Mar 11, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
March 11, 2013

The Burl Committee regrets that we didn't have a reporter at the meeting.  Instead we offer the following dramatic account of what we think went on.  Professional writer on a closed course.  Don't try this at home.

Welcome, Barbara from Cal Courts!

 It was a dark and stormy day in Eureka. The wind howled, a woman cried, and somewhere in the distance, a bird chirped forlornly.

So it came to pass that President Dean called the meeting to order, pounding her gavel against Ye Olde Ancient Belle, whose sonorous tones rang across the Wharfinger Building.  Men rose to their feet, and women tooIt was time for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Bryan Little & Terri Vroman-Little from Redwood Coast Montessori Charter School

Fealty to the nation secured, a prayer was offered up.

Student guests come, student guests go, so who can say if any bright eyed youth were really in attendance? The corporeal form is merely a vessel for the soul, and consciousness is but a brief flame amongst the stars.

Was there gambling? A raffle for the science fair? Who can say? Is $10 reward really a win, or just an acknowledgement of ongoing support for the community’s youth?

Celebrating World Rotaract Week

World Rotaract Week was definitely this week, and those bright, future Rotarians, aged 18-30, are our hope for a brighter tomorrow. If enough of them join our club, the price for lunch can also possibly drop due to bulk discounts.

FUN FACT: The earliest known predecessors to Rotaract, Twenty-Thirty clubs, were first sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sacramento, CA. The clubs were based on the principles and goals of their sponsoring Rotary clubs, and membership was open to young professionals and university students. The first meeting of a Twenty-Thirty club was held on 19 December 1922. At one point, the movement claimed as many as 125 clubs under the sponsorship of CA Rotary clubs.  

We love our local Rotaract Club!

Were members of the Lost Coast Rotaract club in attendance, speaking earnestly on their projects to better humanity? It’s certainly possible, perhaps even likely. If they were indeed there, speaking on their good deeds, surely they were thanked, and signed a book that we will donate to the library.

And yeah, verily, the meeting most likely shuffled off, stage left, and almost certainly finished on time, to the ancient refrain of a bell, struck by a gavel.

Mar 4, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
March 4, 2013

Wayne Wilson led the flag salute. Tom McMurray led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Visiting Rotarians included several people, none of whom I can name. I'm sure they are all lovely people. 

Guests of Rotarians
Debbie Storre, Sile Bauriedel, Dr. Ken Whelton, and Patrick Cleary. Dr. Ethan Essian of Nigeria, Ekete Udo of Nigeria, and Erete Unan 
Student Guests
Maya Cobb, president of Interact, and Francim Aguilar, both of Eureka High. They are doing a raffle for a school in Kenya. 

Exchange student Larissa was in the house. She planned an event for all Northern California exchange students to say goodbye to Franco. Outbound exchange student Ashley Bott was hit by a car last week, but is doing ok. 

Birthdays and Anniversaries are on the book, congratulations to all. 

Molly Owen and Spencer Gaxiola, outbound exchange students, are planning a fundraiser to pay for their exchanges. On the 13th of April they are having an event at the Bayside Grange. Auction items! Music! Steak dinner! $25 at the door. 

Incoming President Ziggy Ziggenfuss went to Rotary President training. Dues are going up $16, and it was an enjoyable conference with wonderful speakers. 

Sally Arnot walked to the front, using up her entire two minutes. Fireside chats are coming back, so you can have a glass of wine, air your grievances, and have another glass of wine. Sign up, via the Internet. They begin the week of April 15. 

Past President Tom Schallert spoke on the Safe Blood Africa project. They've been working to go to an all-volunteer blood supply in Nigeria. Dr. Ettan Essian from the teaching hospital said a few words. Dr. Essian said that before 2011, the voluntarism in blood supply amounted to 1.5%. After two weeks of training, the volume jumped to 22%. They've now taken that donation percentage up to 50.7%. 

Ken Stodder has grand kids, who are sadly in college so he can't be recognized for their sports accomplishments. So, President Dean fined him anyway, rainmaker awarded. 

Doug Lanning is switching from paper billing to electronic. And yet, he still had to pay his fines by writing a check instead of using PayPal. Oh, the irony. 

Spengler Raffle Winners $10 George Orwen and a winner who wishes to remain anonymous. Or I missed it. 

Past President Bauriedel introduced Sharon Tennison, to discuss her work in Russia.  Sharon spoke on her experiences talking to the Russian people and helping to train Russian youth on modern business practices, through the Center for Citizen Initiatives. Sharon had four children, didn't know any Russian, and decided 30 years ago that she wanted to do something about tension between America and the USSR. So she did. Sharon went to the Soviet Consulate and asked permission to walk the streets of Russia and see the average Russian and try to begins dialogue. Amazingly she was approved and so her and a group of friends went to the USSRAfter meeting lots of Russians, one man asked if they had anything for alcoholism in America. On her next trip, Sharon brought books on AA, and a delegation of AA spokespeople. 

The program has proliferated throughout Russia the past 20 years. Fast forward and some young Russians asked her for a program on how to start businesses in 1989. Sharon adapted a program based on the Marshall Plan and began to train Russians on starting businesses. Rotary is strong in Russia, spread across 11 time zone! 85% of the entrepreneurs who came through Sharon's program were sponsored by Rotarians. As a result, many of the returning interns started Rotary clubs of their own when they got back to Russia. 

The entrepreneur training spawned Russian-based entrepreneurial programs, and the methodology has been multiplying across the nation. Sharon hosted a symposium on corruption reduction. All of her programs have been extremely successful, and she has just released a book on her experiences working with Russia. She credits Rotary with being instrumental to the success of her programs. 

The guest was thanked, the library book was signed, and the meeting ended on time. 

Respectfully submitted,
John Harper