Saturday, November 21, 2009

Students Need More Mentors

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of November 23, 2009

Teacher of the Year tells Jacksonville, FL, Rotary that
students need more mentors


Editor’s Comment - This is where the hands-on Service Above Self is clearly seen – when it’s not so important to write a check for Rotary projects. Instead, it is important to give of yourself – your time, your talents – and make a lasting impression upon one individual at a time!


11/19/2009 - by Max Marbut - Staff Writer

When she stepped to the podium at Monday’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, Marjorie Nolan looked at the audience and said, “There are people in this room from all different backgrounds, but the one uniting element is that we have all had our lives touched by a teacher.

Just about everyone remembers the teacher who taught them to read.”

At left - Rotary Club of Jacksonville member and former Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools John Fryer introduced Marjorie Nolan, the school district’s 2009-10 Teacher of the Year.

Nolan is the 2009-10 Duval County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. During her 30-year career in education she has been recognized for excellence several times.

-- Nolan was the 1995-96 Raines High School Teacher of the Year
-- She was a finalist for the county’s top honor in 1996.
-- She was First Coast High School’s Teacher of the Year for 2004-05 as well as
-- She was a also a finalist for the Duval County title in 2004-05.
-- In 2005 Nolan was the recipient of the Gladys Prior Award for Teaching Excellence.

Nolan recently expanded her focus from teaching children to coaching other teachers at First Coast High School to improve their skills and impact more students. She specializes in reading education, a part of the public school experience she said must be improved.

“Almost 9,000 public school teachers in Duval County work every day to prepare our future local workforce,” said Nolan, who added the average public school student in America reads two grade levels below their actual grade level.

“Here in Duval County, there are 1,000 high school students who are still in a reading class of some type. It’s important to establish the foundation of reading in elementary school. By the time a student is in high school, teaching them to read is a very difficult process. Kids have to understand that when you learn to read you can learn anything else,” she said.

Many things have changed since Nolan began her teaching career at Raines in 1978 but some things have not. Nolan recalled her first contract for $7,200 a year and said salaries are still low for teachers. That is causing many people without formal education in the art to enter the classroom and many see it as a temporary career, said Nolan.

“It’s a teacher’s job to inspire and motivate children to learn, but fifty percent of our teachers didn’t earn a degree in education,” she added. “Low salaries make it hard to attract talented teachers.”

Nolan said other than awards like Teacher of the Year, there are few incentives for teachers to strive for excellence. Those who wish to specialize in teaching remedial reading must complete 300 hours of specialized training but are not compensated for their extra effort.

“And they know they will spend their careers working with the most challenged students,” she added.

When asked what she would do if by some miracle the budget for public schools was doubled, Nolan quickly replied, “I’d make sure there were smaller classes, no more than 15 students per class if they are failing the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test).

“I would also go to Barnes & Noble and buy books the students said they wanted to read. In some student’s homes the only book in their household is the telephone book.”

Nolan also said she thinks there’s too much emphasis on getting every student into college. Other courses of study in high school that would prepare some students for jobs, in the building trades for instance, would be helpful for many students.

“We need programs for students that aren’t just academic,” she added. “I know that’s not a popular stance but that’s what I’ve seen in more than 30 years in the classroom.”

Club member John Fryer is a former superintendent of Duval County Public Schools and an education consultant. He said he believes the common characteristic among poorly-performing students is they don’t set and achieve goals.

“The ability to help children develop goals can help teachers do a better job,” he commented.

Nolan agreed and called on the club members to volunteer their time to help students.

“There is a great need for mentors. When we see truancy or straight Fs on a report card clearly there is no mentoring or supervision in that student’s home. Hundreds of children at my school alone could use a mentor,” she said.

Interesting Jacksonville Rotary Club History -

With only 40 Rotary clubs in the nation, and only New Orleans in the south, the Chicago club sent a prominent member to Jacksonville to assist in chartering a new club. On February 13, 1912, at the Windsor Hotel downtown at Hemming Park, 14 charter members met and officially organized.

George Clark was elected as the club's first president, and he served two years. Later he was named President Emeritus. Clark remained active until 1928 when he was granted an honorary lifetime membership.

The club met weekly at the Windsor Hotel and later at the Aragon Hotel. The club dues were set at $10 per year, not including lunch. Lunch added another $15 per year to the cost of membership.


Rotary Club of Jacksonville meets every Monday - 12:30 p.m. (lunch at Noon)
Omni Hotel of Jacksonville (downtown) - 245 Water Street. Tel. 904-355-6664


The Rotary Foundation's Beginning

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of November 16, 2009

The Rotary Foundation's Beginning


Some magnificent projects grow from very small seeds. The Rotary Foundation had that sort of modest beginning.

In 1917, RI President Arch Klumph told the delegates to the Atlanta Convention that “it seems eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world.” The response was polite and favourable, but the fund was slow to materialize.

A year later, the “Rotary Endowment Fund,” as it was first labelled, received its first contribution of US $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A., which was the balance of the Kansas City Convention account following the 1918 annual meeting. Additional small amounts were annually contributed, but after six years, it is reported that the endowment fund had only reached US $700.

A decade later, The Rotary Foundation was formally established at the 1928 Minneapolis Convention. In the next four years, the Foundation fund grew to US $50,000. In 1937, a US $2 million goal was announced for The Rotary Foundation, but these plans were cut short and abandoned with the outbreak of World War II.

In 1947, upon the death of Paul Harris, a new era opened for The Rotar Foundation as memorial gifts poured in to honour the founder of Rotary. From that time, The Rotary Foundation has been achieving its noble objective of furthering “understanding and friendly relations between peoples of different nations.”

By 1954, the Foundation received for the first time a half million dollars in contributions in a single year, and in 1965, a million dollars was received.

It is staggering to imagine that from those humble beginnings, The Rotary Foundation is now receiving more than US $65 million each year for educational and humanitarian work around the world.

Source: The ABCs of Rotary


The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.


Below, Frank Devlyn, second from right -- Rotary International President 2000-01 and Chairman, The Rotary Foundation 2005-06 -- visits the gravesite of Arch Klumph in Cleveland, Ohio.

In November of 2007, PRIP Devlyn journeyed to Cleveland, Ohio, USA, to participate in a variety of Rotary club and Rotary Foundation events.

While, there, he and PRID T.D. Griley had the opportunity to visit the grave site of the Father of the Rotary Foundation, PRIP Arch Klumph.

Others in the photo are unidentified.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Rotary clubs sponsor Perlman concert to raise ‘End Polio Now’ funds

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound

…for the week of November 9, 2009

Rotary clubs sponsor Perlman concert to raise ‘End Polio Now’ funds

By MELODY PARKER, | Cedar Falls, Iowa,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Four area Rotary clubs are using violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman's sold-out concert Sunday to bring attention to the "End Polio Now" campaign.

The superstar musician, who contracted polio at age 4, will perform at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

The concert is sponsored by the Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Waverly Rotary clubs as a fundraiser. The clubs and individual members contributed $10,000 for the sponsorship. Proceeds will help match a $355 million challenge to Rotary International from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition, area Rotarians will host a presentation at 4 p.m. Sunday at Maucker Union on the UNI campus, followed by a dinner. Dr. Robert Scott of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, will be the guest. Scott chaired Rotary Foundation's International Polio Plus Committee for two years and travels globally to raise funds. He'll be joined by Cedar Falls resident Doug Oberman, a retired attorney and polio victim. His appearance is conditional on his health.

"Eradicating polio worldwide has been Rotary's major objective for more than 20 years, and we've nearly accomplished it. There are four countries - India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria - were we are still working, and in certain parts of those countries, polio cases have been drastically decreased. Our focus is to generate dollars and raise awareness because many people have forgotten about polio," said Roger Kueter, chairman of End Polio Now, District 5970. His wife is a polio victim.

