Foundation last month, in recognition of Rotary's humanitarian work in Guatemala and its contributions to the campaign to eradicate polio.

During a ceremony on 2 September held in Guatemala, Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Fernando Carrera Castro presented the award to Rotary International President-elect Gary C.K. Huang.

The Order of the Quetzal, established in 1936, recognizes officials and organizations from Guatemala and elsewhere for their work in the arts, sciences, politics, and humanitarian service. The Rotary Foundation received a badge on a sash necklace designating its rank of Grand Officer, one of six ranks. The badge, a ten-pointed cross with five branches and a medallion, represents the coat of arms of Guatemala.

"On behalf of all Rotarians and Rotary, we are honored by this award from the Guatemalan government," Huang says. "We want to share this with all Rotarians."

While in Guatemala, Huang met with local Rotarians and visited several projects funded by The Rotary Foundation. During the past three years, Rotary clubs in District 4250, which includes Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, carried out projects with funding from 43 global grants. Global grants fund large-scale international projects with sustainable outcomes that address Rotary's areas of focus.

One project, in partnership with clubs in Illinois, USA, provided schools in the rural region of Sumpango with washing stations and latrines, as well as kitchen equipment and furniture. Another grant brought computers and a mechanical cow, a stainless steel machine for producing soy milk, to an all-girls elementary school in Santa Maria de Jesus.

"This award is not just for the Foundation or the Rotarians in Guatemala, but for Rotarians all over the world," says Jorge Aufranc, past governor of District 4250 and a member of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur. "It is international recognition for the work that all Rotarians do."

Learn more about The Rotary Foundation's global grants.

The Rotary Foundation Receives Guatemela's Highest Honor Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - The District Conference

Posted by Tom Lewis on Nov 02, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

Most Rotarians have never attended a Rotary district conference. They have not experienced one of the most enjoyable and rewarding privileges of Rotary membership.

A district conference is for all club members and their spouses, not just for club officers and committee members. The purpose of a district conference is for fellowship, good fun, inspirational speakers and discussion of matters which make one's Rotary membership more meaningful. Every person who attends a district conference finds that being a Rotarian becomes even more rewarding because of the new experiences, insights and acquaintances developed at the conference. Those who attend a conference enjoy going back, year after year.

Every one of Rotary's more than 500 districts has a conference annually. These meetings are considered so important that the Rotary International president selects a knowledgeable Rotarian as his personal representative to attend and address each conference. The program always includes several outstanding entertainment features, interesting discussions and inspirational programs.

One of the unexpected benefits of attending a district conference is the opportunity to become better acquainted with members of one's own club in an informal setting. Lasting friendships grow from the fellowship hours at the district conference.




Rotary Education - The District Conference Tom Lewis 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Taiwan - Megan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Nov 02, 2013
I feel like in eating more like a Taiwanese, I hold the bowl close to my face and I shovel food in my mouth, I’m going to swell up like a balloon

I am able to make a few sentences, such as “I want to buy a cup of milk tea” I feel proud

October 1, 2013 – Had a normal school day, during culture class we had to go to the office and we just talked and had fun. I was planning on going to KFC with Andre but he was unable to go
October 2, 2013 – Normal school morning, During P.E. I had to race another girl in my class, just one lap around the track and I beat her with my score of 40 seconds. I also watched my class play tug of war.  Also, many girls here hold hands with each other and today a classmate held hands with me! And a group of guys made a giant tape ball and painted it to look like a Pokeball for me, but I don’t know what I will do with it, it is the size of a softball. And after dinner I went to KFC with Andre.
October 3, 2013 – Normal school morning, then I had a Chinese class. Then I had a rotary meeting and my president gave me a portable phone charger. Then I went with my mom to her flower arranging class, dinner, Kawa had school till 7pm, shower, bed.
October 4, 2013 – Normal school morning, but at school I was unable to sleep in class or leave to go to the library because a group of people were judging the school and were going to rank them (stars 1-5) Then I went to Taipei with Andre again and while we were walking to the park a stranger on a scooter was yelling at us, seriously, he was using a lot of profanity, obviously I won’t write any of those words but I was very offended. On the train back we met a man from Canada who has been living in Taiwan and China for the past ten years teaching.
October 5, 2013 – Woke up, took a shower, played on my laptop, dinner, badminton, bed
October 6, 2013 – Woke up, made grilled cheese and tomato cheese for my family!! They loved it. Shower dinner bed
October 7, 2013 – My school is having a three day long test and today is the first day, I don’t have to take the test so Me, Andre, Lizzy, and Pierre were in our Chinese classroom all day! We watched the movies Bridesmaids and Mean girls. Shower, dinner, bed
October 8, 2013 – In school I was still in the classroom all day and we watched two movies. Return of the planet of the apes and 21 Jumpstreet, shower, dinner, and bed.
October 9, 2013 – In school we just listened to music and took funny pictures and did blindfold drawing contests. Shower, dinner, bed
October 10, 2013 – Today I did not have school because 10-10 is like a Taiwan independence day. I met Kilian and my first and third family went to this botanical garden, an art museum, then to the top of a rooftop to watch fireworks and we met another exchange student Dakota.
October 11, 2013 – Stayed home from school because I wasn’t feeling that well, my mom went to Taipei so I was home alone; all I did was sleep and watch movies on my laptop. I went to the mall with my mom and Kawa because my mom was having dinner with her sister, brother, and mom because their birthdays are very close, and me and Kawa looked for a gift for my mom with no success. 
October 12, 2013 – Nothing much today except tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and after badminton we went to a restaurant and we stayed there until 2:30 we all sang and had a fun time. While everyone went to bed I wrote “Happy birthday mom” on multiple pieces of paper and scattered them throughout the house.
October 13, 2013 – Woke up, shower, me and my sister bought our mom lunch, then my mom got a new phone, then I had dinner and my third family was there and we ate Thai food. 
October 14, 2013 – Normal school morning, Chinese class, library, dinner, bed
October 15, 2013 – Went on a field trip with my class and department. We went to the national Geographic Museum and then they basically dropped us off for 6 hours at a mall / food court / museum and we had a lot of fun, we found a speaker and played our music really loud, then on a separate park bench we sang and played our music. After that we went to a fashion show in Taipei. Shower dinner bed
October 16, 2013 – Normal school morning during P.E. class my gym teacher asked me if I could roll a tire, then was like oh, you’re American, you can’t roll a tire I proceeded to roll a tire to prove him wrong. Home, shower, dinner, bed
October 17, 2013 – Normal school morning, during class we moved desks and now I sit by Henry and Lulu which is really fun, tonight for dinner we went to a Japanese restaurant with some other members of our rotary club. Home, shower, bed
October 18, 2013 – Normal school morning, in the library I met the librarians husband who is from Greece and they invited us to eat authentic Greek food at their house (and what exchange student will deny free food) and I watched Monty Python sketches on YouTube, I hope they can understand why I was laughing so hard. After school me and Andre walked to the train station and we went to Taipei again, while we were there we met two girls from France from our district in Taoyuan because they wanted to go and meet other exchange students.
October 19, 2013 – Today I had a rotary outing with all exchange students in my district. We went and watched a demonstration of kick pottery (Maria a girl from Italy was the teacher’s voluntary assistant and accidently kicked his vase he was making) then we made a bowl and I painted it green and the pattern I made looks like a golf ball, then we ate lunch. We then walked to another place and made another bowl on a pottery wheel (one that involved electricity) and I made a bowl with a flower on it. Then there was the option for riding a bike for 2 hours or relaxing and talking, since I do not know how to ride a bike the decision was easy. It was a very tiring day so sleeping was easy that night.
October 20, 2013 – Wake up and eat lunch with my grandparents, then after lunch we went to my grandparents’ house to pick up dinner that my grandma made, me and my little sister went up to their apartment and I my grandma offered me this weird crunchy fishy chip and it turned out that it was a fish tail, like the fin part, it was interesting.
October 21, 2013 – Normal school morning, had Chinese class, home for dinner and heard from other students that my rotary district has changed the rules to be stricter, I’m now unable to travel out of the district (no more Friday nights in Taipei) and they don’t want us to be with other exchange students outside of Rotary event and that they are coming to all of our houses to talk to us…..yay
October 22, 2013 – Normal school morning during lunch I listened to a lot of French music from Pierre, had culture class, after school I went with Andre to eat dinner, we decided to get dumplings I only wanted to eat 7 or 8….. well I ended up eating 25 dumplings, I’m impressed and disgusted in myself at the same time, I slept so good that night
October23, 2013 – Normal school day, Chinese class, during lunch a classmate got me a big cup of juice and a really sweet handwritten note. My class 多二美 were in the finals for tug of war and we won! Bus, shower, bed.
October 24, 2013 – Normal school morning and day, had stinky tofu for dinner and we found the movie Legally Blonde on TV! My older brother came home tonight (like 11:30)
October 25, 2013 - Normal school day, for dinner I ate at a Korean restaurant with my family, My older brother got a tooth removed and then we rented the movie Iron man 3 and watched it
October 26, 2013 – Normal school morning and day, Went with Andre to eat gelato and waffles and we ate dumplings as well, then we ate dinner
October 27, 2013 – Wake up, had pizza and coke for lunch, then we drove to go see the Russell Watson concert
October 28, 2013 – Forgot to write
October 29, 2013 – Normal school morning, field trip! During an explanatory movie at the cake and pastry factory I was taking a lot of pictures with the other exchange students, then we made cookies, we had a tour of the factory and got some free samples. Then we went to the Republic of Chocolate, I got a frozen chocolate banana on a stick then we took a tour of the museum, after the tour we noticed that there is a fountain that some kids were playing in. So we started playing and some light splashing. Then Pierre pushed me in the water and I was drenched in. Luckily I had a change of clothes in my bag. After we got back to school me and Andre went downtown to shop for clothes for our schools sports day.
October 30, 2013 – Normal school morning, library all day, got home and started writing this monthly report. Shower bed.
October 31, 2013 – Normal school morning Chinese class, Walked with Andre and Hannah to the train station. We met Andras, then we went to Starbucks because there having a buy one get one free deal, then Hannah had to go to work. So me Andre and Andras ate beef noodle soup, Me and Andre went shopping then we took the bus home. 
Rotary Youth Exchange October report from Taiwan - Megan Anais G. Watsky 2013-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange September report from Spain - Scarlett

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Oct 20, 2013
I had almost always traveled with my family. Which was easier because one could go grab the trays where we would place the shoes and other personal items. As well as, the most capable one of us could start placing the carry on baggage through the scanning machine. However, this time I had to do it by myself. I'll just say that a lot of the things I was carrying fell on the floor. The people waiting behind were already set and couldn't believe the mess I was creating.

Likewise, it happened again when I got to the other side of security, where the gates could be found, and for the rest of the trip any time my stuff had to be scanned. I kept on holding back the line, it was so embarrassing.

Once inside, with all of my stuff in place, I started looking for my gate. Thankfully, it wasn't that hard to find. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure if that was were my plane was going to depart from. This occurred because in the gate there was no other information apart from the number. In addition, there wasn't any staff member around I could confirm that detail with. 

Nevertheless, I had to wait for around an hour and a half. Besides, having to confirm that was the correct gate I and to be in. For this reason, I started to call my mom, to inform her about my insecurities. Later on, I learned about my sisters opinion about my calls. She thought I called for anything. At least, it was appealing for her to hear about my perspective of flying completely alone for the first time. In good time, I was located in the correct gate. 
Afterwards, I wasn't comfortable moving around because it was such a hassle to move with the bags. I proved it when I had to use the bathroom and I had to take all of my luggage and it almost didn't fit in the stall.  Consequently, the bags were also a problem when I had to make them fit in the over head compartment when I couldn't even lift them an inch of the ground. Neighboring passangers took pity on my weakness and decided to help the poor teen. 
Regarding the plane in general it was the biggest one I had ever been in. It was two floors, and the bathrooms were spacious. And I was pleased with the service and the type of food they gave us. I think they gave us cheesecake for desert. 

Eventhough, I was tired I didn't sleep the whole flight, because they had this amazing entertainment system which included the latest movies released. For this purpose, I spent the traveling trajectory updating my film/movies knowledge, critique, and perception. As a consequence, I was really tired afterwards because I had not slept the entire night.

As soon as I arrived to London, England, I followed the crowd as Alan said we should do, to observe and copy. After, I realized they were clueless or worst than me I stopped to think. I called my mom to tell her I arrived to London. Simultaneously, I remember Alan had also advised us to ask, because that could brake many more barriers than observing. And so I did, I asked everyone I encountered for directions. Still, when I found the gate the lady sitting behind the counter told me that wasn't the gate I was supposed to be in so my objective had not been reached. While I was on the verge of giving up someone pointed me into the right direction.

Before the school started, we had to stop by, this way the counselor could inform me about the school system, balance out my options, and choose my grade. I had to do this because I could qualify for any of two grade levels. Due to the fact that my host family's daughter, the girl I exchanged with, was supposed to attend 1st of Bachillerato. This one was recommended because this one didn't have the pressure of graduation and as much school work as 2nd of Bachillerato. Most importantly, they already knew me because, the girl I exchanged with, Paula had already told them I was coming. As a result, they were eager to met me. Yet, the people in 2nd they would be in my age group and it would be their last year. At the time, it made sense because I had already graduated, but I mainly chose it because of the subjects they offered. I felt they were more appealing than the ones in 1st. 

The first day of school was on a Thursday, because they had to do an orientation. However, I had to miss on Friday because the Rotary Orientation Weekend in Madrid started that day. For this purpose, I just got a quick taste of what school would be like for the rest of the year and it was't as favorable as I thought it would be. People already knew each other. They weren't interested in learning about Ecuador or the United States and in between classes everyone would just stand up and leave. I was completely disoriented, at least in The States I would get a schedule with the times on the side indicating when the period would start or end. With class numbers indicating which room to go to. But there wasn't anything not even a bell. 

After that bad taste of school, I was happy to know that I wasn't going the next day. Instead, I was going to a Rotary event which cheered me up. I knew that in Rotary I would met people who are willing to get to know strangers and always make the most of it. Just as it was in Texas. And that happened. I got to meet many people. Specially, from the U.S. But it was incredible, to get together and support each other. 


Consequently, when I returned on Sunday, I had to prepare mentally for school the next day. Surprisingly enough, it was much more better. I made a friend who introduced me to her friends and so on. They invited me to a town party they celebrate each year. It was last weekend, and I was able to experience another side of the culture, a younger perception. 

Now I have a lot of people I can talk to. Unfortunately, I still don't know all of their names but I'm getting there. I'm starting to say names that sound like theirs, but its fine they forgive me. 

Regardless, the president of the closest Rotaract club, who is by chance my Rotary counselors wife, invited me to a meeting. Subsequently, this Monday I went to a Rotaract meeting. Although, in order to get there I had to go to the city by myself. Due to the fact that it was during the week and my host family members had other responsibilities they couldn't accompany me. A series of disasters occurred. First, I missed the bus to the city. My host sister, fortunately, came home early so she took me as close to the city as she could. Secondly, the metro station was a little bit confusing and I almost didn't get to the stop I was supposed to be in. Thirdly, to increase my disorientation level the map I had didn't document a few streets. Eventually, I arrived to the meeting late. 

In addition, the meeting was no ordinary meeting. Apparently, it was a special occasion because the governess was going to visit. The only problem with that was that I interrupted the very important meeting while in informal clothing. I was so embarrassed. But, thankfully she asked about me and I was able to improve the first impression I made by clarifying it was my first time in the city alone and I didn't bring cocktail like clothing. She understood, and related with me because she had made and exchange as well. And told me how rewarding it was. That day I didn't only meet the governess but also a lot of young professionals involved with one Rotary's branches, and proud to represent it.

To conclude, I just have one thing to say I'm very grateful to Rotary for giving me this opportunity I have the pleasure to experience. I'm enjoying, learning, and saying yes every day.


Rotary Youth Exchange September report from Spain - Scarlett Anais G. Watsky 2013-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Klein ISD Superintendent "knighted" by Early Act First Knight at Nitsch Elementary

Posted by Ernest Honig on Oct 20, 2013
The event was partly in recognition of the success of the EAFK program.  Dr. Cain was not told in advance that he would be knighted, so it came as a big surprise to him.  EarlyAct FirstKnight® (or EAFK) is a groundbreaking character education program for elementary and middle schools from Knights of The Guild. Sponsored by Rotary Clubs, EAFK motivates and teaches children of all backgrounds to become civil, service-oriented people during their most formative years.


Klein ISD Superintendent "knighted" by Early Act First Knight at Nitsch Elementary Ernest Honig 2013-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - The District Assembly

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 20, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

In view of the annual turnover of Rotary leadership each year, special effort is required to provide the 27,000 club leaders with appropriate instruction for the tasks they will assume. The annual district assembly is the major leadership training event in each Rotary district of the world.


The district assembly offers motivation, inspiration, Rotary information and new ideas for club officers, directors and key committee chairmen of each club. Some of the most experienced district leaders conduct informative discussions on all phases of Rotary administration and service projects. The assembly gives all participants valuable new ideas to make their club more effective and interesting. Usually eight to ten delegates from each club are invited to attend the training session.

Another important feature of a district assembly is a review by the incoming district governor of the program theme and emphasis of the new RI president for the coming year. District goals and objects are also described and plans are developed for their implementation.

The success of each Rotary club is frequently determined by the club's full representation and participation in the annual district assembly.

Rotary Education - The District Assembly Tom Lewis 2013-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

October 18 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Oct 20, 2013

President John claimed that airport security precluded him from telling any jokes, so he didn't! 


We had a couple of visitors to include Buddy Watsky and Ken Dwight.


Announcements were few - Next week's meeting will be back at Texas Land and Cattle and will be a Club Assembly to discuss matters of importance to the Club.


Good News:

 1. Bob Ullom had gone to Oklahoma City for another horse race. His horse is doing very well and as such has moved up in class and is facing stiffer competition, but was still a 3rd place finisher and improving her speed.

2. Jinni Kaltenbach was having mixed feelings about having sold their Lago Vista condo, but it's done. She was also excited that the shutdown is over so Big Bend is back open and the trip is on.

3. Linda Honig had attended the Nitsch knighting ceremony last week and it was very thrilling, especially since they had adopted a rap version of the 4-Way Test which is unique. Instead of medals this year, they are giving gold crowns, and one of the recepient's head was too small for the crown so he ended up with a necklace.

4. David Smith thanked Linda and Ernie for their participation with the Nitsch EAFK. He also thanked Tom Jackson Jr and Massy for covering for him at REACH birthdays. He was hoping that the Houston Cougars would do well against BYU on Saturday. Finally, he thanked all Rotarians in advance for their plans to attend the EAFK Tournaments this week. They will be Tuesday (tomorrow) at 9am a Klenk and Wednesday at 1pm at Nitsch.

5. Shanaz Kureshy is celebrating EID.

6. Phil Baker had a visit from a former Rotary Youth Exchange student from Germany back in 1999 who is now grown up and married. He husband is an avid golfer and Elbert Coker hosted him at a couple of first rate courses such as Champions and Redstone. Not too shabby.

7. Anais Watsky is recruiting for Rotary Youth Exchange at Klein on Monday and at Klein Oak on Wednesday.


Rusty Schlattmann took the occasion of introducing our speaker to sneak in a Rotary Minute about a former club out near Liberty Texas that grew up during the oil boom many years ago. I couldn't quite understand the name of the town, but it sounded like Holdasetta. It was unique in that at its 25th anniversary celebration, 100% of the members had perfect attendance for the entire 25 years. They also built a Rotary Building in the shape of a hexagon and it is allegedly the only Rotary Club to have had its own building and Rotary Bylaws no make it illegal for clubs to own buildings.


Our program was an update of the improvement that are ongoing at Hooks Airport to meet the expected demand for vendors visiting the new Exxon campus when it opens in 2015.

October 18 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Tuskegee Airmen at Greenspoint Club - Oct 29

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 20, 2013

Come meet the legendary Tuskegee Airmen & hear their story of World War II adventures as "African - American Pioneer in Aviation"

They will be speaking at Greenspoint Rotary Club's meeting on October 29, lunch at 11:30, meeting starts at Noon.  Meeting location is 16925 Northchase Dr, Houston TX  77060

RSVP to Bernadette Thomas (281) 591-0017 

For more information, visit our website 

To download and view the attachment, please click on the link below:
Tuskegee Airmen Greenspoint Club 2013.pdf

Tuskegee Airmen at Greenspoint Club - Oct 29 Tom Lewis 2013-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

This week's meeting will be at Hooks Airport, Aviator's Grill

Posted by John A. Maxwell on Oct 16, 2013

Today’s Program - Kristina Richard
Marketing Director Hooks Airport

Since 1963 D.W. Hooks Memorial Airport has grown to be one of the most respect-ed names in airport and ASO services, with more than 40 years of experience in de-veloping, operating and maintaining first class facilities and providing first class ser-vices. Our employees safely and efficiently support an average of 275,000 aircraft movements a year and dispense fuel to general and military aircraft ranging in size a Cessna 150 to a Lockheed Martin c-130. Our organization, from top to bottom, maintains a steadfast commitment to excellence in providing products and services to our customers.

This week's meeting will be at Hooks Airport, Aviator's Grill John A. Maxwell 2013-10-17 00:00:00Z 0

Register for 2013 Rotary-UN Day

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 16, 2013
Rotary News

Register online to take part in Rotary-UN Day on 2 November. The daylong event offers a unique opportunity to learn how Rotary works with the United Nations to advance peace and improve the lives of those most in need.

This year’s event at UN Headquarters in New York City will feature presentations from senior UN staff and Rotary leaders as well as panel discussions on health, water, literacy, and youth.

Speakers will include Peter Kyle, Rotary’srepresentative to the World Bank; Jan Eliasson, UN deputy secretary-general; and Andrei Abramov, chief of the nongovernmental organizations branch of the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

High school-age students, including Interactors and Rotary Youth Exchange participants, can attend a special youth program in the morning as well as join the afternoon program.

Get more information about Rotary-UN Day, and download the event registration form or student registration form.


Register for 2013 Rotary-UN Day Tom Lewis 2013-10-17 00:00:00Z 0

Watch the "World Polio Day: Making History" Livestream Event

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 16, 2013
Rotary News 

On World Polio Day, 24 October, watch a special Livestream presentation by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health on the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The 90-minute event, World Polio Day: Making History, will be held before a live audience at 17:30 Chicago time (UTC-5) at the John Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern’s Chicago campus.

The presentation will bring together a panel of experts including Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general for Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration at the World Health Organization; Dennis Ogbe, polio survivor, Paralympian, and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to promote child immunization; and Dr. Robert Murphy, professor of medicine-infectious diseases at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The program will be archived for later viewing.

For more on this and other polio eradication activities, visit


Watch the "World Polio Day: Making History" Livestream Event Tom Lewis 2013-10-17 00:00:00Z 0

Opening the Door to Polio Eradication

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 16, 2013

Rotary News

It’s been more than two years since the last polio case was reported in Côte d’lvoire. Time enough for people to become complacent about immunizations. But that would be a mistake – a potentially deadly mistake.

“The public sometimes doesn’t understand why, after so many rounds of polio immunization, they are still being asked to bring their children to the immunization post,” says Marie-Irène Richmond-Ahoua, chair of Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee in Côte d’lvoire.

As a long-time advocate for polio eradication, Richmond-Ahoua knows you can’t let up against this tenacious and crippling disease. With Nigeria one of three remaining polio-endemic countries, the possibility of fresh outbreaks in Côte d’lvoire is a constant threat. The only way to keep the poliovirus out of the country are regular immunizations of all children under age five.

During National Immunization Days (NIDs) in April, thousands of volunteers and health workers, together with Rotary and Rotaract members, canvassed the streets throughout the country in search of children to immunize. They traveled from house to house knocking on doors in shantytowns and rural villages. But gaining entrance to these homes required another round of convincing.

“Côte d’lvoire has just experienced a conflict and people are still cautious. They don’t want to open their door to just anyone,” says Richmond-Ahoua. But once they see the polio T-shirts and hats that Rotary clubs supply to identify vaccinators, she says they feel safe opening their doors.

Communication is also key to mobilizing public support. Rotary members use the media, television, radio, and even griots, African tribal storytellers, to encourage participation in immunizations. As a result, 7.5 million children received two drops of oral polio vaccine, along with vitamin A supplements and de-worming tablets, during the NIDs.

Supplementary immunization campaigns like this one are part of the comprehensive 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan. The plan outlines what is needed to eradicate all polio disease by 2018. In June the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new fundraising agreement with Rotary. If successful, the campaign, which matches donations two-to-one (up to $35 million per year), will help raise $525 million for polio eradication.

“Polio eradication is not an option, it’s an obligation,” Richmond-Ahoua says. “When you consider what’s been done in Côte d’lvoire, despite the many obstacles we’ve faced, you are deeply convinced that polio will soon be eradicated.”

Opening the Door to Polio Eradication Tom Lewis 2013-10-17 00:00:00Z 0

4th Annual Women with Disabilities Empowerment Fair

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 15, 2013

Jon R. McKinnie

October is Disabilities Month Dionysus Theatre invited Rotary to attend the 4th Annual Women with Disabilities Empowerment Fair, which is  hosted by Houston Center for Independent Living on Saturday, October 19 from 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm.   The theme of this year’s fair is Celebrating The Woman Within".

