The service project undertaken by two of the new member teams, the screening of the movie Resilience, The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, was impressive on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start.

Let’s try by picturing a young kid huddled on the floor in a corner while his mom and her current boyfriend fight in the next room. They start pushing each other and he finally leaves the house slamming the door behind him.

The kind of anxiety this generates in a child has effects that can last a lifetime. There are other stressors, of course, including direct violence, sexual abuse and the absence of a nurturing adult in a child’s life.

The movie tells the story of how researchers in several fields started connecting the dots which led to a huge study and a testing instrument called the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire that identifies childhood experiences of abuse and neglect with ten direct questions. Each “yes” is an “ACE” in their shorthand.

There is a good explanation of this on a website called Good Therapy.  The study posits that childhood trauma and stress early in life, apart from potentially impairing social, emotional, and cognitive development, indicates a higher risk of developing health problems in adulthood.

[Read more…]

Program Report: District Governor Donna Peffley

One of the duties of a District Governor is to visit each club in the district and deliver her (or his) message about goals and a pep talk. Now, several months into her term, Donna Peffley got around to us after being delayed once to accommodate another program. However, that may have turned out to be a good thing.

With only a handful to go she has had a lot of practice and delivered a polished and entertaining program. It may have been truncated a little because we also had several PHF awards to make and three inductions of new members, which had to impress her. In fact, she cheerfully participated in the inductions for a reason that will be clear shortly.

If you’ve sat through a number of these presentations, you know that there are some recurring themes. One is to provide an annual reminder of the scope and vision of Rotary especially as it is seen by the Rotary International President. The theme of the current RI President, Barry Rassin is “Be the Inspiration.” IR President Barry is from the Bahamas and the symbol he selected for the Rotary year consists of blue waves on a backdrop of a sunrise suggesting a heart.  DG Donna, promised a quiz on this and the tests were passed out early allowing us to fill in as we went along.

Most of this is readily available on the Rotary International website with the biggest numbers being 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide and over 35,000 clubs. What DG Donna wanted to focus on was what she called a BHAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  Indeed, it is. As of 6/30/2018, or the end of her predecessor’s term there were 1963 Rotarians in our district. Her goal for the end of her term is 2020.

This might not sound like a BHAG but, she reminded us that in most of the developed world membership is declining, a problem that has already inspired many changes in recent years. Her quiz illustrated one of these in a depiction of the organization of Rotary as an upside-down Triangle with club members driving the agenda rather than the other way around.

It should be noted that our club, with over 200 active members, is by far the largest in the district. Of the 46 clubs only 3 others even break 100.  They range from 10 to ours and average about 42. We have also grown steadily over the years. The dynamics, however, are that recruiting new members is not always the key to growth. Retaining members is what often makes the difference.  Some losses are out of our control…people change jobs, they move, they die, and some are just not meant to be Rotarians.

[Read more…]

Paul Harris Fellows 2 -15 -18

It was a big day for Paul Harris Recognitions. Foundation Committee Chair Andy Esser awarded Fellowships to Indira Everett, Steven Day and Arthur Rogers. Past President Arthur took the podium and talk about what the Foundation had meant to him.

Special recognition was also given to Past President Kay Gresham for many years of contributions to the Foundation. Kay took took the microphone.  Kay has been a cheerleader for the Foundation and often introduces it to new members during orientations. 

Phail Wynn Scholarship – Bill Ingram

Past President Bill Ingram who succeeded Phail Wynn as President of Durham Tech, announced a scholarship in Phail Wynn’s name to the club. Information about the scholarship can be found at this link.

More information about Phail and his achievements can be found here.

New Member: Gabriel Treves-Kegan

Gabe was sponsored by Matt Kopac. He is director of  Development and Community Impact at The Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) which empowers its members to enter and thrive in the financial mainstream by providing access to ethical and low-cost financial products and education. Gabe is married and has two children.

New Member: Emily Hill

Please introduce yourself and welcome new member Emily Hill.

Emily was sponsored by Mimi O’Brian. She is the Director of Development for Girl Scouts – North Carolina Central Pines and leads the individual giving and development operations for the council that supports 25,000 girls and 9,000 volunteers across 41 counties in Eastern and Central North Carolina. Emily lives in Old North Durham with her husband Miller, their dag stanley,  cat OX and three chickens Erin, Peepers and Cheep.