TODAY’S MEETING Pres. Caroline called our meeting to order asking Chet Miller for the invocation supplemented by Chuck Briskin who explained the Jewish holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the new year and the day of Atonement. Deanna Deering led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jerry Sturm and Bonnie Peacock led us singing God Bless America and we sang our Welcome Song for speaker Evelyn Komuntale and her daughter Sheila. Mike Amira noted the health of the Club is status quo. ANNOUNCEMENTS The Paul Harris Foundation Celebration and fund-raiser raffle takes place November 7 at the House of Blues. Members are responsible for the sale of at least one book of tickets at $10 per ticket or 12 for $100. The proceeds go toward supporting Foundation programs and members receive credit for Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) donations.
Helene Pizzini reminded us that our September 30 meeting is a Bring a Friend Meeting. She strongly intimated that attending without a guest may tend to incur the terrible wrath of Pres. Caroline and possibly a fine! You think?
Continuing member participation and recruiting new members are the only ways Rotary will remain a viable polio eradicating, peace building world changing influence into its second century! Plan now to invite a friend, neighbor, family member, business contact etc. to join us on that date.
The Lobster Festival signup sheet was circulated for the Sept. 17-19 2010 San Pedro Lobster Festival assignments. This is a major fundraiser for our Club and members are needed to volunteer and do our part for the generous donated funds. You may E-mail Pres. Caroline to volunteer.
Pres. Caroline requested that our pioneering San Pedro Rotary Boatarians stand and be recognized.
Chief Boatwright Jerry Wright, Boatyard Proprietor Bob Wolfenden, Chief Architect Jerry Sturm, Chief Boatswain’s mate Sanni Wehbe and Chief Marketer Steve Cole stood to be recognized. San Pedro’s boat was the one and only catamaran in the cardboard boat race at the District Picnic and was in a class by itself. Despite earlier announced categories for the race it was a free for all, thus we finished a respectable third place overall with our mega yacht.
PROPOSED NEW MEMBER Charles King has been proposed for membership in the Rotary Club of San Pedro. Unless objections are received by the board in the next two weeks he may
be admitted to membership. CONFESSIONS & FINES Sanni Wehbe confessed that Mohana bought him a new car while Boatarian Bob Wolfenden confessed that he almost lost our boat Reggie the LA Gator on Gaffey Street while making a turn but his driving skills saved the day. “Honest officer this big green gator just jumped out at me and I had to swerve to avoid a collision. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Walk what line?”
HAPPY BUCKS Happy Rotarians: Liz Schindler Johnson for her trip to Yellowstone Park and Jasper/Banff in Canada. She saw a dinosaur museum in Alberta and the melting glaciers; Helene Pizzini for her last day at the library; Leon Carroll that he has attended two consecutive meetings and that NCIs resumes filming next week; Steve Cole for the District picnic.
TODAY’S PROGRAM Today’s speaker was Evelyn Komuntale, founder of Outreach to Africa (OTA). She related a riches to rags and back tale which inspired her to create the organization in 1996. She was born to a well to do family in the Congo. Her father was a Belgian diplomat; her mother an African princess employed by the Belgian government. Evelyn’s early years were spent in the lap of luxury. As the Congo moved toward independence her father was recalled to Belgium and she was left behind winding up in a far away village where she slept on the floor sharing a mosquito net with six other girls.
Evelyn persevered and was fortunate enough to be sponsored through school by the Port Portal Rotary Club. She came to the U.S. in 1978 where she established an import/export business. She became impassioned to help empower and educate women in her native country now an independent nation Uganda. She has been successful in building a compound for classrooms but she needs to raise funds for furnishings such as desks, supplies, beds and mattresses for the dormitory. The dorm was created to relieve students from a 5-6 mile walk to attend classes.
The school needs volunteers to serve as teachers and medical professionals to serve the health needs of the 300-400 babies born at the compound each year. Electricity is limited and provided by batteries which are charged by solar panels which replaced oil lamps. There is no indoor plumbing although there is potable water thanks to a $20K grant from two Rotary Clubs which also provided fencing for the compound due to local security concerns. Students are selected based on need, promise and screening by Evelyn. Their families are moved as a unit into the compound.
The Ugandan Ministry of Education provides little to no assistance for Evelyn’s project. They are very strict and require masters’ degrees of state credentialed educators with annual recertification. Evelyn noted that the school has 8 teachers for 100 students in grades K-7th.
Evelyn is seeking sponsors for orphans. $2 US will feed a child for a day. She set out a display of some of the crafts created by students and their families. She told us she works with runaway Pygmies who are exclusively hunters and have no earnings. She is teaching them to become farmers and to raise crops to be self-sufficient as well as sell crops they raise on the open market to earn income.
Upcoming District Events Sept. 24-25 President’s retreat
Oct. 10: Youth conference
Oct. 22-24: Interact Symposium
Nov. 6: Interact Karaoke dinner
The RI president’s monthly message
Bigger, Better, Bolder
This year marks a significant anniversary for Rotary! Although the Rotary Club of Chicago started in 1905, the first convention of Rotary clubs was held in August of 1910 with 60 Rotarians representing 16 clubs. Our history as an organization of Rotary clubs started with that meeting in 1910, and we are now commencing a second century of service for Rotary as an association.
All of us want this century of service to be even more successful than the last. Therefore, this is an opportune time to ask: Are we taking the right steps to ensure that success? Are we doing the right things? Do we have a clear vision of the future? In the words of “ America the Beautiful,” can we “see beyond the years”?
As Rotary’s 100th president, I believe we are moving in the right direction. Our 33,000 clubs are Rotary’s biggest asset, and our success in the next 100 years will depend on the ability of our clubs to remain vibrant and vital. Their strength will determine our success!
The RI Board has taken several steps to offer more assistance to our clubs this year, including creating the Rotary Coordinators program to assist district governors in providing information about Rotary International’s programs and best practices to the clubs.
I firmly believe that if we help our clubs to become better and bolder, then the clubs will become bigger – both because of the increased pride of our Rotarians in their clubs and the increased awareness of Rotary by prospective members. Therefore, my goal is to help the district governors to help their clubs to become Bigger, Better, and Bolder!
This is a great time to be a Rotarian. Together we can make this century of service even more exciting than the last!