To honor the occasion, Dionysus will conduct musical performances and participate with a lineup of talented artists including Auti Angel from Sundance Channel’s ‘Push Girls” television series. Below are the details:


4th Annual Women with Disabilities Empowerment Fair

Saturday, October 19

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm   Fair and Workshops (FREE)

6:00 pm –  8:30 pm  Dinner and Evening Performance ($5/person with RSVP required)


Metropolitan Multi-Service Center

1475 West Gray

Houston, TX 77019


To RSVP, please contact Maria Palacios at or at 713-974-4621 (voice/TTY). This event is ASL interpreted.


Yours in Rotary,

Nicole Wycislo

Chair, Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled Adults sub-committee

District 5890 Vocational Service Committee


About Rotary and Dionysus Theatre

In 2011 and 2013, The Galleria Area Rotary Club Charitable Foundation presented grants to Dionysus Theatre.   Nicole Wycislochair of the Intellectually and Mentally Disabled sub-committee of the District 5890 Vocational Service Committee and member of the Rotary Club of the Galleria Area, is board vice president of the Dionysus Theatre.


Dionysus Theatre, primarily funded through private contributors and grants, reaches out to community to continue its mission— to be a catalyst in breaking down barriers for and changing lives and attitudes toward persons with physical and mental disabilities. The theatre has a special commitment to educating children about inclusion and has a touring youth theatre that focuses on anti-bullying, empowerment, and self-esteem.


To learn what Dionysus and inclusion theatre is about, please watch this video: 


To download and view the attachment, please click on the link below:
Women w Disabilities Event 2013.JPG

If you cannot open the above link, copy and paste the following address into your browser:

4th Annual Women with Disabilities Empowerment Fair Tom Lewis 2013-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - District Governor

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 15, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

The Rotary district governor performs a very significant function in the world of Rotary. He or she is the single officer of Rotary International in the geographic area called a Rotary district, which usually includes about 45 Rotary clubs. The district governors, who have been extensively trained at the worldwide International Assembly, provide the "quality control" for the 27,000 Rotary clubs of the world. They are responsible for maintaining high performance within the clubs of their district.


The district governor, who must make an official visit to each club in the district, is never regarded as an "inspector general." Rather, he or she visits as a helpful and friendly adviser to the club officers, as a useful counselor to further the Object of Rotary among the clubs of the district, and as a catalyst to help strengthen the programs of Rotary.

The district governor is a very experienced Rotarian who generously devotes a year to the volunteer task of leadership. The governor has a wealth of knowledge about current Rotary programs, purposes, policies and goals and is a person of recognized high standing in his or her profession, community and Rotary club. The governor must supervise the organization of new clubs and strengthen existing ones. He or she performs a host of specific duties to assure that the quality of Rotary does not falter in the district, and is responsible to promote and implement all programs and activities of the Rotary International president and the RI Board of Directors. The governor plans and directs a district conference and other special events.

Each district governor performs a very important role in the worldwide operations of Rotary. The district governor is truly a prime example of Service Above Self performing a labor of love.

Rotary Education - District Governor Tom Lewis 2013-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange September report from Italy - Annie

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Oct 15, 2013

This month flew by so fast!  I feel like just last week I was packing my bags and eating Whataburger on my way to the airport.  I left Texas on September 4th and arrived here in Italy September 5th, maybe eighteen hours later.  When I arrived in Italy, I was greeted by my host mom, dad and two sisters.  My host dad had to go to work right after so we went to my host mom’s house.  My host sister told me to take a shower…but I think she meant it as in, “Take a shower because you will feel better.” Not, “Take a shower because you look disgusting and you smell like airplane.” :p

            My host parents are divorced.  For the first weekend, I was with my host mom, Giuliana and three of four sisters. My sisters; Elena is 20, Anna is 19 and Laura is 14 years old.  One other sister, Francesca, who is 17, is in Arizona for her exchange.  Every other weekend, every Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and every other Thursday night/Friday morning,  I am at my host dad’s house, Alberto.  My parents in Texas are not divorced so I’m experiencing what a divorced family goes through.  It isn’t easy but my host dad and mom still work as a team even though they are not married.  I think that is amazing!!  On Sundays, Alberto comes over to eat dinner with all of us and together, they Skype their daughter, Francesca in Arizona.  Sundays are the most relaxing days, as they should be.  Oh, by the way, my host mom has 6 cats and a dog.  Yes, I said s.i.x.

            I live in a little town called Bergamo right outside of Milan.  There are two parts to Bergamo, Città Alta, (“Upper City”), which is on top of a hill.  The lower part is called, “The Center.”  Città Alta was originally all Bergamo was until they had to extend it.  It is surrounded by a huge wall because it used to protect them from the enemy.  I get the best of both worlds.  My host mom lives in the country part of Bergamo, which is near Città Alta, and my host dad lives in the center!  I love the beauty of both parts.

  I go to an artistic school in the center of Bergamo. I am taking Italian, Italian History,  History of Art, Sculpting, Painting, Design,  Chemistry, Religion, P.E. and English. When we take English test, my chair is moved into the hall because I am “dangerous” when they take the test! Lol…  Sculpting is my favorite class!  School is very different here.  For instance, we go to school EVERY SATURDDAY from 8am-1pm.  On the days the teacher does not show up, we do not have that class.  I guess they do not have subs.  The other day, there were about five kids in class because the rest were marching around outside in some protest.  It was crazy.   Another difference is that the boys and the girls use the same bathroom!  This is odd in Italy as well. Barely any schools are like that here.  The toilets at school and inside a lot of public rest rooms are just a hole in the ground.  I am still getting used to that.  (There are regular toilets in their homes.)   Also, you stay in the same classroom all day with the same students while the teachers move from class to class.  Unless you have a class in one of the rooms with the computers or gym, then you move with your whole class to the other room so you are with the same people all day. You make such strong relationships because of that.  I really love my class, I feel like they are my home away from home...away from home. J

            On September 7th, I met an Exchange student in my area and her host family.  Her name is Shih- Yuan Huang but we call her Kitty.  She is from Taiwan. I love her and her family.  She goes to my school and her host family will be my second host family and my host family will be her second host family!  My host mom took us on what she called a “little walk”… “up a hill”… to Città Alta. We walked what felt like 563, 293, 710, 439 miles uphill, more like up a mountain!  It was crazy but it was so beautiful.  From Città Alta, you can see all of the lower part of Bergamo and it is absolutely gorgeous! When we made it to the top, my host mom bought us gelato and oh-my-gosh!!  Y’all,  it is ahhh-ma-zinggggg!  It’s like ice cream but so much creamier! It’s a big scoop of deliciousness in a cone with chocolate at the bottom!!  It was a nice surprise and worth the walk!

            I’ve been trying to plan a day when I can see my ‘brother’, Carlo Ferraris, in Milan.  He lived with us in Texas last year.  I was his host sister for 7 months.  He became very close with my family that it feels like he was not just an exchange student to us but more of a real brother to me and my sister. I hope I feel like this with my host sisters towards the end of my stay in this house. J

            On September 10th, I went shopping in Milan.  Afterwards, my host dad took me to a fashion show in Milan!  He has all the right connections being in the fashion industry.  It was an amazing experience and I felt very proud and important being there with my host dad, Alberto.  I saw some nice and some strange outfits there.  This was not clothing from J.C Penny or Target that I am used to in Texas. This was the high end name brands like Louis Vuitton.  After all, I am in the fashion capitol of the world.  I was in such AWE!!  We sat on the row right behind the designers and the mayor which is first row for anyone else and it was great. The mayor smiled at me!

            On September 12th , school started. I absolutely LOVE my classmates! They were so welcoming and so fun!  At first, I was not thinking that.  On the first day of school, when I got to the classroom, there were only 2 girls in the room.  I decided to try and make friends with them.  I said, “Ciao! Mi chiamo Annie.  Sono Americano, vango dal Texas!” which means, “Hello! My name is Annie. I am an American, I live in Texas!”  They said, “Che bello!!!” which means, “How nice!!” Then I Google Translated and asked if I could sit with them but they Google Translated back and told me, “no, we are saving seats for our friends.”  So I found somewhere else to sit and wondered how I was going to make it.  It didn’t take long to make friends and figure out that everyone is actually very nice.  At first no one was interested in me or cared that I was a foreign exchange student but last week I changed classes. I am no longer in classes like Physics and Philosophy, I now take Sculpting and Painting and I have met so many people! During the 15 minute break at 11:00am, students come up to me and say, “Hello! You don’t know me but I’m friends of your friends’ friend! Do you like Italy? What kind of music do you like?”  E V E R Y O N E asks me what kind of school I go to in Texas! They all want to know if it’s like High School Musical.  They wonder if I listen to country music and if I have a horse.  I rarely see horses in Texas but here in Italy I see horses, cows and sheep every day.  My host mom lives in the country part of Bergamo so outside her house there is an area with sheep, horses and cows.  There is a girl in my class named Anna and she is from the Ukraine.  She does not Italian or English and somehow we communicate very well.   I can’t imagine how hard it is for her.   All my teachers are really nice even though most of them do not know English.   Six hours is a long time to be sitting in the same spot and not understanding a word. :p  I will get there.  It will just take time and a whole lot of patience…

            From September 27th - 29th, I was at a Rotary meeting in Fognano, Italy. It was a meeting where all the exchange students came together. I met so many different, amazing people from all over the world!  I became really good friends with a boy, Salvador, from Mexico, also, a boy, Agusto, from Brazil, and a girl, Ale from Australia!  For the meeting, we went to Parco Carnè where we walked this trail and saw very beautiful mountains, fields and a mine!  We also visited the town of Brisighella, where we tasted different special oils on bread! That was such an awesome weekend!  My beautiful Rotary blazer filled up with pins real fast! There were 108 exchange students there, most of them from America.

A few weeks ago, I started going to the gym with my host sister, Anna, and her friend, Francesca.  I really need to go to the gym any time I get the chance. This exchange weight is getting bad, hahaha. PASTA, PIZZA, GELATO, PASTA…PASTA…PASTA!  Pasta yesterday, pasta today, and pasta tomorrow! It is all so good.  I love the food here so it’s worth the time in the gym. :P

This first month has been wonderful.  It has exceeded all my expectations. The first few weeks were difficult because it took a while for it to sink in that I wasn’t in America anymore and I was living in a house with people I didn’t know very well. You know, MAJOR CULTURE SHOCK…  But towards the end of the month, I feel much more comfortable here and I love it. J  It was also difficult because I barely knew any Italian but I’ve picked up so much!   A few times a week I go to an Italian lesson with Kitty from Taiwan, Luci from France, and Alina from Germany.  There is another Italian lesson I attend with Kitty and a girl from the Ukraine named Anna every Tuesday for 2 hours in the morning at school.  These lessons have helped me out tremendously!

            Being a Rotary Exchange student in Italy is helping me to learn so much about this historical country and I am able to see all its beauty.  Beauty that is beyond words. It is also teaching me about all the other countries as well.  I have to close for now and I will try to get a report in to you again soon!  I will love to tell you more of my stories when I get back.  Thank you so much to Rotary International for making this happen!

A couple of pictures before I close…

Here is a picture of the area my host mom, Giuliana, lives:

Rotary Youth Exchange September report from Italy - Annie Anais G. Watsky 2013-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange September report from Japan - Sarah

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Oct 15, 2013

I can’t believe that I have been in Japan for about a month and a half. I’ve met so many people and experienced so many things that it is all hard to grasp. Luckily I have many pictures, tickets, and gifts to remind me!


In terms of school, this month has been a bit wonky because of the fact that I basically have not gone to school for a majority of the days! It’s the time of year when Japanese students take their midterm exams, which I was excused from, leaving me with about two weeks of free time. In that time I went to Tokyo Disneyland (which was my first time at any Disney park), my town festival, Mt. Fuji, a sake factory, and Tokyo.


Disneyland was incredibly fun! I can’t compare Tokyo Disneyland to Disneyland in California, but I think it is safe to assume that Tokyo Disneyland is much more fun. Many of the park-goers were dressed up like Disney characters and so many of the foods were cute. It sounds odd to say that food was cute, but in Japan this is a very common phenomenon, partly due to the large “kawaii” culture that exists here. I was able to go with two graduates of my high school who were introduced to me by my international relations teacher at school. I was a bit nervous meeting up with them, because it was my first time to meet them, but I was so glad that I got to spend the day with them. They even invited me to attend some of their university events with college exchange students.


Mt. Fuji was so unbelievably beautiful! I was able to go with my host mother and her old high school classmates. It was definitely a trek, and by trek I mean six hour bus ride, to get there. I was getting quite impatient at first and constantly kept spotting peaks thinking “okay well that has to be Mt. Fuji”, but once I actually laid eyes of Mt. Fuji I almost laughed at myself for thinking the other puny peaks were even comparable to the greatness that is Mt. Fuji. The view from the bus was quite breathtaking, but once we had arrived to the summit it was too cloudy to see anything. I’m hoping I get another chance to go on a clearer day, so I can get some quality pictures!


My most recent venture has been back to Tokyo. I met two of my district Rotex at one of the train stations just outside of Tokyo for a day of winter shopping and general fun. On a side note, I had just gotten my train pass a couple days prior and was very excited to simply swipe my card like a true Japanese person at the turnstyle and waltz through without having to worry about buying a ticket like a tourist. We first started out in Shibuya because there are many western stores there where I can find clothes that actually fit. Japanese clothing and shoes are so tiny and short, which isn’t ideal for a 5’10 girl with size 10 feet. After getting many sweaters, we went to Ginza to see Hello Kitty World. We did not spend too much time there because one of the Rotex was a boy, and I didn’t want to make him wait for 182081047 hours while I meticulously browse each and every nook and cranny of the store. I will be going back though! Also in Ginza, I was able to purchase a much-coveted makeup brush. I am a huge beauty addict, so living in Japan is very bad for my wallet! I have purchased many beauty products, even my host mother has noticed and has asked me to be the “makeup artist” for the dancers in the next town festival. Anyways, after Ginza we strolled around Harajuku and had Thai food. I got home around 10:30PM, and was already dreading my 6:30AM alarm for school the next day.


Although I was able to experience various things this month, my most unforgettable memory would probably have to be going to my town festival. It was so incredible to be in the middle of Japanese culture in such a traditional way. My day started out at my local “ginger”, or shrine, then lead me all the way to the beach. Basically, many shrines from my area all have a team of people who carry a symbol of their shrine all the way to the beach where each symbol is carried through a “tori”, or gate, in a parade-style. It is truly hard to describe, but I’m sure the pictures will help! Sadly, my Japanese was too poor to understand exactly why the festival was happening, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying it! I was able to snap some beautiful pictures and get some souvenirs for my jacket. Actually, the souvenirs that I purchased for my jacket raised quite the controversy with my host mother. At this time in my exchange I cannot read kanji, which are the Chinese symbol used in Japanese, which was what was printed on the souvenirs that I purchased. I showed my host mother my souvenirs and she immediately grabbed one of them and gave me a concerned look. She kept rubbing her stomach, then proceeded to gesture her hand as if she was pregnant. I immediately knew what my souvenir meant, and explained to her that I did not understand what it meant when I bought it, and we had a good laugh afterwards.


Speaking of my Japanese skills, they are very lackluster. I had been in all English classes in school, which held my Japanese back. Since I did not use Japanese in school, and my host mother is not very talkative I wasn’t learning much Japanese other than the basics. Luckily, I talked to my international relations teacher and resolved the issue. I am now enrolled in Japanese history, math, government, fine arts, music, and cooking. I am most excited for my music class because I will be learning the koto (I will add a picture). Also, we have certain days where we have an extended homeroom class with our other homeroom classmates. During that time we have a chance to play sports or other activities. I volunteered to bring American snacks and other things, which they were very excited about. Other excited school news is that I will be traveling to Kyoto in about a week for four days with my classmates! I will be staying in a traditional Japanese hotel and taking the bullet train. I can’t wait to let you guys know how everything went!


Well, I just want to reiterate how thankful I am for having been able to experience all of these things! It would not have been possible without all of your help. Talk to you next month!

Rotary Youth Exchange September report from Japan - Sarah Anais G. Watsky 2013-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

October 11 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Oct 10, 2013
Since our program today dealt with fitness, President John noted that Rotarians were great exercisers. They jumped to conclusions, flew of the handle, carried things too far, and dodged responsibility. He also saw that Tom Lewis was present, and was reminded about hearing that the local reserve unit had their annual shooting qualification canceled two years in a row, but their fitness test was never canceled. It made him wonder why we were training our troops to run rather than shoot.

Our guests today included Roseangela's husband (who I apologize for not remembering his name) and Randy's friend, Steve Hoffman.

President John had a Membership Minute that basically emphasized the we need some more - bring some friends.

Announcements: Ernie Honig sorted out a few vacancies on the REACH Birthday schedule and will follow up with reminders to the participants.
Tom Lewis is hosting one of our inbound students and reminded members that if they were going somewhere interesting that they consider inviting along his student.
Next week's meeting will be at Hooks Airport. Details to follow.
Next Saturday the 19th is our Fellowship meeting at David Smith's in Galveston. Please RSVP.
On October 25th we will have a Club Assembly in lieu of a speaker to discuss issues of importance to the future of our club, so please make every effort to attend and add your two cents.

Good News:
1. Linda Honig had attended the VIP luncheon at Nitsch for Dr. Cain. Ernie said it was the best meal he had ever had  a school cafeteria. She was seated next to a teacher from the alternative school who shared that Nitsch used to be her greatest source of students, but now she rarely gets any so the extrapolation was that the Early Act First Knight that we are running there seems to be bearing fruit.
2. Randy Thompson said that there were only 3 cases of polio last week, all in Pakistan. Afghanistan has only had 6 all year and the recent outbreak in Somalia seems to have settled down. He had also been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Moddy Foundation for his Haiti water project and there is a dollar for dollar match available should you care to lend a hand.
3. Massey Williams had taken her mother to New York for her birthday and while there attended a Rotary meeting at a large club. She said that it was quite different from ours and she felt like a redneck.
4. Anais Watsky complemented President John for all of his hard work and asked that all members give him strong support.
5. John Maxwell had a follow up with his doctor after his recent bout of illness and got a clean bill of health. He was very impressed by his doctor's extraordinary level of service.

Our speaker today was Ogie Shaw who gave an interesting talk about the general lack of fitness in America and suggested ways to improve diet and fitness that we all should heed.

October 11 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-10-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange report from Taiwan - Meagan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Oct 06, 2013

Basic summary- School is fun, not homesick, still in love

Typical school day- Wake up at 6:00-6:15, breakfast, walk to bus stop or have mom drive me, get on bus at 6:43am, get to school before 7am, go to class (normally sleep) class starts at 7:30, lunch from 12:00-12:30, nap time 12:30-1:00, school dismisses at 4:50, Bus leave at 5:00, get to stop at 5:10, get in car with mom, pick up Kawa at school at 5:30, go home, eat dinner

Exchange students at my school- Me, Andre, Lizzy (USA) Pierre (France)

Hints- I play badminton every Saturday night

School - My school schedule is different every day, but every Monday and Thursday from 8:30am – 11:30am I have Chinese class with 5 other exchange students who come to my school. Every Tuesday from 2:00pm – 4:50pm I have my Chinese culture class, and every Wednesday I have a life lessons class and some class that’s about the military. I’m in the multimedia and design department of my school so my classes are Web Design, Photoshop, Math, Chinese (not my special Chinese class this is traditional Chinese like poetry),  P.E. , Painting, English, Photography. Many of my teachers tell me to go to the library to study Chinese if I am unable to participate in my class.

September 01, 2013 – Went to a bakery on the way to my mom Emily’s house. Went swimming with Kawa. Drank bubble tea. Ate dinner. Went grocery shopping for school.

September 02, 2013 – Normal school morning, teacher meeting till 9:00 or 10:00, I don’t remember but all the students stayed in the classroom, they were quiet, and did schoolwork (this would never happen in the USA) we all changed seats and now I’m sitting by all girls and one girls English is very good. Normal school night.

September 03, 2013 – Normal school morning, while I was walking in school the principal saw me and said “Oh you are a good student, at school so early (before 7:00am) and asked to take a picture with me. I’ve noticed that the guys are starting to talk to me but some are still a little shy. Normal school night.

September 04, 2013 – I forgot to write something in my journal, please proceed to the next day.

September 05, 2013 – Normal school morning, but I left school at 12:00 because I had a Rotary meeting (I have one the first Thursday of every month) I had to give my presentation BUT my USB wasn’t working so I kind of had a mini panic attack but then I realized it is not the end of the world. So instead of showing my PowerPoint I spoke, no big deal. Then I went to T.G.I. Fridays with my family and my third family. Had ribs, chicken wings, fajitas…. Delicious.

September 06, 2013 – Normal school morning, in P.E. I had to run two laps and I didn’t kill myself doing so, I was pretty proud, I was faster than most of the girls and that’s a surprise because I am NOT athletic. I was unable to do a math test so I drew a turtle, my teacher understands and she no longer hands me a test (YES ^-^) The only test I am able to do is English (but they are very different). Got home and ate dinner.

September 07, 2013 – No school for me today so I was able to wake up at 12:00 (felt SO GOOD) but Kawa had school until 12:00, watched a movie then played badminton, then went to a restaurant.

September 08, 2013 –  Woke up around 12:00 again, ate lunch, watched a movie, then ate dinner at a restaurant that was really cool, it had a big lake with a lot of fish in it. And I learned how to play a game that’s a lot like connect 4, but it is with 5 pieces. Getting ready for school.

September 09, 2013 – I also forgot to write today, I’m busy ok….don’t judge.

September 10, 2013 – Normal school morning. In my culture class we learned about the moon festival, ate moon cake, ate pomelo and put the peel on our head, drew pretty pictures, normal school night.

September 11, 2013 – Normal school morning, It was very strange today, as we all know it was 9-11 but no one mentioned a word about it all day. Normal school night.

September 12, 2013 – Normal school day, in class we began to paint our desks to look like cows, yes you did read that correctly. Went to the library. On the way home we stopped by Pizza Hut. Normal school night.

September 13, 2013 – Normal school day, we had an earthquake drill when we run outside our classroom with our backpacks, but I really don’t understand the drill, I’m on the 5th floor of the school, so if there is an earthquake I will most likely die. We also ran in P.E. class today. But a miracle happened, I passed all the girls and I was running with the guys, then the coach yelled something (I obviously didn’t understand) but all the guys started running as fast as they could. I asked my friend and he said that the coach said if any girl (meaning me) beat and boy in running the boy will have to run two extra laps. So naturally I started running as fast as I could to beat the guys, but I was nice and walked reeeeeeally slow at the finish line so they wouldn’t have to run an extra lap.

September 14, 2013 – Ok so listen to this, today is a Saturday…..but I went to school. It’s because next Thursday is the moon festival so there is no school, and the government said we could also have the following day (Friday) off but we have to make it up. I was so tired… and of course my school bus was 20 minutes late picking us up from school. So irritated. Played badminton. Really tired but I also have to wake up early tomorrow.

September 15, 2013 – woke up at 6:30!!!! I met with my Rotary club and we all got on a bus, I discovered that they like to sing karaoke, yes I did sing, I sang Do-Re-Me, Let it be, and Hey Jude (not many English songs). We walked across this bridge and the view was amazing, we also went to the Mochi museum, and saw a really big Buddha statue. I got home pretty late and there is school tomorrow. I didn’t get to sleep in at all this week. But it is ok. (Exactly one month ago I left Houston)

September 16, 2013 –  Normal school morning, during lunch me, Andre, and Pierre decided to eat outside and we missed naptime and we MIGHT have gotten yelled at, but its ok. I finally transferred all the pictures from my phone and my camera to my laptop and Facebook, normal school night.

September 17, 2013 – I have been in Taiwan for one month!!!!! In school I started to paint a self portrait (my class is making a mural) left school with my culture class to visit a nearby temple. We burned incense, paper money (not real money). Normal school night but my older brother comes home from college today! :D

September 18, 2013 – normal school morning, got interviewed with Andre by the school, some video clips of me speaking Chinese (unbelievable huh?) and also some written questions. They gave us bubble tea then I went back to class. We have to sing… in Chinese….. Normal school night.

September 19, 2013 – Woke up around 8:00 to drive to the mountains to go hiking with my first and third family. It was so hard, 1,212 meters of stairs BUT I’m proud of myself. Since today is the moon festival we had a barbecue! Completely different from Texas. We basically went to three different barbecues, at the last one I sane The phantom of the opera with my sister. It was not a train wreck.

September 20, 2013 – Forgot to write today……

September 21, 2013 – Went to a culture class with all the exchange students ( about 32 or 33) we made mochi (using a giant wooden hammer to mush cooked rice) and we made tea jelly, and we ATTEMPTED to make this one other drink of crushed nuts but my group failed. After we got home we played badminton.

September 22, 2013 – Woke up around 12:00 today basically had a relaxing day with no official plans. Watched movies and ate KFC. My brother went back to college today. And I do not want to go to school tomorrow.

