Today marks one year since Nigeria last reported a polio case caused by wild poliovirus, putting the country on the brink of eradicating the paralyzing disease.
The last case was reported on 24 July 2014 in the northern state of Kano. If no cases are reported in the coming weeks, the World Health Organization is expected to remove Nigeria from the list of countries where polio is endemic, leaving just two: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa. The continent is poised to reach its own first full year without any illness from the virus on 11 August.
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian
What's the worst that could happen? For most of us, that's a simple question. We might be late for a train. We might miss out on a promotion, or even lose a job. But for some, the worst is unimaginably worse. An unfortunate few endure what Ani Kalayjian calls "true trauma." War. Fire. Flood. A daughter disappears. A son contracts Ebola. When faced with such disasters, "people feel anger, guilt, sadness, frustration – feelings that can poison the body and spirit," says Kalayjian, a trauma specialist at Columbia University. "Trauma survivors may think...
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian
A group of teenage journalism students in suburban San Diego were in the early stages of a new project – an educational film funded by a Rotary grant – when their teacher's phone rang. A prominent blogger had caught wind of what they were doing from a local news story, and wasn't pleased. The fledgling film came under fire almost overnight as ripples of protest spread through the blogosphere. With calls pouring in before shooting had even begun, the advisers considered halting the project, questioning whether it would be worth the controversy...
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian
One evening, sitting in the back seat of the car, our two girls, ages six and eight, were discussing the show we were on our way to attend. Called The Illusionists, it featured seven of the world's top magicians. The debate consisted of whether there would be real magic involved, or just tricks.
"When they cut the man in half," our younger daughter asked, "how do they keep the blood in?" She was convinced there was true magic. Her older sister, a little wiser, wasn't buying it.
"Easy," she said. "R-o-b-o-t." She rolled her eyes at how obvious this...
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian
The six-day-old baby shuddered with convulsions. Her mother, Memunatu, had given birth at home and cut her daughter's umbilical cord with what she could find – a sharp piece of metal. When the newborn contracted tetanus, Memunatu walked miles to reach a clinic. That's where Caryl Stern encountered the pair. Stern was on a field visit with UNICEF in Sierra Leone and stayed with Memunatu, trying to comfort her, until the child died. The image of the baby in pain, hypersensitive to light and sound, stayed with Stern as she got off the plane in New York...
Welcome to our Club!
MAKE DREAMS REAL
We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
McCormick & Schmick's Restaurant
4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center
North Ring Road
IL 60076 United States
Tuesday July 28 there is no regular luncheon meeting due to our annual picnic
The picnic is from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00.pm. at Harms Woods Grove #5 which is at the intersection of Harms and Old Orchard Rd. If you're driving west on Old Orchard Rd., when you get to Harms Rd. go straight into the parking lot (Grove #5), and look for the picnic area.
District Governor Rodney Adams will make his Governor Visit at the picnic.
Join us for an afternoon of good food and great company. Food and soft drinks will be provided. May bring your own alcohol.
At the weekly meeting of July 14, 2015 Deb Keegan, Head of Community Engagement at the Lincolnwood Public Library (Above right) was sworn in as a Rotary Member of the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley, by Club President Michelle Tuft (Above left) - Deb's sponsor is Club Member Ross Mathee, pictured above.
The officers installation dinner was a success! The food was delicious and the piano entertainment was lovely. The attendance count was a little over 30, rather low considering that we are a club of 50. Nonetheless, the club leadership is grateful for the members and their guests who were able to attend.
Below are a few images:
New club president Michelle Tuft presenting a gift to past president Ralph Czerwinski. Thank you for a job well done Chief Ralph!!!
Club members and guests enjoying the food , music and each other.
Lets not forget our piano entertainer (provided by Rob Paddor), who played an array of wonderful familiar tunes.
Karen L. Kaplan (left), posing with 2015-2016 Club President Michelle Tuft, was the guest speaker at the Rotary weekly meeting of 6-23-2015. Karen's subject was her recent book "Descendants of Rajgrod - Learning to Forgive".
