K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran
Rotary District 5160 Governor:
Durham Rotary President:
February 23rd, 2016
The 2016 Harvest Festival will be held on September 18, 2016
2016 Calendar for Durham Rotary
Valentine's Day Party
due to Presidents' Day
Dominique Angst, a school teacher from Switzerland on their education systems
Chowder Cook Off at Corning (Rolling Hills Casino)
Sarah Gamble, a DHS graduate and scholarship recipient - Update on her current achievements and future plans
Don Krysakowski from the Work Training Center
Saint Patrick's Day Corn Beef Feed at Memorial Hall
Pam and Brian Gray of the Paradise Club talking about their motorcycle trip to Sturgis
President Mike Wacker opened the meeting by asking J. R. Gallagher to lead the pledge, which he did. He then asked Mary Sakuma to lead the club in a song. She led us in “God Bless America”. Jim Kirks then gave the invocation.
February 27th: Chowder Cook Off at Corning Rolling Hills Casino
March 1st: Brian Aguiar/Glenn Pulliam will present Sarah Gamble about her scholarship and accomplishments it helped
March 8th: Steve Plume will present Don Krysakowski from the Work Training Center.
March 15th: Corn Beef Feed at Memorial Hall. This is a meeting of record.
March 22nd: Larry Bradley
March 29th: Glenn Pulliam will present Pam and Brian Gray of the Paradise Club talking about their motorcycle trip to Sturgis
April 5th: Travis Edsall
April 12th: Dave Jessen
April 19th: Bruce Miller
April 26th: Ravi Saip
VISITING ROTARIANS & GUESTS
There were no visitors at Phil Price’s table or President Mike’s table so each member at those tables contributed $1 each.
Len Forman had as his guest, Becky Gordan the assistant administrator of the Durham Unified School District. She is Len’s assistant now but formerly was Mary’s assistant. She also bakes. At Len’s request, to get him out of a missed meeting assessment, she baked three cakes which we had for desert. Very good.
Mary Sakuma had, as a guest, her speaker for the night, Dominique Angst, a school teacher from Switzerland.
Crab Feed Auction Item
There was a $500 gift certificate for house painting by Travis that was still available. It was auctioned and gotten by Jim Patterson for $400.
Brian Aguiar and/or Glenn Pulliam will present Sarah Gamble about her accomplishments at UOP and how her scholarship from us helped.
There will be a Board Meeting at 5:00 pm before the March 8th meeting
REPORTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Chowder Cook Off
The annual Chowder Cook Off will take place at the Corning Club on February 27th. Our members Mary Sakuma, Jen Liu, Travis Edsall and Bruce Miller are expected to compete again. Actually, there is more than Chowder at this event. It is the
District Conference at
Yolo County Fairgrounds
Friday Apr-01-2016 to Sunday Apr-03-2016
Updating the Websites
The members are asked to go in the Club website at www.durhamrotary.org ,
Bring guests, who you think you can interest in becoming a member, to meetings. Steve Plume is planning a past members meeting on April 19th.
President pointed out that Mary had not updated the Club’s website with her birthday, etc. She confessed that today was her 53rd Birthday. She asked for a song from the whole club, which she got and contributed $7.
K. R, Robertson was recognized for his 38th Anniversary. He contributed $38.
Travis Edsall had missed a meeting and had a birthday. He contributed $10 for each.
President Mike contributed $40 for taking grandkids to Northstar.
Daryl Polk contributed $10 for missing a meeting.
Tom Vanella missed, the Crab Feed, several meetings and failed to return 4 crab feed tickets he had failed to sell. Anyway, it all came to a contribution of $385 for which he rang the bell several times.
Steve Plume contributed $40 for his 8th grandchild’s arrival.
J. R. Gallagher has missed several meeting due to travel required by the new job he has been promoted to. He contributed $100.
Mary Sakuma introduce her young friend Dominique Angst, a school teacher from Switzerland. Dominique spoke about the school system in Switzerland and her school in small town in the Zurich area of northern Switzerland, with charts and pictures of the school. It was very interesting. She teaches the 5th grade. Although she grew up speaking Swiss-German, she speaks English very well. The school children in Switzerland start learning English, French and German in the 1st grade and I am still trying to learn only Spanish.
Must Be Present To Win
Steve Plume was present to win the drawing of that name.
From Rotary International:
Photo Credit: Na Son Nguyen
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian
The fierce July sun beat down on us as we approached the field where the match was to take place. It wasn’t much of a soccer pitch, with its uneven terrain and rusty poles for goalposts, but the local teens we had met came ready to play. They guided us over the piles of bricks and broken tiles that separate their neighborhood community center from the field behind it and took their positions.
Much like any schoolyard competitors, incursions from grazing cows notwithstanding, players stretched and warmed up, took turns retrieving out-of-bounds balls, and, after the final goal, lined up to exchange high-fives. The Vietnamese contingent handily outscored our group of American Rotary volunteers, but the defeat was far from bitter. The five Rotarians, four Interactors, and two 20-something alumni of Rotary Youth Leadership Awards had already achieved what they had come to Vietnam to do: distribute durable soccer balls to promote play and to spread Rotary’s message of service and goodwill.
The community center sits on the outskirts of Hoi An, a resort town on the South China Sea. Orange and fuchsia bougainvillea blossoms spill over stalls selling scarves and spices at one of Vietnam’s oldest marketplaces, and along the banks of the Thu Bon River, food vendors serve aromatic pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (sandwiches). By night, tourists dine under glowing silk lanterns at the seaside restaurants and hotels.
