midland noon rotary club newsletter president`s notes

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midland noon rotary club newsletter president`s notes
MIDLAND NOON ROTARY
CLUB NEWSLETTER
We Meet Every Thursday
at 12 pm at the
Midland Country Club
Weekly Update, July 16, 2015
In this issue…
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President’s Notes
Pictures from Meeting
Upcoming Meetings/Burgers, Beers, and
Ballads Pictures
Midlander Enjoying Bangkok Adventure
18th Annual Midland Rotary Golf Cup
Illiteracy Traps Adults, and Their Families,
in Poverty
Say Hello to Newest Members
Rotary in the News
PRESIDENT’S NOTES
The first (and hopefully, annual) “Burgers, Beers, and Ballads” is officially behind us and what an event it was. While River Days didn’t have
the crowds we wanted to have, we had a steady flow of customers into our cordoned off tent area which was adorned with incredible
signage provided to us by Jim Nigro and McKay Press. We even had signs placed in strategic areas around Chippawassee Park, advising
attendees of our erstwhile desire to serve them! Mother Nature even cooperated with us by holding off the rain from earlier in the day and
providing some moderating breezes to offset the humidity that crept in. We had a great crew of Rotarians on hand to assist us and the
workers from LaLonde’s and Whine were simply spectacular.
We did enjoy a successful evening. With almost 600 burgers sold, three kegs of craft beer and numerous cups of wine poured, we put lots of
smiles on lots of faces! It was very gratifying to see how people were willing to help us support our Community Needs projects by
supporting us. But the most gratifying part for me was to see the teamwork, the spirit of collaboration that existed between our Morning
Club and our Club and how even within our Club, we had two totally different committees, our Fundraising Committee led by Jen Chappel
and our Fellowship Committee, led by Pat Schefsky, that planned this event down to the last detail, working seamlessly. The way these
committees operated and optimized the use of the volunteers was extraordinary and a testament to “Service above Self”.
We also used this opportunity to break in one of our grills! The fry masters from LaLonde’s were totally impressed with the way the grill
performed and the evenness of the cooking process. It did get a little warm under the canopy where the burgers were being prepared but
we’re already working on ways to mitigate this for next year! In fact, our Committee chairs and other committee members met this week to
debrief on how we can improve the overall process for next year! I simply cannot thank Jen Chappel and Pat Schefsky enough for the
outstanding leadership and collaboration they displayed in making this happen. Well done Midland Rotary!
Our club has a rich history of volunteerism and our current members live up to that reputation in every regard. We of course had
spectacular support from our Club at the recent River Days events but we have more examples of how our younger club members are
stepping up. I will point out a few who are helping to make your club a better one through their volunteerism. First of all, Matt Granzo has a
lead role in the planning of the Annual Golf tournament which benefits our Youth Exchange Scholarship program. Matt has also taken on
the responsibility of leading and organizing this year’s Tridge Walk! Mike Levely, a relatively newer member of Rotary, agreed to take on
coordination of our Loons outing this year. Mike has spoken with Ruby about some of the responsibilities associated with this and is
coordinating activity with Loons management. Erin Malekadeli also stepped up recently in joining Chris Tointon and Mike Stein on our
Rotary International Foundation subcommittee. These are just a few examples of how our members are stepping up and helping to make
our Club stronger and our community, better.
Harry’s quote: “Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.”
Mark Twain
TAKE ACTION: www.midlandrotaryclub.org
Pictures from Meeting
UPCOMING MEETINGS
7/23 – Zachary Branigan, Great Lakes Bird
Migration
7/30 – RYE Outbound Presentations
8/6 – At Midland Community Center
(lunch $13 – cash only)
Burgers, beers, and Ballads
Last meeting for 3 of our Inbounds
Flag presentation to our
three Exchange Students
who are returning to their
homes this week. Ana
Zambonetti, Brazil; Caro
Chenivesse, France; and Tig
Soikam, Thailand
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Midlander Enjoying Bangkok
Adventure
Excerpted from Midland Daily News Editorial Page,
Monday, July 20, 2015, Jeanne Lound Schaler
“Out beyond war there is a field and many men and women
are meeting there.”