Left to right: Pamela Perez, Director of Youth Ministry at St.John Brebeuf Church - Jessica Dolan,Vice President of Development at USO of Illinois - Michael Pauken, General Manager at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts - Ann Fisher Raney, Chief Executive Officer at Turning Point - Ralph Czewiinski, Presindent of the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley.
Above are images of the Taste of Skokie Event Organized in partnership with the Skokie Chamber, which took place on June 18 at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Once again, this event was a total success and everyone had good time.
The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley share from this annual fund raiser will be used to fund local and International humanitarian projects.
Left to right: Peter Kunz from The Orchard Village, Mark Swatez from The Ark, Mary Rose from The Metropolitan Services, Carolyn Anthony, Rotary Club Foundation Director, and Michelle Tuft, Rotary Club President-Elect.
Above from left to right are: Scott Lietzow (from the office of Congressman Bob Dold), Patriot Award recipient Rob Paddor, Incoming District 6440 Governor Rodney Adams and Reverend Percy Johnson of the North Chicago Rotary Club.
Children playing in Karachi, Pakistan, one of the few places where polio can still be found. Credit Image Nation Abu Dhabi/Zeitgeist Films
The documentary “Every Last Child” begins the way “Hill Street Blues” used to: A police commander says a few words to his men before they roll out into a hostile city. Their job is to protect polio teams going house to house in neighborhoods where Taliban assassins cruise on motorbikes.
It is their jihad, he tells them.
Everyone in “Every Last Child” is fighting a holy war — the vaccinators against the virus, the Taliban against the vaccinators, the police against the Taliban. Above them, outside the frame, is a dark tornado of greater forces: radical Islam versus those it considers Crusaders, the Central Intelligence Agency’s actions versus those of the World Health Organization, Western science versus Eastern faith. Every time it touches down in the slums of Karachi and Peshawar, it leaves behind new victims: dead vaccinators and paralyzed children.
If polio has disappeared from Africa — and on Aug. 11, it will be a full year since a case has been found on that continent — then the Pakistan-Afghanistan strain will be the world’s last.
It conveys the splendor and terror in ways that print reportage never can: The jewelry strung across a mother’s hairline jangling as she argues against giving drops to her child. The oiled snap of a clip locked into an AK-47 by a nervous cop. The flow of filthy water past the lens of a camera submerged in an open sewer. The urgent sotto voce of a W.H.O. consultant whispering facts into the ear of a Pakistani politician just before he announces a fresh campaign round.
Still, the film struggles to explain the core of the crisis.
Why would anyone decline a gift with no strings attached — a gift that, rejected, could consign one’s own children to paralysis?
Even worse: Who would ruthlessly gun down women and girls — neighbors and clansmen, not strangers — who are the innocent bearers of that gift?
The film offers hints. In it, Zubair Rabi, a grocer, and his friends repeat the tired but still potent rumors: That the vaccine is really birth control aimed at Muslims. That the same American skunk works brewed up the virus that causes AIDS and shipped it to Africa.
The camera follows Mr. Rabi and his children to the beach. It is empathetic: He obviously loves them. No, he says, as they play fully clothed in the surf, they are not vaccinated, but they are healthy. He loves God, so God protects his bairns.
Left unexplained is why this blind rejection stays nailed solidly into a few tiny pockets of the Islamic world while the vast majority of Muslims accept the vaccine — along with others, and antibiotics, drugs for AIDS and hepatitis C, cancerchemotherapy and other Western formulations, all of them more toxic than polio drops.
The answer is complicated.
As polio has been driven back into its last redoubts, it has become more and more a disease of the aggrieved minority, of people so beaten down that they trust nothing offered by outsiders — and for whom almost everyone is an outsider.
That is not uncommon. In West Africa, Ebola first broke out among the rural Kissi people who live where Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea meet. They feel despised by the elites of the capital cities, descendants of freed slaves, and were so sure that the elites had sent Ebola that they attacked medical teams venturing in to help them.
