Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Italian American Civic Assoc
192 Bellew Ave
Watertown, NY 13601
United States of America
(315) 782-3381
Rotary is meeting online until further notice
Home Page Stories
Come join us for Rotary lunch. The food is good and the fellowship is great.
Greetings Rotarians! So we have 4 “virtual” meetings under our belts and we all seem to be getting into the swing of things. I hope that the use of zoom is relatively easy for you all, and of course if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The meeting will be much easier to participate in if you use the zoom app on your computer, tablet or mobile device. The app can be downloaded to your computer by going to  or visit the Apple App store or Google Play store for your mobile devices. If you do call in by phone only, please let Mariko know so she can record your attendance. Also, if you call in and want to participate be sure to use the audio controls that are announced when you enter the meeting so you can unmute yourself should you want to provide feedback or input.
If for some reason you miss the meeting or want to refer to it after the meeting is over I’ll be streaming the meeting  live on Facebook as well. Be sure to like the Watertown Noon Rotary Facebook page if you haven’t already for easy reference. The meeting will be available after the scheduled meeting ins complete or you can watch it live.  Our Facebook page is:
A new year.
How much have things really changed?  Maybe not as much as some would have liked, but then for many of us 2020 was not as bad as it could have been. 
e.g. We still had food on the table,
       Our homes were still heated to at least tolerable levels, and our cars are still running.
       We still got our bills and taxes paid (I just wrote Town/County taxes this morning.)
Maybe we didn't improve our "financial condition" this past year ... but we got by.
NOTE:  If you are one of those that can't keep your heat on, or food on the table, I want to know, because at Rotary we are a "family" of sorts, and I believe we care deeply for each other as Rotarians.  We will, I believe, be there for each other even as we work at our goals for the community.  For other members of our community who fall into this category, we will try to connect them with community organizations that we work with those needs to provide some assessment and relief.
As the premier service organization in our community, we look to 2021 with a better understanding of the challenges in the new year than we had going into this past year.
1)  How do we make our online meetings more engaging and interesting (even "better", if that is possible than our in person luncheons).  After all, I've noticed that some aspects of online meetings are "more personal" than sitting in a seat in the 10th row back at the Italian American Club.  I want to accept the invitation to some other club online meetings this year to see what they're doing.
2)  How do we continue to maintain a "frontline presence" for our community and the systems that serve it.  (In the past, we have been a "point of connection" for community leaders who are trying to move their agendas forward.)
3)  Funding.  In the past we have come up with the $$ necessary to be a catalyst for projects to move forward.  Last year we asked a lot from our membership and this year may not be a lot different.  (The "Cash Calendar" is now our main fundraiser, and I know that many of you have made that a success by reaching into your own pockets to get those calendars moved.)
4)  Revitalization of the committees that do most of the leg work for Rotary.  They get the work done, deal with the problems, and provide our membership with the best opportunity to develop "one to one" relationships during this time that we can't share a meal with each other.  (Please step forward committee chairs!!)
In any case, we will do what we always do:  Adjust to the new realities and let our values drive us forward into this new year.  We will not go quietly into the darkness that threatens us, but will continue to put "Service Above Self".  Lord, hear our prayer.

Our District Offers Exciting PHF Incentive
Sign up for Rotary Direct (Online Giving)
This following information was provided by Bonnie Black, District Foundation Chair:
“Our District is offering 500 Paul Harris Recognition Points to any Rotarian who signs up for Rotary Direct between January first and February 23rd, Rotary’s birthday-that’s halfway to a Paul Harris Fellow before they even begin to donate!
Members can choose any program or area of focus they desire to support or split their giving among 2 or more programs.  All Recognition Points will be credited during this Rotary year in March or April, allowing for processing after enrollment.”
Detailed enrollment information plus a FAQ information sheet were previously forwarded to you via email from Mariko.