September 23, 2013 – Normal school morning, me and Pierre thought it would be a good idea to eat lunch together outside of our classrooms, but we got yelled at so we will never try that again, I went to the library and Pierre was there as well so we talked and worked on our Chinese homework. Normal school night but I FaceTimed my mom.

September 24, 2013 – Normal school day nothing special, I went to the doctors because my acne is horrendous and it is a different experience. Walk in, write down your name, go to a room and sit by the doctor, answer a few basic questions, get your prescription as you walk out, I got a clear container with a yellow liquid, no directions or ingredients but whatever is in there must be magic or unicorn tears.

September 25, 2013 – normal school morning, at school there is a field day / school competition so we watched that, normal school night.

September 26, 2013 – Normal school morning, during an assembly I’m PRETTY sure I rolled my ankle but naturally I walked it off. I finished painting my self-portrait but I decided to give myself pink hair because I could. Normal school night.

September 27, 2013 – Normal school morning and day, but after school me, Andre and Pierre went to the train station and went to Taipei!!! We met other exchange students (because there not in our district) and we had soooooo much fun. I want to go every Friday.

September 28, 2013 – I was able to sleep in today, Kawa has some school volunteering deal so me and my mom went to the mall while my sister was busy. Then we played badminton and we went to a restaurant.

September 29, 2013 – Woke up and Skyped my friend Allyson for 30-40 minutes, then ate lunch, then I Skyped Allyson AGAIN, and had dinner and got ready for school.

September 30, 2013 – Normal school day, I stayed in the library all day and practiced my Chinese then as soon as I got home I started writing my monthly report because I forgot. 

Rotary Youth Exchange report from Taiwan - Meagan Anais G. Watsky 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

44th Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Presentation - Dec 11

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 06, 2013
Jon R. McKinnie

The 44th Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Presentation will take place on December 11, 2013 at the beautiful Wortham Center in downtown Houston. The motto for 2013 is Rotary Proud and a Houston Tradition for 43 Years.Since 1970 the Rotary Club of Houston has celebrated the memory and legacy of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi by awarding the Rotary Lombardi Award to college football’s most outstanding lineman. The Rotary Lombardi Award is one of the most celebrated and prestigious awards in college football and is one of Houston’s most special events.Individual tickets go on sale November 1, 2013. Rotarians get a deeply discounted price of $80 each or 2 for $125.

The Rotary Lombardi Award and the Heisman Trophy are the only college football awards to have their own exclusive live national television broadcast of their trophy presentation. This exciting event is attended by local government and business leaders along with celebrities from the entertainment and sports worlds, who regularly come to celebrate the winner and help raise millions of dollars for the fight against cancer.

Vince Lombardi once said “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”Forty-three years ago, the Rotary Club of Houston set out to honor Lombardi’s legacy of determination and discipline by establishing the Rotary Lombardi Award.Since 1970, the Award has been presented annually to the nation’s best Division I college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline and leadership of Vince Lombardi. Since 1970, millions has been raised to help fund cancer research, public education and direct services to cancer patients.

Every year the four finalists come to Houston for this prestigious award. One of the highlights and most endearing events for the finalists are the visits with the Front Line Kids courageously fighting cancer at local hospitals.

Those who vote on the Award consist of all head coaches of NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams, all former winners and finalists of the Award, and selected members of the national sports media.

Our sponsors, volunteers and committees tout a profound connection to the Award.Involvement with the Award connects spirited college sports fans with supporters of the programs of cancer research, public education and direct services to cancer patients; which is in accordance to the wish of the Lombardi family.

Sponsorships are available including special reduced sponsorships for Rotary Clubs within the district. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote the Rotary Clubs in the area and show the community what Rotarians are doing in and around the City of Houston. Individual tickets go on sale November 1, 2013. Rotarians get a deeply discounted price of $80 each or 2 for $125. Please visit the web site for more

All Rotarians are welcome and invited to be a part of this fabulous event. If you would like to be a part of the Rotary Lombardi Award Planning Committee or be a sponsor of the event please contact Brian Carr at 713-706-5669 or

44th Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Presentation - Dec 11 Tom Lewis 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Membership In Rotary International

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 06, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

If you asked a Rotarian if he or she belonged to Rotary International, the individual probably would look puzzled and answer, "Of course I'm a member of Rotary International." But in this instance, the confident Rotarian would be technically wrong. No Rotarian can be a member of Rotary International!


The explanation of this apparent contradiction is simple. The constitutional documents of RI state that membership in Rotary International is limited to Rotary clubs. Over 27,000 Rotary clubs belong to the organization we call Rotary International.

A Rotary club is composed of persons with the appropriate qualifications of good character and reputation, a business or professional classification and who serve in an executive or managerial capacity. The Rotarian belongs to a club-the club belongs to Rotary International. This technical distinction is not obvious or even known to most Rotarians and seldom does it create any problems or complications. It does explain, however, why the Rotary International Board of Directors places expectations upon and extends privileges to Rotary clubs, rather than to individual Rotarians.

If someone asks if you belong to Rotary International, your most accurate answer would be, "No, I belong to a Rotary club." But I doubt if anyone would understand the difference, or, in fact, would really care.

Rotary Education - Membership In Rotary International Tom Lewis 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

October 4 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Oct 06, 2013

President John was back, but had failed to research any appropriate TFTW (or inappropriate either) so we just jumped into the fray. I tried to help by noting that it was Dick Tracy Day, but that drew looks of confusion and groans.


Our guests today included John's wife, Linda and Peggy Jo Coker. Sadly, the meeting started with the announcement that John Deacon and Ed Charlesworth had resigned.



Please bring a large ice chest next Friday to lend to John for an Interact Event next weekend. 

An evite has gone out for the Club Social at David Smith's Galveston palace on the 19th. Please let David know if you will be attending so he can plan accordingly.

The meeting on October 18th will be at Hooks Airport. Details to follow.

There will be a Board Meeting Tuesday at Anais Watsky's house at 6:30PM.

There will be a surprise lunch for Superintendent Dr. Cain at Nitsh this Wednesday.


Good News:

1. Anais Watsky had taken our 3 inbound exchange students out for coffee. She had a pleasant visit and was pleased that they all got along so well together.

2. Ernie Honig had good news and bad news. The bad news was that Linda had a spell of temporary amnesia Tuesday Night prompting an ER visit. The good news was that it was not a stroke and she seems to be getting better.

3. Tom Jackson Jr. had traveled to Ohio for his mother's 90th birthday and noted that she still barks at him and wishes he would grow up. He visited the local Rotary Club while there. Also, Ben had done a magic show in New Orleans for a group that liked him so much they were shipping him to Amsterdam for another engagement.

4. Phil Baker had been away a couple of weeks in Minnesota. He was happy to report that the Razorbacks had been able to stay within 12 points of A&M.

5. Lyncee Shuman said that her daughter is on a Rotary Exchange in Italy, and her sister in New York is going on a business trip to Italy and will be able to visit her.

6. Tom Lewis was finally able to attend a meeting since he has been furloughed by the government shutdown. He had gone to the State Fair of Texas and seen Army beat Louisiana Tech despite a deluge. He said he saw the new Big Tex and said hola.

7. Rich Bills wasted a dollar congratulating the Longhorns on their rousing victory over Iowa State.

8. Bob Ullom had a guest at Monte Carlo who purchased John Caruso's New Hampshire cabin. Fortunately for Bob, that friend took him on their trip back east where the leaves were spectacular.


Our program this week was a financial update by Tom Jackson Sr. who spent the last month in Colorado preparing his presentation along with a follow up from Bob Ullom who's presentation I had to miss. 

October 4 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Society: More Options for Contributions

Posted by Tom Lewis on Oct 03, 2013

Paul Harris Society members pledge to give $1000 per year to The Rotary Foundation.  With Paul Harris Society becoming an official program of The Rotary Foundation, the options for giving have expanded.   Annual contributions can now be made to the Annual Fund, Polio Plus or an approved Rotary Foundation grant.  If you have wanted to join but wanted to support Polio Plus, now you can.

Rotary Direct can make it easier to meet a pledge of $1000 per year.  You can set up automatic payments for $84 per month or $250 a quarter.  Go to and keep choosing "Give" until you get to the donation page where you can specify a recurring gift.

There is more information on the Paul Harris Society page of the district website.  You will also find a downloadable brochure and enrollment form there.

If you have questions, contact PHS Coordinator Dee Ullrich at

Dee Ullrich
District 5890 Paul Harris Society Coordinator

Paul Harris Society: More Options for Contributions Tom Lewis 2013-10-04 00:00:00Z 0

District 5890 Rotary Foundation Dinner - Nov 3

Posted by Tom Lewis on Sep 30, 2013

Jon R. McKinnie

Announcing, the 2013 District 5890 Rotary Foundation Dinner will be held Sunday, November 3, 2013, at Maggiano’s Little Italy, 2019 Post Oak Blvd,Houston, TX 77056 

Cocktails (Cash Bar) and Fellowship 5:00pm, Dinner 6:00pm

Featured Guest: Past Rotary International Director Mike Pinson & Spouse Mary.

We are now ready to accept reservations & payments to attend The 2013 Rotary Foundation Dinner.

Attendees must be members of one of three exclusive groups:

Major Donors, Bequest Society Members, or Paid Paul Harris Society members (including those who are giving $85+ per month on Rotary Direct).  Your spouses/guests are also invited.To register now, click on Member or Guest on the left side of this web page.

If you are already a member of one of those three groups, be looking for your invitation in the mail.  If you are not currently, but wish to join one of these three groups, or if you are not sure if you already qualify, please send me an email and I will respond with instructions.  See you there on November 3, 2013 for this great event!

The District 5890 Rotary Foundation Dinner is a Celebration of Giving & Service for Major Donors, Bequest Society Members, & Paid Paul Harris Society Members & spouse/guest Only (Including Rotary Direct $85+ per Month Contributors)

Cost: $65 per person
Please RSVP with your payment (made payable to Rotary District 5890)
To 4903 Pine St., Bellaire, TX 77401

Please respond promptly – Event is limited to 100 guests
Dress: business attire

Questions? Please contact Terry Ziegler, District 5890 Rotary Foundation Committee Chair at 713-825-1176 or

District 5890 Rotary Foundation Dinner - Nov 3 Tom Lewis 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0

October is Vocational Service month

Posted by Tom Lewis on Sep 30, 2013

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

During October, Rotarians are encouraged to focus on this important avenue of Rotary service. 

Discussions on vocational service can lead to projects that not only develop the ethical consciousness and vocational skills of Rotarians but also the talents within their communities. Vocational Service Month is an opportunity to begin year-long vocational service activities, ranging from Rotary discussions to awards to community projects. Following are some suggested activities to undertake during Vocational Service Month:

Devote the first meeting in October to examining the second Avenue of Service, includingThe Four-Way TestandThe Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions. After expanding members' awareness, solicit their input in planning projects for the remainder of the year
Introduce a "mini-classifications talk" series in which each member gives a five-minute talk on his or her vocation. Schedule one speaker for the beginning of each meeting until everyone has made a presentation. The purpose of these talks is to promote vocational awareness among Rotarians and help them recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations
Present a vocational award to someone in the community who has exemplified outstanding professional achievement while maintaining very high ethical standards. Promote the presentation within the community, and consider making it an annual October event
Invite experts to give a presentation on the vocational needs of the community and develop a project in response to those needs. Possible projects could focus on developing character, providing career information to youth, mentoring small businesses, or organizing workshops that provide employees with new skills
Encourage club members to put their vocational skills to work as a Rotary Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available onProjectLINK, a valuable resource that lists many vocational projects that clubs and districts can also choose to support financially or with donated goods. ProjectLINK also includes examples of successful vocational service projects that Rotary clubs can model as they plan their own activities
October is Vocational Service month Tom Lewis 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0
October birthdays and anniversaries Tom Lewis 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Honorary Membership

Posted by Tom Lewis on Sep 30, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

"Honorary" is one of the four types of membership a person may have in a Rotary club. This type of membership is the highest distinction a Rotary club can confer and is exercised only in exceptional cases to recognize an individual for unusual service and contributions to Rotary and society. An honorary member is elected for one year only, and continuing membership must be renewed annually.


Honorary members cannot propose new members to the club, do not hold office and are exempt from attendance requirements and club dues.

Many distinguished heads of state, explorers, authors, musicians, astronauts and other public personalities have been honorary members of Rotary clubs, including King Gustaf of Sweden, King George VI of England, King Badouin of Belgium, King Hassan III of Morocco, Sir Winston Churchill, humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, Charles Lindbergh, composer Jean Sibelius, explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, Thor Heyerdahl, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Dr. Albert Sabin, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and many of the presidents of the United States. Truly, those selected for honorary membership are those who have done much to further the ideals of Rotary.

Rotary Education - Honorary Membership Tom Lewis 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Women In Rotary

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 25, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

Until 1989, the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary International stated that Rotary club membership was for males only. In 1978 the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, invited three women to become members. The RI board withdrew the charter of that club for violation of the RI Constitution. The club brought suit against RI claiming a violation of a state civil rights law which prevents discrimination of any form in business establishments or public accommodations. The appeals court and the California Supreme Court supported the Duarte position that Rotary could not remove the club's charter merely for inducting women into the club. The United States Supreme Court upheld the California court indicating that Rotary clubs do have a "business purpose" and are in some ways public-type organizations. This action in 1987 allowed women to become Rotarians in any jurisdiction having similar "public accommodation" statutes.

The RI constitutional change was made at the 1989 Council on Legislation, with a vote to eliminate the "male only" provision for all of Rotary.

Rotary Education - Women In Rotary Tom Lewis 2013-05-26 00:00:00Z 0
Ma 24 bulletin - A little TED talk - a little entertainment. Sit up front! Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-24 00:00:00Z 0

2013-14 District Governor & Officers Installation - Jun 15

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 22, 2013

Jon R. McKinnie

Come join us in celebration of the Rotary District 5890 Installation of District Governor Bob Gebhard & his incoming Officers. The event will be held Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77507

MAP Registration & Cocktail Reception starts at 5:00PM, Program begins at 6:30pm Dress Code - Denim & Diamonds Cowboy Black-tie optional Please click on REGISTER ON-LINE
The tentative agenda:
Registration/Cocktail Reception: 5:00-6:00 PM
Program Begins: 6:30 PM
Dinner 7:00 PM
Installation/Program 8:00 PM

Please click on REGISTER ON-LINE
2013-14 District Governor & Officers Installation - Jun 15 Tom Lewis 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

A Life Changing Trip to Nicaragua - Jul 31 - Aug 6

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 22, 2013

Jim Kite

We will be taking our next trip to visit our many projects in Nicaragua beginning on July 31, 2013. I hope you will join us for our July-Aug., 2013 trip to Nicaragua. We will be leaving from Houston on Wednesday July 31st on United flight # UA1421, at 6:30 p.m. and arriving in Managua at 8:47 p.m. We will return from Managua on Wednesday August 6th on United flight # UA1423 leaving Managua at 7:02 a.m. and arriving in Houston at 11:28 a.m.

Getting group rates for tickets has gotten increasingly difficult. People are coming from so many different places and usually you can get much better prices on line than we can get as a group rate. So we are asking everyone to buy your own tickets directly, but, you must coordinate your arrival and departure to match within an hour or so of the United flights shown above. I know that American and some others have flights through Miami which closely match this schedule. The ground travel, meals and hotel charges will be $585.00 per person (double occupancy in hotels). Add $180.00 per person if you require a private room. We will co-ordinate all of this as we always have in the past. If you will be on flights other than these United flights Please send me a copy of your tickets so that we will know when to meet you. Payments and sign-up sheets for this should be sent to:

Hope & Relief International Foundation, Inc.
10700 Gerke Rd.
Brenham, Texas 77833
Fax 979-836-0614

We will schedule everyone on a first come, first served, basis as of the date we receive your payment. No one will be scheduled before payment is received. Attached is a reservation form which should be and sent in, by everyone, with the information and your payment. Please provide ALL the information. In order to secure all the hotel reservations we need to have your registration by July1,2013 or we will not be able to be sure that we can have hotel reservations for you.

Remember this is a tropical climate so dress accordingly. Jeans and shorts are great but you need to not wear sandals or open toe shoes when we visit the dump and the more rural areas. We will be staying part of the time at a beach resort so remember to pack your swimsuit, etc. A copy of our planned itinerary is attached but is subject to change. Any revisions made will be sent to all those registered before we leave. Remember that you will need a passport that is not within 6 months of expiring and please use the name exactly as it is on the passport for your plane tickets and on the registration form that you send us.

We are planning on a large group and we really hope you can go with us. Please let me know and call me if you have questions.

Jim Kite
Home number 979-251-8225
Cell number 979-251-0840

A Life Changing Trip to Nicaragua - Jul 31 - Aug 6 Tom Lewis 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Wild poliovirus reported in Somalia

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 22, 2013

Rotary News -- 13 May 2013

A case of type 1 polio has been reported in the Banadir region of Somalia, the country’s first case since March 2007.

In response to the outbreak, an immunization campaign is scheduled to take place 14-16 May, aimed at reaching more than 350,000 children in the Banadir region.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a surveillance alert for Somalia and bordering areas of northern Kenya and eastern Ethiopia, highlighting the need for urgent searches for additional cases of acute flaccid paralysis and suspected polio in all health facilities. WHO has also advised all countries in Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region to heighten their surveillance for poliovirus.

While only three countries remain polio-endemic -- Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan -- the world is at risk of outbreaks until all three stop the virus. Continued support for polio eradication is needed to ensure that the progress gained is not lost.

Wild poliovirus reported in Somalia Tom Lewis 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Hiroshima peace forum notes that peace begins with you

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 22, 2013

By Arnold R. Grahl
Rotary News -- 20 May 2013

In a ceremony heavy with symbolism, RI President Sakuji Tanaka joined other Rotary and community leaders 17 May in laying a wreath in Hiroshima Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on the city during World War II.

The subject of peace has been at the heart of Tanaka’s year as Rotary’s president. A member of the Rotary Club of Yashio, Japan, Tanaka selected Peace Through Service as RI’s theme for his year, and he organized three global peace forums to motivate Rotarians and others, particularly youth, to work for peace in their daily lives.

The wreath-laying event took place during the third of these forums, in Hiroshima, Japan, 17-18 May. Tanaka also visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and signed the guest book, which contains messages of peace from many past and present world leaders.

More than 2,700 people attended the forum, including Rotarians, community leaders, and students and alumni of Rotary’s Peace Centers program -- a peace studies initiative that provides future leaders with the skills needed to resolve conflicts and promote peace. The governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, Hidehiko Yuzaki, and the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, also attended.

Previous forums were held in Berlin, Germany, and Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Tanaka selected all three sites because they were affected by the events of World War II and now represent the healing power of sustainable peace between nations.

“Every Rotary project, every act of service, is an act of love and kindness,” Tanaka said in his closing address. “When we serve in the right ways, and for the right reasons, we bring people together, in peace and in harmony. How could it be otherwise?”

A call to action

Participants at the forum also adopted a declaration, “Peace Begins With You,” which serves as a call to action for individuals to make a conscious effort in their daily lives to promote harmony with their neighbors and create friendships that transcend the divisions of nationality, politics, religion, and culture.

“Today, as we leave this last Rotary Peace Forum, I ask you to understand that peace, in all of the ways that we can understand it, is a real goal, and a realistic goal for Rotary,” Tanaka said. “Peace is not something that can only be achieved through treaties, by governments, or through heroic struggles. It is something that we can find, and that we can achieve -- every day, and in many simple ways.”

Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Dong Kurn Lee, of the Rotary Club of Seoul Hangang, Korea, spoke about the contributions Rotary has made in moving the nations of Korea and Japan closer together as allies and economic partners, healing old wounds. He quoted a Korean saying, “It takes two palms to make a clapping sound,” to illustrate that neither nation could decide alone to live in peace with its neighbor.

“Every year, for the last eleven years, Japanese and Korean Rotarians have had a very special meeting: a Japanese-Korean friendship meeting,” Lee said. “It is a wonderful event. We talk about Rotary, and we do some Rotary work. But the most important part of the meeting is simply coming together, in Rotary fellowship. . . . Rotary has helped us to make our dream of peace between our countries real.”

President-nominee Gary C. K. Huang noted that the idea of treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves is a common concept across cultures and religions. Rotary members strive to achieve this by putting service above self and by laying a foundation for peace.

“We build peace in the world by building peace in our communities -- within our Rotary zones and districts, and within our neighborhoods,” Huang said. “We build peace in our communities by forging friendships, and by cultivating an open mind and a welcoming spirit within ourselves.”

Rotary in Japan

Rotary has been in Japan since 1920 with the chartering of the Rotary Club of Tokyo. Other Rotary clubs soon followed in Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, and several other cities. Today, there are about 88,000 Rotary members in Japan belonging to 2,285 clubs.

In March 2011, a massive earthquake off the coast of Japan and the resulting tsunami brought devastation to much of the nation. Rotarians around the world responded with moral and financial support, raising more than US$7.8 million for disaster recovery efforts in Japan and Pacific island nations.

Rotary has a long-standing commitment to peace. At the grassroots level, members have worked to address the underlying causes of conflict and violence, such as hunger, poverty, disease, and illiteracy. Ten years ago, Rotary decided to take a direct approach to promoting world understanding by providing future leaders with the tools they need to “wage peace” on the global stage.

Since 2002, Rotary clubs have annually sponsored up to 110 scholars who embark on one to two years of study, earning either master’s degrees or professional certificates in peace and conflict resolution at Rotary Peace Centers at universities around the world. Seventy peace fellows have graduated from the Rotary Peace Center in Tokyo at International Christian University, and another 21 are currently enrolled; 25 peace fellows from Japan have studied abroad at Rotary Peace Centers.

Hiroshima peace forum notes that peace begins with you Tom Lewis 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0
Bi-District Tornado Disaster Fund Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - The Sponsor Of A New Member

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 19, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

The bylaws of Rotary clearly outline the procedure for a prospective member to be proposed for Rotary club membership. The "proposer" is the key person in the growth and advancement of Rotary. Without a sponsor, an individual will never have the opportunity to become a Rotarian.


The task of the proposer should not end merely by submitting a name to the club secretary or membership committee. Rotary has not established formal responsibilities for proposers or sponsors, however, by custom and tradition these procedures are recommended in many clubs. The sponsor should:

1. Invite a prospective member to several meetings prior to proposing the individual for membership.

2. Accompany the prospective new member to one or more orientation/informational meetings.

3. Introduce the new member to other club members each week for the first month.

4. Invite the new member to accompany the sponsor to neighboring clubs for the first make-up meeting to learn the process and observe the spirit of fellowship.

5. Ask the new member and spouse to accompany the sponsor to the club's social activities, dinners or other special occasions.

6. Urge the new member and spouse to attend the district conference with the sponsor.

7. Serve as a special friend to assure that the new member becomes an active Rotarian.

When the proposer follows these guidelines, Rotary becomes stronger with each new member.

Rotary Education - The Sponsor Of A New Member Tom Lewis 2013-05-20 00:00:00Z 0

May 17 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on May 16, 2013

Trust President Jr to come up with an appropriate TFTW. With today's speaker being John Michael Talbot of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, a religious TFTW was in order. It so happens that our frequent visitor Peggy (who is also associated with the Brothers and Sisters) was traveling and once the plane took off, she took out her Bible to read the Good News. Her seat mate was somewhat skeptical and condescending and asked if she really believed all of that. Well of course I do she replied, its in the Bible so it must be true. Well what about that fellow Jonah who was swallowed by a whale. How do you supposed he could have survived that? She kindly replied that she did not know, but when she got to heaven, she would ask him. What if he's not there the man responded? She was quick to reply - then you can ask him!


Our 60 Second Commercial was presented by Mimi Davis. Mimi was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea and her father was a career military officer. As such, she moved frequently around the country. She ended up in a boarding school for High School, and upon graduation started in retail, which she found fascinating. It inspired her to start her own clothing business and she eventually got interested in jewelry so she studied everything about that business. As fate would have it, she met an American service member and got married to Mr. Davis and ended up in the US. She currently managed the Ben Bridge Jewelry store at Willowbrook Mall.


We have several guests today to include our speaker John Michael and a couple of members of his organization, Andrew Billings and Larry Lafonte.



Book Sorting tomorrow

June 11th - last Board Meeting for Jr's reign

June 13th - John Maxwell's installation


Good News:

1. Bob Ullom had a lengthy tale of family issues causing worry that all came together as if in answer to a prayer. I probably missed some of the details, but it involved one son's job hunt after leaving his own company, another son's house purchase, and the scheduling of his horses first race since her injury. The job came through, the selling house had a contract approved, and the horse is running tomorrow.

2. Tom Lewis was dressed in his Dress Blues as he had just come from the airport to welcome a large group of Wounded Warriors coming in for a fishing trip this weekend. He was also excited that he is being reassigned from Fort Dix to Houston in a post that he hopes will lead to a promotion to General.

3. David Smith was excited that we have signed up a 2nd school for the Early Act First Knight Program next year. We will be working with Klenk Elementary and there will be a training June 4th at 3:30PM if you have an interest in attending.

