Crayons2Calculators – Press Release

Here is the press release distributed to local media with a wrap-up of the Crayons2Calculators campaign. This was a collaboration of several Durham Clubs. Tammi Brooks and Past President Newman Aguiar were part of the leadership team that put the effort together. Last week in her update at the meeting Tammi told a story of a gentleman who pulled all the money out of his wallet in front of the Office Depot. I happened to be there too and his story of how a Rotary scholarship to study abroad in France had changed his life from one of privilege to one of service. A lot of kids in Durham will never have that kind of an opportunity but we can make sure that they have the basic tools like pencils and paper to start them on the path to being literate and productive citizens.  Be sure to scan the list of Community Partners and at the end of the release and consider them for your needs.

 – Webmaster

ROTARYLEDSCHOOLSUPPLIES DRIVE GENERATES RECORD CONTRIBUTIONS FROMDURHAMCOMMUNITY

DURHAM,N.C.- More than 90 Durham-area organizations are expected to contribute in excess of $20,000 in school supplies as part of a record-breaking summer drive byDurhamarea Rotary Clubs and local non-profit Crayons2Calculators to help county schoolchildren begin the new year properly equipped.

As the campaign wraps up, it has already recorded more than $18,600 in crayons, notebooks, glue sticks and other school supplies donated during the month-long, countywide initiative which culminated August 18 with “Fill that Bus!” Durhamresidents filled an entire school bus with supplies. “Fill that Bus!” is a community project coordinated by the fourDurhamarea Rotary Clubs in partnership with Crayons2Calculators.

As the broader campaign to equip school kids properly now winds down, Rotarians continue to work with Crayons2Calculators (C2C) to tally up remaining supplies expected to exceed $20,000 in value.  Rotary International provided $6,000 in cash, which was part of a District Simplified Grant byDurham’s four area Rotary clubs to support the initiative and underscore their enhanced efforts to fight illiteracy. The campaign also yielded an additional $745 in cash donations fromDurhamresidents and organizations.  Students atDukeUniversityare continuing the campaign by collecting supplies in bins located in the student dormitories. [Read more…]

District 7710 Ethics Committee

Interested in character development and promoting ethical behavior?
Melissa Mills has been appointed to chair the District 7710 Luther H. Hodges, Sr. Ethics Committee and is looking for lots of participation from District Rotarians.  The committee had its first meeting on Saturday, August 11th.  We are planning a Saturday morning district-wide ethics seminar for November.  In October, the committee will meet again for a fun training seminar on Emotions & Character Development.  Please let Melissa know if you would like to join – melissa.mills@gmail.com.

Program Report – Casey Steinbacher – Chamber 2.0

Past President Mary Ann Black introduced Casey Steinbacher, President of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, who filled us in why the Chamber is not the same organization that it was five, much less, ten years ago.

Casey has twenty plus years experience doing Chamber work.  She was lured to Durham from North Palm Beach in 2007.  Prior to that, she had been in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  She has three daughters but her favorite topic of conversation is her four grandchildren.  She said if she had a Powerpoint, we would have been subjected to picture after picture of the most fill in the blank (beautiful, cutest, sweetest, adorable, above average—actually these are my words but you could read her mind) grandchildren in the world.  According to the Chamber website, if she won the lottery she would move all her children to Durham.

Casey noted that the Chamber is the largest business organization in Durham County with a simple focus: to advance economic development in Durham, and to provide essential services to its members. She recognized and thanked many members of Durham Rotary who play significant roles in the Chamber.  She pointed out that after the 2008 recession (and Durham businesses have mixed opinions about whether that business downturn has ended) a “new normal” emerged as a business model.  She said Durham, in general, has been rather successful in growing businesses—roughly $3.6 billion in investments and 11,000 jobs have come about in the last four years, much of it funded by initiatives started in the Chamber’s Vision 3D campaign.  [Read more…]

Rotary Minute: Rick Jorgensen

Long time Treasurer of the Durham Rotary Club, Rick Jorgensen,  took the podium for his Rotary Minute, a new addition to the regular meeting agenda where members of the club tell the assembled crowd a little bit about themselves.  Rick’s turn at bat was actually preceded by Dallas Stalling last week but your webmaster was caught napping and didn’t capture the moment. But we’ll make it up.

Rick, of course, is a CPA working at the firm of Hutchings & Hutchings with Past President Phil Hutchings. Both his wife Tanya and daughter Ellen have been Rick’s guests at occasionally. This reporter met Rick long ago when he was a neighbor and real estate agent with Fonville Morisey. I did know of his interest in bird dogs but did not know that he was a couple of jumps away from being a master jumper when he was with the 82nd Airborne. As he describes it in his Linkedin profile he was “defending the free world from communist aggression.”

For more about Rick, that Linkedin profile is http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rick-jorgensen/13/33b/3ba.

Welcome New Member – David Jacobs

Sheridan van Wagenberg sponsored new member David Jacobsand introduced  him during his induction into the club.  David is a born and raised citizen of Durham. He graduated from Northern High School and continued his studies at Durham Tech and Mount Olive College and is presently working on his BA in Business Administration while serving as the Emergency Medical Coordinator of the city of Durham. He has served 25 years with the Durham Fire Department Emergency area.  Part of his current duties are improving the first responder program by making it more citizen friendly.

We welcome David to the club and the fellowship of Rotarians around the world.

Mitzi Viola – Paul Harris Plus1

On Monday August 13, Foundation Chair Dallas Stallings presented a Paul Harris Plus 1 award to Mitzi Viola.  The award was accepted by Vice President Meg Solera for her friend Mitzi who could not be present.

As Dallas recounted Mitzi’s response to the award he shared what she had written. “‘I give to the foundation for the same reason I have served local nonprofits for 20 years. We are all equally valuable individuals, without regard to the situations into which we are born.  However, our birthrights are neither equal or fair.  The vast majority of people in the world are born into situations that do not steer them toward successes. Much of the world lacks the basic resource – nutritious food, clean water, adequate shelter. Bill Gates calls this the ovarian lottery – the chance you will do poorly or well based on this game of chance. Although chance is not fair, there are myriad ways each of us can help equalize the distribution of chance each and every day.  The Rotary Foundation in this way is an equalizer.  Through projects that provide basic and necessary resources to groups in need while encouraging partnerships and local involvement, the foundation offers dignity and local participation while improving the quality of life for our brothers and sisters whose birthrights are simply not as lucky our own.  In this way, each of us is honored through our work. A Paul Harris Fellowship is not about recognition of me or any Rotarian. It is a chance to make the world look more like God’s kingdom on earth, and in that way it is sincerely and honor and give. It is not an end in itself but rather the launching point for the question, “That is good. What’s next?”