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



March 23, 2021


The  2021 Harvest Festival scheduled for Sunday, September 19, 2021.


2021                           Calendar for Durham Rotary


1 2
No Meeting
3 4 5 6
7 8 9
Robin Pedrett, DHS Principal
(Kelly Lotti)
10 11 12 13
14 15

No Meeting

17 18 19 20
21 22 23
Tod Kimmelshue, 4th District Supervisor
(Mike Crump)
24 25 26 27
28 29 30
Barrel Chicken Picnic in Durham Park


      1 2 3
4 5

John Dwyer, Dist. 5160 Foundation Chair
(Steven Heithecker)

7 8 9 10
11 12

No Meeting

14 15 16 17
18 19 20
Patrick Ranch
(Phil Price)
21 22 23 24
25 26 27
No Meeting
28 29 30

This was our twenty-sixth Zoom meeting.  There were 13 members present.  My thanks to Eric Hoiland for taking notes of the meeting for me.

President Jen Liu opened the meeting at 6:05 pm.  He then asked Ravi Saip to lead the pledge, which he did, with food in his mouth.  Following that he asked Jim Patterson to give the invocation, which he did.



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


March 30th:  Barrel Chicken in Durham Park


April 6th:   Jen Liu will present John Dwyer, our district Rotary Foundation chairperson as speaker.


April 20th:    Phil Price – Patrick Range maybe


May 4th:  Dave Jessen


May 18th:  Roy Ellis


June 1st:  Steve Plume


June 15th:  Larry Bradley


June 29th:  The Demotion


  The Meeting


Larry Bradley provided updates on the Student of the Month and Camp Royal.

Larry also reported that John
Coutts (Colleen’s husband) had a heart attack and passed away.  Jen Liu agreed to purchase flowers and send them to Colleen. You will recall that she is the Durham High School Student Councilor and Interact adviser and she was at our last meeting with the Students of the Month.  Here is some more information on services for John Coutts from John Bohannon:

Monday: Viewing 6:00-8:00 p.m. Saint James Church Durham 

Tuesday: Private mass (due to Covid limits) at Saint James Church Durham

Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. Public internment at Glen Oak Memorial (on Midway/Hegan)

Tuesday 12:30 Reception to follow at Butte Creek Country Club

Donations should be to the Northwest SPCA in Oroville


President Jen Liu read a letter from Lora Fox, Durham Intermediate School principal requesting a donation of $500 for the Durham Intermediate School Jog-A-Thon Fundraiser.  Steven Plum made a first motion and Larry Bradley made a second motion to approve a $500 donation for prizes for this event.  The Club passed this motion.


President Jen Liu received a letter from Brenda Sohnrey to put her membership on hold until the fall 2021, which was approved.


Steve Heithecker nominated Jackie Goss for a Memorial Paul Harris +1 Fellow.  Dave Jessen seconded this motion for a $1000 Memorial Fellow.  It was determined that the Club would use 1000 points for this recognition.


Chicken in the Park

President Jen will be hosting barrel chicken in the Durham Park on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021.   Bring your family and prospective members.  This is a social gathering.  It'll feature barrel chicken, water, beer and Costco cookies.  Jessica volunteered salad again.  It'll start at 6:00PM.  We'll observe all social distancing advice.  Bring your own plates, utensils and drinks if your feel more comfortable that way.