4. Randy Thompson said it was a bad week for polio with 7 new cases including one in Somalia where there has not been one in a while. He also gave a visual demonstration of the new drive through immunization of the freeway of India (I think).


As I mentioned, John Michael Talbot sand a beautiful song and gave a very interesting presentation about The Brothers and Sisters of Charity and the St Clare Monastery at 6921 Cutten Parkway. 

May 17 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-05-17 00:00:00Z 0
Klein Forest Interact Year End Banquet David Thompson 2013-05-16 00:00:00Z 0

Litter-buster keeps her city clean

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 14, 2013
by Susie Ma  
The Rotarian -- May 2013

Wendy Marcus calls herself a bag lady: On her frequent walks around her neighborhood, she is never without a plastic bag, which she fills with everything from plastic wrappers to bottle caps to paper clips.

“Litter has always bugged me. Maybe I take after Lady Bird Johnson,” she says, referring to the conservationist (and wife of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson) who, like Marcus, was a Texas native.

When the Rotary Club of Providence celebrated its centennial in 2011, Marcus and other members of the club’s environmental committee persuaded 100 Rotarians to join a campaign to reduce litter. In the now-annual monthlong event, culminating on Earth Day, 22 April, Rotarians recruit friends and family members to pick up trash – in their neighborhood, at their children’s soccer games, wherever they can – for 100 minutes each.

Like Lady Bird Johnson, Marcus also believes in beautification through planting. In 2012, she planted trees in Providence – her club donated eight London plane trees to the city, and high school students helped plant them in a park across from city hall – and in India – where from January to March of that year, she led a Group StudyExchange. When the Rotary Club of Jalandhar Central donated fruit trees to local farmers, Marcus and her team were on hand to help plant them as a living reminder of their visit.

Litter-buster keeps her city clean Tom Lewis 2013-05-15 00:00:00Z 0

Former Rotary Youth Exchange student designs a backpack bed for the homeless

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 14, 2013
By Megan Ferringer  
The Rotarian -- June 2013  

During Australia’s colder months, emergency shelters often fill to capacity. Many homeless people searching for a warm bed are turned away, handed a piece of cardboard and a blanket for the night.

Tony Clark, an IT entrepreneur, 1992 Rotary Youth Exchangestudent, and the founder of the Melbourne-based nonprofit Swags for Homeless, offers an alternative.

In the past year, his organization has distributed more than 3,000 swags, or portable sleeping units, to charities and shelters throughout Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The Backpack Beds, which Clark and his wife, Lisa, designed, are made of a lightweight fabric and have a built-in, 6-foot foam mattress and mosquito netting. But most important, they offer warmth with their waterproof, windproof design. The entire assembly weighs only 6.5 pounds and rolls into a backpack.

Clark was inspired to start the nonprofit when he questioned why so many shelters didn’t provide homeless people with proper outdoor bedding. He immediately began working on designs for the versatile bed.

“I thought to myself, ‘How would I like to be treated if I slept on the street?’” Clark says. “Homeless people suffering from frostbite, hypothermia, and trench foot are common in wealthy countries. A Backpack Bed is an interim crisis measure – one that can save the lives of those without shelter.”

The bed, which can be purchased with a A$68 donation, has won four international honors, including the Australian International Design Award and the German Red Dot “Best of the Best” award – one of the most prestigious accolades in the product design world.

The innovative beds offers more than physical comfort, say those who have used them – they also provide a renewed sense of dignity.

“Until people are faced with living on the streets, they have no idea of what is involved. Just getting a shower, finding a toilet, or trying to wash clothes becomes a big event,” says Matt, a young homeless man in Australia. “This is the third time I have been on the streets, and previously I didn’t even have a blanket. Tony Clark and his organization change the lives of people like me.”

The success of Swags for Homeless throughout Australia and Europe has encouraged Clark to bring his Backpack Beds to the United States. Rotary clubs in District 9800, which includes Melbourne, funded and transported 100 beds to Baltimore and parts of New Jersey and New York to help the region’s homeless and those displaced by Hurricane Sandy. District 7500 (New Jersey) worked with Australian Rotarians to coordinate the effort. Swags for Homeless also donated 60 beds for distribution in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

“We knew we had to take this idea and spread its success to other countries and help save others,” Clark says. “Thanks to Rotary, this is an important moment: It will be the first time Backpack Beds will be distributed to street-sleeping homeless and disaster victims in the USA.”

Read more stories from The Rotarian or sign up for the digital edition.

Former Rotary Youth Exchange student designs a backpack bed for the homeless Tom Lewis 2013-05-15 00:00:00Z 0
May 17 bulletin - John Michael Talbot founder The Brothers and Sisters of Charity Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-14 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Standard Club Constitution

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 11, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

Rotary International is the most territorial organization in the world. It exists in 150 countries and cuts across dozens of languages, political and social structures, customs, religions and traditions. How is it that all of the more than 27,000 Rotary clubs of the world operate in almost identical style? The primary answer is the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.


One of the conditions to receive a charter to become a Rotary club is to accept the Standard Club Constitution, originally adopted in 1922. The Standard Club Constitution outlines administrative techniques for clubs to follow in holding weekly meetings, procedures for membership and classifications, conditions of attendance and payment of dues and other policies relating to public issues and political positions.

This constitutional document provides the framework for all Rotary clubs in the world. When the Standard Club Constitution was accepted, it was agreed that all existing clubs could continue to follow their current constitution. Although most of those early clubs have subsequently endorsed the Standard Constitution, a few pre-1922 clubs still conduct their club affairs according to their former constitutional provisions.

The Standard Club Constitution has to be considered one of the great strengths of Rotary to enable the organization to operate in so many thousands of communities.

Rotary Education - Standard Club Constitution Tom Lewis 2013-05-12 00:00:00Z 0

May 10 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on May 11, 2013

Jr sent out the TFTW separately which was a fishy fishing store that had nothing to do with coffee, but was funny nonetheless.


We had a 60 Second Commercial from new member John Deacon who shared with us his love of the English Premier League Football (aka: Soccer). He wakes up early on Saturday morning and is joined by his dog to watch three matches. I'll bet there is at least one goal scored in that number of games!


A team of intrepid Willowbrook Rotarians will (did) hold interviews with our scholarship candidates. I believe Davis Thompson said there were 16 candidates vying for 6 scholarships. Good work all of you.


Announcements: Board Meeting next Tuesday at 6pm. There will be a book sorting at Angie's Rotary House on May 18th. June 11th will be the final Board meeting date in Jr's term. The installation of the new leadership will be on June 13th at Champions. You may RSVP online if you know how.


Good News:

1. Tom Lewis said that the Military is getting a jump on Mother's Day by having Military Spouses Appreciation Day on Friday.

2. Rich Bills was pleased by the great turnout for the bench dedication at Nitsch Elementary. I believe there were 10 Rotarians present.

3. Gary Aguren bid us a temporary farewell as he and Kit head of for an exotic tour of Istanbul, Egypt, Greece, Crete and other interesting places. He hopes to be back by the first of June.

4. Ernie Honig was reading the obits this morning and noticed that John Caruso had passed away.

5. John Caruso was pleased to note that it was the other John Caruso!

6. Randy Thompson had $5 for Mother's Day and  for Gary's help in translating some stuff to French for one of his Haitian ventures. Only two cases of Polio last week and we are "this close."

7. Lyncee Schuman was excited that her older daughter was inducted into the National Honor Society. She also said that she was from New York and was excited that they had topped out the newest building that is replacing the World Trade Towers.

8. Ed Charlesworth was pleased with the turnout and the quality of training at the District Assembly last weekend. ALso, his daughter Brittany who is with child, has had to start he Maternity leave a little early due to high blood pressure issues. The baby is due in June, but could come at any time.

9. Tom Jackson Jr. was also please with the final EAFK and Bench Dedication turnout.


Our speakers today were Mike Ferguson and Paul Endres from Coffee Icon who in addition to sharing cups of coffee to all who wanted one, raffled off a brewer which was won by Linda Honig. Now Linda has been advised by her doctor to not drink coffee. Hmmmm.

May 10 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-05-12 00:00:00Z 0
WRC Nitsch Elementary Garden Benches Dedication Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-09 00:00:00Z 0
EAFK Knighting Ceremony at Nitsch Elementary Tom Lewis 2013-05-09 00:00:00Z 0
May 10 bulletin Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-09 00:00:00Z 0

May 3 meeting notes and pictures

Posted by Richard Bills on May 06, 2013

The TFTW was related to our speaker's work as a hearing specialist. It seems an elderly couple was heading out on vacation with the wife driving way too fast. She was pulled over by a cop who asked for her license and registration. "What'd he say?" she asked? "License" he yelled. She passed it over and he noticed that she was from Arkansas. "I once had the worst relationship in the world with a woman from Arkansas" he said. "What'd he say?" she asked? "He thinks he knows you!" her husband replied.


The Rotary Minute was presented by new member John Deacon. John shared that the 5th Avenue of Service which was called New Generations, has been recently renamed as Youth Services.


We only had one visitor today and I could not hear her name except for Peggy. She's been here before and is very impressed by our scholarship program, so much so that she donated $1000.



District Assembly is tomorrow and David Thompson, Mark Boudreaux, and Rich Bills will be attending and Randy Thompson and Ed Charlesworth will be presenting. There are a lot of activities coming up for you to plug in to:

May 9th - The last Early Act First Knight Ceremony preceded by the dedication of the Rotary Benches at Nitsche Elementary at 1PM.

May 11th - Interviewing for Scholarships at Tom Jackson's. David Thompson has it well organized.

May 14th - Board Meeting - 6PM

May 18th - Book Sorting

May 21st - Klein Forest Interact Banquet catered by Carrabbas.

June 13th - Club Installation Banquet at Champions.


Good News:

1. Bob Ullom noted that the stock market had been above 15,000 briefly, but he really came up to predict that Orb would win the Kentucky Derby (I should have gotten this out sooner!) His friend Josh Pond's owns 1/4 interest in the horse.

2. Linda Honig (again I'm late) - Doc Severinson will be giving a concert Saturday Night at Northwoods.

3. John Deacon had a hat trick - his daughter who tore her ACL last year was recovering well and did something else I missed. His 13 year old son who swims for Kleb won his match, and it was John's birthday today.

4. Rich Bills shared that after being on probationary stays for the last 2 1/2 years for failure to have a dog, he has remedied the situation by adopting Kolby the Golden Retriever.

5. Randy Thompson noted that progress toward Polio Eradication continues, and we are "this close."

6. Tom Jackson Jr. noted that Ben is still not in prison, but he was really excited by Peggy's $1000 donation.


We inducted new member Lyncee Schuman. Make sure that you give her a warm welcome.


Our speaker today was Dr. Bruce Buechler and he told us all about how we loose our hearing.




New member Lyncee Shuman induction


Guest speaker Bruce Buechler

May 3 meeting notes and pictures Richard Bills 2013-05-07 00:00:00Z 0
WRC Bench dedication @ Nitsch Elem Thursday 12:45P SHARP! Please attend Tom Lewis 2013-05-07 00:00:00Z 0

Connect with the RI president and read his monthly message

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 05, 2013
Rotary News -- 2 May 2013  

Learn more about RI President Sakuji Tanaka. Read his May message about how Rotary can help achieve peace. Include the message in your club or district's newsletter and website.

Send a message and share photos

Dear fellow Rotarians,

From the moment I was nominated as Rotary International president, I knew I would choose a theme that would focus on peace. This is why I planned three peace forums – to give Rotarians an opportunity to think about peace, to talk about peace, and to share their ideas on building peace together. The final Rotary Global Peace Forum takes place this month in Hiroshima, Japan.

We hear the word peace every day. But most of us spend little time thinking about what peace is. On its simplest level, we can define peace by what it is not. It is a state of no war, no violence, and no fear. It means that you are not in danger of hunger, or persecution, or the suffering of poverty.

But we can also define peace by what it is, and by what it can be. Peace can mean freedom of thought and of speech, freedom of opinion and of choice, and the ability for self-determination. It can mean security, confidence in the future – a life and home in a stable society. On a more abstract level, peace can mean a sense of happiness, of inner serenity, of calm.

However we use the word, however we understand peace, Rotary can help us to achieve it. Rotary helps us to meet the basic needs of others – to provide health care, sanitation, food, and education when and where they are most needed. It helps to meet the inner needs as well, for friendship, connection, and caring. And Rotary helps us to build peace in its most traditional sense, by reducing the causes of conflict. It builds bridges of friendship and tolerance among people and nations. It helps us to understand one another.

However we define peace, whatever peace means to us, we can bring it closer through service. Peace, in all of the ways that we can understand it, is a real goal, and a realistic goal for Rotary. Peace is not something that can only be achieved through treaties, by governments, or through heroic struggles. It is something that we can find, and that we can achieve – every day, and in many simple ways.

And so I thank you for your commitment to Peace Through Service – and to a Rotary goal of a more peaceful world.

Connect with the RI president and read his monthly message Tom Lewis 2013-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Global Vaccine Summit yields US$4 billion in funding commitments to polio endgame plan

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 05, 2013
Rotary News -- 25 April 2013  

The 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Planand about US$4 billion in funding commitments took center stage at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi 24-25 April.

Developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the plan is designed to interrupt transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2014, strengthen routine immunization, lay the groundwork for securing a lasting polio-free world, and transfer the eradication initiative’s assets to other public health efforts.  

The GPEI estimates the new plan will cost about US$5.5 billion. Governments, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and other donors announced the commitments during the vaccine summit. They also called upon additional donors to commit the additional US$1.5 billion needed to ensure eradication.  

The Global Vaccine Summit was hosted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in partnership with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The event drew 300 representatives from the GPEI partners and national governments, health experts, business leaders, and philanthropists. Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert Scott, India National PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur, and PolioPlus Director Carol Pandak represented Rotary at the summit. Rotary polio ambassador and actress Archie Panjabi emceed the event.  

“This plan isn’t just a polio eradication plan, it’s a global immunization plan with the goal of ending polio while improving efforts to protect all children, including the most vulnerable, with life-saving vaccines,” said Gates.  “Successful implementation of the plan requires a significant, but time-limited investment that will deliver a polio-free world and pay dividends for future generations.” 

Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are global partners in the GPEI. One of Rotary’s chief responsibilities in the worldwide effort is advocacy. In addition to contributing more than US$1.2 billion to the GPEI, Rotary has helped secure over $9 billion from donor governments since the initiative began in 1988. It is estimated that polio eradication could save the world US$40-50 billion by 2035. 

Gates announced that his foundation would commit to one-third of the total cost of the GPEI’s budget over the plan’s six-year implementation, for a total of $1.8 billion. A new group of philanthropists joined Gates in supporting the new plan, with commitments of an additional $335 million: the Albert L. Ueltschi Foundation, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carlos Slim Foundation, Dalio Foundation, Foundation for a Greater Opportunity established by Carl C. Icahn, and Tahir Foundation. 

Long-time donors Canada, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, as well as Nigeria, made new commitments, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi announced a second pledge to polio eradication of US$120 million, adding to his first contribution made in 2011. A range of other donors, including the Islamic Development Bank, Ireland, and Japan, helped round out the additional pledges.   

Rotary, the initial donor to the GPEI, pledged its commitment through 2018 to raise funds and mobilize support of the endgame strategy.  “To stop polio once and for all, we need to act quickly so that children are fully protected and countries are not re-infected,” said RI President Sakuji Tanaka. “This takes the commitment of national and local leaders where polio still exists, the continued support of donor countries, and the steadfast commitment of heroic vaccinators.” 

Polio has decreased by 99 percent to just 22 cases this year (as of 24 April), and only three countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria – remain endemic for the disease. Without eradication, however, the disease could come back and paralyze more than 200,000 children worldwide every year within a decade. 

The extensive polio eradication infrastructure established by the GPEI is also helping to fight measles, malaria, and other diseases, along with aiding response to disaster-related health emergencies. After polio is eradicated, the endgame plan calls for the transfer of the GPEI’s assets to ensure lasting public health benefits.  

“After millennia battling polio, this plan puts us within sight of the endgame,” said World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan. “The extensive experience, infrastructure and knowledge gained from ending polio can help us reach all children and all communities with essential health services.”

Global Vaccine Summit yields US$4 billion in funding commitments to polio endgame plan Tom Lewis 2013-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Rotarians take part in Immunization Days in Côte d’lvoire

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 05, 2013
Rotary News -- 1 May 2013  
Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary Internationa

Rotarians in Côte d’lvoire took part in National Immunization Days (NIDs) beginning 26 April. They joined thousands of health workers and volunteers in mobilizing public support, ensuring the safe delivery of the oral polio vaccine, and administering the life-saving drops to more than 3 million children. The nation’s last case of polio occurred in July 2011. The NIDs also provided vitamin A supplements and de-worming tablets to children to expand public health benefits, which is another objective of the new polio endgame strategic plan.

Rotarians take part in Immunization Days in Côte d’lvoire Tom Lewis 2013-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - International Responsibilities of a Rotarian

Posted by Tom Lewis on May 05, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

As an international organization, Rotary offers each member unique opportunities and responsibilities. Although each Rotarian has first responsibility to uphold the obligations of citizenship of his or her own country, membership in Rotary enables Rotarians to take a somewhat different view of international affairs. In the early 1950s a Rotary philosophy was adopted to describe how a Rotarian may think on a global basis. Here is what it said:


"A world-minded Rotarian:

* looks beyond national patriotism and considers himself as sharing responsibility for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace; * resists any tendency to act in terms of national or racial superiority; * seeks and develops common grounds for agreement with peoples of other lands; * defends the rule of law and order to preserve the liberty of the individual so that he may enjoy freedom of thought, speech and assembly, and freedom from persecution, aggression, want and fear; * supports action directed toward improving standards of living for all peoples, realizing that poverty anywhere endangers prosperity everywhere; * upholds the principles of justice for mankind; * strives always to promote peace between nations and prepares to make personal sacrifices for that ideal; * urges and practices a spirit of understanding of every other man's beliefs as a step toward international goodwill, recognizing that there are certain basic moral and spiritual standards which will ensure a richer, fuller life."

That is quite an assignment for any Rotarian to practice in thoughts and actions!

Rotary Education - International Responsibilities of a Rotarian Tom Lewis 2013-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange April Report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on May 05, 2013

Andrea Clark

Fourth month of the year and second to last month of my exchange. Wah! So fast! Let’s just hop onto April’s contents, shall we? Beginning with…


GOLD! I found gold! I’m rich! Well, half of that is correct. Gold was found but richness not attained. My school took its five exchange students on a trip to a place called Jiufen. There a museum resides that exhibits the area’s history of gold mining. An activity you can partake in is attaining your very own gold. Just like during the gold rush, you have a saucer, water source and a pile of dirt. But that same dirt, after several steps of washing away debris, will dwindle down into a small bit with tiny gold flakes sprinkling the remains. Placing it in a petite bottle, we fantastically got to keep the gold! So I’m one flask of gold flakes richer!


At the same location, the school trip extended to walk through a mine and a narrow bustling street that winds up the mountains. It was filled with numerous shops that primarily sold food or souvenirs. Time to get my shopping on! Well, the shopping was just a few trinkets of Taiwan, nothing very extreme. Upon spotting an unknown food that resembled tofu topped with a thick sauce, I opted to make it my lunch.  The gamble resulted in quite an interesting turnout. I found myself going “OO! AH! HOT! HOTHOTHOT!!!” Twas spiiiiiiiicy! Nonetheless, brief moments like that are what create grin-provoking memories that last. That and the lesson of pick your tofu a bit more wisely next time!


The American exchange student boy that previously lived with my current host family had his American father and grandfather come visit Taiwan for several days. For one of those days, my current host family and I took the trio around several good tourist sites. Locations branched from several temples, a high viewpoint and a tourist night market. The visiting family was exposed to so much in a brief several hours that it seemed to almost reach a bombardment degree. That’s what happens when you pack a whole culture in only a few days I guess. They all took it in very well even though their faces humorously puckered with things like stinky tofu. What I loved about this time is that I acted as a translator, to the best of my abilities, when the touring family had questions my host family didn’t understand. The feeling of both helping and realizing my Chinese isn’t as bad as I think it is, is quite satisfying. Plus it’s just fun being a tour guide, period!


Double hot springs all the way! On two separate trips my host family relaxed in two different hot springs, one natural and one man-made. The first was at a prominent hot spring city Jiaoxi where we soaked in man-made ones. What was remarkable about this location was all the fun, playful features it included. Hot springs varied from normal hot water to ones with massaging jets to multi-colored concoctions of diverse minerals. Wow, I’ve never heard of such hot springs before! Experimenting each of the different colored pool was a total blast! Though I couldn’t read the Chinese signs, save for a couple, the springs held waters infused with things like rose, sulfur and even milk! In the corner was a small pool with little fishies swimming around but they were the type of fishies where you stick your feet in the water and they come nibble off your dead skin. This was a first time for me and I couldn’t help but bite my lip to subdue the violent giggles trying to escape. It felt like I was getting a hundred tiny kisses, tickles and pokes! Even further, the facilities had four different scent saunas: mint, lemon, rose and Chinese medicine! Mint took the gold hands down because of its strong and invigorating aroma that burned in your nose and lungs until it seemed to clean out your respiratory track. So lovely! By the end of it, not only was I extremely refreshed but also my skin was quite soft and my feet cleaned of dead skin. What a wonderful place!


Also in Taipei there’s a famous hot spring place located at Xinbeitou. Here I experienced my very first natural hot spring. Though a small facility, there were four options of pools: cold, warm, hot, and fiery! Wanting to try all and be smart about it, I carefully relaxed in each temperature starting from warm to hot to fiery and finishing with cold. The hottest spring definitely made you feel as though you were being cooked, sizzling your skin as if in a frying pan. You can safely stay in each spring for fifteen minutes but this one I could only roast for five minutes until I fled the scene. Pausing for a rehydration of water, I wrapped up my time with slowly lowering myself into what seemed like the heart of Alaska. Brrr, it was cold! Advice from a Taiwanese man said to be low enough to have the chilly water up to your neck to prevent getting a cold. As soon as I followed his words…the world started to reel up and down. I was on the dangerous verge of fainting. Through a haze of thoughts and visions, I managed to announce in Chinese that I wasn't feeling well. Some nearby people kindly help me out of the pool and onto a bench to regain normality. Yay I managed to stay continually conscious but no it wasn’t a fun time. Humorous memory though!


Visited two separate times, Yingge is an area that is renowned for its numerous works of pottery. The first time I went was with my host family where we viewed an interesting pottery art museum and browsed through a street speckled with pottery shops. My second visit was with the Rotary district that took its exchange students for a hands-on activity. Well when you’re in a pottery town, the only hands-on activity really to do is pottery itself! Two projects total, we painted a white cup and sculpted a mold of clay into whatever we wanted to. I chose to try to be artistic by going for a half plate-half bowl creation. After the initial shaping, I carved in the equivalent of the Taiwanese flag pattern with “Taiwan” written in both English and Chinese characters. Both crafts were such a blast! I never knew pottery was such a delight!


Something that was a personal desire of mine and special to search for in Taiwan was a traditional Chinese dress! It makes only sense to look for such a gorgeous part of the culture my exchange is based in, right? Surprisingly, such dresses were quite the challenge to find because of the few available stores that sold them. An ongoing expedition lasting several weeks finally landed me with not one but four dresses! The first one was found and bought myself but the other three were a very thoughtful gift from my past temporary host father/Rotary club president. All of them are so striking and four is definitely more than I ever could’ve hoped for! I would say the Chinese dress mission was a success!


One month left. Days are ticking down. Thanks for reading! Until my next report, I’ll see y’all then! Take care!

Rotary Youth Exchange April Report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-05-06 00:00:00Z 0
EAFK - LAST Knighting Ceremony this school year. Tuesday, May 9 @ 1:15 pm Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

May birthdays and anniversaries

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
Birthday Date     
 John Deacon May 3    
 Patricia Fraske May 6    
 Phil Baker May 27    
 Wayne Roush May 30    
 Wedding Anniversary Date Years  
 Jimmy & Sherry Lemmerz May 19 46  
 Tom & Bridgett Lewis May 26 23  
 Join Date Date Years  
 Lyncee Shuman May 3 0  
May birthdays and anniversaries Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

May meeting leaders

Posted by Thomas W. Jackson on Apr 30, 2013
 Date Invocation Pledge Rotary Minute 60-second Commercial
 3 May  R. Schlattman  M. Davis  J. Deacon  P. Fraske
 10 May  W. Rouse  E. Corona  D. Smith  J. Deacon
 17 May  J. Mitchell  E. Coker  R. Schlattman  M. Davis
 24 May  J. Maxwell  R. Catunda  W. Rouse  E. Corona
 31 May  T. Lewis  E. Charlesworth  J. Mitchell  E. Coker
May meeting leaders Thomas W. Jackson 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Changing the name of Rotary’s Fifth Avenue of Service

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
By Arnold R. Grahl  
Rotary News -- 30 April 2013  

The Council on Legislation a
pproved changing the name of Rotary’s Fifth 
Avenue of Service, currently called “New Generations Service,” to “Youth Service.” The 2010 Council approved this Avenue of Service for youth, which joined the already established Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, and International Service. The name “New Generations” was meant to reflect the need to build the next generation of Rotarians, but proponents of the name change argued Wednesday that the word “youth” is more universally understood, both inside and outside Rotary, and clarifies the fact that these programs encourage Rotarians to empower youth.
Changing the name of Rotary’s Fifth Avenue of Service Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Council approves dues increase, unlimited e-clubs

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
By Arnold R. Grahl  
Rotary News -- 30 April 2013 

Representatives from Rotary’s 532 districts met in downtown Chicago 21-26 April, approving a number of measures designed to strengthen Rotary, increase membership, and enhance the organization’s capacity to serve.