Polio Swimarathon 2021
Our annual Polio Swimarathon will take place in February 2021, and we look forward to continuing our Club’s legacy of achieving the highest donation rate to Polio Plus of any US club in our District.  As in the past, the Club will double PHF recognition points for any Club members who contribute $25 or more toward polio eradication. Event coordinator, Don Klug, and the Foundation Committee will provide more details at upcoming Club meetings.
Rotary Foundation Giving Incentive
As we mentioned at the Club’s program on November 4th, the Club will match Paul Harris recognition points for any member who donates $25 or more to the Annual Fund of the Foundation during the months of November and December.
To participate in this incentive, you should donate no later than mid-December in one of these two ways:
  1. Write a check to “The Rotary Foundation” and mail it to Mariko at her home address, 1240 Harris Drive, Watertown OR
  1.  Donate online via Rotary Direct.  (Go to, click on the Donate button, and follow the prompts.) If you donate via Rotary Direct, be sure to let Mariko know as we do not get reports of donations made online. Thus, we cannot double your points unless you report your Rotary Direct donation to us.
Remember: 50% our Club’s Annual Fund donations come back to our District three years from now and—through JIPC—we have a powerful voice in selecting the projects funded by these dollars.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation continues their longstanding support for ending polio – a paralyzing, life-altering scourge on the verge of becoming the second human disease ever to be eliminated. Rotary International continues to commit to raise $50 million per year.
 In response to this challenge, The Watertown Rotary Club is raising donations for The Rotary Foundation to pay for oral vaccinations by conducting a fundraiser called “The Swimarathon 2021” on February 27, 2021 at the YMCA in Watertown from 9:00 to11:00 AM. Swimmers are asked to seek out donations from friends, neighbors and fellow Rotarians in an attempt to raise $5,000. All donations will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a 2 to 1 basis as Rotary International reaches a goal of $50 Million in 2020. 
     Rotary Swimmers this year will be announced by next week. Anyone is welcome to join in the swim! If you are seeking someone to support feel free to e-mail Don Klug at . and we will match you up with a fundraising swimmer.
     YMCA Pool rules will be a bit different this year. Only three swimmers are to be allowed at a time in the pool, one within each of the 3 roped off lanes. As a result of this requirement, we will set up a schedule in half hour increments. We have had traditionally about 12 swimmers at the most, so this should easily work out to 3 swimmers every half hour
 Each donation in the amount at least $25 is noted by our office manager Mariko to The Foundation and is matched by club points towards your PHF recognition. This is our clubs own 2 for 1 donation to assist each club donor to increase his or hers PHF totals.
     Watertown Rotary has raised nearly $29,000 during the past seven years. The cost to immunize a child costs $0.60. With each $1,000 in donations, 1,666 children will receive immunization. Where else can you make a contribution that will have such a significant impact?
 Please join us in the fun by becoming a fundraising swimmer or to make a donation to TRF and pass it on to any Rotary swimmer.
ROTARY VS. POLIO: A timeline
This Story is from TRF web page “End Polio Now”, by Don Klug          Feb 3, 2021 Infomercial
Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we've reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.
Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.
2009 Rotary's overall contribution to the eradication effort nears $800 million. In January, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $355 million and issues Rotary a challenge grant of $200 million. This announcement will result in a combined $555 million in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
2011  Rotary welcomes celebrities and other major public figures into a new public awareness campaign and ambassador program called "This Close" to ending polio. Program ambassadors include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu, violinist Itzhak Perlman, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, Grammy Award-winning singers Angelique Kidjo and Ziggy Marley, and environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall. Rotary's funding for polio eradication exceeds $1 billion.

2012  India surpasses 1 year without a recorded case of polio and is removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic. Polio remains endemic in just 3 countries. Rotary surpasses its $200 Million Challenge fundraising goal more than 5 months earlier than expected.

2014 India goes 3 full years without a new case caused by the wild poliovirus, and the World Health Organization certifies the South-East Asia region polio-free. Polio cases are down over 99% since 1988.