For a decade, polio has been essentially a Muslim disease. The 2005 hajj season spread a Nigerian strain to Mecca and out from there. Most Muslim countries clamped down hard. Saudi Arabia, for example, vaccinates pilgrims on arrival.
Now the virus hits almost only Pakistanis and Afghans — and not all of them, but nearly only Pashtuns, the tribe originally from the mountainous border. And not even all Pashtuns, but mostly the Mehsuds and a few other conservative clans.
They are the people who fought the British at the Khyber Pass, the mujahedeen who fought the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the source of the Taliban.
Empires have overrun their villages and butchered them but have never subsumed their culture, or even pacified their clan fighters for long. They have or had kindred spirits around the world: in the Scottish highlands, in Appalachia, in Sicily, in the mountains of Vietnam and Myanmar.
This is not to romanticize them. The Taliban is to the Pashtuns roughly what the Cosa Nostra once was to Italian-Americans: a mix of criminal gang and self-defense group, religiously conservative and quick to violence.
(There is precedent for the attacks on vaccinators: During a 1916 polio outbreak in Brooklyn’s Pigtown neighborhood, the Black Hand, the Mafia’s forerunner, issued a warning to the city inspectors who were forcibly hospitalizing children and sealing homes: “If you report any more of our babies to the Board of Health, we will kill you.”)
Taliban warlords run opium and guns; in cities, they seize land and rent it to squatters. Like the Mafia, they have feuding factions.
In the film, however, Pashtun fearlessness is exemplified not by the Taliban but by Gulnaz Sherazi and her teenage nieces: Having lost a mother and sister to the Taliban killers, they replace them as vaccinators on the same streets.
The C.I.A.’s use of vaccinators to hunt Osama bin Laden was a disaster for the polio campaign, and military drone strikes, virtually all in Pashtun territory, have increased Pashtuns’ fear that the world and the Pakistani elite is against them. They have grievances: Urbane Pakistanis talk about them the way American snobs refer to “hillbillies” and “trailer trash.”
Now the Pakistan vaccination campaign — a disaster in early 2014, when the film was shot — is slowly turning around. Polio cases are dropping.
Some Pashtun complaints — like being offered nothing but polio vaccine — are being answered. The campaign now holds pop-up pediatric clinics where children receive checkups, vitamins, deworming drugs, antibiotics and several vaccines.
And crude violence is working, too. Last year, Pakistan’s Army invaded Waziristan, where vaccine resistance was strongest. They were re-establishing government control, not pushing the polio agenda, but vaccinators followed. Also, while on the road, the thousands fleeing the war are vaccinated at bus stops or in train stations.
Violence is part of the reason polio disappeared from Nigeria. Boko Haram, the Taliban equivalent there, sowed such terror by kidnapping girls and slaughtering villages that much of the population fled down roads and into refugee camps where vaccinators waited.
Polio has escaped before — to Syria, to Somalia and elsewhere — but its escapes are briefer and the number of children paralyzed fewer. The day of the last child appears to be getting closer.
Correction: June 8, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated the date of the upcoming one-year anniversary of the last case of polio discovered in Africa. It is Aug. 11, not July 24.
Left to right: Club President Ralph Czerwinski, Shore Community Representative Anni Braverman, Oakton VITA Representative Lou Dickson, Golf Maine Representative Stacey Greenfield, Sommer Foundation Representative and club member Al Rigoni and Skokie Valley Rotary Club Foundation Director Carolyn Anthony.
Above are our newest club members William Leske (second from left), sponsored by Chuck Dickson (far left) and Barbara Meyer (third from left), sponsored by Al Anile (fourth from left), being installed as new members of The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley by Club President Ralph Czerwinski (far right). Barbara is a retired judge and Bill is a banker.
Above are from left to right: District 6440 Governor Ellen Young, Club President Ralph Czerwinski and End Polio Now District Chair and Club member Raman Grover. They are proudly presenting to the club assembly the "Rotary Flame".
