Rotary International Theme 2020-2021




Rotary Club of Durham

Rotary International President:

Holger Knaack

Rotary District 5160 Governor:

Mark Roberts

Durham Rotary President: Jen Liu


Editor: Phil Price

Publisher:  Jen Liu




Dec. 1st, 2020

Crab Feed

By solicitation with drawing for prizes by Zoom on Jan 12.

2020                            Calendar for Durham Rotary



Ravi Saip on Noth State Manufacturing
(Mike Wacker)

2 3 4 5
6 7 8
No Meeting
9 10 11 12
13 14

Virtual Christmas Gift Exchange via ZOOM
(Ravi Saip)

16 17 18 19
20 21

No Meeting

23 24 25 26
27 28

No Meeting

30 31



1 2
3 4 5
No Meeting
6 7 8 9
10 11


13 14 15 16
17 18 19
No Meeting
20 21 22 23
24 25

(Bruce Norlie)

27 28 29 30

This was our eighteenth (the Club Assembly was our seventeenth) Zoom meeting.  This time we had 12 members.  Not a bad showing, but where were the rest of you?

The Meeting

President Jen opened the meeting by asking Glenn Pulliam to lead the pledge, which he did.  President Jen then asked Jim Patterson to give the invocation, which he did. 

President Jen reported that he had received a phone call about whether we took vehicle donations.  They had an old Chevy pickup they would like to donate.  After some discussion it was decided to ask Bruce Norlie about it and/or refer them to the Paradise Club.




All meetings at BCCC are cancelled until further notice.  But there will be meetings on Zoom as follows:


December 15th:  Christmas Party.  Gift pickup Dec 10th.


January 12th Crab Feed Drawing.


January 26th:  Bruce Norlie


February 9th:  Eric Hoiland


February 23rd:  Brenda Sohnrey.


March 9th:   Kelly Lotti


March 23rd:   Mike Crump



Visiting Rotarians & Guests

None tonight.


President Jen rang the Bell for your editor, since his contribution at the last meeting, for his trip to Mexico, brought him over the $100 mark.

Reports and Anouncements


Virtual Christmas Party & Gift Exchange


A virtual Christmas party will be held on December 15th,, on Zoom.  Ravi and Mary Saip will host the meeting and conduct the gift exchange.  Yes, we will still have a gift exchange.  So everyone will need to purchase their usual gift (approximately $30 in value) by December 10th.  Jen will collect the gifts from everyone’s homes on December 10th.   He will then deliver the gifts to the winners after the meeting.


They are still working out exactly how it will be done.  It was suggested that photos of all the gifts be sent to the member before the meeting.  The gifts will have numbers attached so they can be identified.  Initially they will be wrapped, but after selection they will be unwrapped by Ravi and Mary so you can see what the gift was on your Zoom screen.  Ravi & Mary will have to hold each one they unwrap in front of their camera.  It was suggested that you make their image full screen on your computer.


Below is a picture of the first gift delivered to Jen's house on December 2nd, Wednesday afternoon:



District Grant for Chrome Books


It was reported that we can get 45 of the HP equivalent of a Chromebook for $13,500.  This is a little cheaper that a Chromebook and they are just as good.  We have the grant money in the bank.  A motion to purchase them for the Durham School District was made and passed.


The Crab Feed


Kristen Cargile reported that things were well on the way for the Virtual Crab Feed


She has been working on flyer with Eric Hoiland and Glenn Pulliam.  Some further modifications and additions were discussed.  The tickets will be $20 for a ticket or $100 for 6 tickets.  Tickets will be available at Tri Counties Bank in Durham starting about a month before the drawing.


A drawing will be held on January 12th for several prizes, which will include crab, with the prizes delivered to the winners on January 16th.  Since the prizes are perishable, ticket holders will have to be present to win and to receive delivery.


District Conference

2021 will be here faster than COVID testing at CVS. With the new year comes hope of a return to enjoying the company of our fellow Rotarians - in person!. What better place to do that than our District 5160 Conference,  April 30 – May 2 at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Sacramento.

Rotarians are optimists by nature and the conference committee members are hard at work planning a weekend of fun, connection, and inspiration in Sacramento. If given the green light, a fabulous event awaits.

Dynamic speakers? Yep!

Fellowship and fun? You got it!

Inspirational service project? Check!

Why would you want to be anywhere else the weekend of April 30 – May 2?

Secure your spot with a small deposit of $20 today. This deposit allows the committee to begin to plan activities and meals. This conference train is moving forward and we invite you to grab your ticket before it leaves the station.

All Aboard!  Place your deposit today!   (See the email you received).


From the District Governor


Thanksgiving greetings, District 5160 Rotarians!

While 2020 has been a, well, different and rather challenging year -- I've read that some folks are using "2020" like a swear word -- I'd like to share with you what I'm grateful for this year.

I hope you and your families enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Mark Roberts
Rotary Club of Lamorinda Sunrise
District Governor 2020-2021
Rotary District 5160


Mike Wacker introduced Ravi Saip who spoke about the North State Manufacturing Group and airplane maintenance.  He showed a video about airplane maintenance.  It was followed by a video touring a jet engine.  He also talked about the deficit in airplane mechanics that is getting worse.  In a few years there may not be enough to keep the airlines flying.  He also mentioned STEM schools, as a possible solution.

