As we bid a fond adieu to Lois Deloatch, we are delighted to welcome B.C. Dash as the next President of the Durham Rotary Club. A member for over 15 years, B.C. has been a tour de force in global relief efforts, partnering often with Rotary International to help eradicate polio, increase access to water and food, and bring education to isolated areas around the world. Monday’s program was an overview and a reminder of the “Kaleidoscope of Service” opportunities that are available to our members both abroad and at home.
Color-coded tables were set up to represent the different focus areas of service: Club, Community, International, Vocational, and Youth. B.C. explained that the board has been recently evaluating the spectrum of volunteer activities with a critical eye, asking “What are we doing right? What can we take away from this analysis to help us do things better?”
Our own Past District Governor Newman Aguiar pointed out that, due to the way Rotary is structured, there are basically three levels of impact: the club, the district, and the zone. Each service activity may benefit the local community (Club); the region (District 7710, comprised of 46 clubs in the Triangle and surrounding areas); or the world (Zone 33, Rotary International, and/or The Rotary Foundation). Members may recall Newman’s ongoing calls to local and global service during his tenure.
Jay Zenner added that, in order to effectively spread the word about good deeds performed by Rotarians, he needs volunteers from each group or committee to provide him with regular updates about service activities, responsibilities, and officers so he can post news to the website. In addition, he hopes more information will support better networking opportunities for members and their respective business interests. He thanked Emily Egge and Katie Wyatt for volunteering to take over the Club’s Facebook page, and gave a shout out to Mark Lazenby for his assistance with press releases and event publicity.
Other members were invited to the lectern to share insights about our club and its role in the community. Susan Ross noted that the strong presence of non-profits among our membership is key to our mission. Guy Solie reminded members about the incoming “class” of three new Innovation Fellows. Marge Nordstrom spoke of some of our social events such as Progressive Dinners, Rotary After Hours, Wine Dinners at Nana’s, and EDCI/Night at the DPAC, saying “they provide a great chance to get to know your fellow Rotarians.”
Blake Strayhorn hopes to collaborate with Durham Rotary to build a seventh Habitat for Humanity home in the near future. Steed Rollins spoke of the responsibility of the Programs Committee “to deliver balanced, interesting, and also informative” speakers in business, education, and non-profits. Vandana Dake insists the International Service committee “is the coolest of all, mostly because we have plenty of wine at our meetings.” On a more serious note, she added, “we cannot isolate ourselves from what is going on in the world – it makes these local and global projects, these community and international partnerships, even more valuable and relevant.”
Harvey Sellner wrapped up the program by talking about an international project taking place in the lakes area of Cambodia, where Rotarians are providing latrines, water filters, and sanitation training for new mothers in 25 of 75 health clinics there, with the assistance of one of our Rotary Peace Scholars.
As I returned to work, I remembered attending my first meeting at the invitation of Barker French. He asked me, “Why aren’t you a member of our club?” When the group adjourned that day, I asked myself the same question: “Why not, indeed?” Monday’s program, like so many interactions with my esteemed fellow Rotarians, affirmed my decision once again.
Submitted by: Carver C. Weaver