Centerfest 2019

Calling All Durham Rotarians!

The Durham Arts Council is bringing the 45th Annual CenterFest Arts Festival to downtown Durham, and you can be a big part of making it happen!

The Rotary Club of Durham is playing a big role in helping make CenterFest Arts Festival a wonderful event for our community again this year!  Our Rotary Club is a sponsor of the event and helps by providing volunteer Rotarians who are asked to sign up for a 2-hour volunteer shift to help at  CenterFest Entrance Gates and Coke Booths.  Your role is to greet visitors, accept gate donations, and sell Coca-Cola Beverages (donated by Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co.) All proceeds support the festival and also supports arts education programs of the Durham Arts Council in schools and the community.

Dates:  Saturday and Sunday, September 21 & 22, 2019.


Over 130 visual artists from near and far will showcase their work, and 75 performing arts groups will provide continuous music, dance and entertainment throughout the festival including extended Saturday evening entertainment. Add in yummy local food trucks, festival foods, hands on activities and Durham’s inspiring nonprofit and government services booths and you have the best way to kick off the fall season!  Bring the family, bring your friends, bring the neighborhood!  Over 34,000 visitors are anticipated for this exciting event.  CenterFest is ranked in the Top 100 Fine Arts Festivals in the United States (#56), and was just named “Best Festival” by Triangle Downtowner Magazine.

Festival hours are Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. In the Heart of Downtown Durham!


2019 CenterFest Presenting Sponsor:  Duke Performances


Program Report: Zach Maurides of Teamworks

Former volleyball player and the COO of Durham Magazine. Rotarian Rory Gillis introduced Zach Maurides, an entrepreneur and former Duke offensive lineman, who founded Teamworks, a time management app specifically designed for athletic teams.

In my extensive research I’ve concluded that most of the time you’ll find that the smartest guy on the team is an offensive lineman like Zach.

When Zach put up a slide with the logos of some of the 2000 customers, my eyes went right to the middle of it and landed on the Notre Dame logo, the school where I was an offensive lineman…when I wasn’t a blocking dummy or just being beat up as the smallest defensive lineman on the prep squad.

In those years I watched an interim coach win only two games my freshman year and a new coach, Ara Parseghian, miss a National Championship the following year by one bad quarter against Southern Cal but later winning his first National Championship in 1966. What Ara brought was organization. It was like going from the chaos of a “rave” in an old warehouse to a ballet in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

As Zach zipped through his presentation, he made me wonder how we did it. But today’s football world is much different and makes my years seem a little quaint. There were no strength coaches, speed coaches, dieticians, physical therapists or sports psychologists and the training staff was one grumpy old guy and a couple of the managers he had taught to tape ankles. Throw in compliance guys and a tutoring staff and you get a better sense of the athlete of today must deal with.

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Scholarship Winners

Co-chairs Kim Shaw and Kim Suarez introduced two of our scholarships winners for this year Jalen Allen and Melisa Leal. Above they are pictured with Student U coordinator Eleana Maina and below with the President Todd, Kim and Kim and their families.

Jalen with attend North Carolina A&T to study Mechanical Engineering and Melisa is going to UNC Greensboro to study International relations.

Congratulations to Jalen and Melisa and their parents for their academic accomplishments. We wish them the best of luck and great grades.

Passing the Torch to a New Rotary Foundation Chair

This new Rotary Year begins with new Foundation Leadership. Dallas Stallings recognized the service of Andy Esser as the outgoing Foundation Chair at our Monday meeting.  Andy served three plus years informing our club of the important work of The Rotary Foundation and the Polio Plus programs sponsored by Rotary International.  During the time of his service our club continued to see growth in both of these areas of service. We thank Andy for his faithful service  in this important area of work of the Durham Rotary Club.

At the same time Kay and Wade Grisham, both past presidents were introduced as the new co-chairs of the Foundation Committee.

President Todd Taylor with Kay and Wade Gresham

New Member: Blair Overman

Please introduce yourself and welcome new member Blair Overman. Blair was sponsored and inducted by Erik Benson. Below is a little information Blair shared about herself.

Blair Overman’s professional experience centers around community-based organizational development and management. She currently serves as the Program Manager for a new national diversity & inclusion youth initiative with US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing. Durham is her chosen home and she hails from the Coast of NC, but loves to travel and has lived all over the world.

2019 Year End Celebration

A goodly crowd of Rotarians gathered at the Bull Park for the end-of-year late-afternoon meeting. Meatballs (three types), plus hummus and pita bread and a salad provided an ample repast.

There being no talk, the program consisted of a series of presentations: awards and expressions of appreciation. President Brady Searles began with a series of announcements.

First, Elisabeth Wiener was mentioned again as the Rotary Rookie of the year and then plaudits went to exceptional Sergeant at Arms Caleb Baker, who managed that function almost single handedly all year.

And last but not least, there were exceptionally unruly cheers and whoops for much-loved Executive Secretary Sharon Lassiter.

Team of the Year

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