During my first week as a Rotary Peace Fellow at
Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Irene Santiago of the
Philippines shared this hopeful image. She initiated Women
to Women International and was the key organizer of the
1995 Beijing World Conference on Women. As she spoke, I
was filled with deep gratitude for: Ruby Iwamasa who invited
me to apply for this Professional Development Certificate
Program in Conflict Studies and Peace, Midland’s Noon and
Morning Rotary Clubs, District 6310, and Rotarians
worldwide who make this Rotary International program
possible.
After intense studying of topics including Gender in Conflict
Situations, Culture and Identity in Conflict, Mediation and
Conflict Analysis, our first Field Study program took us to
northern Thailand where we met with villagers whose
livelihood and culture are inseparable from the Mekong
River. We learned how — through sharing their knowledge of
and concerns about dwindling amounts and varieties of fish
— they influenced the Thai Government’s decision to no
longer permit China to blast the river to allow bigger cargo
ships to move southward. Through education and nonviolent
conflict skills developed over 15 years, these villagers, who
call the river Mother, have recently achieved recognition by
the Parliament.
We later visited Doi Tung, formerly a violent, devastated
opium-growing-trade area where most people lived in abject
poverty. In over 30 years it has been transformed through
the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Early in the transition stage,
villagers were told by the Thai government that they could
either leave the area or put down their weapons and change
their lifestyles to farming and contributing to a better life for
themselves and their families.
MFLF’s focus is the Sustainable Alternative Livelihood
Development model that is “people-centric, allowing
villagers to live with dignity and to coexist peacefully by
aligning their interests with the preservation of their natural
environment.” We viewed before/after pictures and spoke
with several foundation members and with teachers involved
in the Montessori schools.
These experiences, along with walking through this beautiful
place where locals grow and process Arabica coffee and
macadamia nuts and sell them along with clothing, jewelry
and other crafts from local resources, inspire hope in me. It’s
easy to understand why Doi Tung is now a significant tourist
attraction.
I am privileged to be part of this Bangkok Adventure.
Jeanne Schaller of Midland is a member of the Helen M.
Casey Center for Nonviolence, the Midland Chapter of the
Nonviolent Peaceforce and is a mediator with the
Community Resolution Center.
http://www.ourmidland.com/opinion/editorials/midlanderenjoying-bangkok-adventure/article_1ada80c3-102e-5cdc8d68-842518ca0b3d.html
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Illiteracy Traps Adults, and Their Families, in Poverty
Around the world, millions of adults are unable to read or
write, and therefore struggle to earn a living for themselves
and their families.
Even in the United States, with its considerable resources,
there are 36 million adults who can’t read better than the
average third-grader, according to the international
nonprofit ProLiteracy. In Detroit, Michigan, a widely cited
2003 survey conducted by the National Institute for Literacy
found that almost half of residents over age 16 were
functionally illiterate -- unable to use reading, speaking,
writing, and computer skills in everyday life.
Kristen Barnes-Holiday, director of program outcomes for
Reading Works, an organization tackling adult illiteracy in
Detroit, says the agencies -- many of them underfunded and
understaffed -- that have been trying for years to address the
problem there have made little progress.
Illiteracy affects all areas of life. Those with low literacy skills
are far more likely to live in poverty, face health problems
because they can’t read prescription labels or instructions,
and grow isolated in a world increasingly dependent on
computers. And the lack of a skilled workforce, BarnesHoliday notes, has slowed Detroit’s economic revival.
But she worries most about the impact on future
generations.
“A lot of children are raised in households where parents are
low-skilled or illiterate, and we all know only a certain
amount of learning happens in the classroom,” she says. “We
are raising this generation with the expectation that if we
pour a certain amount of dollars into their education, we will
get better results. But that is only partially true if we do
nothing to address the households they are coming from.”
Rotary member Mark Wilson, who also has been involved
with Detroit literacy efforts, agrees that adult literacy is not
receiving the attention it deserves.
“It doesn’t pull at the heartstrings the same way as when you
see a child who can’t read,” says Wilson, a member of the
suburban Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe. “But, in fact, it’s a
vicious cycle and it perpetuates itself.”
Wilson’s club, along with other Detroit-area Rotary
members, partnered with ProLiteracy Detroit to raise
money to recruit and train more tutors. Also, members
have collected 261,000 books and 587 computers to donate
to literacy agencies throughout the city.