The Rotary “Flame” was launched in December in Chennai, India, to commemorate India becoming polio-free and to promote the need to go the last mile in the battle to eradicate this horrible crippling disease. The torch has made its way through several countries already, and will pass through all three polio endemic countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria – before arriving at the 2015 Rotary Convention in San Paulo 6-9 June.
Above are left to right: Club President Ralph Czerwinski, Club Member Neil King and District 6440 Governor Ellen Young.
Club member Neil King is displaying a plaque presented by DG Ellen Young honoring the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary. Neil King is one of the original members.
The above team of volunteers helped serve 138 patrons at A Just Harvest Soup Kitchen located at 7649 North Paulina Street Chicago. Left to right are: Rotarian Bob Sampson (Soup Kitchen Chair), Rotarian Ross Mathee, Nick Mathee (Ross's son), Nick's friend Reed and Al Anile.
The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley has been providing food and manpower at the A Just Harvest Soup Kitchen every three months (On the last Sunday of the month), for the past several years as a local humanitarian project.
Above is Program Speaker Neil King showing a banner from a Rotary club in Sri Lanka, where he was on vacation with his wife. Neil spoke about this ancient country and it's rich history, and he also spoke about some very interesting Rotarians at the club he visited.
The program speaker at the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley weekly meeting of 2/17/2015 was Mike Jacbson of the Skokie Library. His topic was "BOOMbox" for Interactive Learning and the Skokie Library Media Labs facilities in general.
Rotary member and past District Governor Mike Yesner was the program speaker at our weekly meeting of January 27, 2015.
Mike's topic was "New Member Engagement". He showed the club a series of slides with Rotary membership statistics, explaining that the key to keeping new members interested is to keep them engaged from the start. " It's essential" Mike said "that the club's leadership finds out the reason,or reasons why the new member joined the club by asking key questions. The moment the reason is known, the new member should be enabled to get involved in that area of interest, and keep him or her engaged".
Those of us who were able to make it at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts this past Friday evening, had a very good time enjoying good food and drinks in the company of fellow Rotarians, significant others and and friends, and afterwards watching the hilarious Capital Steps Show.
A big thank you to Howard Frank for putting this event together!
John Jekot, Executive Director of the Golf Maine Park District (Center) was inducted on 11/18/2014 as a new club member by club President Ralph Czerwinski (Left). John's sponsor is club member and past District 6440 Governor Mike Yesner (Right). The Skokie Valley Club Assembly wishes John the very best in the years to come.
The Guest Speaker for our weekly luncheon meeting of October 28, 2014 was Josette Parisi. Her subject was The Malangas SDA School.
Josette showed us an interesting slide presentation about a non for profit school founded by her father many years ago back in her homeland, the Philippines, for the purpose of educating needy children.
Above are images of the Rotary Centennial Playground in Jerusalem. This playground is a Skokie Valley Rotary Club International Project, completed in 2005 in cooperation with the Jerusalem Rotary Club. These pictures were take by club member Mike Yesner on his visit to Israel in the summer of 2013.
The Guest Speaker for our weekly luncheon meeting of October 21, 2014 was Yoga Teacher Julia Chang of Body & Brain located at 3421 Dempster Street Skokie Illinois. Her subject was Body and Brain Yoga.
Julia demonstrated a few yoga postures and explained that Body & Brain Yoga programs are scientifically designed to work every muscle, tendon, joint, organ and gland while moving fresh oxygenated blood throughout the whole body and brain. The classes are taught in a supportive atmosphere that provides individualized attention and encouragement. Their program is therapeutic and is designed to alleviate stress while creating peace of mind.
"By learning to become the master of your brain" she said "you become the master of your life"
The Skokie Valley Rotary Club Fellowship Night Out on September 30, 2014 was a total success!
Around forty club members and guests had a ball at the Village Pizzeria located at 8050 Lincoln Ave in Skokie. Restaurant owner and club member Randy Miles was around the entire time, making sure that all guests had a good time with plenty of food and drinks. The organizer for this event was Al Rigoni assisted by club president Ralph Czerwinski.