In 1985 Rotarians set out to raise $120 million to immunize children worldwide against polio. Working with their partners, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two billion doses of the Sabin vaccine have been administered, reducing the number of countries where polio is endemic from 165 to four. A real-time polio case count is on the Web at

Rotarian Dave Buck and his wife Ruth traveled to northern India in 1999 to work with doctors in clinics administering the vaccine.

"Children came in and we gave them each two drops on the tongue and marked their fingernails with a purple marker to show they had been vaccinated," Buck said. "Then we went door-to-door, and we were quite well received. Rotary is making a very strong effort to eradicate the disease."

Source =
Rotary Club of Waterloo, Iowa -
Rotary Club of Cedar Falls, Iowa -


About Itzhak Perlman and Polio

The world falls in love with music when Itzhak Perlman takes up his violin. A superstar by any standard and a rarity in the classical field, Perlman has taken hold of the public imagination as few violin virtuosos ever have, bringing joy to millions with his playing.

Having lost the use of his legs after falling victim to polio at the age of four, Perlman always sits as he plays. But he never fails to bring audiences to their feet.

Perlman's tone has been described as aristocratic, but his playing is decidedly populist: from the most jaded music lovers to the youngest initiates whose love of music Perlman loves to encourage, it is all but impossible to remain unmoved by the musician and his music. His adventurous repertory encompasses virtually the entire classical repertory for the violin as well as some of the most challenging and exciting music of today. A master of baroque, classical, romantic and modern music, he also has lavished his intensely joyful string sounds on everything from the brave old world of klezmer to the limitless frontiers of jazz.

His own arrangements of Scott Joplin's ragtime classics have added immeasurably to performance tradition of the American repertory. His heartrending violin solos in the John Williams soundtrack score for Steve Spielberg's Oscar-winning picture Schindler's List proved to be one of Perlman's own proudest achievements. His most surprising, so far, has been his operatic debut, as a bass, singing the small role of the Jailer in James Levine's recording of Puccini's Tosca starring Renata Scotto and Placido Domingo.

Source -


Perlman contracted polio at the age of four. He made a good recovery, learning to walk with the use of crutches. Today, he generally uses crutches for mobility and plays the violin while seated.

In 1987, he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for their concerts in Warsaw and Budapest, as well as other Eastern bloc countries. He toured with the IPO in the spring of 1990 for their first-ever performance in the USSR, with concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, and toured with the IPO again in 1994, performing in China and India.

Source -


Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic – the Concert to End Polio

This December, world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will take the stage in New York's Lincoln Center for the Concert to End Polio. The cause is especially close to Perlman's heart, given his personal battle to overcome polio as a small child.

The show is the joint effort of international humanitarian organization Rotary International and cause entertainment agency Commit Media. Rotary has been committed to eradicating polio for almost 20 years, since launching the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988 with the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and UNICEF.

Over the last 20 years, the fight against global polio has had incredible success. In the 1980s, polio affected a thousand new children around the world every day. Today, smaller and smaller numbers of new cases are reported each year. However, the fight isn't over -- polio still remains endemic in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

Tickets for the concert range from $70 to $200 dollars and are available for sale now. Rotary International is also accepting contributions toward the eradication of polio around the globe, made extra easy by their option to donate five dollars from your cell phone. Rotary International hopes to raise $200 million to match the challenge of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's $355 million grants. These funds will go directly to provide polio vaccines around the world.

This story was originally posted on

Read more at:


…And this last bit is from – About Polio

Although the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has faced sobering challenges in the past year, officials say it is moving forward in key political, technical, financial, and operational areas.

Stepped-up efforts to end the disease in the four endemic countries -- Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan -- are paying off, they say.

"Rotary International has played an extraordinarily special role [in the GPEI], not just as one of the initiators but in bringing financial resources, political advocacy, and volunteerism on the ground to getting the job done," said Dr. Bruce Aylward, director of the GPEI at the World Health Organization, speaking to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in June.

Aylward said that all levels of government in the four countries are committing unprecedented support for the polio eradication effort by monitoring the performance of immunization activities and holding local authorities accountable for the results.

According to WHO, the incidence of polio in India in 2009 has dropped by 28 percent to 284 cases as of 8 September, compared with 397 cases over the same period a year ago. Monthly immunization campaigns in the highest-risk areas have reduced wild poliovirus type 1 -- the more dangerous of the two remaining strains -- to record lows. Type 1 causes paralysis in about 1 out of every 200 children infected, versus 1 out of every 1,000 children with type 3.

In Nigeria, the incidence of polio has decreased by 41 percent to 379 cases, from 646 cases a year ago. By early 2009, the proportion of unimmunized children in the highest-risk states had fallen below 10 percent for the first time.

Unrest along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border has resulted in a slight increase in the number of cases in both countries in the past year. Between large-scale immunization campaigns, however, teams have exploited lulls in the conflict to enter normally inaccessible areas and give children an additional dose of vaccine. In Afghanistan, the wild poliovirus is endemic only in the south, and about 80 percent of children live in polio-free areas.

Rotarians in Pakistan have encouraged the national government to give strong support to ending polio. In early 2009, Pakistan launched the Prime Minister's Action Plan for Polio Eradication. On behalf of Rotary International in August, International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert S. Scott recognized Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, with a Polio Eradication Champion Award for his outstanding support for a polio-free world.

A new vaccine will be introduced in India as early as November to help stop the transmission of the type 1 and type 3 wild polioviruses. (Type 2 has been eradicated globally except in Nigeria.) This bivalent vaccine, health officials believe, will multiply the gains made during the past year toward eradicating polio. Intended to complement, not replace, monovalent and trivalent vaccines already in use, the bivalent vaccine will also be considered for Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Worldwide, the number of polio cases has dropped from more than 350,000 in 1988, when the GPEI began, to 1,651 in 2008.

"This is a great improvement from the worst days of polio epidemics," said Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Glenn E. Estess Sr. "But it is not good enough, and it will not be good enough until the number is zero. We cannot pause or slacken our efforts."

Global health experts are calling the push to end polio "the final inch," in light of the remaining 1 percent of cases that are the most difficult and expensive to prevent. Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge, which ends 30 June 2012, is seen as crucial to the initiative's success.

"This is an absolutely devastating disease that affects the poorest, most marginalized communities in the world," Aylward said. "We have the tools to eliminate it forever."

Friday, October 30, 2009

World Polio Day - October 24, 2009

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound

…for the week of October 26, 2009

World Polio Day – October 24, 2009

Some information on Polio in the world …

Globally, cases of polio have been -

2008 total - 1651
Year to date (2008) - 1406
Year to date (2009) - 1198

In endemic countries, cases of polio have been -

2008 total - 1505
Year to date (2008) - 1317
Year to date (2009) - 930

In non-endemic countries, cases of polio have been -

2008 total - 146
Year to date (2008) - 89
Year to date (2009) - 268


This October, some 162 million children are being vaccinated against polio, in countries from Guinea in West Africa to Nepal in south Asia. This month also marks 95 years since the birth of Jonas Salk, developer of the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Polio survivors and eradication advocates across the globe commemorate 24 October as World Polio Day in his honour.

Polio has been reduced worldwide by 99 per cent since 1988, following the global push to eradicate the poliovirus spearheaded by national governments and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, using oral polio vaccine, developed by Albert Sabin. The virus now survives in parts of four countries where it is the subject of intense eradication activities.

