Rotary International


Ian HS Riseley

Rotary District 5160 Governor:

Gary Vilhauer

Durham Rotary President:
Larry Bradley


Rowel Editor: Phil Price
Rowel Publisher: Jen Liu




November 28th, 2017


The  2017 Crab Feed will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018


2017                                         Calendar for Durham Rotary



1 2 3 4
5 6 7
Special Veteran’s Day program by Gary Bright
8 9 10 11
12 13 14
No Meeting
15 16 17 18
19 20 21
No Meeting
22 23 24 25
26 27 28
Susan Murphy, Chairperson of the Durham Community Foundation
(Steve Plume)
29 30


1 2
3 4 5
Christmas Party
6 7 8 9
10 11 12
13 4 15 16
17 18 19
Audrey Taylor from Chabin Concepts on Butte Sports Complex Project
(Ravi Saip)
20 21 22 23
24 25 26
No Meeting
27 28 29 30


President Larry Bradley opened the meeting at the BCCC.  He asked Chris Hatch to lead the pledge, which he did.  Larry led us in singing “God Bless America”.  Jim Patterson then gave the invocation.  


President Larry announced that the final numbers were in for the Harvest Festival.  The net profit was $22,192.00.  Much better than the last few years.


The Crab Feed, due to the water leak damaging much of the floor at the Veterans Hall has been rescheduled for February 10, 2018.  Note, in the list of future meetings to the right, this resulted in changes in meeting dates.  In particular there will be no meeting on February 13th which was to be our Valentines Party.



December 5th: Christmas Party


December 12th: Meeting.


December 19th: Audrey Taylor from Chabin Concepts on Butte Sports Complex Project


December 26th:  No Meeting


January 2nd:  No Meeting


January 9th:


January 16th:  No Meeting.  MLK Day


January 23rd:


January 30th:


February 6th: 


February 10th:  Crab Feed


February 13th:  No Meeting


February 20th:  No Meeting


February 27th:


If a Tuesday is not listed above, there is no meeting that week.







The only guest tonight was Susan Murphy, our program for the meeting.  She was introduced by Steve Plume




Next week will be our Christmas Party.  See the announcement below.  Dinner will be Dijon cured Ham.  Don’t forget an exchange gift.





Durham Rotary Christmas Party


6:00  PM   Tuesday    December 5th I 2017


Butte Creek Country Club



Dinner Menu


Coming Soon




Music provided by Durham High School Jazz Band with Caroling led by President Larry




Ravi's Rotary Rotating  Gift Exchange


(Participation optional)


Bring one gift ($20-25 value) for each couple or single




This is a great opportunity to bring guests to a fun evening and to introduce them to Durham Rotary.




DEADLINE to reserve your party is Tuesday November 21st


Call: Mike Wacker@ 891-6828 or email




Note that you must let Mike know that you are coming and whether you spouse or anyone else is coming with you.  This is a good party to bring friends to get them interested in Durham Rotary.




The District 5160 Conference will be at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village May 4-6, 2018.  It is not too early to make your reservations.  They are going fast.  In fact, early registrations ends October 31st.  Check the District website to register for the conference, including meals, and to get hotel rooms at a special price, while the last.



From the District Governor:


The five Northern California District Governors have worked with the Rotary Foundation to set up the Northern California Fire Recovery Fund (DAF) account within The Rotary Foundation. The fund is now ready to accept contributions from Rotarians and others.

The Northern California Fire Recovery Fund (DAF) has been established to streamline the flow of contributions from Rotarians and others looking to assist fire victims. The fund will be directed by the account-advisers listed below in consultation with the affected districts.

The account-advisers will work with local Rotary clubs and districts, as well as relief agencies, to address the needs of people in affected areas. Account-advisers will make grant recommendations for projects providing longer-term support and recovery (e.g. funding for Rotary Foundation Global Grant projects).

The Northern California Fire Recovery Fund Account-Advisors are:

Ronald Gin, District Governor for District 5150

Douglas McDonald, District Governor for District 5190

Bob Rogers, District Governor for District 5130

Sandra Sava, District Governor for District 5180

Gary Vilhauer, District Governor for District 5160

Please read the attached for more information on the Northern California Fire Recovery Fund (DAF) and on ways to contribute.

Two other funds are available to support individual fire areas. Also, as we become aware of clean-up and rebuilding efforts we will notify Rotary Clubs and members.