The Council on Legislation meets every three years to consider changes to the policies that govern Rotary International and its member clubs. This year’s Council accepted an increase of US$1 per year in per capita dues, removed limits on e-clubs, permitted satellite clubs, and changed the name of the fifth Avenue of Service to “Youth Service.”

The dues increase means Rotary clubs will pay Rotary International annual per capita dues of $54 in 2014-15, $55 in 2015-16, and $56 in 2016-17. Dues for 2013-14 had already been set to $53.

The RI Board of Directors proposed the increase based on a five-year financial forecast that projected that Rotary’s spending would exceed revenues by $9 million in 2018 if there were no increase. The result would be a drop in the General Surplus Fund below the level required by the RI Bylaws.

With the increase, spending is projected to exceed revenue by about $5 million in 2018, according to the forecast, which keeps the surplus fund above the mandated level. Supporters said the increase would be sufficient to keep pace with inflation without necessitating cutbacks in service. Dues are the primary source of funding for Rotary’s operations.

During the week, the 2013 Council considered more than 170 enactments and resolutions proposed by Rotary clubs, districts, or the RI Board.

“It has been a pleasure for me to serve you as chair and work with you this week on the legislation before the 2013 Council on Legislation,” Council Chair John Germ said. “You have come with energy and thoughtfulness, and you have represented your districts well.”

Council Representative William Pollard from Virginia, USA, noted that the representatives were united in a desire to make Rotary a stronger and better organization.

“Rotarians have different viewpoints on various issues and topics, and this is good for Rotary,” he said. “I quickly learned that some items that might not be important to my district might be very important to a district in another country.”

Among other actions during the week, representatives:

  • Allowed districts to have more than two e-clubs. The 2010 Council made e-clubs, which meet electronically, a permanent part of Rotary. Proponents argued removing the limit will bring in new members and will appeal particularly to young professionals, who may be less able to meet in person weekly.
  • Approved satellite clubs, whose members meet at a different time and location from their parent club but are still considered members of the parent club. The measure is intended to make it easier for members to develop the core for a new club.
  • Increased the number of clubs that can take part in pilot projects from 200 to 1,000. The RI Board uses these pilots, which last for up to six years, to test new ideas, methods, and organizational frameworks for clubs. Pilot clubs that participate in these experiments are fully functioning Rotary clubs but are exempt from some requirements of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.
  • Approved changing the name of Rotary’s Fifth Avenue of Service, currently called “New Generations Service,” to “Youth Service.” The 2010 Council approved this Avenue of Service for youth, which joined the already established Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, and International Service. The name “New Generations” was meant to reflect the need to build the next generation of Rotarians, but proponents of the name change argued Wednesday that the word “youth” is more universally understood, both inside and outside Rotary, and clarifies the fact that these programs encourage Rotarians to empower youth.
  • Approved a measure allowing participation in club projects to count toward club attendance requirements. The measure amends the Standard Rotary Club Constitution to require that a member attend or make up at least 50 percent of regular club meetings or engage in club projects for at least 12 hours in each half of the year, or a combination of both.
  • Approved a measure allowing Rotarians outside the United States and Canada to receive an electronic edition of their official regional Rotary magazine, if one is available. Rotarians within the United States and Canada were given the option of receiving a digital version of The Rotarian by the 2010 Council.
  • Approved a measure creating the office of vice governor, who would act as a substitute if the governor became unable to serve. The vice governor would be selected by the district’s nominating committee from among the district’s past governors.
  • Removed the travel reimbursement policy from the RI Bylaws. This will enable the RI Board of Directors to develop a policy that is flexible, able to address emergency travel situations, and able to take advantage of cost-saving opportunities.
  • Defeated two measures affecting Rotaract, Rotary-sponsored service clubs for men and women ages 18 to 30. The Council rejected raising the age limit to 35, arguing that the older members would have little in common with 18-year-olds. They also argued Rotarians should reach out to include Rotaractors who are reaching the age limit in their Rotary clubs. They rejected establishing lower dues for Rotaractors who want to join Rotary, partly because Rotaract membership records have not been collected by RI.

Douglas Vincent, a representative from Ontario, Canada, said he was a little disappointed the Council didn't adopt more changes, but feels the process serves a valuable function.

"Rotarians are the people who drive the organization," Vincent said. "It's important that representatives from the clubs, in a grassroots fashion, direct the policies and rules that govern Rotary International."

With the Council adjourned, an official report of action will be compiled, sent to clubs, and posted online. Clubs have an opportunity to record opposition to any action. If at least 5 percent of the clubs entitled to vote oppose an action, the legislation is suspended and the general secretary conducts a ballot-by-mail. A majority vote would cause the proposal to be rejected. All Council actions otherwise go into effect 1 July.

Council approves dues increase, unlimited e-clubs Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary receives top honors for Future Vision

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
Rotary News -- 26 April 2013

Rotary has received a silver Edison Award in recognition of the Future Vision Plan, the new grant model that enhances the scope, impact, and sustainability of humanitarian and educational projects funded by The Rotary Foundation. 

Since 1987, the Edison Awards have recognized innovative new products, services and business leaders in the United States. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Edison. Winners represent active contributors to the cause of innovation in the world. 

RI President Sakuji Tanaka accepted the award during the annual Edison Awards gala held 25 April in Chicago, the city where Rotary was founded in 1905. The Future Vision Plan received top honors among funding models competing in the Lifestyle and Social Impact category. Nominee ballots were judged by a panel of more than 3,000, including members of seven associations that represent a wide range of industries and disciplines. 

“This Edison Award recognizes and validates Rotary’s innovative approach to humanitarian service, as we constantly strive to improve lives and communities by addressing the world’s most pressing problems,” says Tanaka. “It is a great honor to accept such a prestigious award on behalf of Rotary’s global membership of 1.2 million men and women.”

The Edison Award coincides with the successful completion of a three-year pilot in which 100 Rotary districts in more than 70 countries tested Rotary’s new grant model. 

The Future Vision Plan simplifies Rotary’s grant process, and focuses Rotarian service efforts where they will have the greatest impact. The model is innovative in combining Rotary’s volunteer base and a global reach with local resources to support sustainable, high-impact results in communities all over the world. The model funds more than US$100 million in service projects annually.  

The new grant model will be implemented 1 July for Rotary clubs worldwide.

Rotary receives top honors for Future Vision Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

2012-13 District Conference Wrap-Up

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
Jon R. McKinnie

Thanks to Miguel Ottaviano, we now have photo albums of the District Conference!! Click on the following link:  Photo Album

The 2012-13 District Conference, held April 18-20, 2013,at the outstanding Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort - San Antonio, was a rousing success. Opening with a great dinner, the always heart-warming opening flag ceremony by our Youth Exchange students, great speakers including RI President's Rep. David Roper, to the Governor's Banquet on Saturday. Everyone came away more knowledgeable and with a pride of satisfaction.

District Governor Chris Schneider comments: "WOW!!! What a team effort!!! From the RI President’s Rep David Roperandall the distinguished speakers, to first time attendees and old timers, I have heard nothing but praises for your beautiful work, which included masterful planning and execution. Words cannot describe my appreciation for all the hard work that went into this WELL-received conference. I am, along with District 5890, forever grateful to your continued dedication to our world of Rotary. Our Family of Rotary is honored to have you as leaders, and may God bless you for all that you continue to do for Rotary."

To see the award winners, click on this story heading.


The following were the major 2012-13 awards presented during the District Conference:


Rotary Service to Humanity Award:  John Raley

TRF Citation for Meritorious Service:  PDG Sunny Sharma, RC of Fort Bend County

Vocational Service Leadership Award:  Belinda Kaylani, RC of Galleria Area


Large Club of the Year:  West U Rotary Club

Medium Club of the Year:  Richmond Rotary Club

Small Club of the Year:  Kingwood Rotary Club

Large Club President of the Year:  Marc Herns, Brazosport Rotary Club

Medium Club President of the Year:  James Ackman, Harrisburg Rotary Club

Small Club President of the Year:  Don Holt, Pasadena South Rotary Club

#1 Club per Capita giving TRF:  West U($287/member)

#1 Club overall giving to TRF:  West U($48,323)

Best Attendance & Reporting:  Kingwood, Sandi Nizzi, Club Secretary

#1 Membership Percentage Gain:  Fort Bend County Rotary Club

Outstanding Community Service Project of the Year:  Health Fair – Memorial-Spring Branch

Outstanding International Service Project of the Year:  Classrooms for Cheheltan Middle School Afghanistan- Rotary Clubs of Humble Intercontinental, Houston, Houston Heights, West U, North Shore, Willowbrook, Baytown, Bear Creek Copperfield and Brazosport

Rising Rotary Star:  Sasha Costa– Houston Rotary Club

AG of the Year:Stu Levin– Katy Rotary Club

Rotarian of the Year:  Michelle Bohreer– Houston Skyline Rotary Club


Bill Davis, RC of Humble Intercontinental for International Service Chair and Special Grants Advisor.

Emily Cole, RC of River Oaks, for Outstanding Leadership as Club President of the River Oaks Rotary Club.

Nathalie Cras:  Unwavering Meritorious Service as D5890 Rotaract District Representative

Rebecca Maddux:  Continued Unwavering Meritorious Service to D5890 in all capacities.

Dr. Eric Liu:  Continued Meritorious Service as Assistance Governor and Chair for MSB Health Fair

Michael Lam:  Meritorious Service to D5890 as President of the West Houston Katy Rotaract Club

Marilyn Lidberg:  Meritorious Service as Newsletter Editor, District DoorPrizeChair and AG

PDG Dennis Adams:  Meritorious Service as DG Advisor

PDG Rhonda Kennedy:Meritorious Service as DG Advisor

Wayne Musial:Meritorious Service as Supportive Spouse

Sharlene Barris:  Meritorious Service as Supportive Spouse

Ronnie Hallenberger:  Meritorious Service for District and Rotarian Support

Rotary Club of Champions Sunrise:Meritorious Service to the Community


Terry Ziegler, RC of West U

Wally Kronzer, RC of West U

Deanna “Dee” Ullrich, RC of West U

Randy Thompson, RC of Willowbrook

Lucy Pendon, RC of Brazosport

Barbara Franklin, RC of Brazosport

Lisa Pauls, RC of Brazosport

Martin Bailey, RC of Galleria Area

Bill Barmore, RC of Pasadena

Bill Davis, RC of Humble Intercontinental

Bill Haglund, RC of Memorial Spring Branch


2012-13 District Conference Wrap-Up Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

2013-14 District Governor & Officers Installation - Jun 15

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
 Jon R. McKinnie

Come join us in celebration ofthe Rotary District 5890 Installation of District Governor Bob Gebhard & his incoming Officers. The event will be held Sunday, June 15, 2012 at Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77507 MAPRegistration & Cocktail Reception starts at 5:00PM, Program begins at 6:30pm Dress Code - Denim & Diamonds Cowboy Black-tie optional Please click on REGISTER ON-LINE

The tentative agenda:
Registration/Cocktail Reception: 5:00-6:00 PM
Program Begins: 6:30 PM
Dinner 7:00 PM
Installation/Program 8:00 PM

Please click on REGISTER ON-LINE
2013-14 District Governor & Officers Installation - Jun 15 Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - The Rotarian And Regional Magazines

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 30, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

The month of April is annually designated as "Rotary's Magazine Month," an occasion to recognize and promote the reading and use of the official RI magazine, The Rotarian, and the regional magazines.


The Rotarian has been around since 1911 as the medium to communicate with Rotarians and to advance the program and Object of Rotary. A primary goal of the magazine is to support the annual theme and philosophy of the RI president and to disseminate information about new and special programs, major meetings and the emphasis of the several official "months" of Rotary.

The Rotarian provides a forum in which both Rotary-related and general interest topics may be explored. The magazine serves as an excellent source of information and ideas for programs at Rotary club meetings and district conferences. Many articles promote international fellowship, goodwill and understanding. Regular readers usually have superior knowledge of the activities of Rotary and how each Rotarian may be more fully involved in the Four Avenues of Service around the world.

In addition to The Rotarian there are 28 regional magazines printed in 22 languages. Although each regional publication has its own unique style and content, they all provide Rotarians with up-to-date information and good reading in April-and all through the year.

Rotary Education - The Rotarian And Regional Magazines Tom Lewis 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

April 26 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Apr 30, 2013


So President Jr. was back after a week away with an excellent TFTW in tow. It seems a couple from Minneapolis was trying to catch a break from the cold northern weather so they booked a vacation in Miami Beach. Unfortunately their work schedules precluded their traveling together so the husband left on Thursday and checked into their elegant suite. He quickly sent his wife an email, but unfortunately mistyped the address and  it accidently went to a recently widowed lady in Texas.


Darling - I'll bet you are surprised to hear from me. I arrived safely and it's beautiful here. Everyone is very friendly and looking forward to your arrival tomorrow. PS - It's hot down here!


We are not sure how that related to CFO's and Community College finances, but it was cute nonetheless.


The Rotary Minute was presented by Randy Thompson who took the opportunity to save a dollar of Good News money by highlighting all of the great progress toward polio eradication. He discussed a recent Polio Summit where $4 billion was pledged toward the polio eradication goal. Wow, we are "this close."


Ernie Honig used the occasion of the 60 Second Commercial to describe their recent trip to Italy where they kept an eye out for Rotary signs, and ran across a club on the Isle of Capri that had a vehicle that seemed to be a Rotary version of Meals on Wheels. After days of pasta, the ran across an English Pub, which was a welcome break!


Our guests included Vicky Cassidy and Cindy Gillam from Lone Star College, Jim Lemmerz, Ben from Nairobi who brought a Club banner to exchange.


There were a lot of announcements, but of particular importance are District Assembly May 4th, Scholarship interviews May 11th at Tom Sr's. office and the final Early Act Knighting Ceremony of the year on May 9th at 1:30pm.


Good News:

1. Anais Watsky had breakfast with John Maxwell and found out that our Club had been recognized at the District Conference for Best International Project. Also, she thanked Ed for taking the RYE kids to the conference.

2. Wayne Roush had been driving a group of elderly ladies to the NAM Bingo games. He and Louella will be heading out for Ohio soon to sell of things from her mother's estate to include the farm. He also had picked up a bunch of books from Quality Books for the Rotary Book Project.

3. Graham Sharp described an encounter with one of the exchange students at the District Conference. He remembered her name and greeted her warmly. She obviously didn't know him from Adam, and apologized for not remembering him, but explained - "I sleep since then"

4. Ed Charlesworth said that it had been an honor to drive the kids to the District Conference and it certainly made it a much more rewarding experience for Robin and himself despite driving Anais's tempermental mini-van.


April 26 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0
May 3 bulletin Thomas W. Jackson 2013-04-29 00:00:00Z 0
Cindy Gilliam -CFO Lonestar College System Stephanie March 2013-04-26 00:00:00Z 0
Dangerous Dude and Texas Blue Bonnets Thomas W. Jackson 2013-04-24 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange March Report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Apr 21, 2013
A new month dawns along with new circumstances and experiences. At my high school three exchange students and myself hired a teacher to come twice a week for three hours each day to teach Chinese. We want to learn more Chinese as well as fill the excess time at high school when we don’t do anything with something productive. It’s really nice having that extra bit of Chinese help to move along our progress!

Something new introduced to me by my host family was a nearby public library a ten-minute walk away and an elementary school that has a running track open to the community. Oh what a great discovery those were! The first with books I could entertain myself with on the long bus/subway rides and the second as a convenient exercise opportunity I’ve been craving for so many months. Total score! Yet another great way to start the month!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten before? Snail? Pig’s blood? Shark? How about snake? That last one I participated in by visiting HuaXi night market, a place famous for eating snakes. And not just snake meat I should point out. Nope, the tray placed in front of me was much stranger. First you begin with a bowl of soup containing both Chinese medicines and snake meat still attached to the bone. It was a challenge trying to figure out how the heck you eat the meat off the bone with chopsticks. Even my host parents were puzzled! I decided combing it with my teeth was best but then bones liked to frequently sneak off the spine and head for my throat. It took a bit of skill to eat it for sure! Afterwards there were five small shot glasses, each a different color and drink. Each beverage just sounded so weird like snake bile, snake fermented wine, snake blood and even snake venom! I tried every one but how I survived from snake venom without being poisoned is beyond me. XD Snake is not a common food at all in Taiwan and many people (my host mother included) are squeamish of even tasting it. The snake meat tasted exactly like chicken, therefore it was tasty and of course provided a very interesting experience for me.

As you might know, stinky tofu is a very well known food in Taiwan. Some foreigners quite like it and others just simply detest it. People fall into one of those two extremes. For me, I’m on the ‘like it’ side. So I was delighted when my host father acquainted me with a stinky tofu truck that comes to our neighborhood on Friday nights. Arriving in the late hours somewhere around midnight, a loudspeaker attached to the truck announced its presence by hollering out a couple Chinese advertisements. We brought our own bowl and the people at the truck fried us up some tofu, added some sauce and included pickled cabbage. Boy it was tasty! Twas really late to eat some but still so good as a monthly treat.

Rotary district 3480 (my district) took its exchange students on a trip to the National Palace Museum. Here there is numerous upon numerous works of art and history from China. Note how I said China and not Taiwan. That’s right, the National Palace Museum only contains Chinese things. It’s because it was originally established as the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City in 1925 but later in 1931 the Nationalist Government ordered the museum to evacuate its most valuable pieces out of the city to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army. So Taiwan was then graced with 693,507 pieces of Chinese artifacts that cover 8,000 years of history. And my oh my were they beautiful! Collections of jade, bronze, calligraphy, ceramics, paintings and more were all just stunning. It’s a huge building but even so, not all of the art pieces are displayed just because there’s just that many!

Yet another Rotary trip with my district took us to see the Taiwanese government. At the ‘Legislative Yuan, R.O.C.’ we viewed a debate room and a conference room as well as watch a video that rapidly stuffed our minds full of information concerning the layout and jobs of the Taiwanese government. Whoo it was a lot to take in but all very swell and educational.

One day my host family set up an entire morning endeavor to create dumplings together. Ingredients for this food included small circular dough disks and a heaping bowl of stuffing. They taught me how to form the dumpling and together we made hundreds of them. Seriously, hundreds! Once I got the hang of it, I started to play around with the design and establish my own unique style of dumpling. My host grandmother’s was very distinguishable, being very round and plump at the bottom. Mine on the other hand was narrower and had frilly folds on the top, looking just like a pretty hand fan. No matter the design, they all came to the same end result, being yummy! Now that I know how to build Chinese dumplings, I bet y’all can guess what food I want to try and make back in America.

To speak of something else Chinese (because you can’t expect me to write a report without mentioning it, am I right?), my host family accompanied me on a search to find a traditional Chinese dress. Surprisingly the task was really hard since there are few shops that offer such clothing. When you do find one of the rare shops, the selection is small and may not contain what you desire. Personally, I’m on the lookout for a nice long traditional dress but haven’t yet found one. Though I did stumble upon a gorgeous short black with blue accent dress that I fell in love with. Needless to say, I purchased it and now my unique Taiwanese object collection has increased by one beautiful dress.

Last by not least coming at the end of March, Easter! Easter is virtually non-existent in Taiwan except within Christian churches dispersed throughout Taipei. Regardless, this holiday both the commercial and Christian versions were inserted into my life with the help of my real parents and Taipei church family. I asked my parents to ship me a box of a couple famous American Easter candies so I could introduce them to my host family. The requested couple of candies by me were transformed into STUFFING THE BOX FULL TO THE BRIM by my parents. With all the necessaries like chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs, marshmallow Peeps, jelly beans and more, I effectively exposed my host family to what the commercialized mountain of sweets version of Easter is like. To go along I also taught them the religious historic story of Easter to which they respectfully listened to. Though they of course preferred the sugar Easter better for scrumptious reasons.

Another month down and only two more remain of my exchange. The approaching return flight date is a splash of cold realization but at the same time an encouragement to see and do even more than what I already am. These last two months shall be savored and enjoyed to the fullest with the best cultural exchange possible! 

Andrea Clark

Rotary Youth Exchange March Report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-04-22 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange December report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Apr 21, 2013
December, our esteemed winter month renowned for its holidays regarding Christmas and New Years. These are of course celebrated in many ways and levels in different countries when compared to the U.S.A. Would you like to know the Taiwanese version? I hope so because I’m about to tell y’all!

Beginning with Christmas it is neither an official national holiday nor an unofficial one. The extent of Christmas is through commercialism. Many holiday decorations are put up but not with the same cheer or meaning as in America. Families don’t get together for a Christmas dinner and many don’t even give presents. According to what I’ve heard from exchange students in Taiwan, their host families don’t celebrate this holiday in the slightest. The way that a group of friends and I commemorated our Christmas Eve was through attending a church service. That brings up another point of Taiwanese not knowing the religious meaning behind this holiday. I asked my classmate and she answered, “I think someone was born.”

Nonetheless I invaded Taiwan with a bit of Christmas to give a small snip-it of what it’s like in America. First I secretly made a decorated 3D paper Christmas tree for my host family and wrapped their gifts. During the night, I quietly snuck the tree onto the table and placed the gifts underneath. My goal was to be Santa Claus but of course they knew it was me who did it. Even so, they liked their surprise and their pleasant smiles made the holiday special. At high school I wore a Santa hat all day and gave all my classmates a candy cane while saying the Chinese version of “Merry Christmas.” It’s not much but I wanted to bring a bit of my culture to them.

Onto New Years! Happy New Year by the way! For New Year’s Eve, millions and millions of people gather around in condensed packs to watch Taipei 101 shoot fireworks from its building. This show lasts about three minutes and the fireworks reminded me of a lit up Christmas tree because of the building’s design. It was a very pretty show and so many people went to see it. Getting back home was a chaotic mess as everyone was rushing to get to the subway. Apart from those fireworks, Taiwanese don’t do much of anything for New Years. It’s Chinese New Years that they go all out for. That you’ll just have to hear about in an upcoming Rotary Report!

My high school had its 70th Anniversary celebration by having a ceremony and all the classes setting up festival tents and selling something. The things sold all revolved around food of some sort whether it was hot pot or sausage or a smoking cup of soda (the smoke most likely coming from dry ice). The club I’m in, the martial arts club, had a performance in front of the whole school. During our meetings we learned a ‘grasshopper hand’ routine and a lion dance (the traditional Chinese lion costume manned by one person as the head/front legs and the another as the back legs). It was now our time to show off our hard work! Oh boy was it a blast! I absolutely adore doing such traditional Chinese culture things! Yes, even if I was the back legs of the lion meaning I had to dance bent over in a 90 degree angle and my back was screaming in pain. It still was awesome! Instantly after performing, I wanted to do it again!

There are several places my host family has taken me to see during the weekends. One was a geo park with a famous landmark in Taiwan called ‘The Queen’s Head.” This rock, as the name suggests, is in the shape of a woman’s head with a high-bun hairdo. A favorite sight seeing place of mine is a Buddhist temple in the mountains entirely decorated in seashells and coral. You feel like you’re under the sea! Pictures of dragons and phoenixes adorn the walls completely made out of colored seashells. The temple was truly beautiful and unique. Inside the temple are several different types of objects that bring fortune and luck. Such an example is a large ball, which you rub for luck and rotate to symbolize multiplying your wealth.

One day my host father asked me if I wanted to go bowling with our Rotary district. Open to anything, of course I said yes. I thought it would be cool to bowl for fun with Rotarians. Little did I know it turned out to be a full-scale competition. … Uh-oh! I wasn’t any good at bowling! Thankfully my older sister from my temporary host family was a serious bowler in high school and became my teacher. She helped my status go from ‘complete beginner’ to ‘getting the hang of it.’ Did I win the competition? Of course not! I did however reach my goal of getting a three digit score. That’s victory enough for me!

For Chinese University class, we had our final exam on December 24th. Yeah, a full blown test on Christmas Eve. That’s another difference between Taiwan and America. While in the USA we get a winter break in December, Taiwan continues to have school (including December 25th) and gives the exchange students an important test. Regardless, I am happy to report my final exam result totaled up to a 92.5! Whoo-hoo! I hope I did Texas proud!

At a place called Bali, my host mother took me to see a Taiwanese aboriginal museum. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always loved the Native American culture residing in the States. It so happens that this interest also applies to Taiwanese aboriginals! The two cultures are very different mind you but nonetheless fascinating. A legend of the Puyuma Tribe says that a man named Nunur picked up a piece of bamboo for use of a cane. He flowed to the coast from the sea and leaned on the cane to crawl onto the beach but he slowly turned to stone. The bamboo stick that remained grew, the upper part becoming a man and the lower part becoming a woman. The two married and their offspring and began the Puyuma tribe. Isn’t that intriguing?! I hope to learn more about aboriginals in Taiwan because that’s definitely a culture that’s worth checking out!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and an exciting start to the year of 2013! Best of luck to all of y’all! Take care!