The guest speaker for our weekly meeting of September 23. 2014 was Kristen Murtos, President of Skokie Hospital, assisted by Mark Schroeder, Skokie Hospital Community Relations Director (Left) , and Rich Casey, Skokie Hospital UP, (Right) - The subject was The Status of Skokie Hospital Enhancements..
Raymond Hartstein, the founding chairman of Oakton Community College, spearheaded the development of the Skokie campus and was on hand with his family in 1995 when it was named the Raymond Hartstein Campus in his honor.
"I remember standing next to my dad at the ribbon-cutting and feeling so proud because I knew how hard he'd worked to get that campus built," said his son Elliott. "It wasn't that he donated a lot of money. What he gave was his blood, sweat and tears.
"Things aren't usually named after people until long after they're gone. I'm just glad he lived to see how much he was appreciated for all he had done."
Mr. Hartstein, 96, of Skokie, a former longtime executive with Brunswick Corp. and General Motors, died of natural causes Sunday, Sept. 7, at Brookdale Plaza, a senior-living facility in Vernon Hills. He served as a board member for 35 years at Oakton as well.
"He was the kind of leader always quick to acknowledge and praise the contributions of anyone affiliated with Oakton Community College and would send out countless 'thank you' notes thanking those that gave of their time, resources and energies," said Oakton President Margaret B. Lee, who first met Hartstein 30 years ago, when she began working at the college. "But the fact is, Ray is why we're here at all today. He was a teacher, mentor and an advocate. He was an agent for change when we needed it most."
The college first opened its doors in fall 1970 to 832 students. It consisted of four factory buildings at Nagle Avenue and Oakton Street in Morton Grove. It now has its main campus in Des Plaines and another in Skokie, which both opened in 1980.
"Ray was never a remote board member, but rather someone involved at every level," Lee said. "He was a thinker and doer. His dream was to make a quality public education.
The Guest Speaker at Skokie Valley Weekly Rotary Meeting of September 16, 2014 was Dan Parkak, Commissioner Cook County Board of Review. His subject was about the Cook County Real Estate Tax and Appeal Process.
Dr. Barry Bryant, Associate Professor of United Methodist and Wesleyan Studies, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary located at 2121 Sheridan Rd. Evanston, Illinois 60201 was the Guest Speaker at our luncheon weekly meeting of August 19, 2014. His subject was about Social Differences amongst Different Cultures.
In the short time allowed to speak (only 30 minutes), Dr. Bryant discussed the significance of cultural differences to the mission of Rotary International and to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he teaches. In my opinion, a very complex subject requiring much more time.
We share a common value "he said". Future population growth among the white population in the US means "white culture" will soon become a minority status in the US. This means that "white normativity" and "white privilege" must be questioned and challenge. Because of this the importance of competency in dealing with people in cross-cultural situations, whether on the south side of Evanston or in Africa, is crucial to the mission of Rotary International. Cross-cultural competency consists of self-knowledge, empathy, the knowledge of other cultures, self-confidence, and the knowledge of one's own culture.
Pictured above let to right are: Peter Kuntz, Rotary Member and Executive Director of The Orchard Village, Ralph Czerwinski, Club President, Theresa Kopitzke, Orchard Village Program Coordinator, and Marty Oliff, Orchard Village CEO.
Pictured above are Ralpha Czerwinski, Club President and Mary Laura Jones, Club Member and Fund Raising Director of Turning Point.
The above pictures are from Skokie Valley Rotary Club Annual Picnic, which was a total success thanks to Mother Nature and the hard work of Club President Ralph Czerwinski, Michelle Tuft, grill Master Al Rigoni and all other helpers behind the scenes.
The food and drinks were delicious and the company was great. We were happy to see members we have not seen for a long time such as: Dr. Harry Melnick and his wife Hope and Rabbi Neil Brief and his wife Erica. Thanks to all who contributed in whatever way or form they could such as drinks and food sharing etc.....