As part of a US$ 355 million challenge grant awarded to Rotary by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary clubs worldwide are aiming to raise a total of US$ 200 million by 2012. The funding will provide critical support to polio eradication activities, including the distribution of a new, more effective bivalent polio vaccine that was recently approved for use in the coming months.

On World Polio Day, Rotarians worldwide are concocting innovative fundraising ideas and activities to remind the world that help is still needed in the fight against polio.

Events include benefit screenings of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Final Inch” and campaigns to make donations over the mobile phone. Rotarians are hawking a book of jokes, with profits going to End Polio Now. They are congregating in their town centres soliciting donations from passers-by. Many are participating in “We walk so they may walk”-type walking or running events, referring to the lifelong paralysis that polio can cause. In one Rotary Club, walkers are competing in costume to “Scare away polio.”

Rotary has more information on the website, and you can also follow World Polio Day on Twitter and Facebook.


Polio Challenge

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound

…for the week of October 19, 2009

Polio Challenge –

Westborough (MA) Rotary Club hoping to raise awareness of forgotten disease

By Scott O'Connell/GateHouse News Service
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Oct 19, 2009


Westborough Rotary Club - PO Box 840 Westborough, Massachusetts, 01581 USA

Next weekend the Westborough Rotary Club will be out in full force to raise awareness of a deadly disease.

On Oct. 24, Rotary Club volunteers will raise funds throughout town for Rotary International's "World Polio Day." The event is also known as "Purple Pinkie Day" in reference to the practice of dipping children's pinkies in purple dye to signify that they have been immunized for the disease.

The polio vaccine has eradicated the virus in most of the world, including the U.S. But polio is still rampant in some countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, which has led Rotary International to continue the fight to wipe it out completely.

"The saying is that polio is only one airplane ride away," said Carol Burtt Borglund, who serves on the Westborough Rotary Club's Board of Directors.

Polio is a highly contagious viral infection that was widespread up until the creation of a vaccine by Jonas Salk in 1955. Though harmless to the majority of the population, in some cases it can cause paralytic polio, which can lead to muscle paralysis and even death in the victim.

Because the disease was all but wiped out in America several decades ago, Burtt Borglund said many younger people are unaware that it still poses a risk.

"There is a whole generation that doesn't even know what it is," she said. "There are even some parents who don't know they have to give the polio vaccine (to their child)."

Since 1985 Rotary International has campaigned to fight the remaining traces of the disease, contributing nearly $800 million to the cause. For World Polio Day, Westborough Rotary Club volunteers will be at the Verizon store and Roche Bros. supermarket at Bay State Commons, both Stop & Shops on Lyman Street and Rte. 9, Tatnuck Booksellers on Lyman Street, the town transfer station and other locations throughout Westborough to spread the word about polio. They will hand out informational pamphlets and give out simulated inoculations by dipping people's fingers in purple dye.

The local Rotary Club is also hoping to collect money this year as part of Rotary International's fundraising efforts. Last year the Rotary Club contributed $500 - "We're definitely hoping to increase that," Burtt Borglund said.

As an extra incentive, Rotary International is hoping to raise $200 million by 2012 to meet the challenge of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pledged to contribute an additional $150 million should the organization reach its goal.

Burtt Borglund said the Westborough Rotary Club has high hopes for this year's local fundraising efforts.

"We didn't have a visible campaign last year," she said. "We didn't feel we did our best. This was a challenge."

The Rotary Club is one of the town's largest fundraising organizations; it donates $10,000 annually to graduating seniors at Westborough High School and raises $30,000 each year at its spring festival.

"We exist for the purpose of raising money so we can give it away," Burtt Borglund said.

This month, however, the organization is turning its attention to more international matters.

"Polio still exists," she said.


WESTBOROUGH Rotary Club – Their website:

Join Us for Lunch. The Rotary Club of Westborough meets weekly for fellowship, lunch, and an informative and interesting presentation from a guest speaker.

Meeting Time: Wednesday 12:15 noon to 1:30
Meeting Location: The Chateau Restaurant - Rte 9 Westborough, MA. 01581

Note: Time is important to everyone and meetings begin and end promptly. Our luncheon charge is $15.

From: -

Westborough is a classic New England town with a population of about 18,000 residents. It is located at the cross roads of the Mass Pike and Rt. 495 so it provides an ideal location for both residents and businesses.

Problem - No budget for service project?

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of October 12, 2009

Problem: No budget for service project

How does the club manage fund-raising?

It’s January and you have just thought of a great community project, but you now find out there is no money in the club’s budget to fund it. How do you get the money the project needs?

How to you maintain the Rotary Club – continue the club moving forward – raising funds for the projects that will “do good works in the community.”
Without those funds, the club can do nothing. So, it is incumbent upon the Rotary Club to find ways to Raise Funds.

The question was posed in a Rotary forum recently. Here are a few responses:


You don't need money to do a service project... My Rotaract Club does it all the time. You simply stop using your wallet and start using your hands! Lots of organizations need hands-on volunteers. Sure, donations of money are important, but when funds are low, you can find lots of ways to do service on a budget.


Unique fund-raising where money comes from public in general is to provide for community toilets at various places. These can be got sponsored by advertisers for the toilet walls. After the toilets are in place, these toilets can be auctioned to individuals on annual rentals to the club. The money so collected can be used to fund more such toilets or for other community projects.


Our club has printed and sold a "cash calendar" for 2 years - 2008 and 2009. Our fund raising committee draws entries each month, one for every day of the month. There is a money prize of $20.00 for weekdays, extra on weekends and holidays. We mail the cheques out to the winners and very often the cheques are returned to us as a donation!

We sell them at tables in the grocery stores and every community event where we can get space for $20.00 each. The pictures are local scenery and quite spectacular. We combine raising funds with raising awareness and also appreciate that it gives us a chance as a club to come together while we fund-raise. If you need info on how to do it


Two years ago, our LeRoy Club in District 7090 began "Rent a Rotarian". The idea is for residents to pay for the services of Rotarians on a designated day. So on a Saturday, we rake leaves, cut grass, etc. We don't make a ton of money, but whatever we make is necessary to our small budget. It's a great way for Rotarians to interact and have fun. One thing that would make it easier would be some younger males in our club!


Our club has a membership of 80 but this is a new high, we had 55 members for a long time. Our biggest fundraiser with little investment is an in-house auction, where members bring in items and we auction them off. The largest amount of money comes from Rotarians offering to cook dinners for another Rotarian.

2 to 6 couples go over to Rotarian home for dinner. Our members pay 50 to 100 per person. Easy money no cost, our last auction lasted 1.5 hours and we raised $11,000.00 our cost 0, so you do the math.


My small club has suffered from always relying on club members to be the primary purchasers of tickets for fundraising events. In this economy, that burden is too great! So, we are currently coordinating a fundraiser where we are making a concerted effort to reach out to the community to seek supporters for a specific project. Through efforts to gain newspaper publicity and through members making direct appeals to friends and acquaintances in the community, we are developing a list of "Friends of the Rotary Club of Central Marin" with names and contact info.

In the future, this Friends list will be the starting point for our fundraising efforts. The result will be that local community members can participate in and share pride in the success of our service projects and the financial responsibility that was once the sole burden of club members can be lightened. A win-win for everyone!


Rotary is truly international - Rotary cares!

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound

…for the week of October 5, 2009

Rotary is truly international – Rotary cares!

Westlake Village Rotary Club in California helps the Philippines

When Tropical Storm Ketsana hammered the Philippine capital city of Manila Saturday, it caused an escalating humanitarian disaster that may soon become a major health crisis, said Edwin Velarde, an Oak Park businessman who is leading a local disaster relief effort to help thousands of flood victims.