The kids we met in Hoi An have a few soccer balls on hand, but are just as likely to kick around rocks or bundles of banana leaves. Tim Jahnigen first observed this phenomenon in 2006 as he watched news footage of a refugee camp in Darfur, Sudan. The children on the screen were playing soccer using a bundle of trash tied with twine. Struck by the evidently universal tendency of children to play no matter how difficult the circumstances, Jahnigen set out to develop a soccer ball tough enough to endure the harshest conditions.
Almost 10 years later, One World Play Project – the company Jahnigen founded with his wife, Lisa Tarver – has provided more than 1.5 million durable soccer balls in over 175 countries. The ball itself is made of a proprietary foamlike blend that bounces like a soccer ball but won’t puncture, deflate, or otherwise fall apart.
“Play is vital for humans to thrive,” Tarver says, echoing recent research. “Play is one of the most effective therapies for any kind of trauma or hardship, whether in refugee camps or inner cities afflicted with gang violence – anywhere kids have suffered human rights abuses or the effects of poverty or natural disasters. Play is what allows them to recover and connect with their community.”
Our team of Rotary members and youth program participants from the San Francisco Bay Area brought to Vietnam 2,400 of these balls, bound for schools and community centers. We traveled south from the capital, Hanoi, through the mountains and along the scenic coastline to Ho Chi Minh City and the villages of the Mekong Delta. In each community we visited, we met with local officials, handed out balls, and challenged the recipients to a game – no translation required.
“Play is the universal language,” Tarver says. “You go somewhere and you may not be able to talk to the people, but if you pull out this ball, you’ll be connected, because it’s intuitive. The ball is the connector between the visitors and the community.”
There are no Rotary clubs in Vietnam; they were disbanded in the 1970s. Since 1994, however, when the U.S. government lifted the trade embargo that had been in effect since the Vietnam War ended, Rotary clubs have worked with government approval on several successful projects with local charities.
Sue McKinney, a member of the Rotary Club of Oakland Sunrise, has divided her time between Ho Chi Minh City and her native California since 1994. A lawyer by training and a serial entrepreneur in practice, McKinney has worked on 21 projects in Vietnam, coordinating Group Study Exchange trips, organizing wheelchair distributions and medical camps, hosting dozens of visiting U.S. Rotarians, and tapping into her extensive in-country network to promote Rotary’s work.
The collaboration with One World Play Project also has its roots in McKinney’s Rolodex. She once hosted a GSE participant from California’s District 5170 named Ingrid Fraunfelder, and the two kept in touch. When Fraunfelder went to work for One World Play Project as a program manager, McKinney saw a natural fit for the district’s Interact program. She presented the idea to the district and reached out to contacts at Aid for Kids and Football for All in Vietnam, two local nonprofits that provided logistical support and helped coordinate distribution events.
McKinney also saw an opportunity to expand Rotary’s network and build goodwill through cultural exchange. “Group Study Exchange was my introduction to Rotary 30 years ago,” before clubs accepted female members, she recalls. “I went to Holland on an all-female GSE team, and I’m still in touch with those women. Those connections are for life. It’s a way of networking, and it helped recruit me into the organization. Once I’d seen Rotary at work on the world stage, I wanted to be a part of it.”
For Gloria Garing, a member of the Rotary Club of Freedom, Calif., the trip was an opportunity to honor her late husband, Ward, who served in Vietnam in the late 1960s and died of cancer in 2006. Midway through the trip, Garing made a solo detour down the coast from Hoi An to Cam Ranh Bay, where Ward had been stationed, to deliver soccer balls at a school.
“I wasn’t sure about what it would be like going to a communist country,” Garing says. “Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s with a father in the Navy, the whole idea of communism was, ‘They’re the enemy.’ There was a lot we didn’t know, of course, but there was a real fear.”
Garing met students, teachers, and families in Cam Ranh. “I was surprised by how welcoming everyone was,” she says. Vietnam, she says, is beautiful and interesting, but there was more to the trip: “When we do service work, it’s about the people we meet and the connections we make.”
Vu Dinh, a member of the Interact club at Mount Eden High School in Hayward, Calif., until his graduation last spring, was born in Vietnam, but his family moved to the United States when he was a baby. He had returned to Vietnam only once since then, on a family trip 10 years ago.
“It’s weird to think that one turn of events can change your whole life,” he said as we left a secondary school in Hanoi where he had addressed students in hesitant Vietnamese. “I’m sitting across from these kids, thinking how I could have been in their seats, meeting these American visitors, but instead I’m coming to their school on a tour bus.” Later, after he had reconnected with family members outside Da Nang, he said, “I’m glad my parents came to America, but I’m also glad I have the chance to come back to Vietnam, to spend time with my parents’ brothers and sisters, and see what the world looks like from the back of their motorbike.”
Dinh joined Interact during his sophomore year. He met new friends across the district, participated in leadership development programs such as RYLA, and served as club president in his senior year.
“In high school it’s often repeated that grades stay on your transcript forever. But these clubs teach you that the impact you make stays on these people’s lives forever,” Dinh says. “Interact has given me the opportunity to grow as a person, gain leadership skills, and give back. In Interact we have a structure and a network that allows participants to branch out in different communities and move toward a global community. That’s what sets Rotary apart.”
The way he sees it, our group is bringing that message of inclusion and opportunity to everyone we meet in Vietnam. “We’re giving away these soccer balls, but we’re also giving the opportunity to play and grow as a community through sports,” he says, “and we have the opportunity to let people know Rotary is important.”
The nearly indestructible soccer balls will go on conveying that message, says inventor Jahnigen. “When you go into a community and leave a ball behind, it reinforces the bonds and messages that came with it,” he says. “As long as it’s there being played with, it keeps the connection alive.”
Look for Interactors from District 5170 in the House of Friendship at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Korea.
By Sallyann Price
The Rotary International web site is: www.rotary.org
District 5160 is: www.rotary5160.org
The Durham Rotary Club site is: www.durhamrotary.org
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