I will add a little here because my daughter obtained her Masters Degree in STEM last year, so I know a little about it.  S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM Schools focus on these subjects to help our nation's youth gain the skills required to succeed in today's challenging world.  Parkview School in Chico, is a STEM school.  I think the only one in Chico.  Unfortunately, my daughter’s school district has none.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be a Zoom meeting on December 15st.  It will be the Virtual Christmas Party.  Make sure your spouse or significant other is sitting with you on Zoom.  See under Reports above. Everyone will need to purchase their usual gift (approximately $30 in value) by December 10th.  Jen will collect the gifts from everyone’s homes on December 10th.   He will then deliver the gifts to the winners after the meeting.


The Rotary Foundation Donations

When every Rotarian gives every year, no challenge is too great for us to make a difference. The minimum gift to The Rotary Foundation is $25.00.   An annual $100.00 gift is a sustaining member.  Once your donations accumulate to $1,000 you become a Paul Harris Fellow.

It is possible to learn more about The Rotary Foundation on the Rotary web site.  Your gift can be made online or by sending Jim Kirks a check made out to The Rotary Foundation.  Send your check to James Kirks, 1199 Diablo Ave., Apt. 246, Chico, California 95973.



None tonight but here is an update from Bruce Norlie, who contricuted $200 for his newly acquired vintage Travel Trailer and the truck to tow it with:

Below is a photo of the 1955 Boles Aero travel trailer that we purchased. It had been totally restored and came complete with lots of stuff. We made two trips before the virus hit. It will be used for attending vintage trailer rallys. These are like car shows with many participants making elaborate displays and wearing costumes. The other vehicle that I purchased is a 1955 Chevrolet Nomad. This was what is called a "basket case" in that it was a completely disassembled car so I don't have a photo. The car is a fancy station wagon and will be used to pull the trailer





When we have live meetings again, bring guests, who you think you can interest in becoming a member, to meetings.  Your dinner and your guest’s dinner will be paid for by the Club.  In the meantime, please invite Durham business owners and/or managers to one of our Zoom meetings.  Actually, you can promote membership by having a guest sit with you during one of our Zoom meetings.  Also, bring a guest to one of our occasional social gatherings in the Durham Park.



Steve Heithecker was asked for a quote to end the meeting.  He quoted from Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappo’s, as follows:

“People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said but they always remember how you made them feel, that’s what matters the most.”.



From Rotary International

Maternal health projects give Rotary clubs in Uganda a sense of purpose during COVID-19 restrictions

by Claire Zulkey

In March, the Ugandan government moved rapidly to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, issuing a strict lockdown and closing schools before the country had experienced more than a handful of reported cases.

The measures have been credited with saving lives and limiting the spread of the virus in the country, which had recorded only 1,200 cases and five deaths in August as the continent of Africa approached a million.

Still, those measures didn’t come without a cost, including lost jobs and hardships on pregnant women unable to reach a hospital due to the travel restrictions. Reuters reported that one woman in Kampala struggled for 90 minutes to reach a hospital a mile and a half (about 2.4 km) away. Both she and the baby died. In addition, the Women’s Probono Initiative, an advocacy group, reported cases of six other women and two babies dying during the lockdown.

When the Rotary Club of Rubaga, Kampala, heard of the reports, they knew they had to act to provide a safe transport option. The club donated an ambulance to provide medical transport to residents of Kikajjo, about a 40-minute drive southwest of Kampala. Betty Mwesigwa, the club’s immediate past president, says Kikajjo has densely populated, lower-income areas.

“The problem during the COVID-19 epidemic is that mothers were failing to make it to maternal centers during the lockdown,” she says. “When we heard of two cases of mothers who had delivered beside the road, we decided to donate an ambulance to them.”

One Rotarian who works in the tour and travel industry had a vehicle that could easily be retrofitted into an ambulance. The club raised the money for the updates and a driver, as well as masks for the passengers.

"When we heard of two cases of mothers who had delivered beside the road, we decided to donate an ambulance."

The ambulance provided more than 75 rides to women in need of care during the lockdown. In September, most of the travel restrictions were lifted, but Ugandans were continuing to be encouraged to limit travel, as cases approached 10,000 and 96 deaths.

Mwesigwa said the club withdrew the ambulance once transportation services were restored. But the club has been continuing to help in other ways. The club has hosted family health events in the past that provided free dental, optical, and reproductive health care. It is also working on plans to build a maternity ward at a hospital in Semuto, about an hour and a half northwest of Kampala, in an area that was damaged by war and never fully recovered.

“This is a hospital that is overwhelmed by mothers who come to give birth, but the facilities are very poor,” Mwesigwa says.

In addition to its work helping mothers and children, the Rubaga club has donated soap, hand sanitizer, and small water tanks for hand washing to local hospitals. Water is scarce at Ugandan hospitals, and there is little government aid to pay for additional supplies, so many Rotary clubs have donated water tanks, masks, gloves, sanitizers, soap, and other items.

The Rubaga club also donated goods and money for those without food.

During the lockdown, Mwesigwa explained, many people didn’t have enough to eat, even if they had work. “One teacher was feeding her children on peelings.”

Rubaga is one of many Rotary clubs in Uganda that are working to support mothers and children. These efforts have become more important as the pandemic has increased maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda that were already high.

The maternal health projects have given the club a sense of purpose.

“We are happy to have saved the lives of many Ugandans,” Mwesigwa says.


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The deadline for the Rowel 6:30 am on Wednesdays.


The Editor’s photographs published in the Rowel are available, upon request, in their original file size.  Those published were substantially reduced in file size.