“Because of massive flooding, we’re looking at huge health issues. We need to brace for a malaria outbreak as a result of standing water,” said Velarde. “And there’s also the threat of cholera — their sewer systems are mediocre and could be overwhelmed.”

Velarde, 48, was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States when he was 15. For the past 10 years, he’s been involved in humanitarian work in his native country through the Rotary Club of Westlake Village. Earlier this year, with funding from the Rotary Foundation and local Rotary Clubs, he helped build water wells in eight Philippine villages.

Last weekend, Typhoon Ketsana, known as Ondoy in the Philippines, pummeled large population centers in Manila and outlying areas, leaving 1.8 million people displaced or adversely affected by flooding, officials said. At least 240 people have died. The Philippine government has declared a “state of calamity” in Manila and 25 provinces.

Velarde said he wants to get bottled water and hot meals to flood victims in relocation centers. The best way of doing this, he said, is to provide funding to those already working on the ground in the Philippines.

The widespread devastation in the Philippines has made it almost impossible for thousands of people to get help, said Tony Grey, executive director of the Filipino-American Council of Ventura County.

“My concern is for the poorest victims because they’re the ones who suffer the most,” said Grey. He said that dozens of shanty towns in river areas and along railroad tracks are easily toppled by a typhoon.

“Their homes have been wiped out, and they’re in dire straits,” Grey said.
A failing infrastructure coupled with high rates of poverty contribute greatly to the crisis, said Bing De La Vega, founding president of the Philippine Emergency Disaster Relief Organization based in Los Angeles. One of the biggest concerns is the scarcity of clean water, he said.

“The Philippine government is doing its best,” he said, “but many are skeptical because of its limited resources.”

By Cynthia Overweg
Thursday, October 1, 2009


Location of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village in California

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

20 Answers to the Question: Why Join Rotary?

20 Answers to the Question: Why Join Rotary?

1. Friendship

In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs; the need for friends and fellowship. It is one of the two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.

2. Business Development
The second original reason for Rotary's beginning. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help one another, and collectively help others.

3. Personal Growth and Development

Membership in Rotary continues one's growth and education in human relations and personal development.

4. Leadership Development
Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education in Leadership: learning how to motivate, influence and lead leaders.

5. Citizenship in the Community

Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.

6. Continuing Education
Each week a Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed as to what is going on in the community, nation and world. Different speakers, different topics.

7. Fun
Rotary is fun. A lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. And the service is fun.

8. Public Speaking Skills

Many an individual who joined Rotary was afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication. And opportunity.

9. Citizenship in the World

Every Rotarian wears a pin that says: "Rotary International". And every Rotarian is welcome - even encouraged to attend - at 28,000 clubs in 188 nations and geographical regions. There are few places on the globe, which do not have a Rotary club. Instant friends in both one's own community and in the world community.

10. Assistance When Travelling
Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian who has needed a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc…, while traveling has found same quickly through Rotary.

11. Entertainment
Every Rotary Club and district has parties and activities, which provide diversion in one's business life. Rotary has conferences, conventions, assemblies and institute which provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education and service.

12. The Development of Social Skills

Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one's personality, social and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people, or who want to.

13. Family Programs

Rotary provides one of the world's largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; spouse clubs and programs, and a host of activities designed to assist family members in growth and the development of family values.

14. Vocational Skills

Every Rotarian is expected to take a part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one's job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher (or whatever one does for a living) etc.

15. The Development of Ethics
Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test which governs one's ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.

16. Cultural Awareness
Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world's most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of other cultures and learn to live and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.

17. Prestige
Rotary members are prominent people; leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks are executives, managers, professionals; people who make decisions and influence policy. Not everyone is invited to join Rotary.

18. Nice People
Rotarians above all are nice people; the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who adhere to the policy that while it is nice to be important, it is more important to be nice.

19. The Absence of 'Official Creed'

- Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meeting or rituals. It is an open society - of men and women who simply believe in helping others.

20. The Opportunity to Serve

Rotary is a service club. Its business is mankind; its product is service. Rotarians provide community service - to both the local and international communities. This is the best reason perhaps for becoming a Rotarian; the chance to do something for somebody else. And to sense the self-fulfillment which comes in the process. And the return to one's own life. Rotarians believe in service above self, it is richly rewarding.

"He profits most who serves the best".
…source http:

Rotary "Tie a Knot"

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of September 21, 2009

Rotary: "Tie a knot"

By Charles Roberts, Editor, Highland Community News
Published: Thursday, September 17, 2009

An inspirational talk by John Capps was presented at the Monday meeting of the Highland Rotary Club at Aquinas High School.

-- Capps reported that two billion children had been vaccinated, thanks to Rotary, enough to fill more than 22,000 Rose Bowls.
-- And he related the story of a young guest at a major Rotary function who pulled a necktie from his pocket and asked for help in tying it.
The youngster said he was raised by his grandmother, and she didn’t know how to tie a tie.

The Rotarian helped the young boy with his tie, teaching him how to do it himself, and the little boy asked, “Would you be my daddy?”

And for the next 15 years, the two kept in touch as the youngster grew into manhood.

“That little boy,” Capps said, “is now a surgeon, tying different knots.”

He said the story emphasizes the impact a simple deed of kindness can have and encouraged fellow Rotarians to go out there to “tie their own knots” to help others.

The Highland Rotary Club meets at 5:30 p.m. Mondays at Aquinas High School and welcomes visitors.

About Highland, California

Nestled against the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, the City of Highland offers an ideal business and residential location in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Highland takes great pride in being one of the most desirable communities in which to live in the Inland Empire, with low crime, high safety, and an emphasis on community beautification.

Group Study Exchange

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of September 14, 2009

Rotary International provides great opportunities
- Group Study Exchange

By LINDON DODD - Local Columnist

…source -

As I awoke in the early morning light the sleep quickly left my eyes and I couldn’t wait to shower and exit into the cold morning. I awoke my room mate Matt, a stock broker from Columbus, to join me on my initial exhibition onto the streets of Amritsar, India. That initial stroll was around the small town (by India standards) of 8 million. My senses were overloaded with the stench, the never before experienced crowds of way too many people crammed into a two block area, and that almost surreal feeling that I was actually in a foreign country having just left Chicago less than 24 hours earlier.

My 28 days in India were among the most life changing of my lifetime. To experience another culture, albeit, really another world located on the same sphere as our own is something that cannot be adequately explained to the curious. It was all too mind numbing to process even for a while after I had returned home to Southern Indiana. And, for the most part, it was an all expense paid trip that altered the way I will see the world until I draw my final breath.

It seems almost impossible that I represented my city, the State of Indiana, and the United States almost 10 years ago. In some ways, it can all come back to me in vivid flashback memories while at other moments it’s hard to believe it really happened. Just like they found me and four other willing world travelers so many years ago, Rotary International is looking for a few people who want to have an experience of a lifetime.

Roger Fisher is heading up a committee for the Jeffersonville Rotary Club to seek out applicants for this year’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) team that Indiana will be sending to the Netherlands. In exchange, this year, Indiana will host a team from the Netherlands. The objective of the program is to foster a better understanding among the citizens of the world. Each international team brings along some of their homeland to hosts in a foreign country. Most of the 28 days will be spent living in the homes of gracious hosts.

This experience will definitely be a working vacation. During my sojourn to India our team attended as many as eight local Rotary meetings per day in 8 different cities. The five total strangers who left out of Chicago became pretty intimately acquainted before the month had ended, spending many hours on a van crisscrossing the Indian countryside. Days often began before sunup and very often ended well after midnight. It was at the same time exciting and exhausting- yet always immensely fulfilling and educational. At every meeting we were given time for a presentation to highlight our own small towns and cities from which we came. Everyone wanted to know, “What is it like to live in America?”