2019 Nigeria goes 3 full years without a new case caused by the wild poliovirus.

2020 The World Health Organization certifies the African region wild polio-free, and certifies the South-East Asia region polio-free. Polio cases are down over 99% since 1988.
February 2020- We left you last February with a story from Pakistan at a busy toll plaza in Kohat, where a three-member Rotary vaccination team is working to vaccinate children as cars and vans screech to a stop on a busy highway.  A van stops and a young child is handed to the vaccinators through one of the rear windows. He is quickly inoculated with two drops of oral polio vaccine. The van speeds off, fading back into the dizzying hum of traffic, as the vaccinators look for the next car and the next child.
Wednesday, September 30, 11:30am-1:30pm at The Italian American Civic Association, on Bellew Ave. 
Considering we were not asked to sell or purchase roses this year, and considering that this will be our only general fundraiser for 2020, we hope our entire membership will answer this call to action
Committee members will be there to bring packets of 10 (or more J if you would like them) right to your vehicle, no need to get out!  
  • Please pull in and park in any available spaces in front of the Club entrance so we can see you have arrived.
  • We are asking that Rotarians pay in advance for the packets by check or cash, if you are comfortable doing so.  We can run cards manually through Mariko’s phone but there is an additional fee to do so.  Planning ahead with a check made Payable to Watertown Noon Rotary Club, or cash would be best option.  You may sell the calendars to recoup your investment, or hand them out as gifts yourself.  We know that this has been a challenging time for many people, so if you are uncomfortable paying in advance, we understand.
  • You can also pay for your calendars in advance on ClubRunner.  Bring your receipt with you to let us know you’ve already paid. 
  • For your safety, the committee will be abiding by all social distancing safe practices by wearing a mask and giving you an unused pen for filling out your tracking form.  You can keep the pen compliments of Mark Smith at GEICO!
  • Everyone who comes to pick up will get attendance credit.
  • If you cannot attend, please e-mail committee chair Steve Yelle ( and copy Michelle Carpenter ( to let us know you need a committee member to deliver them to you. 
Thank you in advance for your help with this essential fundraising endeavor for our Club.  Funds raised from the calendar will enable us to continue the many service projects in our community we support each year.
Yours in service,
Cash Calendar Committee
The FIVE Avenues of Rotary International Service and its Mission Objectives
Rotary's ideal of service is based on the Five Avenues of Service – Club, Vocational, Community, International and New Generations – that comprise Rotary International's philosophical cornerstone. Rotary clubs carry out efforts along each avenue in support of the Object of Rotary.
  • Five Avenues of Service, often appear as seen below:
  • Club Service- the first Avenue of service
  • Vocational Service -- the Second Avenue of Service. ...
  • Community Service -- the Third Avenue of Service. ...
  • International Service -- the Fourth Avenue of Service. ...
  • New Generations Service -- the Fifth Avenue of Service. Youth Services.
The objectives of Rotary International
The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
Rotary Club guiding principles include the Four-way Test (Truth, Fairness, Goodwill, and Friendship). Other principles involve Rotary’s commitment to Service above Self, Rotary’s motto, which is channeled through the Five Avenues of Service: Club, Vocational, Community, International, and New Generations.
Club service works to strengthen fellowship of members through training and hospitality. Clubs have serious topics to work toward, so having various social events that bring members and their guests informally and for fun, contributes to genuine fellowship.
Vocational Service encourages members to serve other people through their vocations, education, skillsets, which encourages high ethical standards. October is Vocation Service Month when the many club service projects are celebrated.
Community Service is exactly what the name implies — projects and activities each club undertakes to improve community life. There are many projects in the Santa Ynez Valley in which all four Rotary Club volunteers have been involved: Sunny Fields Park, Senior Centers, scholarships, and more.