Stacy Greenfield of the Golf Maine Park District (Left), and Club President Ralph Czerwinski (Right)
Club Member Linda Cordero, representing The Douglas Center (Left), and Club President Ralph Czerwinski (Right)
Club Member Al Rigoni, representing The Sommer Foundation (Left), and Club President Ralph Czerwinski (Right)
The above representatives of The Golf Maine Park District, The Douglas Center and The Sommer, all non for profit organizations in the Skokie Area, were presented generous grant checks from Ralph Czerwinski, President of The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley. All were allowed a few minutes time to explain to the club members how the funds will be used to benefit the community.
The Club Annual Picnic will be on Tuesday July 29 around 5:00 or so at the Blue Star Memorial Woods, Grove #2. (Usual location) The picnic will take the place of our weekly meeting. More information to follow.
The Taste of Skokie Valley organized by by the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley and The Skokie Chamber of Commerce, took place this past Thursday evening (6/12/2014) at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.
This is Skokie Valley Rotary Club's major annual fund raiser event chaired by Ralph Czerwinski, Fire Chief of the Village of Skokie and incoming club president, and Howard Meyer, Director of the Skokie Chamber of Commerce and Skokie Valley Rotary member. Volunteers for this important event were members of the Skokie Valley Rotary Club and Skokie Chambers of Commerce.
The music entertainment was provided by Michael Lerich Productions. The food was donated and served by several Skokie community major restaurants and the event was hosted by North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
Funds raised from this event will be used to benefit the Skokie Valley community.
Many thanks to all who participated in making this a very successful event!
The following pictures were taken by club photographer Jordan Glassner.
Ron Abraytis, known as Ron the Fun Guy, was the guest speaker at the Skokie Valley Club weekly Rotary meeting of June 3, 2014.
Mr. Abraytis has applied his talents to sooth and calm young children in various traumatic states. His services are been used at the Children's Memorial Hospital, Foster Care Facilities, Spinal Bifida Association and Maryville Reception Center for Foster Care.
Guest Speaker at the May 13, 2014 weekly Rotary meeting was Fey Bayona, of Reliv International.
Fey said that her company has developed nutritional products from soy, aimed at keeping children happy and healthy. Currently Reliv International is providing nutritional supplements to over 40,000 children worldwide on a daily basis.
Rotary Club of Skokie Valley Program Speaker for the weekly meeting of May 6, 2014 was our own member Greg Franks. He showed the club assembly video clips on Rotary International World-Wide Programs. South Africa, family health HIV/Aids counseling; Guatemala, water projects and computer education; Seattle USA, food banks reducing food waste to provide produce for the needy and West Africa, Polio Eradication.
Guest Speaker Wayne Mell, Managing Director of the Skokie Theatre located at 7924 Lincoln Ave. in Skokie, Gave the club an update on the theatre renovations and calendar of coming events such as: Films, documentaries and live performances by various acting groups including adults and children productions, as well as musical performances by individuals and famous bands.
A Message From District 6440 Governor Sarah Oliver
With great pleasure I personally invite you to join your fellow Rotarians in Oak Brook, IL, on April 11-13, for our District 6440 Conference 2014.
We‘ll hear energetic and inspiring speakers, celebrate the impact of our engagement in the work of our clubs, and enjoy great entertainment and hospitality with members of our Rotary family from near and far during the 48 hours from Friday mid-day through Sunday morning. Your personal involvement will enhance that experience for every one of the others of us and provide you with some Rotary nourishment as you go forward with your club and individual service activities.
PDG Timothy Buckley will be joining us as the Representative of RI President Ron Burton. We’ll hear also from Past RI Vice-president Tom Thorfinnson and Rotarian Jason Daenens. We’ll be entertained by the music of John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart and by the variety of talent among our Rotary Youth Exchange student group. We’ll gather in the House of Friendship to buy Rotary merchandise, have refreshments, and check out project displays. On our Hospitality nights, we’ll play games in the Rotary Olympics that never will become official with the IOOC. And we’ll enjoy our overnight stays at the Oak Brook Hills Resort for a bargain price.