This year’s team will consist of 4 non-Rotary people to be led by a long time Rotarian who will act as the Team Leader for the excursion to the Netherlands. The requirements are pretty straightforward. The applicant should be a person of good moral standing between the ages of 25-40 years of age, male or female. Anyone chosen should have an open mind and a willingness to exchange fellowship with persons from another culture. An applicant who is chosen will have to pay for their own passport and an insurance policy that will provide for an emergency medical evacuation in the case of any unforeseen medical crisis. The rest of the expenses will be paid by Rotary.

A successful applicant might wish to take some personal spending cash but not much would be required. On my trip, we were lavished with many gifts from local residents and often if I insinuated I wished to buy something it was usually provided for me.

For anyone not familiar with the Rotary International group, it is one of the most widely recognized and respected organizations in the world. As such, when you are wearing a blazer adorned with the Rotary seal you will always be treated as a VIP. The access we had in 2000 was phenomenal. CEO’s of corporations shared lunch with our team. We had tea with the Commander of the Indian Army in a room literally feet away from the Pakistani Border during which time the two countries were actively engaged in a border war. In an unfortunate twist of fate we were running late on our arrival into Dharamsala which resulted in us missing our private meeting with the Dalai Lama. The access and opportunities that await a Rotary team abroad will allow for experiences usually reserved for such powerful people as heads of state or political ambassadors.

The Indiana team will depart sometime in April and return in mid-May with the exact dates yet to be determined. Serious applicants will spend a weekend (at Rotary expense) at the Bradford Woods retreat located north of Martinsville, Indiana. After a weekend of interviews and interactive activities the final team will be chosen from the applicant pool.

Roger Fisher invites all inquiries from anyone with interest. He can be reached during the day at Budget Print shop by phone at 812-282-8832 or by cell phone at 502-299-8832. His e-mail address is

Fisher points out that the people of the Netherlands are very much known for being at the forefront of modern engineering, architecture, future farming methods, and on environmental practices which are serving as working models for the rest of the countries around the world. Theirs is a small, closed society that due to size and population can quickly initiate new ideas and technologies. Anyone taking this trip might well find themselves taking a look into the future in some areas.

As a personal note I would advise anyone who can spare the 28 days from their everyday life and work and has interest to give the application process a shot. I remember thinking it all sounded too good to be true- and in some ways it was. I took a shot in the dark and one early morning as the sun erased the darkness from a faraway sky- I awoke in India!


Lindon Dodd is an Otisco resident who is a freelance writer and can be reached at

The Jeffersonville Rotary Club is located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. We have 105 members from very diverse business and personal backgrounds. Our membership is involved in all aspects of local government, business ownership, business management, and retired business leaders. We have representation in a great number of community affiliations, not-for-profit boards, and are involved with community events and activities.

Have a look at their website:

About Interact

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of September 7, 2009

About Interact

Learning about both Rotaract and Interact is important in this month of Rotary New Generations.

Also, World Interact Week is November 2 -8, 2009. Does the club have an Interact program scheduled?

Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 14 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.

Club membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed, large or small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools in the same community.

Each year, Interact clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of

• Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
• Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
• Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
• Advancing international understanding and goodwill

As one of the most significant and fastest-growing programs of Rotary service, with more than 10,700 clubs in 109 countries and geographical areas, Interact has become a worldwide phenomenon. Almost 200,000 young people are involved in Interact.

For more information about Interact read the Interact Handbook and the Interact Brochure - both to be found on the Rotary International website –

About Rotaract

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of August 31, 2009

About Rotaract

With September fast upon us as Rotary New Generations Month, it might be helpful to review what is Rotaract.

Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary.

The purpose of the Rotaract Club is to provide an opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service, and whose goals are:

a) To develop professional and leadership skills;

b) To emphasize respect for the rights of others, and to promote ethical standards and the dignity of all useful occupations;

c) To provide opportunities for young people to address the needs and concerns of the community and our world;

d) To provide opportunities for working in cooperation with sponsoring Rotary clubs;

e) To motivate young people for eventual membership in Rotary.

As one of Rotary’s most significant and fastest-growing service programs, with more than 7,000 clubs in about 163 countries and geographical areas, Rotaract has become a worldwide phenomenon.

How does it work?

All Rotaract efforts begin at the local, grassroots level, with members addressing their communities’ physical and social needs while promoting international understanding and peace through a framework of friendship and service.
What are some other opportunities available to Rotaractors?

Rotaractors may also

• Assist in organizing Interact clubs or mentor Interactors
• Participate in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
• Become Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars or Group Study Exchange team members
• Seek membership in their local Rotary club

Rotaractors are encouraged to keep their contact information current.

How can I learn more?

The Rotary Club should be very much involved with any club that it sponsors. Plan to share projects with the Rotaractors – let their enthusiasm for service wash over some of the older, more sedate Rotarians.

Also, you can visit the Rotaract Discussion Forum to view or participate in conversations about club projects and activities with Rotaractors from around the world.

• Download the Rotaract Handbook (PDF) and the Rotaract Brochure (PDF).
• Read more about Rotaract events.
• Read about Rotaract twin clubs.
• Read about outstanding Rotaract projects.

Other resources available for download from

• Rotaract Constitution and Bylaws (PDF)
• Rotaract Presidential Citation Form (PDF)
• Rotaract Statement of Policy (PDF)
• Current Quarterly Worldwide Rotaract Statistics (PDF)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sharing the Magic of Rotary

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of August 24, 2009

Growing Rotary – Sharing the Magic

From – A Personal Collection of Ideas that Worked
By Mary Chapman, Rotarian

Rotary Club of Peachtree City, Georgia, District 6900, Zone 34

...from Chapter 10 – Sharing the Magic – a short excerpt

Our Assistant Governors are a ready source of help for membership development. These are some of the things that AGs can do:

• Help local Club Presidents or Membership Chairs to write and evaluate their local club plan. It is easier to write a plan if you know you have a helpful person to share your excitement and challenges.

• Assist local club presidents to secure a membership program for membership month.

• Conduct meaningful induction ceremonies for the local club when requested.

• Provide monthly feedback to the Club President and Membership Chair about their club membership numbers and those of other clubs in the district.

• Present a special pin or other recognition to those club members who sponsor new members.

• Visit often, and ask about membership concerns before they become a crisis.

• Have a specific discussion about the resources available from RI for membership development.

• Encourage everyone to attend the District Membership Seminar.

Remember to include Rotaract Clubs in your membership development plan. They are an excellent source of new Rotarians. The President and Membership Chair should be copied on all relevant correspondence.

Make-ups. The following is a very good idea for creating an opportunity for a “make-up.”

Mary writes:

In my home club, one make-up opportunity is to support the Fayette Samaritans, our local help service for those in need, by bringing food and items like detergent and diapers. If a member goes to the store, buys $10 worth of needed items and brings them to the next meeting, they have participated in a sanctioned club project and the member is credited with a make-up. The Manual of Procedure allows a make-up for participation in a club service project. The Fayette Samaritans love us and our membership does, too.

About Mary Chapman

Mary Chapman joined Rotary in the spring of 1989 and has been an active members ever since. She has served on the District 6900 (Georgia) Membership development committee and has been active in the membership development of her own club for the last eight years.

She is the recipient of the District 6900 “Al Daniel Award for Membership Development” awarded annually to a club or individual for contributions to membership development. She is the only individual to ever receive this award. In 2001-2

Rotary Membership Development

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of August 17, 2009

Rotary Membership Development

Everything worth doing is easier and more likely to happen with a written plan.