International Service volunteers work to expand the Rotarians’ humanitarian work around the world. This important service promotes understanding and peace, sponsors projects in other countries and works with international partners to support projects in their communities.
New Generations Service works to engage youths and young adults in leadership roles. Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a training program for young people, ages 14 to 30. The award emphasizes leadership and citizenship. Rotaract is an International Youth Program is for ages 18 to 30 while Interact focuses on international service for youths 12 to 18.
     Note: In April 2010, representatives at the Council on Legislation met in Chicago, USA and approved New Generations as the Fifth Avenue of Service in Rotary. The news of the Council’s decision was welcomed with excitement and enthusiasm by Rotarians across the globe since this would create impetus in synergy between Rotarians and Rotaractors.
10 Reasons to Donate to The Rotary Foundation with Polio Eradication In Mind
by Don Klug, Watertown Rotary
  1. Why Donate? Any donation in the amount at least $25 is noted by Mariko to the Foundation and is credited towards TRF and your PHF recognition.
  2. Why Donate to Polio Plus? Since the mid 1980’s one of Rotary missions has been to eradicate this crippling childhood disease. The Bill Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization has partnered with Rotary International in our fight. We are not alone in this struggle.
  3. What is Polio? Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract. It is most often spread through person-to-person contact with the stool of an infected person and may also be spread through oral/nasal secretions. Those who develop symptoms may incur paralysis or death.
  4. How common was polio in the United States? Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century. With the introduction of Salk vaccine in 1955, the number of cases rapidly declined to under 2,500 by 1957. By 1965, only 61 cases of paralytic polio were reported.
  5. Is polio still a disease seen in the United States? The last imported case caused by wild poliovirus into the United States was reported in 1993.
  6. Who should get polio vaccine and when? The poliovirus vaccine used in the United States is IPV. It is a shot given in the leg or arm, depending on age. The Polio vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. IPV is routinely given to children, who receive 4 doses over time.
  7. If Polio is not a significant threat here, why should we care? Unfortunately, polio lurks in the shadow of war and highly populated poverty stricken countries. Polio remains in two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  8. Are we in danger?  As long as the disease exists we are threatened. There is no cure for polio once infected. The focus of modern treatment has been on providing relief of symptoms, speeding recovery and preventing complications.
  9.  What is the cost? The cost to immunize a child costs $0.60. Where else can you make a contribution that will have such a significant impact? With each $1,000 in donations 1,666 children will receive immunization.
  10. We are SO close! Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Even though we are 99.9% of the way to eradicating this disease, there remains a threat! We are within the 3 inch line of the ‘football goal line. We have yet to win. Please make your pledge now to TRF, noting End Polio NOW! Your minimum gift of $25.00 is eligible for Paul Harris Society recognition.
For Polio Eradication, the Endgame Is Near
                                           A Rotary Presentation Jan. 29, 2019 by Don Klug
  • In 1988 — when the wild poliovirus was in more than 125 countries, paralyzing 350,000 people every year — the World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to help eliminate the disease through a mass immunization campaign.
  • In 2007 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined other major health organizations already committed, contributing nearly $3 billion toward eradicating polio by 2020.
  • "What we're looking at now is the endgame of polio eradication," says Dr. Jay Wenger, who leads the Gates Foundation's polio eradication efforts. "We are closer than ever, and we're optimistic that we can see the end of wild poliovirus disease by as early as this year," he said.
  • 12 Known Cases. According to Dr. Wenger, there are only 2 countries where known cases of the wild poliovirus exist today: Afghanistan and Pakistan. "In the last couple of years, we've seen unprecedented progress. In 2015 we could only find 74 cases; in 2016 we found 37, and then in 2018 we've found only 20 in only two countries."
  • The reason: a mass immunization effort to orally vaccinate 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
  • In a lot of places, children don't always get all the vaccines that they are supposed to, and that's a chronic problem, said Dr. Wenger.