Registration for Conference and for the Saturday morning District Assembly that it wraps around must be made online. You can link to registration through the district website by selecting “District Conference & Assembly” from the Upcoming Events menu or by using the shortcut at http://bit.ly/1cgQq57. When you register you can make entrée selections and pay by credit card for the meal package or the individual meals you choose. Your overnight hotel reservation must be made separately, but a link through our online registration system enables you to get to the Oak Brook Hills Resort site directly for that reservation. The deadline for securing one of our discounted rooms is Monday, March 24. So, please make the time to do that now.
I look forward to seeing you soon at the biggest gathering of our Rotary family this year.
It was February 23, 1905 that Paul Harris, an attorney, invited three men to meet in an office in Chicago to discuss organization of a club based on the idea that Harris had been developing for several years — that men in business could and should be personal friends. Men invited included a coal dealer, a mining engineer, and a merchant tailor. The following day, Harris interested a printer and a real estate dealer. Within a short time the Rotary Club organization was complete. The coal dealer, Silvester Schiele, was one of Paul's earliest clients and the two of them had discussed this idea at length. Harry Ruggles, Paul's printer had also been involved in early discussions. Paul Harris declined any office in the new club and did not become its President until two years later.
It is significant that each of the first six members, of this first Rotary Club was a comparative stranger, [with the exception of Harris, Schiele, and Ruggles] in a large city; who had come from a small town to Chicago to go into business. And each, undoubtedly, felt the need of personal friendships to replace those that had been severed by removal from his former home. The aim of the first Rotary Club was the encouragement of friendship, fellowship and mutual assistance.
Club Member and Past District Governor Mike Yesner, was the Guest Speaker at our February 25, 2014 weekly Meeting.
Governor Mike presentation topic was about "Rotary HealthRays" A Rotary District 6440 Projects designed to install 29 digital x-ray machines in Guatemala at a cost of $100,000 each. Two machines have already been installed and a third one is on the way. Already doctors at the clinic have seen patients come in the evening after work for treatment of illnesses and injuries, for which they previously would have postponed treatment in order not to miss time at work traveling to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. X-rays from the clinic can be read almost immediately by a radiologist at the central hospital and an evaluation made available to the clinic doctor to guide treatment.
The cost for these machines is being realized by utilizing a Rotary Foundation mechanism called "Global Grant" put together by Rotary District 6440 and other Rotary Clubs. This project is a forerunner that could be expanded to many other impoverished areas in the world.
Up to date there are over 45 members from our district registered for RI Convention 2014 in Sydney, Australia; and all of them are in for a real treat! The Aussies like to have a good time and are very excited to share their plans for entertaining their Rotary visitors. The Sydney Convention Committee from RI is lining up inspiring and informative speakers and planning a range of entertainments for the convention plenary sessions.
The latest edition of Corroboree, click here for more info, the publication of the Host Organizing Committee is attached here and highlights a variety of activities you can enjoy when you are not involved with a plenary or breakout session in Sydney. Participating in a Rotary Convention is an incredible experience for any Rotarian, and the long journey to Sydney will be rewarding.
I just have had the privilege of seeing and hearing about the positive health impacts of our installation of the first of 29 digital x-ray machines in Guatemala. In the roughly five months that the x-ray package has been operational in Mixco, doctors at the clinic have seen patients come in after work at 5:00 PM for treatment of illnesses and injuries for which they previously would have deferred treatment in order not to miss a day or more of work traveling to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. X-rays from the clinic can be read almost immediately by a radiologist at the central hospital and an evaluation made available to the clinic doctor to guide treatment.
The government even has added a trauma specialist physician at Mixco because so many more medical situations can be addressed locally. The second machine of the planned 29 was installed a week ago, and the Global Grant application for installation #3 is being finalized.
RI President K.R. Ravindran chose Be a Gift to the World as his theme for 2015-16. Ravindran urges Rotary members to give the gifts of time, talent, and knowledge to improve lives in communities across the globe. "Through Rotary, we can take these gifts and make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in our world."