You may have just been elected Club president or Membership Development chair, or maybe you just love Rotary and want to share it. Take a few minutes to write down your personal goal for membership during your year. This goal should be personal, not the generic “plus one” that is sent out to the whole world. What is appropriate and possible for your club if you work hard? How many projects could you complete that would make the world better if you had ten more people in your club? What will it take to get your club there?

Goals should be written in the present tense, as if they were already occurring, and they should include dates. For example: “Our club inducts ten members by March 31 of my Rotary Year,” or “Our club has a net growth of three members by June 3.” Do not worry about the number being too large.

The most easily met membership goal for my club was the year we were expected to induct one member per month. We wrote a plan, we worked hard, and we measured results. We thought about the goal, looked for prospective members, and found them everywhere. People respond to large and challenging goals, especially if there is support from the people “at the top.”

The most challenging year for our membership growth was the first year that the international goal was “plus one.” We had worked hard in previous years; but, no one bothered to write a plan. Without a plan, we did not work consistently and wound up having to identify and induct 20 members in one month to meet Rotary International’s goal. What we discovered was that prospective members were there all along just waiting to be asked to join Rotary.

• Take a blank piece of paper and write your membership goal at the top. Brainstorm and list ten ways that you can reach this goal.

• Spend one hour a day for a week reading in the membership section of the RI website.

• Implement at least one new idea in support of membership development that you have written down.

• Purchase and listen to Brian Tracy’s CD “Goals.”

• Put all of the new members who have joined your club in the last 12 months on your “Membership Development Committee.” Print some “stuff” from the RI membership Development Data Base at and give them a manual. Put the club goals on the first page and list their names on the second. These people are new. They do not know that many Rotarians never sponsor anyone. They are the one of your best opportunities for success.

Source: Growing Rotary – A Personal Collection of Ideas that Worked – Mary Chapman, Rotarian. (Director of Membership Development 2008-09, District 6900)

(If you would like a copy of this publication, either printed or on CD, please email or call 770-241-4127.)

Rotary the Peacemaker

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of August 10, 2009

Rotary – the Peacemaker

A skeptic might ask: “How can Rotary be a real force for peace? It has no jurisdictional power. It is not a religion. It has no army or tanks, and it insists on being non-political.”

Such a viewpoint looks at peace as something that can be ordered or militarily enforced, as if it is only the responsibility of governments.

Rotary has always approached peacemaking systemically – it has sought to break down the barriers that cause people to point fingers at one another. By trying to understand people’s points of view, and reaching across lines of race, religion, and culture to become partners in service to all mankind, tensions are reduced and friendships are increased. Humanitarian aid has been Rotary’s answer to hunger, sickness, illiteracy, and economic disaster, the seeds of conflict.

In April 1945, Rotary was in the forefront of arguably one of the most important meetings of the 20th century: the finalizing of the charter of the United Nations in San Francisco.

The UN Charter Conference was the ultimate meeting of world leaders. They gathered to establish how future international disputes would be resolved; governments sent only their highest-ranking ministers, their very brightest minds to San Francisco.

Rotary was invited to attend as one of the observer organizations. There being few UN staff at the time, these 23 Rotarian observers guided agendas, performed translations, suggested wording for resolutions, and helped resolve disputes between delegates. Rotary provided 11 official observers to the U.S. delegation alone – only one other organization had more than three.


Source: Forward, David C. A Century of Service – The story of Rotary International.

What some have to say about Rotary

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of July 27, 2009

What some have to say about Rotary –

“For 75 years, Rotarians have been ‘torchbearers,’ lighting the way to a better life for many people in many countries. Like Olympic runners, we received a torch from those before us – a torch of service that brings light to the shadow areas of mankind: intolerance, ignorance, disease, and hunger…Let people know that Rotary cares – and acts.”

-- James L. Bomar, Shelbyville, Tennessee, USA (RI president, 1979-80)

“Hope is the expectation of better things – a polio-free world, a world without hunger, universal peace. It is the spark that keeps a man going, whatever his station. Without it, life is nothing more than existence in despair.”

-- M.A.T. Caparas, Manila, Philippines (RI president, 1986-87)

“The contribution of Rotary is more than money. It is the commitment of individual Rotarians to polio eradication which has made this initiative a unique collaboration between the public and private sectors.”

-- Hiroshi Nakajima, director-general World Health Organization

“Of all the partnerships that we developed while I was at the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), none has been more impressive than the partnership with Rotary International and the other partners working on the global eradication of polio.”

-- Dr. David Satcher, former CDC official and Surgeon General of the United States

“Rotary has won a place of respect in the global village – in fact, Rotary has helped make the world a global village.” (Rotary International was the first organization to be awarded UNICEF’s Audrey Hepburn Child Advocate Award in 1995).

-- Carol Bellamy, executive director, UNICEF (1995 RI Convention in Nice, France)

“People everywhere – each of them our cousins by blood – want peace…But people draw distinctions about nations and races different from their own, which give rise to suspicion and distrust. I urge each of you as a Rotarian to bring to a club meeting a non-Rotarian who is of a different race, a different generation, or social background.”

-- Hiroji Mukasa, Nakatsu, Japan (RI president, 1982-83)

“Into the hands of the United Nations we have placed the heritage of freedom for which countless generations of people have struggled. We depend upon the UN to pass that heritage on to generations yet unborn…Each of us can help strengthen the UN…in his own home… in his own community…The United Nations is an instrument that we can use for demonstrating far and wide the opportunities for service.”

-- Angus S. Mitchell, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (RI president, 1948-49)

Bridges of friendship could be built
Where in war men’s blood was spilt
Bridges built in Rotary’s way
Bridges built to speed the day
When peace and concord will hold sway
That man may reach his long-sought goal
Neighbors all from pole to pole
One human race with ties that bind
One humane world, one humankind.

-- From After All by Harold T. Thomas, Auckland, New Zealand (RI president, 1959-60)

Source: David C. Forward. A Century of Service. The Story of Rotary International. Copyright 2003 Rotary International.

Rotary is Alive and Well all over the World

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of July 20, 2009

Rotary is alive and well all over the world.

District 7780 (with 41 clubs and over 1900 active members from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine) is offering a GSE Exchange with India. Each club can select applicants for the GSE Team and submit them to the District.

Rotary Club of NewburyPort. One club in District 7780 is representative of so many others around the globe. The Rotary Club of NewburyPort meets on Tuesdays at 12:15 noon in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

• As a point of interest, to make sure that this club is having fun while they serve, they intend to focus on fellowship, fun and the family of Rotary throughout the year.

• They have even created a new Director position: the Director of Fun and Fellowship!

• One of their great fund-raisers is The Rotary Club of Newburyport's Famous Chicken Barbeque. Doesn’t that sound delicious? They even have a secret sauce and hand the recipe down from year to year – the best-kept secret!

Group Study Exchange

The Rotary Club of Newburyport also supports the Group Study Exchange. They have advertised for qualified applicants and accepting applications from qualified applicants for Rotary District 7780's Group Study Exchange with India, which will take place in January and February 2010.

The Group Study Exchange Program of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women between the ages of 25 and 40.

The program provides travel grants for teams of participants to exchange visits between paired areas in different countries.

• For four weeks, team members will study the host country's institutions and ways of life, observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

• Team members may come from corporations, small business, community organizations, medical and educational facilities, government offices, and nonprofit agencies.

The program is designed to have an invaluable impact on the career of a young professional in the increasingly global workplace.

• For employers, GSE enhances the international perspective, communication and collaboration skills, and global awareness of the next generation of young business and professional leaders.

• GSE team member applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40; fully employed with at least two years of work experience in their chosen field;

• They must be in the early stages of their careers or professions; reside in or be employed in the sending Rotary District; be personable, articulate, cooperative and motivated team players who are enthusiastic about their vocations.

