Meeting Summaries for January 2016
Kathy Mrazek from the Chesterland Chamber of Commerce was the speaker for the January 6 meeting.  Kathy talked about the “New” chamber where they are attempting to know their businesses better.  There are currently 177 members.  The Chamber holds two fundraising events a year – Chesterfest and their golf outing.  It was suggested that maybe we could partner with the Chamber with our golf outing.  The Chamber meets once a month and bring in speakers to help small businesses.  We suggested some speakers and topics, such as the high speed fiber optic internet that runs along Mayfield Road.  They are also planning a small business expo in April. 
Jim Bohinc first made an announcement at the January 13 meeting about the recent Salvation Army red kettle drive in Geauga County.  The drive totaled about $28,300 countywide and about $5400 by our club.  The donations were down somewhat from last year.  And Jim reported that the WG Interact club has already over 1000 hours of community service in this school year.
Chester Police Chief Mark Purchase was the speaker.  He has been on the force in Chesterland for 29 years, with the last 10 years as chief.  There are 12 officers on the force, including himself, as well as two part time officers, 2 auxiliary members and a full time administrative assistant.  A few years ago, there were 19 officers.  Mark talked about how the police force has changed over the years and what they are doing to engage all the citizens.  There are seven schools in his jurisdiction and he has his officers randomly visit all the schools.  His officers get to know many of the kids.  He also wants more interaction with seniors.  When a senior is identified who has mobility issues or is living alone, his officers will do checkups with them.  Mark asked out help to identify other seniors who made need assistance.
The student of the month Connor Winter and his father Mark were at the January 20 meeting to accept his award.  Connor is a member of the marching band, on the fencing team and the robotics team, is involved in the science fair and is a member of the National Honor Society.  Volunteer activities are the Food Bank and the Chester Recycling Center.
The rest of the meeting was a club meeting and election of officers for the next Rotary year starting on July 1, 2016.  Peter Tuttle was elected the Vice President for the remaining 2015/2016 year.  Then he will automatically become the President-Elect for next year.  Glenn Hoehnen was elected Vice President for the 2016/2017 term.  Jim Zeitz was elected secretary for a two year term.  Current Treasurer Rich Luschen has one more year in his two year term.  For three Directors for the Foundation Board of Directors, there were five nominations.  They are Ed Slane, Jeff Huntsberger, Bob Voss, Reena Kanner and Derek Taylor.  There will be an election at the next meeting for the new Directors.
Bob Johnson from the Burton Middlefield Rotary Club was the speaker at the January 27 meeting.  His club, partnering with the Gift of Life Organization, has been working with Haitian children with congenital heart defects, using an International Project Grant.  There could be 5000 such children in Haiti.  The project involves bringing a team of doctors from Haiti to the Akron Children’s Hospital and training them for several weeks in operating procedures for heart defects.  Then the doctors return to Haiti to operate on children there.  The next team of doctors is coming here in May.  They are applying for a grant and need to raise about $80,000 in grant money.  They have asked for our help. Bob has been to Haiti recently and he says the country is still in bad shape.  Unemployment on the island is 81%.  People are still living in tents.  Luckily the hospital where the operations will be done is a stand-alone compound with its own generators and water supply. 
Final business was to elect the three Directors for the Foundation for next year.  Elected were Bob Voss, Derek Taylor and Jeff Huntsberger.