Andrea Clark

Rotary Youth Exchange December report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-04-22 00:00:00Z 0

Council gets ready to meet in Chicago

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 21, 2013
By Arnold R. Grahl  
Rotary News -- 17 April 2013  

Delegates from Rotary’s 532 districts will gather in downtown Chicago next week, 21-26 April, to consider changes to the policies that govern Rotary International and its member clubs.

The Council on Legislation meets every three years to debate proposals submitted by Rotary clubs, districts, and the RI Board of Directors. The Council has the power to pass resolutions and to make changes to the Constitution of Rotary International, Rotary International Bylaws, and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.
Every district sends a representative to the Council, and every club and district may propose legislation. The 174 pieces of legislation being debated during this year’s Council were received at Rotary headquarters by the due date of 31 December 2011.

Over its 79-year history, the Council has developed from a single plenary session at the international convention to an autonomous legislative entity.

Created in 1933, the Council was envisioned as an advisory body to assist with the review of enactments and resolutions proposed at the annual convention. It first convened as part of the 1934 convention, as Rotarians struggled with a worldwide depression, threats to world peace, and rising unemployment.

By 1954, the Council was well established, and Rotarians decided to allow for longer intervals between legislative sessions, adopting a biennial framework for voting upon enactments and resolutions. The next deliberations were held at the 1956 convention.

The 1970 convention further modified Rotary International’s legislative process when it decided that the Council should no longer serve in an advisory capacity but instead become RI’s official legislative body, considering proposals to amend the RI Constitution and Bylaws and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution. Four years later, delegates decided that the Council would meet triennially, still in conjunction with the convention. Finally, in 1977, the Council adopted an enactment to meet separately from the convention.

Technological advances have also had a profound impact on the Council. In the 1970s, delegates wore large headphones to hear the proceedings in their own languages. Today’s delegates have access to compact simultaneous interpretation equipment. And the use of a single interpreter has given way to multiple interpreters working out of booths on the side of the Council chambers. Electronic voting was introduced in 2001.

Over the decades, the Council has debated virtually every nuance of RI policy and every detail of membership and attendance rules. While individual Rotarians may not always agree with its decisions, one thing is clear: The Council is Rotary’s primary agent for change, allowing the organization to evaluate its relevance in today’s rapidly evolving world, reflecting shifts in lifestyles, priorities, technology, and business.

Below is a brief list of some of the more notable Councils:

  • The 1980 Council on Legislation supported Rotary’s efforts to immunize children against polio. A year earlier, the RI Board had approved the first Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) grant, funding a five-year effort to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines against polio. The effort eventually led to the PolioPlus program, launched in 1985. Realizing such a commitment would require the collective will of Rotarians everywhere, the Board proposed, and the 1986 Council adopted, a resolution endorsing Rotary’s commitment to immunizing the world’s children against polio. Subsequent Councils have continued to support polio eradication as Rotary’s top priority.
  • The 1989 Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide remains a watershed moment in the history of Rotary. It followed a decades-long effort from all over the Rotary world to allow for the admission of women, including several close votes at previous Council meetings. Read more about women in Rotary.
  • The 1950 Council is remembered for adopting “Service Above Self” and “He Profits Most Who Serves Best” (later reworded “One Profits Most Who Serves Best”) as Rotary mottoes. Read more about Rotary mottoes.
  • The 2001 Council is often noted for the amount of legislation received -- more than 1,000 proposals -- with over 600 being published and considered by the delegates.
Council gets ready to meet in Chicago Tom Lewis 2013-04-22 00:00:00Z 0

Historic Moments: The life of Rotary founder Paul Harris

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 21, 2013
By Lauren Kalal and Stephanie Giordano  
Rotary News -- 19 April 2013  

Born in Racine, Wisconsin, USA, on 19 April 1868, Paul P. Harris was the second of six children of George N. and Cornelia Bryan Harris.

At age three, he moved to Wallingford, Vermont, where he grew up in the care of his paternal grandparents, Howard and Pamela Harris. He attended the University of Vermont and Princeton University and received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1891.

While he was in school, both of Harris's grandparents died, and he spent the five years after graduation traveling around the country and working odd jobs. After arriving penniless in San Francisco in 1891, he worked as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and then as a ranch hand, grape picker, actor, and cowboy. He was also a hotel night clerk in Jacksonville, Florida, and a traveling marble and granite salesman.

In 1896, he settled in Chicago and opened a law practice. Along with Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey, he founded the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1905 and was elected its president in 1907.

Club membership grew rapidly. Many members were originally from small towns and found an opportunity for fellowship in the Chicago club. Harris was convinced that the club could be expanded into a service movement and strove to extend Rotary to other communities.

In 1910, he met Jean Thomson during an outing with the Prairie Club, a Chicago-based organization for wilderness enthusiasts. Harris and Thomson married three months later and settled on Chicago's South Side.

In the same year, the National Association of Rotary Clubs was formed, and Harris was elected its first president. He held the office for two years and afterward became president emeritus, serving as the public face of the organization and promoting membership extension and service around the world.

He wrote several books about Rotary and his life and travels, including The Founder of Rotary and This Rotarian Age.

In addition to his work with Rotary, Harris was involved in other civic organizations, including the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, City Club of Chicago, Chicago Bar Association, Prairie Club, and Easter Seals. He was also recognized by the Boy Scouts of America and honored by the governments of Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Peru.

Harris died on 27 January 1947, leaving a rich legacy of fellowship, professionalism, service, and friendship. His passing also sparked an outpouring of donations to The Rotary Foundation from all over the world, allowing the Foundation to greatly expand its programs and services.

Historic Moments: The life of Rotary founder Paul Harris Tom Lewis 2013-04-22 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Five Avenues of Service

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 21, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

For years, Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self has been channeled through the four Avenues of Service, which form the foundation of club activity. To get started on a project, think broadly about how your club and its members could contribute within each avenue. (Also see "Object" and Resolution 23-34)

Club Service

Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the smooth functioning of Rotary clubs. Learn about effective club service in Membership and Training.

Vocational Service

Vocational Service involves club members serving others through their professions and aspiring to high ethical standards. Rotarians, as business leaders, share skills and expertise through their vocations, and they inspire others in the process.

Community Service

Community Service is the opportunity  Rotary clubs have to implement club projects and activities that improve life in the local community.

International Service

International Service encompasses efforts to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the world and to promote world understanding and peace. It includes everything from contributing to PolioPlus to helping Rotary Youth Exchange students adjust to their host countries.

New Generations
The Avenue of New Generations recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults involved in leadership development activities, community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
Rotary Education - Five Avenues of Service Tom Lewis 2013-04-22 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange January Report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Apr 15, 2013
And so a new year dawns upon us! The first month of 2013 was quite spectacular as a whole. Many new sights were seen and many memories made with fond feelings within each one.

During the first part of January two outstanding occasions took place. One was at a Rotary event among District 3480. A culture class was held over the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy! That was my first time ever learning calligraphy and trying it. We were provided brushes, ink, paper, the whole sha-bang. A guest lady teacher came and instructed all the exchange students in how to conduct our hands and movement. Even the smallest of motions could make an immense difference in the final product.

The endeavor to get my calligraphy looking as graceful and lovely as the teacher’s took a bit of practice. But through trail and error I’m proud to say I got the hang of it! To end our lesson we were each given a piece of red paper to paint lucky Chinese characters on for the coming Chinese New Year. It was a great experience to have and a treasured lesson to learn. The art of calligraphy does require skill and practice but now that I’ve got a handle on it, there’s nothing stopping me from pursuing it!

My mind was blown away throughout the second mentioned occasion. It was a play held at a building called ‘NK101.’ The performance was titled ‘Formosa Fantasy: The amazing night of Taiwan.’ Let me tell you, the title did not lie in any way whatsoever. Composed of four parts (religion, night market, modern dance and aboriginal) each held a rich part of Taiwanese culture executed in a breathtaking way. Here I was exposed to a fascinating part of Taiwanese religion called “ba jia jiang” (Infernal Generals in English) that provoked me into inquiring my host family for more information over them. Along the way I learned a lot about Taiwanese culture I had never been exposed to. For that I have NK101 to thank for. It is very possibly my favorite experience in Taiwan yet filled with laughs, amazement and dancing. Dancing with the actors mind you! They grabbed members of the audience to join in the aboriginal dance and I just happened to be one of the lucky ones! It was awesome!

The second half of January was the start of winter vacation from school. It’s very much an exciting time for exchange students because the break time can be used to explore much of Taiwan that school days don’t permit. Such an example would be visiting a day market with my host grandmother. This type of market is mainly for buying food and is only open during the weekdays at noon. Here my host grandmother will buy the ingredients she needs for cooking meals. I enjoyed accompanying her and helping by rolling the cart around holding our purchased goods.

With my host family or friends, I visited several museums all holding unique items and information. One of such was a miniature museum displaying various scenes or building scaled down to an adorable size anywhere from a Buckingham Palace to Roman ruins to a simple yet elegant bedroom. They all were very well designed and a pleasure to view. I emitted squeals upon the sight of tiny cakes, itsy-bitsy sushi plates, etc. The place was just filled with petite bits of cuteness!

Another museum was a sweet exhibition held at a place called “The Story House.” Traditional Chinese pastries were the topic covered from history to shapes to smells. A surprising bonus was many free recipes given out on small pieces of paper. Though they are written in Chinese I think it’ll be great fun decoding it and trying to make them back in America! I’m a fan of baking so this is definitely up my alley!

Yet another educational place was a miner’s museum. It spoke mainly about Japan setting up mining sites for gold in Taiwan. Nearby was the Jioufen market, a narrow street filled with small shops that wind up the mountain. Numerous things can be found in this street like Taiwanese treats or various do-dads. One sweet was a thin tortilla sprinkled with a sugary peanut dust topped with scoops of ice cream. Roll it up like a burrito and you have a Taiwanese dessert! It’s a very interesting concept, no?

Thanks to the free time of winter break I was able to go on three different hikes through Taiwanese mountains, Mount Teapot, Mount Thumb and Mount Genliao. Before going on each I had imagined some upward slopes and fairly horizontal walks through forests. I was sorely mistaken! A hike here is code for ‘a bunch of stairs.’ The level of difficulty for each hike is based on how steep the stairs are. Some were merciless but others just fine. The views at the top usually are quite spectacular as they overlook the surrounding city. One hike was spent on a foggy day so there wasn’t much of a view but I am now able to say I ate a Taiwanese cloud!

So far winter vacation has been fantastic as I am able to see more of Taiwan than I ever have before. I definitely appreciate this opportunity and will take advantage of it! Until next time, take care everyone!

Rotary Youth Exchange January Report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange February Report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Apr 15, 2013
BAM! The very beginning of February kicked off with a Rotary trip to Hualien, east of Taiwan. What an exciting way to start the month! Three days of travel had three highlights them being visiting an aboriginal village, rafting and going to a waterpark near the ocean. My personal favorite was the Taiwanese aboriginals because the culture fascinates me between their clothing, dancing, beliefs, etc. Our trip there was mainly watching a performance of traditional dancing and singing. There was even a bonus with all the exchange students getting up and learning a group circle dance. It was splendid as we kicked and pranced with smiles spread across our faces!

As you might have heard or seen in a Chinatown or Chinese restaurant, this month holds the beloved Chinese New Year celebration! We are leaving the year of the dragon and emerging into the year of the snake! Many traditions are included in this auspicious holiday one being hanging lucky red paper throughout the house. Three banners are posted at the front door (two vertically on each side and one horizontal above) that have Chinese calligraphy painted on them. Various sayings can be written there but they all follow the concept of starting anew, wishing prosperity, etc. this coming year. Other smaller squares with only one Chinese character are put throughout the house such as above a door or on the important rice bucket of the dwelling.

Just like in America during New Year’s Eve, Taiwan has the Chinese equivalent of a family feast to behold! Before chowing down the family gets together by a small table covered with food and drink for the god of the house. They pray to this god with incense sticks for the family’s safety and luck in the coming year. A similar but smaller stand was set up in the kitchen for the corresponding god. FYI, there’s a Chinese god for nearly everything from what I’ve been told.

By far the biggest meal I’ve had at my host family’s house, food in plenty graced the table in a delicious banquet. One dish was a fish, which holds a tradition of not being eaten all in one sitting. The reason for this is by having leftovers of the fish, it symbolizes having abundance in the coming new year. So be sure not to eat all your fish next Chinese New Year!

Following our feast, my family taught me the traditional Chinese game of mahjong. It was mind-wracking at first with small yet numerous blocks each having different pictures on them and rules I’ve never encountered the likes of before. Some time and explanation was needed but very soon I caught on and became a worthy opponent. Requiring exactly four players, my host father, host mother, visiting host brother and I played on until early morning. The same as in America, we waited for midnight to welcome in the New Year as well as celebrate my host father’s birthday! And not just his but also my biological Mom whose b-day was a day earlier (but intertwined with the time zones). So that was a time full of celebration for three important reasons!

The next day my family visited a temple for praying to the Chinese gods shrined there. Many other people came as well and the place was filled with food offerings and the smoke of burning incense. Something you could traditionally do (but I noticed many Taiwanese didn’t) was to wear the color red for luck. My host mother was decked out in red pants, red top, red shoes and just all out red. Unfortunately my wardrobe only contained this color in T-shirt and sock format. Nonetheless I wore them both in the cheerful spirit of Chinese New Year!

This holiday is also comes with a winter break (as mentioned in my January report) from school and work so family may visit relatives. My host family went to Taizhong (台中) to see my host mother’s side of the family. The four days spent there, we did a mother-load of activities! Some of which were cycling down a popular biking road, exploring a bustling temple with a JAM-PACKED night market, seeing a museum of old Taiwan and seeing the iconic Sun-Moon Lake. Out of all of them two instances were definitely highlights and both involved Taiwanese aboriginals! At Sun-Moon Lake and the old Taiwan museum (Taiwan Times Village), aboriginals came and performed songs and dances from their tribes, each time I was able to participate in! I caught on to the moves quickly and danced enthusiastically away channeling my inner Taiwanese aboriginal! Between my host family the joke that I descended from a line of Taiwanese aboriginals was then born due to how well I picked up and loved the dances. So let it be know throughout the land that I, Andrea Clark (Chinese name: 文靜/Wen Jing), am related to these unique people residing in Taiwan!

Another special occasion that occurred was the bright lantern festival! The primary lantern viewing spot in Taipei was at Yuanshan park. Here the area was coated in dazzling lanterns with many different themes varying from iconic Chinese dragons to aboriginal designs to displays depicting Chinese legends. At first my host parents and I walked around the area in the daytime when the presentations were not yet finished. The lanterns were very impressive then but can’t compare to the trip when finished and glowing brilliantly at night. Thousands of people filled the location to see the brilliance, making it quite crowded. All the lanterns were so stunning and so well designed that it was truly a sight to behold!

For those of you who may or may not know, I am very much a baker. I love baking any and everything! In America kitchens are usually equipped with conventional ovens, you know the big one that’s most likely in your house? That’s what I know/use to bake. In Taiwan, a conventional oven is super rare. Here we have convection ovens that look like small microwaves. These are strange to me and make converting recipes to suit its style difficult, especially because of its size. For a Rotary meeting I volunteered to bake the Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix (Mmm, yummy!) I found at Costco (yes Taiwan has and loves Costcos). Many challenges came with this project because my host family are not bakers nor do they have the tools I’m used to. Compromising on gizmos and guesstimating the amount of each ingredient, I was able to concoct the brownies. The biggest compromise was on the baking pan since there wasn’t a big enough pan nor would it fit in the convention oven if my family owned such a pan. We ended up using two metal Chinese lunchboxes called ‘bian dan’ commonly used both by students and adults to bring lunch from home. In Taiwan at least, my deed was viewed quite humorously because I made two brownie bian dans. The equivalent in America is basically bringing a box full of brownies for lunch and nothing else. They were taken in well among the Rotarians. Baking challenge, success!

Going back to school was inevitable as winter break came to a close. Even so, trips exploring Taiwan still merrily squeezed its way into my life. One Rotary trip included a traditional puppet museum and lantern festival viewing (that’s when I saw them shining brightly at night). For a four-day weekend my host family traveled to south Taiwan for relatives and holiday. There we saw a ton of museums and the famous Kaohsiung coast, known for being an industrial port but containing beauty nonetheless in its own way. I am so happy and grateful to have seen south Taiwan because I really hoped I could. The distance may seem short to a Texan like myself, only being a 4-5 hour drive away but for Taiwanese that’s quite an extensive drive and therefore not a trip easily made.

That about sums February up in a nutshell! I hope you enjoyed and I wish you a Happy Chinese New Year with fortune in the year of the snake! Take care now!

Rotary Youth Exchange February Report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z 0

Dubai Rotarian fights the scourge of pollution

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 15, 2013
By Brittany Shoot  
The Rotarian -- April 2013

When David and Theresa Wernery plan a road trip, they don’t mess around. In early 2012, they quit their jobs – he as a lawyer, she as a merchant banker – packed up their modified Ford F-150, and headed out from their home base in Dubai on a journey across the Middle East and Europe.

Their aim: to educate people about the environmental effects of plastic pollution. They called it the Plastic Not So Fantastic Expedition.

The Wernerys have both lived in the United Arab Emirates since childhood; David is German, and Theresa is German-British. They originally planned one epic, 18-month trip that would cover more than 110,000 miles through 55 countries. They later decided to split their itinerary into several stages – the first, five-month leg of which began this past May and took them across Iran and Turkey, through the Balkans and Central Europe, to the United Kingdom, then through Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia, the Caucasus, and back home. They are now raising money for the second leg of their odyssey, slated for next year.

The couple learned about plastic pollution through David’s father, Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai. He has studied the role that plastic debris plays in the deaths of desert animals, finding that many species, including protected ones such as sand gazelles, die after ingesting plastic, either from choking or from blocked digestive systems. Even as plastic breaks down, the tiny particles pose a persistent threat to hungry, curious birds and other animals.

With the elder Wernery’s help, David, a member of the Rotary Club of Jumeirah-Dubai, and Theresa began giving local educational presentations and organizing cleanups at desert dump sites. When they started noticing a buildup of plastic trash at their favorite camping areas, the nature lovers decided to hit the road to share what they’d learned. “I was surprised when they told me they wanted to fight pollution globally, and extremely grateful and happy that they choose this way to make countries aware of this problem,” David’s father says.

As they planned their trip, the couple worked with several eco-minded companies. Fellow Rotarian Jan Willem Van Es donated a fuel additive distributed by his firm, Saham Global, to help increase their truck’s fuel efficiency. “Sponsoring the expedition allowed David and Theresa to reduce their carbon footprint,” Van Es says. GoalZero, which manufactures portable solar devices, helped the Wernerys set up solar power for their truck-turned-camper. Reusable containers filled with power adapters, cookware, and lightweight cotton clothing went in the truck bed next to a makeshift wooden shower stand. The Wernerys took along two folding sinks, a small clothesline, and a mini fridge. They installed a roof rack as well as heavy-duty off-road shock absorbers. Except for the time they spent with friends and family in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavia, they camped out almost every night.

As David plotted their course, the couple contacted Rotary and Rotaract clubs along the way. David had been a Rotaract club president a decade earlier, while he was a university student in Bonn, Germany; he later served as the New Generations service director and Rotary Foundation chair for his Rotary club. In areas where the couple had no personal connection, they used the Rotary Club Locator app to find nearby clubs.

The Wernerys focused on documenting the impact of plastic pollution on the people and places along their route. At club meetings, they talked with Rotarians about the effects of plastic trash on local nature reserves, beaches, and camping sites. When they were in one place longer than a few days, David notes, they tried to visit as many clubs as possible. “We were able to attend meetings at a number of clubs in London and in North Wales,” he says.

In July, the Wernerys spent five days at Latitude, a music festival in Suffolk, England. They camped in the mud, assisted with recycling and cleanup efforts, and set up a table where they handed out information and talked with festival goers about environmental issues.

Some couples might not do well spending months together on the road, squeezed into a tiny truck cab by day and sharing a small tent by night. But the Wernerys enjoyed the hours of uninterrupted togetherness, and they are pleased by how supportive fellow Rotarians have been throughout their travels. “Rotarians speak a common language,” David says. “Environmental issues are immediately discussed and supported.”

Dubai Rotarian fights the scourge of pollution Tom Lewis 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - First Names or Nicknames

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 15, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

From the earliest days of Rotary, members have referred to each other on a first-name basis. Since personal acquaintanceship and friendship are cornerstones of Rotary, it was natural that many clubs adopted the practice of setting aside formal titles in conversations among members. Individuals who normally would be addressed as Doctor, Professor, Mister, the Honorable or Sir are regularly called Joe, Bill, Charley or Jerry by other Rotarians. The characteristic Rotary club name badge fosters the first-name custom.

In a few areas, such as Europe, club members use a more formal style in addressing fellow members. In other parts of the world, mainly in Asian countries, the practice is to assign each new Rotarian a humorous nickname which relates to some personal characteristic or which is descriptive of the member's business or profession. A member nicknamed "Oxygen" is the manufacturer of chemical gas products. "Trees" is the nickname for the Rotarian in the lumber business, "Building" is the contractor, "Paper" is the stationery or office supply retailer. Other members might carry nicknames like "Muscles," "Foghorn" or "Smiles" as commentaries on their physical features.

The nicknames are frequently a source of good-natured fun and fellowship. But whether a Rotarian is addressed by a given first name or a nickname, the spirit of personal friendship is the initial step which opens doors to all other opportunities for service.

Rotary Education - First Names or Nicknames Tom Lewis 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z 0
April 19 bulletin Thomas W. Jackson 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z 0

April 12 meeting notes

Posted by Richard Bills on Apr 15, 2013
Seems like its been a few weeks since I've written any notes - Haven't had a clamoring from anyone about missing them so I hope at least someone is reading and enjoying them.
So in our TFTW, President Jr told about the young man who turned in his exam with a $100 and a note attached reading $1 per point. When it was returned next week, there was a thank you note attached, along with $64 in change.
Our Rotary Minute was presented by Bob Ullom who spoke about the Club By Laws which are a description of how we do (or are supposed to) things.
Tom Jackson Sr presented a Rotary Minute where he described himself as having been born in Houston, but moved to the Country. He went to UT and became a Financial Advisor. He's happy that tax season is over.
We had several visitors to include Peggy Jo, Dale from Houston NW Sunset, and the mother of a short term exchange student whose name I missed.
John Deacon has been proposed for membership. If you have any reservations, please advise the President of Secretary.
The District Conference will be next week at the Hill Country Hyatt. We have a couple of members going.
The District Assembly will be May 4th and all new members and Board members are encouraged to attend.
Good News:
1. John Caruso was begging for someone to be on his Golf  Team at the District Conference.
2. Jinni Kaltenbach is a member of 3 bridge groups, and for the first time ever, she came in first. I would suggest perhaps that you drop the other two and concentrate on this one!
3. Ed Charlesworth had a dollar for the mythical orphans of NAM.
4. Dale from HNW Sunset, had tickets to sell for their music festival.
5. David Smith had dollars for Wayne Roush and Tom Jr. for their attendance at the Early Act First Knight Ceremony.
6. Rich Bills had a dollar to inform everyone that the Rotary walkers were changing venue from Meyer to CyChamp Park. All are welcome.

April 12 meeting notes Richard Bills 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z 0

Boston Marathon

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 12, 2013
A new editorial cartoon by the Globe's Dan Wasserman shows Boston's solidarity.Image
Boston Marathon Tom Lewis 2013-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
NAM Food Fest for Folks Thomas W. Jackson 2013-04-12 00:00:00Z 0
Alan Hawkins -How Financial Markets really work Dale Kaltenbach 2013-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange November Report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Apr 10, 2013

November has been interesting for sure! An example would be, for about four days I didn’t have a voice because I was sick. This definitely created an out of the ordinary language barrier! It was fun playing charades with Taiwanese people.


A noteworthy thing within my high school life was the hiking trip we had as an entire group. We hiked up a tall mountain that proved to be a challenge since the steps were slippery. Every which way you would hear someone say, “小心!” This literally translates to ‘small heart’ but the meaning in Chinese is ‘be careful/have caution.’ It’s pretty hard not to learn that new phrase when you hear it hundreds of times in several hours. I effectively mastered it really quickly under these circumstances. Yay!


For school we have to choose only one club and we meet eight times in one semester. I jumped at the opportunity for martial arts club because that’s yet another authentic culture aspect that I can be exposed to during my exchange. That and I think it’s really fun to do! We’ve been doing a kung-fu routine since the beginning but this month we were introduced to lion dancing! Our teacher brought us some lion dancing costumes for us to take a spin in. Boy, was it exciting! Being both the head and bottom was fun but in the end I was assigned the head. When done properly, a lion dance is very energetic and exaggerates every movement. You get an effective workout from it!