For clubs and Rotarians who want to donate to immediate relief efforts, District 5130 and the Rotary Club of Weaverville recommends from past fire experience that cash and/or gift cards are most needed.



Bring guests, who you think you can interest in becoming a member, to meetings. 

In the meantime please invite Durham business owners and/or managers to one of our meeting.  The Christmas party is a good event to invite someone to.







President Larry recognized the following:


Jen Liu for missing 2 meeting while spending 40 days in Taiwan/China.  He contributed $40.


Steve Heithecker contributed a net of $10 for missing a meeting.


K. R. Robertson contributed $10 for missing a meeting.


Clint Goss contributed $10 for not knowing this year’s Rotary theme, which was on the podium. 


Ravi Saip contributed $20 for his Chico Air Museum presentation which was mentioned in the newspaper.


Jim Kirks contributed whatever it took to make him a Bell Ringer.


Phil Price volunteered $25 for disclosing his week on the Mayan coast of the Yucatan.  He was assessed $30.


Roy Ellis contributed $40 for his 13 days in New Orleans.


President Larry then volunteered $50 for attending his high school class reunion in Tennessee.





Steve Plume introduced Susan Murphy, Chairperson of the Durham Community Foundation.  She discussed the Foundation and its projects, which included the recently completed Durham Coliseum.  She noted that the Foundation began with an endowment donation by John Gottlund in 2005.


Must Be Present to Win Drawing:


Clint drew my name, for the first time in years, and I was present to win. 


From Rotary International:


In Mexico’s migrant shelters, a Rotary scholar puts his education into action

Story and photos by Levi Vonk  

There are two inescapable elements of southern Mexico. 

The first is dust – desert rock ground to a powder that finds its way into your every crevice: the backs of your knees, the folds of your eyelids. You cough it up as you drift to sleep and discover its brume settled across your bedsheets in the morning.

The second element is violence.

I found both on the gritty tracks of the Beast.

Among those apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border between October 2015 and January 2016 were 24,616 families – the vast majority of them from Central America. 

Over the past half-century, millions of Central Americans have crossed Mexico from south to north, fleeing poverty, decades-long civil wars, and, most recently, brutal gangs. To escape, migrants used to ride atop the cars of the train line known as the Beast.

In July 2014, Mexican immigration officials announced a plan called the Southern Border Program; part of it entailed closing the Beast to migrants. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the plan would create new economic zones and safeguard migrants’ human rights by securing the country’s historically volatile southern border. Instead, the number of migrants beaten, kidnapped, and murdered has skyrocketed. Some have even been victims of the black-market trade in organs.

In early 2015 I had just completed my studies as a Rotary global grant scholar, earning a master’s degree in the anthropology of development. I had studied how trade and development initiatives in Mexico could make people’s lives more perilous, not less. To learn about what was going wrong, I went to southern Mexico to use the skills I had gained through my global grant studies.

Southern Mexico is poor and rural, made up of small pueblos and subsistence agriculture. In some ways, I felt at home. I grew up in rural Georgia, and I became interested in immigration after teaching English to farmworkers harvesting cabbage, berries, and Christmas trees in the foothills of North Carolina. Many of the men I worked with were from southern Mexico. Their descriptions of the violence brought by drug and human trafficking led to my interest in the region.


Shelters house migrants including children traveling with family members as well as young people on their own.

To understand how the Southern Border Program was affecting people’s lives, I stayed in migrant shelters, which are not unlike homeless shelters or temporary refugee camps. They are often without reliable running water or electricity, but they do provide migrants with a warm meal and a place to rest before they continue north. 

At first, shelter life was a shock to me. Sick or injured people arrived nearly each day. Severe dehydration was a big problem, and some people had literally walked the skin off the bottoms of their feet. I was there when a gang member entered the shelter to kidnap someone, but shelter directors stopped him.

By the time I arrived, shelters along the tracks of the Beast had seen the number of migrants dwindle from 400 a night to fewer than 100. Shelter directors explained that the number of Central Americans fleeing into Mexico each year – around 400,000 – had not fallen, but because immigration agents were now apprehending anyone near the Beast, people were afraid to approach the shelters. These safe havens had been transformed into no-go zones. “This is a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Syria,” one director said to me, “but no one is talking about it.”

