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



April 13, 2021


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


2021                           Calendar for Durham Rotary


      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


2 3

Covered Bridge
(David Jessen)

5 6 7 8
9 10

No Meeting

12 13 14 15
16 17 18
100 Years of Rotary in Chico Part II
(Glenn Pulliam)
19 20 21 22
23 24 25
No Meeting
26 27 28 29
30 31

This was our twenty-eighth Zoom meeting, although it was a Club Assembly, not a regular meeting.  There were 16 members present.

  The Meeting

President Jen Liu opened the meeting.  He asked Mike Crump to lead the pledge, which he did.  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, except as noted:


April 20th:  Phil Price at Patrick Ranch


May 4th:  Dave Jessen at the Covered Bridge.


May 18th:  Glenn Pulliam -Carl Ochsner will present “Rotary’s Early Days in Chico-Part 2”.


June 1st:  Steve Plume


June 15th:  Larry Bradley


June 29th:  The Demotion


As noted above this was not a regular meeting.  This was a Club Assembly.  The topics to be covered were:


1. Eric Hoiland on his attendance at the virtual PETS conference.
2. BCCC availability and future meeting format.
3. Rise Against Hunger, April 24th (Chair: Mike Crump)
4. Saturday, May 8th Durham May Day Parade (Chair: Larry Bradley)
     - Submitting a float (Application due on May 1st)
     - Traffic coordination volunteers
5. Harvest Festival discussion
6. Next club project with 2021-2022 district grant (Chair: Dave Jessen)
7 Sponsor appreciation dinner

2021 PETS Conference


First President Elect Eric Hoiland recounted his virtual attendance at the PETS conference.  There were two slogans throughout the conference.  The first was: “Service to Change Lives”.  The second was:  Each member should bring a person to our meetings, as we need to build membership.


It was also noted that we should have 4 goals in mind:

1. The ability to adapt as a club as we move from Zoom meetings back to some form of live meeting.
2. That we need to expand our reach.
3. That we need to enhance participant engagement.
4. That we need to increase our impact.



Restarting Live Meetings & The Butte Creek Country Club


President Jen had reported a conversation he had with the manager of the Butte Creek Country Club.  He was told that there was no projected date when we could return for our meetings.  He got the impression that the manager was not really interested in our returning. 

However, the President of the Butte Creek Country Board is a partner of Steve Heithecker who has had a conversation with him about this.  The BCCC defiantly wants us back.  While they don’t make a lot of money from us, then consider it a good public service thing to do.  The real question is the format we want as we move back to live meetings.  Note the first goal mentioned at the PETS Conference.   We may need to adapt to doing meetings differently from the past.  Do we go back to every Tuesday?  Do we continue with every other Tuesday as we have been doing on Zoom?  Do we do every other Tuesdays at BCCC and the “in between Tuesday meetings” elsewhere, such as member’s home or other locations as we have begun doing.  Meeting at the Red Rooster has also been suggested.  Almendra Winery was also suggested.  But concern was raised about their not being open on Tuesdays.  However, I note from their web site that they are now open on Tuesdays, although they close at 5:00 pm.  However that could work as by 6:00 pm we would have the place to ourselves, if they could keep the kitchen open a little later


Rise Against Hunger


Mike Crump reports that the Rise Against Hunger packaging project will take place on April 24th at Durham High School.  Colleen Coutts, who is now back at work following the death of her husband, will be meeting with the Interact Club and believes she can get a substantial number of their members to work the event with members of our Club.  The set up will begin at 8:30 am with the packaging beginning at 9:30 am.  The following members have volunteered to assist:  Glenn Pulliam, Ravi Saip, Erick Hoiland, Kelly Lotti, Mike Crump and Dave Jessen.  Mike will also contact the Paradise Club who have sent volunteers in past years


Durham May Day Parade


Larry Bradley reports that he expects the Camp Royal interviews to take place this Thursday so that he may have some students to ride on a float, if we do one.  Kelly Lotti, Dave Jessen, Steve Heithecker and Glenn Pullium have volunteered to help him do it.  Mike Crump has volunteered to assist the others with traffic control.


Harvest Festival


It was agreed that we will proceed, at this time, as if we will do it this year.  It will be on September 19th.  The Park has been reserved as has the Captain Bob.  We do not know what restrictions the Health Department may have by September that may make the Harvest Festival impractical this year, but will proceed, for now, as if we are going to do it.  We may have to help the Sheriff’s Department install Plexiglas on the Captain Bob.  Anyway, Eric Hoiland will keep after it and pursue the venders and car club.  Maybe the band.


Club Grant Project


Dave Jessen had volunteered to lead the committee to come up with a project.  He will be assisted by Kelly Lotti and Steve Heithecker.  Several potential projects were mentioned.  Among them were the Horse Arena at the Park, remodeling the Memorial Hall kitchen, upgrading it to the level of a commercial kitchen and more Chromebooks for the High School.


It was agreed that for this year we stay with the Chromebooks.  Kristen will work with John Bohannan to determine what is needed so a grant application can be made


Sponsor Appreciation Dinner


Probably not something we should undertake at this time.



None tonight.

Next Meetings

The next regular meeting will be on April 20, 2021.  It will not be on Zoom.  It will be at Patrick Ranch.  We will meet at the Master Gardner’s site on the Ranch property, where there are permanent tables and benches.  Park by the Gift Shop/Office building before you get to the Ranch House.  Go through the Gift Shop/Office (or through the gate on the left side of the building).  Once out the back door you will find the Master Gardner’s site to your right.  The program will be an explanation of the Master Gardner’s program at the Ranch and, time permitting, a visit to the new barn on the property.  Steve Plume will provide something to eat and drink.


Reports and Announcements


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


Jessica Thorpe was recognized for her birthday, which President Jen missed last week.  He agreed to pay for the song, but before it was done she also contributed.  But it was unclear how much he and she contributed.  Anyway, Larry Bradley sang “Happy Birthday” to her.



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 the closed the meeting without a quote from Steve Heithecker.


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.

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.

Learn more

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.



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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.