• Team applicants may not be Rotarians or the spouse or child of a Rotarian.

The Newburyport Rotary Club has recently hosted GSE Teams from Poland and the Philippines. Two years ago, the Newburyport Rotary Club sponsored local resident, Christin Walth, who participated in the GSE exchange to the Phillipines, and had a fabulous experience.

For each team member, The Rotary Foundation provides the most economical round-trip air ticket between the home and host countries.

• Local Rotarians in the host area provide for meals, lodging and group travel in their district.

• Each team member is responsible for his own personal and incidental expenses, including any personal travel arranged after the exchange.
In January 2010, four young professionals and a Rotarian team leader from District 7780 will have the opportunity to spend four weeks as a GSE team in Rotary District 3030 in India.

• District 3030 is in the state of Maharashtra and includes the towns of Nasik, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati, Chadrapur and Nagpur.

• Major attractions include wildlife sanctuaries, cave temples and carvings, and the world heritage sites of Ajanta and the Ellora caves.

Applications must be submitted through a local Rotary club, which then forwards the application for review and approval to the District Selection Committee. Additional information about GSE may also be found at


For District 7020 –
District 7020 Team arrives in District 7610 (Virginia) on April 3, 2010
District 7020 Team returns home to Jamaica on May 3, 2010

More information will be forthcoming about District 7020 GSE teams as I learn it.

Onwards and Upwards! Fundraising for a good cause!

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of July 13, 2009

Onwards and upwards! Fundraising for a good cause!

Just as many participate in a Relay for Life (for cancer), Anguilla – and even all of the Caribbean – could begin a Relay for Diabetes Awareness – organizing a similar type of event.


Relay For Life (often shortened to Relay) is a fundraising event of the American Cancer Society, and is now held in many other countries. It is an overnight event designed to spread awareness of cancer prevention, treatments and cures, celebrate survivorship and raise money for research to find more cures for cancer. In 2007, Relay For Life raised over $405 million. The largest per capita fundraiser for a college or university is Loyola College in Maryland.

The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser. It is an opportunity to get together with family and friends and celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back in the hope of finding a cure for this terrible disease.

Relay is fun, fulfilling, and your participation gives strength to our mission to eradicate cancer. The walk is an inspirational 12-hour overnight event as we come together and fight to make cancer history.



The people of the Caribbean region are facing a serious threat to health which will potentially overwhelm healthcare systems in the small and relatively poor countries of the region.

It is estimated that by the year 2010, the number of people with diabetes in the Caribbean will reach 20 million. Diabetes prevalence in the area is projected to increase to approximately 25% of the adult population.

Debbie Jones (Coordinator of the Diabetes Centre and Coordinator of clinical trials at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Hamilton, Bermuda. She is a Vice-President of the International Diabetes Federation) reports on a training initiative which is aimed at reducing this health burden through the development and promotion of diabetes education programmes in the Caribbean region.

The Declaration of the Americas on Diabetes (DOTA), a coalition of diabetes-related organizations which was founded in 1996 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), advocates the promotion of diabetes education for people with the condition.

DOTA recognizes that diabetes education is an indispensable aspect of treatment in order to ensure the active participation of people with diabetes in the control and effective treatment of their condition. In many countries in the Regions of South and Central America and North America, diabetes education programmes are nonexistent.


The prevalence of diabetes is increasing globally. In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the forecast from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the prevalence of diabetes will increase from 34 million in 2000 to 64 million in 2025.

Diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among the elderly and it is known to increase disability and premature mortality. Given the ageing process taking place in most developing countries, diabetes will soon become a demand health problem.

The cost of diabetes in Latin America and the Caribbean was estimated at $65 billion in 2002.

World Diabetes Day, November 14th, is the primary global awareness campaign for those involved in diabetes. The number of individuals with diabetes mellitus in Anguilla is escalating and the entire population must be made aware of this, as well as the consequences of this on the entire population. The theme of World Diabetes Day for 2008 is “Diabetes in young and Adolescents.”


Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, and type 2 diabetes in children is becoming a global public health issue with potential serious outcomes. The number of children and adolescents in Anguilla with diabetes is increasing rapidly, and it is hoped that focus on diabetes will raise awareness of the disease as well as help individuals to recognize the signs in children and how to prevent complications. It is hoped that individuals will be encouraged to live healthy lifestyles to help prevent type 2 diabetes in children and adults as well.

Diabetes can strike children of any age, even toddlers and babies. If not detected early enough in a child, the disease can be fatal or result in serious brain damage. Yet diabetes in a child is often completely overlooked: it is often misdiagnosed as the flu or it is not diagnosed at all. Children and adolescents with a strong family history of diabetes should be screened for diabetes.

Types of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus occurs as a result of problems with the production and supply of the hormone insulin in the body. The body needs insulin to use the energy stored in food. When someone has diabetes they produce no or insufficient insulin (type 1 diabetes), or their body cannot use effectively the insulin they produce (type 2 diabetes).

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that cannot be prevented. Globally it is the most common form of diabetes in children, affecting around 500,000 of them under 15. However, as a result of increasing childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles, type 2 diabetes is also increasing fast in children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes has been reported in children as young as eight and reports reveal that it now exists in children thought previously not to be at risk.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents

Children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes might have few or no symptoms of diabetes. The following symptoms and signs might be present:

• Frequent urination
• Excessive thirst
• Increased hunger
• Weight loss
• Tiredness
• Lack of interest and concentration
• Blurred vision
• Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)

Prevention and management

We are not show what are the main causes for the increasing number of children and adolescents who develop diabetes in Anguilla, but the fact that more children and adolescents are overweight and obese might be a leading factor. Much more must be done as a community to address the growing problem of overweight and obesity in our young children and adolescents. Parental involvement is crucial if our children and adolescents are to develop healthy lifestyles.

Once children and adolescents are diagnosed with diabetes, they should monitor their blood sugar regularly to help control their diabetes. Prevention of complications of poor glucose control is very important. Proper diet, regular exercise and adherence to medications are key to allowing individuals with diabetes to live successful lives. All individuals with diabetes should have regular medical check-ups as well.


Diabetes is a growing health problem in Anguilla. The number of children and adolescents with diabetes is increasing at alarming rates. We must do more to prevent diabetes from developing and for those with diabetes we must promote measures to prevent complications of poor glucose control.

Ask Your Doctor is a health education column and is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Dr. Brett Hodge is an obstetrician/gynaecologist and family doctor who has over twenty years in clinical practice.

Dr. Hodge has a medical practice in the Johnson Building in The Valley.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rotary Elixir - Week of July 1, 2009

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week of June 29, 2009

Local Rotary will help build prenatal clinic in Nepal
…from the Chillicothe

BY LOREN GENSON • Gazette Staff Writer • July 1, 2009

Dr. Biplav Yadav, a physician at Family Health Care in Chillicothe, was raised in the Maleth Village Development Committee, a rural community with six small villages and a total population of 12,000 in the Saptari District of southeastern Nepal, about 220 miles southeast of Kathmandu, the capital city.

He hopes the new 2,500 square foot facility planned will help provide better health care for women and children, and hopefully the community at large.

Ashtha Singh, left, sings a traditional Nepalese song with her brother Ilesh Singh at the Rotary Club's Nepal Night. (Loren Genson/Gazette)

"I have been there, and I saw the hardships these people face," said Yadav, whose father and other family members still farm in Nepal. "The nearest health facility is one to two hours away and many die on the way, or can't afford to go."

The First Capital Rotary Club, based in Chillicothe, Ohio, has teamed up with Yadav's foundation, the International Health Foundation to help construct the facility. Rotary President Randy Davies said they are working with Rotary International and their chapter near Kathmandu to help raise money for the center.