  • The virus can only live in people, he says, and it needs new people to infect to keep on spreading and keep on living. "If you make all those people in an area immune, then the virus can’t find new people to infect. So if we can get enough children in an area vaccinated, the virus dies off."
  • Even after seeing the last known case of polio, the Gates Foundation will still monitor the situation over the next two years. Continual surveillance is necessary. Until there are no additional cases after a several-year period can polio be deemed completely eradicated.
  • Since 1988, the number of cases has been reduced by 99.9 %, saving more than 13 million children from paralysis. Economic modeling has found that the eradication of polio would save at least $40 billion to $50 billion between 1988 and 2035, mostly in low-income countries.
  • Bill Gates is hopeful the disease will become the second disease after smallpox to disappear for good. "Progress in fighting polio might be one of the world's best-kept secrets in global health." But soon, he hopes, it will be a secret no more. "If things stay stable in the conflicted areas, humanity will see its last case of polio this year."
  • According to the WHO, as long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200 000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world. Just remember, Polio is just a plane ride away!
  • Dr. Jonas Salk, the Pittsburg University medical researcher who devoted his early life’s work to developing the Polio vaccine, worked seven days a week and sixteen hours a day for years during his quest to find a cure. We share this with you today because we want you to know how really devoted he was. Once he developed the vaccine he had to test it. Of course he used laboratory animals, but the final test had to be on humans.  He needed to test the vaccine.  Salk believed so strongly in the quality of his work that he was willing to risk his own safety to prove he was right. His wife and three sons also volunteered and placed their health on the line too as they all became test subjects. The tests were successful and the vaccine was deemed not a health danger. None of the people injected with the vaccine developed polio. This allowed the vaccine to be tested on a wider scale and today we all know the results.
  • What you may not know is that Dr. Salk could have become a very wealthy man from his discovery and hard work. When asked who would own the rights to the polio vaccine, he replied, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” He believed such benefit work should be freely shared. Salk gave away his discovery of the vaccine so it would be available to everyone.  
  • What began 62 years ago in Dr. Salk's laboratory and later implemented by Bill Gates and others has been one of the great medical achievements of our time.
  • In 2019 The scorecard looks like this: Polio Cases as of October 2018
              *Afghanistan: 16 as of September 2018
             *Pakistan: 4 Cases as of August 2018
             *Nigeria: 0 cases (last case Aug of 2016)
             *Syria/Congo: 0 cases (last case Nov 2017)
So what is “The Final Strategy”?
The strategy for the eradication of polio rests on immunizing every at risk child until there is no one left for the disease to transmit to and the disease eventually dies out. The Initiative is spearheaded by the following Organizations:
  • WHO (World Health Organization) who are responsible for planning, technical direction, surveillance and eradication certification.
  • Rotary International whose responsibilities include fundraising, advocacy, and volunteer recruitment.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) are in charge of deploying scientists and public health experts to WHO and UNICEF.
  • UNICEF is in charge of the distribution of the vaccine and helping countries develop communication and awareness strategies.
  • The Gates Foundation continues to match RI funds as well provided a large portion of the funding.[2] 
Key tactics used by the GPEI include strengthening childhood immunization through oral vaccines, conducting surveillance through investigation of acute flaccid paralysis cases among children under 15 years old (in order to determine areas where the virus is truly eradicated), and conducting "mop up" campaigns in areas where cases of polio have been identified.[3]
The Endgame
The final steps of polio eradication are as follows:
  1. Detect and interrupt all poliovirus transmissions
  2. Strengthen immunization systems and withdraw oral polio vaccine
  3. Contain poliovirus and certify interruption of transmission
  4. Ensure the remaining investments made to eradicate polio go to the greater cause of improving global health[9]
What is Your Part?
Please participate by swimming and raising funds or donate to The Rotary Foundation and note your donation as Polio Eradication. Any donation of at least $25 will be matched by our club towards your PH recognition.
YMCA Staff
Jan 27, 2021
Community Reset Challenge