A grant from The Rotary Foundation brought a team of
literacy experts from Australia to Detroit, to share their
expertise with those who are training the tutors. The grant
helped launch a weekly program on local television to raise
awareness and broaden corporate and community support.
Through the efforts of the volunteer tutors, more than 500
adults raised their reading levels by three grades, according
to testing by the Michigan Adult Education Reporting
System.
Margaret Williamson, executive director of ProLiteracy
Detroit and a member of the Rotary Club of Detroit, said
the project has produced benefits even beyond initial
expectations.
“Not only do we look at reading, but we look at building the
skills the individual will need for employment,” she says.
“And what happened was that, through the Rotary
network, [these adults] had access to people who knew
other people who were willing to give them an opportunity.
We had people call us and say, “Do you have a person who
would be good for this entry-level position?’ ”
The Rotary members have become better advocates for
adult literacy, influencing policymakers at several levels,
adds Williamson. Among the results of that advocacy: A
financial institution donated a banking center for
vocational training, and ProLiteracy received more money
for tutor training and has expanded its network of
partners.
“The ripple effect is still benefiting us,” she says.
Wilson also talks about ripples.
“When you teach somebody how to read, they have that for
a lifetime,” he says. “It ripples through the community, one
by one. And that was our goal.”
By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary News, 9-Jul-2015
Say Hello to Our
Newest Members
Rotary in the News
Local News –
Congratulations to Judge Dorene Allen on being
recognized in the Midland Daily News on the results and
efficiencies she has achieved in administering probate court
matters. The article made specific mention of a youth
substance abuse program in which 21 cases have been
closed and an evaluation of them showed the teens with
positive gains in accruing developmental assets. For more
information, click on this link: Judge Allen Article
Jill (Mike) Dougherty
Busiiness Development and Office Manager,
Great Lakes Safety Training Center
Sponsored by Jennifer Chappel
(member since July 2015)
Alan (Robin) Stottlemyer
Reaction Engineer, Dow Chemical
Sponsored by Mark Bone
(member since July 2015)
And congratulations, as well, to our new Hometown Hero
Cliff Miles, as shown on channel 12 news. See the video on
our website at this link: Cliff Miles Hometown Hero
Dexter (Laura) Brigham
Managing Director, Center Stage Theatre and Choirs,
Midland Center for the Arts
We also want to take an opportunity to say farewell and
wish Mike Woody the best of luck as he changes jobs and
hopefully, Rotary Clubs while relocating from Midland to
Wichita, Kansas.
District News – Most of District 6310’s RYE students have
returned to their home countries now including Zora from
Hungary, Anna from the Czech Republic and our very own
Ana from Brazil, Caro from France and Tig from Thailand.
To a person, these youngsters have stated how Rotary and
specifically, these exchanges, have changed their lives for
the better. Thank you to everyone in our Club who helped in
some way to make this program viable and meaningful!
Sponsored by Kevin Kendrick
(member since June 2015)
Craig (Lori) Lang
General Manager, Garber Chevrolet
International News – This story appeared in a July 21st,
2015 edition of Voice of America:
Sponsored by Paul White
(member since May 2015)
“Nigeria has hit a major milestone. It is the latest country to
rid itself of the scourge of polio, and the last country in
Africa to do so. Doing it involved the efforts of the Nigerian
government, thousands of volunteers, and help from the
World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation, Rotary International and other organizations.
Rotary started an immunization campaign against polio in
1979, and so far, has spent more than $1.4 billion dollars in
the global effort to eradicate this disease.
Jarrod (Emily) Lynch
Tax Consultant, Deloitte Tax LLP
Sponsored by Jim Klaffer
(member since May 2015)
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private
partnership that includes Rotary, reports that "most people
infected with the polio virus have no signs of illness and are
never aware they have been infected." They can spread the
virus to thousands of others before someone falls ill and
becomes paralyzed. That's why the World Health
Organization considers a single confirmed case of polio
paralysis to be a symptom of an epidemic.” Congratulations
to everyone involved with helping Nigeria rid itself of polio
and especially to all those Rotarians who were personally
involved.
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