Mike Crump introduced Todd Kimmelshue (4th District Supervisor) for our Program.  Todd focused his presentation on a number of local issues including:

a.     Early experiences in his new position:

                                                    i.     Covid-19 Vaccinations and Businesses

                                                   ii.     Settlement w/PG&E for $250,000,000

                                                 iii.     Covid Relief Bill

                                                 iv.     Pension Liability

                                                  v.     Homelessness

                                                 vi.     Need Distribution

b.     Midway Bridge

c.     Sidewalk Project in Durham

d.     SIGMA (Sustainable Ground Water Act)

e.     Funding for schools

f.       Q&A


Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on April 6, 2021.  Jen Liu will present John Dwyer, our district Foundation Chairperson as program.  But before that, on Tuesday, March 30th, there will be a Barrell Chicken dinner at Durham Park



Reports and Announcements


From District Governor Elect

Our 2021 District Assembly is in a few weeks! Plan to attend, Saturday, April 10, 9 AM to 12 noon, via Zoom.  Expect useful information, inspiration, and a great selection of what you need as a Rotarian to "Serve to Change Lives."

Who should attend?  From the newest Rotarian to current and future board members, past presidents, seasoned Rotarians...everyone will benefit from attending. The assembly will include general sessions, plus breakouts. Pick from breakouts covering leadership style, Polio Warriors, youth camps, and many more.

The 2021 District Assembly - Something for Everyone, all from the comfort of your own home. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Kathy Suvia

District Governor 2021-22
Rotary International District 5160



From the District Governor



While we observe the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lockdown, we are excited about the increasing availability of vaccines this spring and the hope that we can resume in-person meetings and hands-on service projects in the not-too-distant future. THANKS to all District 5160 members and clubs for keeping the Rotary faith during the past challenging year!

Many clubs have expressed an interest in helping support vaccination efforts in their communities. Ways you can help vary from county to county. Assistant Governors have been trying to get info from the county public health agencies in their areas. Please check with your AG to find out what they’ve learned.

Take-out and drive-through dinners have become popular fundraising events for a number of clubs in our district. These events not only produce revenue for club projects, they also really help restaurants that have been struggling for customers and income during the past year. The Moraga club has held three very successful take-out dinner events with local restaurants. (Claire and I have enjoyed all of them!) Moraga Club President Brian South – -- would be happy to share tips and “how to” info with you.

Have you been keeping all your club members connected with each other and Rotary? I know it’s been a challenge since some members miss in-person meetings and events – and just plain don’t like Zoom! Even if you’ve tried your best to get them to try Zoom, please make sure you keep them connected with e-newsletters or good old phone calls. We don’t want to lose these Rotarians – and we want to let them know that we’re working our way back to “normal.”

That “normal” may continue to look a little different for a while. Please let me know if your club has tried Virtual/In-Person (aka hybrid) meetings or if you’re planning to do so. This is the kind of info I want to share with ALL clubs in the district. Thanks!

Finally, please be sure to register for the “All Aboard!” Virtual District Conference coming up on the weekend of April 30-May I look forward to welcoming you!

Mark Roberts

District 5160 Governor 2020-21


District Conference

2021 will be here faster than COVID testing at CVS. With the new year came hopes of a return to enjoying the company of our fellow Rotarians – in person!

But that will not be.  The District Governor has announced that, after a lot of research by District Conference Chair Arne Gustafson and other members of the planning committee, it was decided that the probability of being able to hold an in-person conference for 300+ people this spring in Sacramento were slim and none. So we’re converting our ALL ABOARD! Conference to a virtual format but on the original weekend: April 30-May 2. Folks who made their reservation with a $20 payment are all set – and you too can register.   Just visit the district website,, scroll down the home page and click on Learn More to register. More info to follow! 

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 Steve Plume a check made out to The Rotary Foundation to Durham Rotary, P.O. Box 283, Durham, California 95958


Jen Liu recognized Eric Hoiland for an article in the Chico Enterprise Record on Butte College’s Academic Showcases.  The recognition was for $50 to the Durham Rotary Foundation.



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.


President Jen then closed the meeting.


From Rotary International


Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interactors worked together in a nationwide project that promoted behavior change and initiated safety standards for businesses

by Ryan Hyland

Rohantha Athukorala felt helpless. It was April 2020 when Sri Lanka was on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and he wanted to do something immediately to help the country slow the spread of virus.