Regarding my host family life, it’s been crazy, tiring but absolutely wonderful! I was moved to a temporary family because my first assigned family went abroad. This temporary family was at my Rotary club’s president’s house. It was completely different there with a bigger house and a much larger family. In total nine people, including a baby boy and myself lived in the same household. But in the eleven days I stayed with this family, I was totally and completely accepted amongst the family as one of their own. We went on trips and I learned so much Chinese from them.


Once eleven days were up, my Rotary club decided to prematurely switch host families and exchange students, having an American boy and I swapped host families. So I’ll have had four host families total instead of the original three by the end of this year. I think that’s a great experience because it showed me yet another Taiwanese family living style.


With that being said, I am indeed currently at my second host family’s house. (Note: I distinguish the families with ‘first,’ ‘temporary’ and ‘second’) They are very friendly and welcoming people. Did you know that one of their sons is in Texas right now on an exchange in our Rotary district? If you’ve heard of a Tommy from Taiwan, that’ll be their son! It’s very enjoyable to share the Texan culture to this family because they are really interested in what their son is experiencing at this moment.


The biggest Rotary events in Taiwan have amounted to two this month. One was a country fair where all the exchange students had to make a booth of their country for applying Taiwanese exchange students. Most every country had a sample of their food set out for people to try. To name just a few, Canada had maple syrup, Japan had special rice, France had crepes and the USA had our classic PB&J sandwich. It was funny sight when many Americans sentimentally savored the flavor of our beloved creation because it had been so long since our last. But food samples weren’t the only thing we had at the booths. Inbound exchange students would present their country and basically try and convince the applying Taiwanese students to pick their country. It was almost like a battle in a way, but a battle among friends of course.


A culture trip to a place called Shifen was the other remarkable Rotary trip. Here we did three principal things. First was view a waterfall. Second was to make a traditional bird toy from a stick of shrubbery like kids had to do for entertainment in the olden days. Third and finally was to create DIY flying lanterns and launch them up into the night sky! This is a very unique part of the culture and special that the exchange students were given the opportunity to make them. We had to glue the paper together, write our wishes on the paper and then WHOOSH! Off they went glowing and dancing in the sky! It was a beautiful sight and I’ll admit, I’ve always wanted to try flying lanterns so I’m very grateful for the experience Rotary gave the exchange students!


Well that just about wraps out the major events this month. I’ll see you wonderful people next month!

Andrea Clark

Rotary Youth Exchange November Report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0

Polio Eradication and End Game Strategic Plan developed

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 10, 2013
Rotary News -- 5 April 2013

The 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan, developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), is expected to be finalized this month. Rotary International, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are global partners in the GPEI.

In 2012, the World Health Assembly declared polio eradication a “programmatic emergency for global public health” and called for the development of a comprehensive polio eradication and endgame strategy. The plan is designed to interrupt transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2014, strengthen routine immunization, lay the groundwork for securing a lasting polio-free world, and transfer the eradication initiative’s assets to other public health efforts. It is estimated that polio eradication could save the world US$40-50 billion by 2035.

The new plan will cost about $5.5 billion. Therefore, increased support is needed from governments of donor and polio-affected countries, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, and the public, to ensure implementation. Every Rotarian can become an advocate by contacting elected officials, business leaders, friends, and the press to encourage support for eradicating polio.

Polio Eradication and End Game Strategic Plan developed Tom Lewis 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary is recognized by ShelterBox USA for its commitment to disaster relief

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 10, 2013
Rotary News -- 11 April 2013  

Rotary received a special recognition award from ShelterBox USA recently during its Humanitarian Awards Dinner in San Francisco.
Rotary was recognized with a plaque for its commitment to disaster survivors around the word during the event, which honors those who have made ShelterBox USA’s lifesaving mission possible. Other organizations recognized included Airlink, Baker & McKenzie, Centerline Digital and UPS.

Rotarians have been working with ShelterBox USA’s parent, ShelterBox, since the grassroots disaster relief organization was founded in 2000. In March 2012, Rotary International and ShelterBox signed a project partner agreement, enabling members of the Rotary family to have an immediate, lifesaving impact in communities hit by disasters.

Rotarians are often ShelterBox’s first point of contact, helping to assess the impact of a disaster and to identify communities most in need of assistance. Rotarians and Rotaractors work with ShelterBox in a variety of ways, including funding relief kits, providing logistical support during a deployment, and distributing aid as a member of a ShelterBox Response Team.

Recently, Rotarian ShelterBox volunteers provided shelter to hundreds of families in the Philippines displaced by a typhoon. In October, after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the northeast coast of the United States, Rotary districts 7500 and 7640 worked with ShelterBox Response Teams to identify the most vulnerable families and distribute aid.

In July 2012, the Krasnodar region of Russia saw the worst flooding in the country’s history. A ShelterBox Response Team worked closely with the Rotary Club of Krasnodar to conduct needs assessments, coordinate transportation, and help with logistics for deployments to Russia. Forty-three families received emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies while their homes were being rebuilt.

Rotary is recognized by ShelterBox USA for its commitment to disaster relief Tom Lewis 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotarians honored as Champions of Change at White House

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 10, 2013
Rotary News -- 5 April 2013  
Photos by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International 

Twelve U.S. Rotarians were honored at the White House on 5 April as Champions of Change for their efforts to improve communities locally and around the world.

As part of the daylong event, more than 160 Rotarians attended a morning round of briefings by government officials on topics including polio eradication, health, violence prevention, and the environment.

“It is a great honor to see these dedicated Rotary members recognized by the U.S. White House as Champions of Change for their work to improve the lives of people around the world,” said RI President Sakuji Tanaka.

Tanaka said the honorees exemplify how Rotary brings people together to solve problems that are too large for one person to tackle.

“Alone, we look at the problems of our community and our world and we feel helpless,” he said. “But together, we are powerful. And through Rotary, we have the power to change our communities and communities throughout the world -- now and into the future. We have the ability to build the world we dream of: one that is healthier, happier, and with hope for better things to come.”

RI General Secretary John Hewko said the 12 Rotarians represent what Rotary is all about: “committed volunteers working together to improve communities not just in the United States but throughout the world.”

He said that Rotary is an early and continuing example of organizations that are neither government institutions nor private businesses, that increasingly are joining together to address the world’s most pressing problems. He noted how Rotary’s partnership with other organizations has nearly eradicated polio worldwide.
“When we defeat polio -- and, yes, we will defeat this disease -- we will prove that there is nothing we cannot accomplish for the good of humanity by working together,” he said.

Champions of Change
The 12 Rotarians honored as Champions of Change are:

Tom Barnes, a member of the Rotary Club of Marion-East Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- Barnes leads a project that has provided new shoes to more than 3,500 children from low-income families across the state.

Bob Dietrick, a member of the Rotary Club of Franklin At Breakfast, Tennessee -- Dietrick is the driving force behind Operation Starfish, a club project that provides clean water and sanitation to low-income residents in the region who would otherwise have to rely on contaminated shallow wells.

John Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee -- Germ is a leader in fund development for Rotary’s polio eradication campaign, recently coordinating an effort that raised more than $228 million in response to $355 million in challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also leads projects to assist mentally and physically challenged children and adults in Tennessee.

Peggy Halderman, a member of the Rotary Club of Golden, Colorado -- Halderman five years ago launched Golden Backpack, a program that provides food every weekend to more than 520 underprivileged schoolchildren in the Golden community.

Nancy Sanford Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Eugene Southtowne, Oregon -- Hughes helped establish Stove Team International, a program that assists local entrepreneurs in creating factories in five Central American countries that make clean, fuel-efficient cookstoves to replace dangerous open cooking fires. The program is now supported by Rotary clubs throughout the United States, Mexico, and Central America.

Walter Hughes Jr., a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia -- Hughes leads a multinational Rotary partnership that is helping to eradicate guinea worm disease in Ghana and South Sudan through the implementation of clean water projects.

Ann Lee Hussey, a member of the Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise, Maine -- Hussey has made her life’s work the eradication of polio and the alleviation of suffering of people with polio. A polio survivor herself, she has led numerous Rotary volunteer teams to India, Nigeria, and other countries to immunize children and provide assistance to people disabled by polio.

Jeremiah Lowney Jr., a member of the Rotary Club of Norwich, Connecticut -- Lowney led the effort to establish the Haitian Health Foundation, now the primary health care provider in southwestern Haiti, delivering live-saving services to a quarter million people in 104 rural villages.

Douglas McNeil, a member of the Rotary Club of Los Gatos Morning, California -- McNeil leads area Rotary members in programs that mentor and inspire young people, such as the Rotary Earth Day Project. He also helped establish Lighting for Literacy, which provides low-cost solar lighting systems for communities without electricity, promoting more at-home reading, a key tool in increasing literacy rates.

Harriett Schloer, a member of the Rotary Club of Bend High Desert, Oregon -- Schloer in 1999 enlisted Rotary support to launch the Shots for Tots program, which provides free routine immunizations to any area schoolchildren, insured or not, through age 18. Deschutes County now has one of the highest immunization rates in the state.

Bonnie Sirower, a member of the Rotary Club of Paterson, New Jersey -- Sirower organized and coordinated Rotary relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the region in October. As a result, truckloads of critically needed relief supplies were sent from Rotary clubs to communities along the East Coast.

Neli Vazquez-Rowland, a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago -- Vazquez-Rowland and her husband in 1994 established Safe Haven, a comprehensive program that helps thousands of people dealing with homelessness, hunger, addiction, chronic unemployment, and other issues.

“The commitment of these individuals to service reflects that of our worldwide membership of 1.2 million men and women, all of whom deserve to share in this recognition,” Tanaka said. “Rotary is a way for good people to step forward and work for a better world. And it is a way for all of us, around the world, to transcend race, religion, nation, and politics -- to come together to give help to the people who need it.”

Read more about the honorees on the Champions of Change blog. Read blogs from some of the Rotarians on Rotary Voices.

Rotarians honored as Champions of Change at White House Tom Lewis 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Disaster Training Scheduled May 10-11

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 10, 2013
Niki Whiteside

The Divisional Director of Disaster Services will be at Houston Northwest to offer the Introduction to  Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Response on Friday evening May 10 and Saturday May 11.  Disaster Aid USA will also be present.  Disaster Aid USA is a project of Rotary International that provides a way to give people in disaster potable water when safe municipal water is unavailable or temporarily unsafe.  Participation of the NARS Ham Radio Club is also being confirmed for the event. 
This will be a great opportunity for Salvationists from all Corps (whether the currently have a canteen at the Corps or not) to be trained and certified by The Salvation Army for basic disaster response.  Salvationist in the Houston Area are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity, but we will have to limit the number to about 50 for this event so get your registration forms in early. 

There is no cost for the training but we will ask for a $5.00 donation per person to cover food costs. Additional details and registration form can be found at .

For more information contact Stan Carr, Corps Officer, Houston Northwest Corps at 832-200-4620.

Salvation Army Disaster Training Scheduled May 10-11 Tom Lewis 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0

Club Leadership Training (District Assembly) - May 4

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 10, 2013
District 5890 "ClubLeadership Training" will be held May 4, 2013 San Jacinto College - North Campus 5800 Uvalde Rd. Houston, TX 77049 This is a team leadership trainingfor all 2013-2014 Club Officers and members. Each officer will receive training on their specific officer duties as well as a "Rotary 101" class for new members. This is your chance to hear about all of the exciting things that will be happening in the Rotary world for the Rotary Year of 2013-2014.

Join District Governor Elect Bob Gebhard as he unveils the 2013-14 Rotary theme and delivers the goals of R.I. President-elect Ron Burton for the upcoming Rotary Year.

Registration begins at 8:00 am, Continental Breakfast and Networking. Training begins at 8:30 am and should conclude around 1:00 pm.

$15.00 per person in advance, $20.00 at the door

Please send attached form and check for all registrations to:
Rotary Club of Pasadena
ATTN: 2013 Club Leadership Training
PO Box 5027
Pasadena, TX 77508

Make checks payable to:Rotary District 5890
NOTE: We can no longer bill clubs.

Join the District 5890 Leadership Team and let us serve you with training!

Presidents-Elect - Encourage/insist that your leadership team and new members attend this valuable training. Your year as Club President will go much smoother if they do.
Club Leadership Training (District Assembly) - May 4 Tom Lewis 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Paul Harris: First But Not First

Posted by Tom Lewis on Apr 10, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

Was Paul Harris the first president of a Rotary club? No.
Was Paul Harris the first president of Rotary International? Yes.
There is an easy explanation to this apparent contradiction. Although Paul Harris was the founder and organizer of the first Rotary club in Chicago in 1905, the man selected to be the first president was one of the other founding members, Silvester Schiele.
By the year 1910 there were 16 Rotary clubs, which linked up as an organization called the National Association of Rotary Clubs. A couple of years later the name was changed to International Association of Rotary Clubs as Rotary was organized in Winnipeg, Canada, and then in England, Ireland and Scotland. In 1922 the name was shortened to Rotary International.
When the first organization of Rotary clubs was created in 1910, Paul Harris was selected as the first president. He served in this position for two years, from 1910 until 1912. Thus, the founder of the Rotary idea, who declined to be president of the first club, became the first president of the worldwide organization, Rotary International.

Rotary Education - Paul Harris: First But Not First Tom Lewis 2013-04-11 00:00:00Z 0
NW Houston Music Fest -benefits Polio Survivors Ed Charlesworth PDG 2013-04-02 00:00:00Z 0
Wednesday, April 10 EAFK Kighting Ceremony David Smith 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

April birthdays and anniversaries

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 31, 2013
 Member Birthdays
 Name Date
David Smith  April 7
Linda Honig April 21
John Caruso April 23
Tom Lewis April 25


Join Date    
Name Years Date
Mark Leonard 1 April 20, 2012
April birthdays and anniversaries Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 31, 2013
by Patty Lamberti 
The Rotarian -- April 2013  

Taxes date as far back as ancient Egypt. One hieroglyphic tablet shows tax collectors beating peasants who didn’t pay on time.

On 16 December 1773, about 100 colonists destroyed tea on three British ships docked in Boston Harbor. The British government had implemented a tax on tea imported into the colonies. The “tea party” instigators were primarily protesting a lack of representation in British parliament, in addition to the price of tea.

States needed to pay their debts after the American Revolution. The newly formed federal government imposed excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol. Pennsylvania farmers revolted in 1794, in what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. Today, the federal tax on a 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof liquor is $2.14. The federal tax on a pack of cigarettes is $1.01.

In 1861, Congress passed the first income tax law in an effort to help cover the cost of the Civil War. The law was later repealed. In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, creating the first permanent federal income tax. In 2011, 24.9 percent of federal income tax payments went toward the national defense budget.

The first U.S. 1040 tax form was created in 1913. Today, the Internal Revenue Service offers a total of 1,177 forms and instructions. Of the 93,337 employees who worked for the IRS at the end of fiscal year 2009, only 14,264 were revenue agents.

Tax Freedom Day – the day when “the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year,” calculated by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group – hasn’t occurred earlier than 31 March since 1950.

To pay their taxes for 2012, 35 percent of Americans used tax software, 31 percent relied on websites that calculate taxes, 28 percent hired an accountant, 1 percent used a cell phone app, and 5 percent did it the old way: with a pen and paper.

The maximum federal tax rate for a U.S. citizen in 2012 was 35 percent. Aruba has the world’s highest rate, at 59 percent, followed by Sweden, at 56.6 percent. People who live in the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Brunei, the Cayman Islands, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates pay no income taxes. 

In 2011, 84 percent of Americans did not think cheating on taxes was acceptable. About 1 in 90 of all individual U.S. tax returns were audited that year. The IRS charges a 20 percent “negligence” penalty for careless mistakes on tax returns, but if the agency believes a taxpayer committed fraud, it can charge 75 percent of the tax owed and send the person to jail for five years.

Taxes Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

When disaster strikes, strong ties help communities stay afloat

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 31, 2013
by Kim Lisagor 
The Rotarian -- April 2013  

In July 2005, Daniel Aldrich moved to New Orleans with his wife and two young children. They settled into a new home in the idyllic Lakeview neighborhood, where the kids played in the big backyard and Aldrich prepared for his new job as a political science professor at Tulane University.

Six weeks later, Hurricane Katrina struck.

Most of the neighbors left town as the raindrops began to fall, but the Aldriches, fearful of looting, stayed put. “We were brand new and didn’t really understand what it meant for a hurricane to come through,” he says. They had not yet activated their flood insurance.

The storm strengthened, and a concerned neighbor persuaded the family to pack a few belongings and get out. After a 14-hour drive, they spent the night at a motel on the outskirts of Houston. Almost every car in the parking lot had Louisiana plates. The next morning they heard someone shout, “Something’s happening in New Orleans. There’s water in the streets!”

Aldrich and the other evacuees crowded around a television and watched in disbelief. Failed levees had sent water gushing into the low-lying neighborhoods, flooding 80 percent of the city at depths of up to 20 feet. Eventually, more than 1,800 people lost their lives and a quarter of a million lost their homes – including the Aldrich family.

Tulane closed for the semester, and Aldrich suddenly found himself jobless as well as homeless. He started the process of applying to FEMA; six and a half months later, the agency would reject his claim. In the meantime, friends and relatives offered places to stay and spaces to work. Strangers gave the family clothes and, in one case, a winning $100 lottery ticket. Synagogues provided support.

Where official forms of aid failed, individuals filled in the gaps and helped the Aldriches rebuild their lives. “All the help we got came from people,” Aldrich says, “not government.”

Ever the academic, he started to read studies about disaster recovery. “None of the stories that academicswere telling mirrored my life,” he says. So he set out to conduct his own research.

He traveled to Japan to study neighborhoods that had been affected by the deadly Tokyo earthquake of 1923 and the Kobe quake of 1995. In India, he studied coastal villages that had been all but wiped out in the 2004 tsunami. He also returned to New Orleans. In all, Aldrich collected data from 225 neighborhoods and villages.

In each place, he measured recovery by how quickly the community repopulated, rebuilt, and resumed daily routines in the wake of the disaster.

His results came as a surprise to those who believe recovery rates depend on the amount of outside aid a community receives. Instead, Aldrich found that what matters most is “social capital,” which he defines in his book, Building Resilience, as “the networks and resources available to people through theirconnections to others.” Communities with strong social capital are more likely to bounce back than those with fewer social resources.

Take the case of Tamil Nadu, India, which was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami. Aldrich studied six villages there and found that those with strong uur panchayats (councils) were more organized and had better communication with one another and the outside world. They made lists of the dead and wounded and assessed their own need for food and supplies. When aid workers arrived, those needs were met quickly and efficiently. “They knew exactly who needed the aid and who didn’t, and what was needed and what wasn’t,” Aldrich says.

In contrast, villages that lacked such networks received little aid – or worse, too much of the wrong kind. “The aid that flowed in was called the ‘second tsunami,’” Aldrich says. “There was so much unnecessary stuff.” For instance, one well-meaning nongovernmental organization donated hundreds of plexiglass boats to a fishing village. The gift ended up damaging traditional social structures, decreasing overall catches, and increasing early marriage there. Effective aid requires effective internal communication, Aldrich says. “It doesn’t begin with the outside group. It always begins with the inside.”

In times of crisis, communities with Rotary clubs and other local service organizations have an innate advantage. The power of Rotary was clear after Hurricane Sandy tore through the Caribbean and northeastern United States in October, killing over 200 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless and millions without electricity. Funds came in from Rotarians around the world, and clubs in the affected areas helped organize the relief effort. They updated a website called Rotary in New York and New Jersey ( to include a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Aid tab and surveyed their communities to learn about specific needs, which included food, clothing, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. They then posted those needs online and helped distribute the aid.

Aldrich’s research also revealed that what happens before a disaster may be as important as what comes in response. Rotarians know that meaningful service projects must involve extensive dialogue between donors and recipients. They also understand the importance of fellowship, which is why most clubs meet weekly and many host social gatherings that include members’ families and friends. Some clubs hold special events that bring people together. These help build social capital.

All over the world, governments also support events that develop social capital. Japanese cities sponsor regional matsuri, or festivals. San Francisco has a Neighborhood Empowerment Network that helps residents initiate block parties and other get-to-know-your-neighbors activities. “Different societies have different forms of these kinds of events,” Aldrich says, “but the bottom line is the same: Get people out of their normal, small networks to meet new people, to make new connections, to have that feeling of connectedness.”

Another way communities strengthen social capital is to create a form of currency that residents can earn in exchange for volunteer service and spend at local businesses. This encourages volunteerism among the 5 to 10 percent of the population that is “on the fence” about service, Aldrich says. It also promotes local spending and increases interactions between people and businesses. “Communities with these kinds of programs have measurably higher levels of trust,” Aldrich notes.

Rotary clubs, whose members are local business leaders, are in a perfect position to implement them, he adds: “That’s the kind of project that is worth investing in. It creates new ties, it reinforces existing ones, it helps build up local businesses’ ties to the community and vice versa.”

Disasters are inevitable – and, as experts remind us every day, they seem to be increasing in their force and frequency. In times of trouble, communities that have invested in social capital are likely to see a return. In all other times, residents of those communities will feel more connected to their neighbors and have more pride in their home – assets that will pay dividends for years to come.

When disaster strikes, strong ties help communities stay afloat Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

Indian Rotarians perform corrective surgeries in Nigeria

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 31, 2013
By Ryan Hyland  
Rotary News -- 13 December 2012

Agroup of Rotarians from India gave hope and dignity to about 400 children crippled by polio during a 10-day medical mission in Nigeria this month.   

The team of 19 physicians -- most of them orthopedic surgeons -- assisted by 6 nonmedical volunteers, performed corrective surgeries on young polio patients ages 1 to 18 at two hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The project was partly funded by a US$50,000 Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.  

The mission also aimed to create awareness of the need for immunizations and of Rotary’s efforts to eradicate the disease, says project leader and Past RI President Rajendra K. Saboo.  

Nigeria, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, are the only three countries where polio remains endemic. In February, the World Health Organization removed India from the polio-endemic list. 

Reaching across borders

“Many experts predicted that India would be the last country to stop polio. Instead, India was able to beat polio,” says Saboo, who is from Chandigarh, Union Territory, India. “Now it is our turn to help the remaining polio-endemic countries by reaching across borders to share our success and strategies.” 

Through the surgeries, Saboo says, Rotary not only gives hope to young polio victims but also helps build trust and confidence with parents in communities where immunizations are still desperately needed.  

“This is a humanitarian project about goodwill and international understanding, but more important, it’s about social mobilization and advocacy to reach out to parents of children who are not getting immunized,” says Saboo. “If India can do it, so can Nigeria. We have similar problems, similar conditions, and are afflicted by poverty and illiteracy. But we [brought] a message of hope that Nigeria will soon be polio-free.” 

Rotarian Deepak Purohit, one of 12 orthopedic surgeons on the team, has worked on several similar surgery missions over the last 15 years, including projects in India, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Nigeria.  

“Polio-corrective surgeries are a professional passion of mine,” says Purohit, a member of the Rotary Club of Panvel, Maharashtra, India. “When the polio deformities are corrected on these children, we give them dignity and normalcy. When they can only crawl coming here and then be able to stand weeks later, we make them feel like normal human beings. This is a great thing we are achieving.” 

Bone correction

Purohit says the team conducted three types of surgeries: soft tissue repair, bone correction, and tendon replacement. The average recovery time is three to eight weeks, depending on the surgery.  

Nigerian Rotarians will follow up to make sure the patients receive the required postoperative care, says Saliu Ahmed, past governor of District 9125 (Nigeria).  

“This is a great opportunity for Nigeria to meet the medical needs of those crippled by polio and to be able to help them use their limbs,” says Ahmed. “This medical mission is a loud message to our communities that Rotary cares, that Rotary will stay in this fight for polio eradication until it is won.”

Indian Rotarians perform corrective surgeries in Nigeria Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0
April is Magazine Month Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

Good Friday meeting notes

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 31, 2013

Captain Michael Morris regaled his landlocked audience with tales of the high seas a/k/a Port of Houston.

Ray Raymer received the quarterly "Service Above Self" award and two highly coveted Monte Carlo tickets for his mentorship program at Cy-Fair I.S.D.

Good Friday meeting notes Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

April meeting leaders

Posted by Thomas W. Jackson on Mar 31, 2013


Date  Invocation  Pledge  Rotary Minute 60 Second Commercial
 5 Apr  R. Thompson  L. Honig  A. Watsky  J. Caruso
 12 Apr  D. Thompson  E. Honig  B. Ullom  Sr. Jackson
 19 Apr  S. March  P. Fraske  R. Thompson  L. Honig
 26 Apr  D. Smith  J. Caruso  D. Thompson  E. Honig

April meeting leaders Thomas W. Jackson 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - The 4-Way Test

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 31, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

One of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics in the world is the Rotary "4-Way Test." It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 when he was asked to take charge of the Chicago-based Club Aluminum Company, which was facing bankruptcy. Taylor looked for a way to save the struggling company mired in depression-caused financial difficulties. He drew up a 24-word code of ethics for all employees to follow in their business and professional lives. The 4-Way Test became the guide for sales, production, advertising and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company was credited to this simple philosophy.

