Progressive Dinner – Save the Date – Sunday October 27


The Fifth Annual Progressive Dinner
This year, we move to a Sunday, change the appetizer location, change the menu and add a great surprise during dessert.  Curious?  Save the date and Sign-Up!

This is our Club’s premier Social/Fellowship event of the year.  Here is your opportunity to bring a spouse, partner or simply come alone to mingle, dine and meet new folks in a casual setting.  We meet up for appetizers, then are given an envelope with the dinner host’s name and address (with

a map) and split up to dine at one of eight catered dinners hosted at the homes of fellow Rotarians (within a ten minute drive of the appetizer location).  Following dinner, every host hands out envelopes giving directions to our dessert location which is always held at a Rotarian’s place of business (also no more than a ten minute drive) where we all meet back up to enjoy delicious goodies and beverages, and wrap up the event.  Starts promptly at 4:30pm and ends at 9pm.

This is a great opportunity for new and ‘seasoned’ members of our Club to meet people and socialize together. $30/person includes scrumptious appetizers, dinner with wine, and lovely dessert treats.

No one knows which home they will be assigned for dinner, but we mix it up annually and everyone has a great time.

No football conflicts (it’s Sunday), so jump on board and save the date.  Sign-ups will begin after Labor Day at our regular meetings and spots fill up quickly as we can only accommodate approximately 65 total guests (including hosts).

Many thanks to House Hosts: Newman & Ann-Louise Aguillar, Arthur & Caroline Rogers, Ellen & Ken Reckhow, Mark Higgins, Shannon & Wil Leskin, Harvey & Calla Sellner, Susan Ross & Tom Hadzor, Vandana Dake & John Warasila…………and Appetizer Host Nancy Gordon.

Questions?  Email Progressive Dinner Chairperson Meg Solera

New Members – September

newmembers2From left to right:

New member Alison Steele with her sponsor, President elect Vandana Dake.

Returning new member, Roz Grace with her sponsor, Meg Solera.

New member Craig Reed with his sponsor, Membership Chair Sheridan van Wagenberg.

Program Report: Donate Life -Tammy Dunne and Karen Devine

DonateLifeWibWe learned Monday that 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant.

Karen Devine might have been one of those people. The Durham resident shared her moving story of how the death of someone in Tennessee in January 2007 brought to an end decades of poor health.

She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a child, which didn’t affect her too much until she went to college. During a physical doctors discovered she had dangerously high blood pressure, which later started to affect her eyesight. In fact, it was an eye doctor who told her, “Don’t you ever even think about getting pregnant.”

Karen and her husband moved to Durham in 1989 for his work and she was “thrilled to be this close to Duke.” She got on a blood pressure drug in 1994 that kept her health problems in check. But in 2004 she was told she had two years before she would either need to go on dialysis or get a transplant.

On Jan. 16, 2007, she got a call from Duke saying they had a kidney and pancreas for her. She rushed to the hospital – time is of the essence when it comes to transplants – and heard the helicopter land that brought her new organs from Tennessee.

Karen shared her gratitude and even some conflicting emotions after receiving a kidney and a pancreas from the anonymous person.

“I was completely alone in the pre-op area and for the first time I allowed myself to get excited,” said Karen, the wife and mother of two adopted boys. “But I also realized there was a family in the state of Tennessee that just had one of the most horrific days of their life. It’s a real mix of emotions, but I’m very, very thankful that someone was able to be generous, to see beyond themselves.”

Karen read from a letter – as yet unreturned – to the donor’s family, thanking the person and pledging to be a good steward.

“I want you to know I take this precious gift you’ve given me very seriously, and I’m forever grateful.”

Unfortunately, less than half of drivers in North Carolina are registered organ donors. If any of us are were in that number, I imagine they’ll be giving it a second thought after hearing Karen’s story.

Tammy Dunne, program director for Donate Life NC, told us before introducing Karen that many people worry they’re too old or have had too many health problems.

The truth, according to the Donate Life website, is that “Just about everyone is eligible to donate, regardless of age, medical history or health habits. Newborns as well as senior citizens have been organ donors.”