In the shelters, I chopped firewood, cooked dinners, and scrubbed kitchen floors. I changed bandages and helped people file for asylum. And I lived and traveled with migrants headed north, recording their stories – about why they left, where they hoped to go, and what they had faced on their journeys.

In 2015, shortly after finishing his studies as a Rotary Foundation global grant scholar, Levi Vonk went to Mexico to work with migrants. He has written about what he saw, and about the experiences of migrants themselves, for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio. For Rotary Foundation Month, we asked him to describe what he has done and learned. Vonk studied at the University of Sussex, England, sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Shoreham & Southwick, England, and Charleston Breakfast, S.C. His master’s degree in the anthropology of development and social transformation led to his becoming a 2014-15 Fulbright fellow to Mexico. He is now a doctoral candidate in medical anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Mildred, a single mother of three, was fleeing gang members who threatened to kill her family if she didn’t pay them a protection fee. Ivan, the oldest brother of six, singlehandedly resettled his entire family in Mexico – including his elderly mother and his two toddler nephews – after hit men tried to kill them in their home in Honduras. Milton had lived in New York City for years – and had sheltered ash-covered pedestrians in his apartment during the 11 September 2001 terror attacks – before being deported. 

The things I learned were terrifying. Instead of shoring up Mexico’s borders, the plan had splintered traditional migrant routes. Those routes had been dangerous, but they were also ordered and visible. Migrants knew approximately which areas of the train passage were plagued by gangs. They were prepared to pay protection fees – generally between $5 and $20. They traveled in groups for safety. And they were often close to aid – a shelter, a Red Cross clinic, even a police station.

The Southern Border Program changed that. Hunted by immigration officers, migrants traveled deep into the jungle, walking for days. Gangs, which had previously extorted money from migrants, now followed them into these isolated areas to rob, kidnap, or simply kill them. 

The Southern Border Program has failed as a development initiative. Not only has cracking down on immigration made southern Mexico less safe, but the increased violence has deterred business investment that the region so desperately needs. 

During my time as a Rotary scholar, I learned to look at development differently. We often think of international aid in terms of poverty reduction, and we often see poverty reduction in terms of dollars spent and earned. The anthropology of development aims to analyze global aid in another way. We pay particular attention to how initiatives play out on the ground to determine just what local communities’ needs are and how those needs might be met sustainably and, eventually, autonomously. 

Axel Hernandez, whose parents brought him from Guatemala to the United States as an infant, has been deported twice; he now lives in Mexico. 

When I was living in migrant shelters, we often received huge, unsolicited shipments of clothing from well-intentioned organizations. Had they asked us, we would have told them that their efforts, and money, were wasted. In fact, directors had to pay for hundreds of pounds of clothing to be taken to the dump when space ran out at the shelter. 

Among the things shelters actually needed, I learned, were clean water, better plumbing, and medical care. But shelter directors did not just want these items shipped over in bulk; they needed infrastructure – water purification, functioning toilets, and access to a hospital, along with the skills and knowledge to maintain these systems themselves. 

Of course, as one shelter director told me, “Our ultimate goal is to not be needed at all – to solve this migration crisis and violence and go home.”

Rotary’s six areas of focus mesh neatly with these goals. Such measures require money, but more than that, they require in-tense cultural collaboration to make them sustainable. Who better than Rotary, with its worldwide network of business and community leaders, to understand the challenges and respond effectively? 

One way Rotary is responding is by funding graduate-level studies in one of the six areas of focus. After his global grant studies in anthropology of development at the University of Sussex, my friend Justin Hendrix spent several years working in a Romanian orphanage, helping to provide the children there with the best education possible. Another friend, Emily Williams, received a global grant to get her master’s degree at the Bartolome de las Casas Institute of Human Rights at Madrid’s Universidad Carlos III and now works with unaccompanied Central American minors and victims of trafficking in the United States. My partner, Atlee Webber, received a global grant to study migration and development at SOAS University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies); she now works as a program officer with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

Rotarians understand that to have the most impact, we need to learn from other cultures. As global grant scholars, that’s what we aim to do – during our studies, and afterward.

The Rotary International web site is:

District 5160 is:

The Durham Rotary Club site is:

The Rowel Editor may be contacted at

Note:  If any of you have anything to place into the Rowel fax it to Phil at 343 7251 or  E-mail it to ", before 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.