Herb Taylor became president of Rotary International during 1954- 55. The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than 100 languages and published in thousands of ways. The message should be known and followed by all Rotarians.

"Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

Rotary Education - The 4-Way Test Tom Lewis 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0
April 5 bulletin - Mickey Herskowitz is an author and journalist, perhaps most notable as the former ghost writer to George W. Bush Thomas W. Jackson 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0
THANK YOU Stripes Thomas W. Jackson 2013-03-29 00:00:00Z 0
Captain Michael Morris -Master Pilot Houston Ship Channel Randy Thompson 2013-03-29 00:00:00Z 0

RI presidents receive honorary degrees in recognition of Rotary’s good works

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 27, 2013

Rotary News -- 26 March 2013

RI President Sakuji Tanaka and Past RI Presidents Kalyan Banerjee and Rajendra K. Saboo accepted honorary doctorate degrees this week on behalf of Rotary International from IIS University in Jaipur, India, in recognition of the service to society provided by Rotary and by the professional, community, and business leaders who join together for action in Rotary clubs around the world.

Tanaka, who selected the theme Peace Through Service for his term as president, was honored during the special convocation on 25 March in Jaipur for efforts to promote peace. Banerjee and Saboo were honored for their efforts toward the eradication of polio, which has been Rotary’s top priority for more than two decades.

Ashok Gupta, vice chancellor of the university, said the degrees were bestowed not so much as individual honors but in recognition of the spirit of Service Above Self demonstrated by Rotarians everywhere.

“There are thousands of Rotarians of the world who are contributing ceaselessly to the welfare of mankind,” Gupta said. “The honor of these three is symbolic, and through them goes to the organization and those who have made it happen. A large number of Rotarians will be motivated to do good in the world by this singular event.”

RI presidents receive honorary degrees in recognition of Rotary’s good works Tom Lewis 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange February Report from Taiwan

Posted by Anais G. Watsky on Mar 27, 2013

Ni Hao!  February has been quite busy, what with Chinese New Year, the exchange student 3 day trip to the east, and the start of the new school semester. Chinese New Year was an interesting experience. Many Taiwanese compare their Chinese New Year to Christmas. The day or even week before Chinese New Year Eve, the family cleans out the house. It is a very thorough process because the Taiwanese believe that they must clean out the old and sweep away any of the evil spirits to welcome the New Year.  On Chinese New Year’s Eve, the family- usually consisting of a family and the father’s grandparents- gather together and eat dinner together. Before or after the dinner, the small children and students (including those in University) tell the parents and grandparents “Happy New Year! Please give me a homebao (red envelope that contains money)”. Many students and children are able to collect many red envelopes from their relatives and by the end are able to buy their favorite items- in essence… their “Christmas gift”. Parents (those who have a job) then give money to their parents. It all sort of balances out. You get money as a student and then give money away once you start working.

During Chinese New Year, I went on a two day trip with my second host family. We went to Taizhong and stayed at a small hotel where we could make pottery, ride bikes, and just enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. It was great spending time with my second host family because I knew I would be leaving in less than a month from their house. I’ve really grown close to my second host family- well as close you can in a Taiwanese family as most are very busy and are always rushing to a class or something related to their work or school. But my host mom and host sister always came home and we always ate together at home. My host mom also helped me on my Chinese speech I had to prepare for Chinese class, helped me when I was sick, watched TV together and laughed at the funny movies and freaked out at the scary ones, and just had a great time. I’m very fortunate that I got to know my second host mom. I know I will miss them. Taiwan has taught me to appreciate every moment.

After the Chinese New Year vacation, we all returned to our normal schedules. This included going back to school as well as Chinese classes- my Rotary district provides Chinese classes twice a week for all the students in my district. For my new school semester, I have been placed in the baking class which includes a cooking class every Friday morning and afternoon. This means that I also have a new set of classmates, which while to most exchange students may seem to be an unfortunate situation, I’ve actually learned to love it because I am able to meet new people AND actually get to know them. I don’t know why it is… but there seems to be a sense of fear or nervousness whenever a foreigner wants to talk to a Taiwanese student – at least at my school, and it was great to be able to start a clean slate with actual communication skills. While my Chinese is nowhere near fluent, I’ve reached a point of conversational fluency that with a smile and some fun (in some cases funny) expressions, hand motions, and any other body language you can imagine, I’m able to hold a conversation in Chinese, as well as have a great laugh with my classmates! At the beginning of the year, my lack of speaking Chinese truly inhibited me to communicate and students, for fear of being embarrassed of their English speaking skills, tended to steer clear of talking to me no matter how much I tried. Now, all the students are just plain shocked that I can parts of their conversations. I’ve made more friends in my new class and have been more interactive which has made me very happy.

I’ll let the pictures speak the rest.

Love from Taiwan,


Rotary Youth Exchange February Report from Taiwan Anais G. Watsky 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary in photos: Uniting leaders, sharing ideas, taking action

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 27, 2013
Rotary News -- 27 March 2013  

Every day, Rotary makes a difference in the lives of people around the world. The photo gallery above shows snapshots of Rotarians and Rotary leaders from all continents and cultures coming together to exchange ideas and take action.

You can download photos to use in your Rotary publications and online sites from Rotary Images. Share your photos of Rotarians working to empower youth, enhance health, promote peace and advance community on our Family of Rotary Flickr group.

Rotary in photos: Uniting leaders, sharing ideas, taking action Tom Lewis 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary news in brief from around the globe

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 27, 2013
The Rotarian -- March 2013

Craig Alford, a member of the Rotary Club of Armadale, Australia, rode more than 400 miles across Western Australia, from Perth to Kalgoorlie, on a Hustler Super Z lawnmower last spring, raising close to US$70,000 along the way.
Proceeds benefited Australian Rotary Health for Mental Illness Research and Wheels of Hope, a nonprofit provider of modified vehicles for families with disabilities in Western Australia. Alford rode for six days, arriving at the Kalgoorlie Golf Course in time for the District 9465 Conference.

Côte d’Ivoire
Since 2004, the Rotary Club of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, has vaccinated more than 50,000 children under age 10 in Côte d’Ivoire against meningitis B and C and typhoid fever. Twenty-five clubs have joined the effort and raised close to US$262,000 for immunizations in the West African nation. During a regional meningitis outbreak early last year, Côte d’Ivoire had the highest fatality rate among the affected countries.

FYR Macedonia
The Rotary clubs of Clearwater Beach, Fla., USA, and Bitola Shirok Sokak, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, worked together to promote peace and express creativity in September for the United Nations International Day of Peace. The clubs worked with Rotary Youth Exchange participants and local high school students to paint messages of peace in their towns. In Clearwater Beach, students decorated storefront windows. In FYR Macedonia, the paintings went to a school for children with special needs, along with crayons, paints, and other art supplies.

Great Britain
Roll Out the Barrel is a charity that provides women and children in developing countries with rolling barrels that they can use to transport water. The rugged 30- and 50-liter barrels, which can be pushed or pulled, are manufactured in the United Kingdom and cost about US$50 each. Bill Leslie, of the Rotary Club of Ellesmere Port, Wirral, and Adrian Brewer, of the Rotary Club of Vectis Sunrise (Newport I.O.W.), run the organization with help from women’s and church groups, schools, and other Rotary clubs. The barrels are already helping families in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Sierra Leone.

When it comes to spreading the word about polio eradication, District 4170 Rotarians aim high. To celebrate the start of the 2012-13 Rotary year, District Governor Ernesto Benitez and José Clemente Álvarez Soto, president of the Rotary Club of Teotihuacán, flew over the historic Pyramid of the Sun in a hot-air balloon emblazoned with the End Polio Now logo. The pyramid, one of the largest buildings in Mesoamerica, and surrounding archaeological sites are popular tourist destinations.

At the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, impoverished children with cancer often stop receiving treatment when their families cannot afford to stay nearby. House of Hope, the signature project of the Rotary Club of Waling-Waling (Davao), provides accommodations for up to 25 pediatric cancer patients and two caregivers each. The program, housed on the medical center’s campus, has accommodated more than 1,800 patients since 2007.

As part of the Young Talent in the Open World project, the Rotary Club of Moscou-Pokrovka supports underprivileged child musicians through opportunities to tour and to receive high-level music education. Last year, the club partnered with Italian clubs to arrange events at prestigious venues in Padua, Cagliari, and Cremona for three musicians: a 22-year-old mezzo-soprano, a 15-year-old pianist, and an 11-year-old pianist, violinist, and composer. The concerts drew nearly 1,200 attendees. The Rotary Club of Cremona presented the Moscou-Pokrovka club with three Italian-made violins and a viola, which project organizers plan to use for continuing music education in Moscow.

Sri Lanka
In the northern regions of Sri Lanka, mothers and young children must travel long distances to reach one of the few government-run hospitals. With those mothers in mind, the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency has hosted more than 20 daylong health camps in the last decade to provide basic medicines and health information. At a recent event in Jaffna, five volunteer doctors and a pharmacist gave out US$3,000 worth of multivitamins, folic acid, iron tablets, and worm treatments, along with more than 200 pairs of reading glasses, to 500 patients.

For the sixth year, Rotary clubs in suburban Detroit competed in a Jeopardy!-style competition, hosted this time by the Rotary Club of Royal Oak. Five players on three teams, representing the Royal Oak club and the Rotary Clubs of Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, duked it out over answers and questions pulled from recent issues of The Rotarian. The event raised $600 for PolioPlus. The winning Birmingham club will host the 2013 event.

Rotary news in brief from around the globe Tom Lewis 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - 100% Attendance

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 27, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

Regular attendance is essential to a strong and active Rotary club. The emphasis on attendance is traced back to 1922 when Rotary International announced a worldwide attendance contest which motivated thousands of Rotarians to achieve a 100 percent attendance year after year. Many Rotarians take great pride in maintaining their 100 percent record in their own club or by making-up at other Rotary club meetings. Although the bylaws of Rotary require members to attend only 60 percent of all meetings, the custom has emerged that 100 percent is the desirable level. Rotary stresses regular attendance because each member represents his own business or profession and thus the absence of any member deprives the club of the values of its diversified membership and the personal fellowship of each member.
From time to time, proposals have been made to give attendance credit to Rotarians who are on jury duty, serving in the community, attending a trade convention, on vacation in remote areas, on shipboard or unable to attend because of ill health or other special reasons. None of these exceptions has been adopted. The policy is very clear-a Rotarian is not given attendance credit if he does not attend a meeting.
There are a few circumstances where attendance credit is awarded when a Rotarian participates in an alternate type of Rotary event. If a Rotarian is requested to attend an Interact or Rotaract meeting, attendance credit may be allowed. When a member attends a Rotary district conference, district assembly, international convention, Council on Legislation, a meeting of an international committee, an inter-city meeting and a few other specially designated events, attendance may be credited. A Rotarian actively participating in a district-sponsored service project in a remote area where it is impossible to make-up may also receive attendance credit.

Rotary Education - 100% Attendance Tom Lewis 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0
March 29 bulletin - Captain Morris, Master Pilot, Houston Ship Channel Thomas W. Jackson 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Visiting Rotarian from Liberia

Posted by John Mitchell on Mar 27, 2013

Good morning.  Thank you for the warm welcome I received at your rotary meeting last Friday.  I return to Liberia today but I wanted to express my gratitude for allowing me to speak at your meeting.  Your club truly exemplified the idea of "fun with friends".


Lovette Tucker

Director of Development, Alumni and University Relations
Director, Institute of Excellence for Teaching and Learning

Cuttington University

P.O. Box 10-0277 Monrovia

Liberia, West Africa


"Promoting Excellence in Liberian Education Since 1889"

                  (231)886-510-301 (Local)

Visiting Rotarian from Liberia John Mitchell 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Engineering sustainable water solutions in Latin America

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 21, 2013
By Sallyann Price  
The Rotarian -- March 2013  

Perched in the rugged mountains of central Ecuador, the village of Tingo Pucará seems an unlikely place for artistic inspiration to strike. But Tony Riggio never leaves his camera behind – and his photos from there illustrate what can happen when Rotarians and engineers team up on a water project.

Riggio, a watchmaker by trade, has been leading youth expeditions to Central and South America since 2001, when his daughter participated in a program of Builders Beyond Borders (B3), a nonprofit based in Connecticut, USA.Construction projects have included hurricane shelters in the Dominican Republic, bridges in Nicaragua, and day care centers and classrooms in Costa Rica. Water and sanitation are always primary components.

As a member of the Rotary Club of Westport, Riggio understands the global need for clean water and improved sanitation, one of Rotary’s six areas of focus. “People don’t believe what you tell them sometimes – that things are how they are in parts of Central and South America,” he says. “Water is such a precious commodity.”

In April 2011, Riggio traveled to Tingo Pucará – one of five B3 project sites across Ecuador that season – to build pipelines in a joint effort with the Peace Corps and Engineers Without Borders. The village stands at an altitude of 12,600 feet, with the nearest spring about 4,900 feet down a steep path. The engineers designed a pumping system to draw water from the spring-fed stream, and the B3 team, made up of high school students and adult advisers, worked with locals to install the pipes, which now bring running water to homes.

Shortage of running water

Historically, faced with a lack of potable water and arable land, the men of Tingo Pucará have headed to the lowlands to find work, leaving the women to transport water for cooking, washing, and drinking. Before the project was completed, the 26 village families had as little as 15 minutes of running water per month, sent from a neighboring area when available.

“When you talk to people in these communities, they are hoping you’re going to be the person who’s going to make this happen for them,” says Amy Schroeder-Riggio, executive director of Builders Beyond Borders and Riggio’s wife of 30 years, describing the review process for project proposals. “Their stories are so compelling. They talk about the health of their kids and why they need water, and the hardship” – especially for older women who must carry heavy buckets of water uphill.

Living and working alongside the community members, B3 students and advisers learn about service and living with less. They confronted an array of challenges in Tingo Pucará: cold nights, debilitating altitude, and a mile of pipeline trenches waiting to be dug.

“For our kids, that project was not very rewarding – until the last day, when we got to turn the water on,” Schroeder-Riggio says. “When you’re doing a water project, you are laying the pipe, you’re covering it over, and it doesn’t even look like you were there. But when they turn the water on and everybody’s crying, it’s an incredible moment.”

“That was the first time running water had been in that part of the village,” Riggio says. “Some of the children there had never seen water come out of a faucet.”

Other efforts

Riggio’s work with Builders Beyond Borders has also included larger sanitation efforts in Peru, as well as other South and Central American countries. B3 program manager Karen Meyer was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bernales when Riggio’s team arrived there in 2010. The group worked with Meyer and the Peace Corps to build 44 bathrooms in the densely populated and earthquake-ravaged community. Facilities ranged from standard sewer-connected toilets to pit latrines, composting toilets, and pour-flush toilets.

“People thought they had to have the best beautiful bathroom to be healthy, and they couldn’t afford it, so they would say, ‘I’m too poor to be healthy,’” Meyer recalls. “The two teams that came down made a huge impact.”

Collaborating with the worldwide networks of the Peace Corps and Rotary can boost credibility and facilitate relationships, Schroeder-Riggio says. In 2008, B3 built a school for hearing-impaired students in San Marcos, Guatemala, with help from a local Rotary club. This year, B3 teams will partner with the Rotary Club of Georgetown, Guyana, on five construction projects, including community centers and a sand bridge that will connect coastal islands to medical facilities.

“These organizations make the world go ’round,” Schroeder-Riggio says. “The heart of it is our kids. It’s about building character, their relationship with these leadership programs. It lines up nicely with Rotary.”

Read more stories from The Rotarian or sign up for the digital edition.

  • Rotarians join the world in celebrating World Water Day 22 March. Established by the United Nations in 1992, the day highlights the importance of freshwater and the need for sustainable management of water resources. This year’s theme is water cooperation.
  • Learn more about the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, a collection of leaders with expertise in the area of water and sanitation who come together to assist other Rotarians and provide the know-how, consistency, and credibility necessary to develop solutions that succeed over the long term.
  • Register for WASRAG's World Water Summit, 21 June, in Lisbon, Portugal. You save US$50 off the regular price if you register by 31 March.

Engineering sustainable water solutions in Latin America Tom Lewis 2013-03-22 00:00:00Z 0

Lessons learned from the International H2O Collaboration

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 21, 2013
By Arnold R. Grahl  
Rotary News – 20 March 2013 

Dozens of broken hand pumps dot villages in Ghana ─ evidence of well-intentioned efforts gone awry because sustainability wasn’t built into the projects that installed them. Perhaps fees weren’t collected to fund repairs, or local officials weren’t recruited to manage and oversee continued operations.

School latrines also fail at a high rate, as projects often overlook the fact that they must be emptied periodically.
These are just two of the findings from a recent review of the International H2O Collaboration, a partnership between Rotary International and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that is beginning its fifth year.

As part of the partnership’s commitment to sustainability, it hired an independent contractor, Aguaconsult, to review the more than 15,000 measures ─ from water systems and hygiene training to wastewater treatment plants ─ funded by the partnership in Ghana, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines.

Sustainability index
The review included the creation of the WASH Sustainability Index, a tool designed to assess the long-term success and sustainability of these projects. The tool eventually will be available for Rotarians to use in planning more effective water and sanitation projects.

Water and sanitation projects often are measured by the systems built and the number of people they are expected to serve. But experts are finding that these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Other conditions must be in place for projects to outlast their initial funding. These so-called soft elements include reliable management, long-term support, sound financial planning, training, and supportive government policies.

The WASH Sustainability Index essentially is a series of questions that determine whether these soft elements exist. To grade each action, Aguaconsult applied these questions to three levels of project involvement ─ individuals and organizations responsible for managing a service or system; local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and public agencies that provide support or oversight; and government and regulatory agencies that set policies, adopt technical standards, and conduct periodic review.
″The Aquaconsult team made a valiant effort in attempting to quantify the uniquely qualitative aspects of sustainability,” says Sean Cantella, of Relief International, an organization that worked with USAID to implement the index in Ghana. “They should be applauded for their novel effort to look beyond simply counting the number of facilities in order to estimate the likelihood that facilities will be available for the long term.”

Report findings

Aguaconsult’s report had high praise for Rotarians’ expertise, noting that equipment like wells, pumps and water systems have been well designed and meet all technical standards. But it found weaknesses in most other areas. Among the findings and conclusions:
Collecting tariffs or user fees is important for long-term success. In many of the projects reviewed, user fees were either not collected or were set too low to provide enough money to replace worn-out equipment and parts. Considering the life cycle of equipment, and having frank discussions about what costs will be faced and by whom, can help projects avoid failure.
Implementing projects in an institutional or policy vacuum increases the risk they will simply “fall through the cracks” once the project partners leave. In some communities, no agency was assigned to oversee results. Rotarians should involve relevant authorities from the outset and ensure that newly built systems are registered and integrated with other public works so they receive support and monitoring.

The ability and willingness of local agencies to provide long-term follow-up are critical to sustainability. Ghana and the Dominican Republic have a national program for promoting hygiene, and their health ministries have strong urban branches. But such support is often absent in rural areas. In the Philippines, rural community-managed systems were found to suffer from a “lack of political will.” Training local government staff to manage and administer projects, and improving supply chains and services, can help. 
 Advocacy aimed at correcting policy or capacity gaps is an important and valid investment in long-term success.

World Water Day
The H2O Collaboration is one example of how Rotarians are working year-round to provide access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. On 22 March, Rotarians will join the observance of World Water Day. Established by the United Nations in 1992, the day highlights the importance of fresh water and the need for sustainable management of water resources. This year’s theme is water cooperation.

For World Water Day:
Learn more about the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, a group of water and sanitation experts who work to assist other Rotarians and provide the know-how, consistency, and credibility to develop solutions that succeed over the long term.
Register by 31 March for WASRAG’s World Water Summit V on 21 June, in Lisbon, Portugal, and save US$50 off the cost of attending. Meet world experts, share ideas with other Rotarians, and be inspired during this one-day event that immediately precedes the RI Convention.

Lessons learned from the International H2O Collaboration Tom Lewis 2013-03-22 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Family Night at Aeros Hockey Game - April 7

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 21, 2013

Steve Coleman

The Houston Aeros invite all Rotarians, along with their families and friends to the Toyota Center to watch the Aeros take on the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 5:05 PM for a night of hockey and networking.  All you have to do is click on the following link to purchase tickets (use the promo code: Rotary).   It will then give you the option to purchase seats, or donate tickets.

A portion of every ticket purchased through this link will benefit The Order of the Purple Heart- an organization chartered by Act of Congress for Combat Wounded Veterans and a supporter of all veterans and their families.

Discounted tickets are only $25 in the Corners (with $5 per ticket going to The Order of the Purple Heart). Discounted parking is available in the Toyota Tundra Parking Garage attached to Toyota Center for only $7. 

Rotarians can also buy additional tickets that will be donated to families with family members in the hospital.  When you go to the link you will see that there are two links, one for purchasing tickets and one for donating tickets.  If a person wants to both purchase and donate tickets they must go to both links.
The game is Sunday afternoon, April 7 at 5pm.

Chris will drop the first puck.  I was hoping we could get him on skates but it seems insurance won't allow it.
For more details, contact:

Steve Coleman 

Rotary Family Night at Aeros Hockey Game - April 7 Tom Lewis 2013-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
March 22 bulletin Thomas W. Jackson 2013-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
March 15 meeting - Stripes Grand Opening Ernest Honig 2013-03-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Education - Rotary Mottoes

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 15, 2013
RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93)

The first motto of Rotary International, "He Profits Most Who Serves Best," was approved at the second Rotary Convention, held in Portland, Oregon, in August 1911. The phrase was first stated by a Chicago Rotarian, Art Sheldon, who made a speech in 1910 which included the remark, "He profits most who serves his fellows best." At about the same time, Ben Collins, president of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented that the proper way to organize a Rotary club was through the principle his club had adopted-"Service, Not Self." These two slogans, slightly modified, were formally approved to be the official mottoes of Rotary at the 1950 Convention in Detroit-"He Profits Most Who Serves Best" and "Service Above Self." The 1989 Council on Legislation established "Service Above Self" as the principal motto of Rotary, since it best explains the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.
Rotary Education - Rotary Mottoes Tom Lewis 2013-03-16 00:00:00Z 0

Pennies and More for Polio raises approximately C$6 million

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 11, 2013
Rotary News -- 6 March 2013

Rotarians in Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have raised approximately C$6 million for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative through Pennies and More for Polio.

The Rotarians raised C$2 million of the total, which was matched dollar for dollar by CIDA and the Gates Foundation. Final fundraising figures will be available soon.

Matching contributions for the effort, announced by the Canadian government at a high-level side meeting on polio eradication during the United Nations General Assembly in September, were initially capped at $1 million. After the Rotarians exceeded their $1 million goal in December, however, the Canadian government and the Gates Foundation committed to match all contributions until 1 March.

“Canada applauds the successful efforts of Rotarians in Canada in collecting funds for combating this devastating disease,” said Julian Fantino, minister of International Cooperation, at the Rotarians for Peace Symposium in Toronto on 2 March.

"Canadian Rotarians are encouraged by the support from the Canadian Government over many years and in particular with the recent effort to raise matching funds well beyond the target of one million dollars," said Dr. Robert Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. "The eradication of polio, with this and future cooperation, will more quickly become a reality."

"This innovative program is another example of Canada's and Rotarians' long-time commitment and leadership to ensuring children are forever protected from this debilitating yet preventable disease," said Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program at the Gates Foundation.

Pennies and More for Polio raises approximately C$6 million Tom Lewis 2013-03-12 00:00:00Z 0

Ukraine young people serve their communities through Rotaract

Posted by Tom Lewis on Mar 11, 2013
Rotary News -- 11 March 2013  

Two decades after the first Rotary club was chartered in Ukraine, the country’s youth have embraced Rotary in a big way.

Ukraine now has 24 Rotaract clubs — Rotary’s service clubs for people ages 18 to 30 — many of them focusing on the challenges facing the country today. In Kyiv, Rotaractors in the capital city’s four clubs collaborate often on service projects, including a campaign to draw attention to the plight of stray animals.
Members of the Rotaract Club of Kyiv Multinational take time to honor their elders (see gallery above): For nearly three years, they’ve been visiting a nursing home in Peremoha, about 40 miles away.

“These are the people who did their best for future generations, for us, to live in a free country,” says club treasurer and past president Taras Mytkalyk. “We wanted to fill their lives with a feeling of being needed.”

The Rotaract Club of Kyiv-Centre promotes health and wellness through an HIV awareness campaign, and has worked with Rotaract clubs in Russia, Belarus, Germany, and Romania to raise over US$13,000 to equip a medical center in a rural village in Ukraine.

Rotaract clubs are either community or university based and sponsored by a local Rotary club. World Rotaract Week, 11-17 March, commemorates the 1968 chartering of the first club, in North Carolina, USA.

During the week, Rotaract clubs are asked to partner with their sponsor Rotary clubs on a service project and to encourage a nearby Rotary club to sponsor a new Rotaract club in the area. Also, members of the Rotaract and sponsor clubs are encouraged to attend each other's meetings.

Ukraine young people serve their communities through Rotaract Tom Lewis 2013-03-12 00:00:00Z 0