"Our national goal this year is to help child mortality rates around the world," Davies said at a Rotary Club "Nepal Night" featuring traditional Nepalese entertainment and food. "We want to help make sure children can be born in a safe and clean environment."

The facility would provide neo-natal, pregnancy and other medical support for the women and children in the community.

"Ninety-nine percent of deliveries are in the home," Yadav said, adding many homes have mud walls and a thatched roof. "For neo-natal care, there is usually none."
Child mortality rates are also high in the poor and underdeveloped community, where water is provided by a well.

"Upper respiratory infections is the leading cause of infant death, which is something we can easily treat," Yadav said.

The center would be staffed with four people including health assistants, which is similar to a physicians assistant in the United States, and midwives to deliver the babies.
"They are not doctors, but they are able to write prescriptions and can help treat the people," Yadav said.

Rotary said the cost to staff the center and provide medicine supplies is about $6,000 a year, and it plans to make a commitment to support the center yearly.
"We will get some money from Rotary International and also get some grants to help keep the facility running," Davies said.

Health education and immunization also will be important goals, Yadav said. Diseases such as polio, which can easily be prevented, still are seen in the community. Once constructed, the center will be the first brick building in the community.
"This is going to be a really important resource for these people, and there is hope to possibly expand the facility to include an Urgent Care type of facility," Davies said.


The Chillicothe First Capital Club (Ohio, USA) has about 26 members. District 6690. They meet every Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m. at the Pump House Center for the Arts in Chillicothe’s Yoctangee Park. The art gallery presents a unique setting for each meeting. Breakfast is served and everyone is invited to visit and become a member of this club.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Weekly Elixir - March 10, 2008

Weekly Elixir – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
…for the week beginning March 10, 2008

When words fail
By Jeff Cade
The Rotarian


John Corcoran achieved professional success without being able to read and write. After 48 years, he learned to read, and is now working to end illiteracy in North America through his California, USA, based foundation.

Photo courtesy of John Corcoran

How Rotary is helping Johnny (and Jenny) read

John Corcoran prayed a lot when he was in Catholic grade school: “I used to pray, ‘Dear, God, when it comes my turn, please let me be able to read the words.”
Suffering from an undiagnosed learning disability, Corcoran sat in the back row, called the “dumb row.” But he was athletic and good in math. So Corcoran charmed, lied, cheated, and even bought his way through high school and college, eventually becoming a teacher and successful real estate investor. All without ever learning to read and write. It wasn’t until he was 48 that he learned to read through a community learning center.

Now, through the John Corcoran Foundation, based in Oceanside, California, USA, he works to end illiteracy in North America. And he’s even gone on to write two books, including a best-selling memoir, The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read.

Losing ground

When most North Americans hear about illiteracy, they think it’s a problem in other parts of the world. Given that every U.S. and Canadian child has the opportunity to attend school, literacy rates ought to be much higher, Corcoran and others observe. But poverty, undiagnosed learning disabilities, and sometimes even the education system itself are to blame for more and more children slipping through the cracks.

The effects of low levels of literacy continue into adulthood. The National Endowment for the Arts released a report last November that showed correlations between income disparity and the decline of reading. Adult illiteracy in the United States alone carries a $17 billion per year price tag in lost income and tax revenue, welfare, unemployment, crime, and training costs in business.

Mike Chittom, of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, has seen the effects of illiteracy firsthand in a third-grade classroom at a local school, which his club supports through a mentoring project. “If every Rotary club could get involved with a school, there is no telling what we could accomplish,” Chittom says.

RI President Wilfrid J. Wilkinson, of Canada, has made fighting illiteracy an emphasis for Rotarians and appointed an RI Literacy Resource Group to encourage and support clubs in developing literacy projects.

“[Literacy is] the next progression of what the world needs,” Wilkinson says. “We know water is the key issue. Once they have good water, they can have good health. When they have good health, they can go to school, become literate.”

Wilkinson wrote the foreword to Corcoran’s forthcoming book, Bridge to Literacy: No Child or Adult Left Behind. Corcoran lauds Rotary’s efforts, calling them an “exciting development” and noting that “Rotarians are known for their commitment to humanitarian goals and their drive to achieve them.”

An ‘epidemic’ of illiteracy

The illiteracy problem isn’t new. More than half a century ago, Rudolf Flesch published Why Johnny Can’t Read: And What You Can Do about It. “In the years since, the malady revealed by Flesch has grown to epidemic proportions in which nearly one-third of all U.S. school children have serious literacy deficits,” wrote William J. Moloney, Colorado’s commissioner of education, in a USA Today editorial in 2006.
Poverty and illiteracy are ideal partners. The environment of poverty makes it difficult for children to succeed. And success, when it comes, is often short lived.

The U.S. Department of Education found that even though reading skills improved modestly among fourth to eighth graders in the past 15 years – with the largest jump occurring, ironically, before No Child Left Behind went into effect – by 12th grade, reading scores fell and reading proficiency dropped as well.

The education system is failing many students, spouting a fountain of criticism: Colleges often fail to train new teachers to develop classroom programs that work and fit the needs of every student, and teachers aren’t given the support, resources, pay, or respect for the autonomy necessary to cope with their situation.

Teachers need school settings where they are freed from a script that tells them what to do and say, says Susi Long, assistant chair of the National Council of Teachers of English’s Elementary Section Steering Committee. “Publishers who develop programs can’t possibly know children in each classroom and their needs,” she says. To many children, the material isn’t meaningful. Yet teaching from the text of prescribed programs is more prevalent now, Long says.

Taking action

“Children are told it’s their fault they can’t learn,” Corcoran says. “The child feels the shame and gets the blame. It’s a form of child neglect and child abuse.” Rotary wants that to stop.

“So, how do we do that?” Wilkinson says. “We looked for ways to help in North America. Despite the fact that we have fine schools, we still need help.”

Impressed by the results of a pilot literacy project that linked Rotary clubs with Computer-Assisted Literacy Solution (CALS), Wilkinson negotiated a reduced rate for access to the online program. “It enables users of any age to quickly improve their English language and math skills in a measurable way. I’m encouraging other clubs to get involved [with CALS],” he says. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have other great [literacy] programs, but we are attracting new members with this one.”

Corcoran recognizes the potential. “I viewed Rotary as a sleeping giant, but I sense an awakening,” he says. Corcoran has spoken to many Rotary clubs on his lecture circuit. Rotary, in partnership with the International Reading Association, has created a new resource, called Every School a Star, to help Rotarians select and implement school-based literacy projects. Adopt-a-school programs vary in size and scope, but Rotarians in cities throughout North America dedicate themselves to tutoring, mentoring, and teaching to help lift children out of illiteracy.

As hard as it is to reach all the children who need help learning to read, getting them to keep reading is another quest. Book and dictionary drives, which some Rotary clubs are involved with, help provide age-appropriate books to children who live in areas that simply don’t have them. In Canada, England, and the United States, Rotary clubs are working with singer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which buys books for each child born in participating communities. In Arizona, USA, the Rotary Club of Tucson’s Reading Seed program provides books and volunteer reading coaches to students in grades 1-3.

Is Corcoran optimistic that volunteer groups can bridge the gap? “The fires of illiteracy have not been contained, so I do get discouraged sometimes,” he says, citing the political and institutional barriers to literacy. But he remains hopeful that Rotary can make a difference.

“Many of these children have nobody but us,” Chittom says. Wilkinson says current global crises give him a sense of urgency. “A better educated and informed population can make better decisions,” he says. “Literacy is the final key to helping people help themselves.”

Jeff Cade is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.