“The lockdown was so sudden and absolute. It was hard not being in control of what you can and can’t do,” says Athukorala, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo Reconnections, Sri Lanka. “Especially for us Rotarians who pride ourselves on helping our communities in desperate times.”

But sheltering in place had its advantages, he says, providing the time and opportunity to connect with fellow members online. Their discussions sparked ideas about what they could do to help people understand how to stay safe from the coronavirus.

Promoting safety though social media

Athukorala started by contacting club and district leaders, talking with government officials, and listening to business leaders. In late April, he launched Stop the Spread, a comprehensive effort to reduce new infections through behavior changes.

“Our Interactors have been fantastic and made a real difference in getting crucial information out to the public.”

Rohantha Athukorala
Rotary Club of Colombo Reconnections

He asked the more than 5,000 Sri Lankan Interactors to lead the campaign and be community advocates for specific behaviors such as wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing. Interactors used their social media networks to blast daily messages about staying safe from the virus, and posted relevant communications from the Ministry of Health.

To complement the Interactors’ communication, Athukorala worked with the country’s Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee to get top athletes to become ambassadors for Stop the Spread. More than 280 athletes — including stars in cricket and rugby, as well as Olympians — participated in videos and graphics that were posted on social media.

Stop the Spread also promoted safety protocols through a certification process for businesses. Athukorala and fellow Rotary members created the certification with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution that enabled companies that are compliant with certain safety guidelines to be certified as a COVID-19-controlled environment. Protocols such as mandatory mask wearing, temperature checks, and social distancing had to be in place in order to receive the certification. Nearly 300 businesses, educational institutions, supermarkets, and other retailers have passed the program’s rigorous audits and received certification, allowing customers and students feel safe while supporting these businesses.

When the lockdown order was lifted in early May, Interactors fanned out across their communities to visit businesses, homes, and public transport to give people educational materials and safety guidance. They became leaders in helping schools implement COVID-19 safety protocols, which allowed schools to open in early July.

“Our Interactors have been fantastic and made a real difference in getting crucial information out to the public,” Athukorala says, who was chair of the Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau and served as the chief business development officer for Sri Lanka at the United Nations.  

Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to connect with leaders in your community and around the world. Rotary and Rotaract club sponsor mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.

Tools and technology

To encourage hand washing, local Rotary clubs worked with S-lon, a plastic water pipe company, and PickMe, a transportation organization, to build nearly 2,000 mobile hand washing units that attach to three-wheel bikes. Riders are encouraged to wash their hands before and after using the bikes. The aim is to promote hand washing hygiene in public spaces and increase hand washing rates, which is one of the best protections against COVID-19 infection.

The Rotaract Club of Kelaniya created a mobile app, Track the Spread, that allows Sri Lankans to log symptoms and register positive tests. The app is integrated with local hospitals and health centers so medical professionals can identify hotspots and communicate with people about their symptoms. It also allows people to purchase goods online from grocery stores, pharmacies, retail shops, and even pay utilities with the app, while allowing people to stay home and thus contain the spread. “This is helping commerce continue,” Athukorala says.

The government of Sri Lanka is now testing the app for widespread adoption across its health departments.

The next phase

As vaccinations are increasing in the country, more than 800,000 doses have been administered so far, Rotary clubs have also worked with local health officials to support vaccine sites including logging data. 

Clubs worked with the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health to develop a booklet for parliament representatives and religious and community leaders to facilitate a successful vaccination program. The printable booklet has information on different vaccines, safe practices, and key messages that leaders can use to better inform people about the COVID-19 vaccines.

More than 88,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed as of mid-March, with over 530 deaths.

“We have done a great job at keeping COVID-19 at bay, but our next focus is making sure Sri Lanka can adequately provide vaccinations to its people,” Athukorala says.


The Rotary International web site is:


District 5160 is:


The Durham Rotary Club site is:


The Rowel Editor may be contacted at:


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.