Go to to register as an organ donor today. You could be a lifesaver.

Submitted by Matt Dees

Program Report: DRC Social Media Communication Hubs – Jay Zenner

Jay2SocialMediawebCarver Weaver gave a brief introduction for our friend, Jay Zenner, to discuss communications with us last Monday. Jay seemed determined to make up for what he perceived as a very long “Rotary Minute”, but when you have had a career that spans from Notre Dame football to Durham Real Estate who can blame him?

Jay treated us to an energetic look at communications on the web and how we can harness these better as a club. After all, Jay created an award-winning website, and with so many members in our club, the internet is vital to both our internal and external communications.

So, armed with a power point presentation that flew by, Jay gave us a lot of laughs (starting off with a clever quiz) and much to not think about, but to act upon.

Starting with Facebook, Jay underscored that this communication site is so popular because its free, easy to use and habit forming: a perfect tool for a club which seeks to recruit (new members) and engage (our community). Jay rightly pointed out that our club has a big agenda: to improve literacy, plan our centennial, acquire large grants and have 100% of our members be Paul Harris Fellows. But with attendance at 50%, which is understandable with such a large club, we must have a hub for communications, so members know about all the other activities we have going on, from Rotary After Hours to who will ring the Salvation Army bell.

So Jay, and all of us in the communications committee, urge all of our members to sign up for Facebook, and if you have, please like our page. It is easy to do. Just as easy as signing onto our website and signing up for our newsletter. And once you read, watch and explore our site, to send us more of your own information so that we can post it. Whether that is a fellow Rotarian hammering a nail into a beam at our Habitat House or drinking a glass of good cheer at the progressive dinner, take a photo and send it in.

Doing this, Jay explained, develops internal and external support for all of our rotary programs. It helps recruit not just members but help for our committees. So Jay asks us to all do the following easy, free things: Like our Facebook page, subscribe to our website for updates, add our website to to your favorites tab and explore our website.

After all, like I said earlier, Jay made it an award winning site!

In the future, submit your own content, comment on our pieces on the website, and be brave: become a contributor of photos and rotary content. Its beneficial to all concerned!

Submitted by Deirdre Haj

Water and Sanitation Project in India

IndiaProjectwebOn August 26 Dr. Rajagopal of the Pimpri RC (D 3131) in India was a guest along with his wife, Dr. Sumati Mudambir and their son Dr. Anand (who works with the federal EPA in Washington, D.C)

Dr. Rajagopal thanked Durham RC for having assisted them in launching a global grant and for having organized the participation and support of the RC of Durham, UK (D 1030) and Bhubaneswar Heritage RC in India (D 3262).

Dr. Rajagopal addressed our Club members and summarized the project goals.

The project is located in the AmbiVillage, Pimpri, India

The Rotary Club of Pimpri and the Janaseva Foundation, a NGO, are cooperating:

a) To build toilets with septic tanks for 200 families below the poverty line, and

b) To install a water filtration plant for the hospital in the village

This will result in 200 poor families in the village consisting of about 1500 persons having reduced exposure to pathogens that cause water borne diseases like typhoid, cholera, etc. besides the convenience for the elderly, the women, (ill or pregnant) and their children not having to walk far afield to answer calls of nature (thereby contaminating the soil and ground water).

Additionally, the patients, staff, doctors, other personnel and visitors in the village hospital will benefit from having the use of filtered water. The total number of people impacted may be approximately 5000 to 6000 per year.

The group photograph shows (front row l to r) Dr. Anand, Dr. Sumati Mudambir and Dr. Rajagopal with several members of Durham Rotary Club’s International Service Committee, Club President Bill Ingram and DG Nominee Newman Aguiar.


Todd Taylor in Singapore

P8192039Rotarian of the year, Chief Reading Ranger and Antarctic explorer Todd Taylor has been travelling again. Here’s a picture of him exchanging banners with Singapore’s Ranglin Rotary Club. According to Todd, their district governor spoke and it was an interesting speaker and an interesting meeting. YeeHaw!