Peace Fellow Cora Lavin

Our club recently acted as the recommending club for Cora Lavin to become a Rotary Peace Fellow.  Cora visited our Club and our Grants Committee meetings earlier this year, along with submitting an application for a Rotary Peace Fellowship.

Cora is from Durham and is a close family friend of Melissa Mills of our Club.  Cora graduated from UNC in 2012 with degrees in Communication Studies and Spanish. After college she worked in Guanajuato, Mexico for a year, where she taught English, created viable economic and social opportunities in the town, and researched the pattern of immigration to the United States. She has international educational and teaching experience, including conference presentations in the United States, Mexico and Venezuela. She was an English Teaching Assistant Fulbright in Venezuela from 2013-2014. She researched and developed English as a second language programs, curriculum and cultural activities, focusing on diplomacy between the US and Venezuela. She also worked as an English as a foreign language and ACCESS Microscholarship teacher and a teacher trainer at a Binational Center in Merida, Venezuela.

We are pleased to report that Cora received a 2018 Rotary Peace Fellowship!  Cora will begin the Peace Fellowship at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and will be starting in February of 2019. We are very excited for Cora to have this Peace Fellowship opportunity!

Submitted by Arles Taylor

Program Report: Tim Whitmire – F3 Nation

The F3 Movement -Fitness, Fellowship and Faith.

At the first sign of puberty I was segregated in school from girls and it stayed that way for the next fourteen years including college and four years of teaching. Through all those years I was playing or coaching football…an all-male activity. During that time, most of my daydreaming was about bonding with the other gender.

So I never gave much thought to male bonding until many years later when I was invited to Durham Rotary and given the chance to rejoin about 15 years ago. At the time I was managing a medium sized real estate office that was all women, except me.  When Paige Wilson invited me to lunch I sat at a table with all men. It wasn’t until I got back to the office that I realized what I had been missing and immediately agreed to join.

Tim Whitmire, one of the co-founders of F3 was introduced by our President, Seth Jernigan, who is also a member of one of the local F3 groups.

The motivation for starting the movement came when Tim and his co-founder left an early morning workout group in Charlotte to found their own when the leader of the original group decided he didn’t want that group to grow anymore. The F3 movement has grown to about 1300 workouts per week and numerous groups, most of which are in the Carolinas but spreading rapidly.

Of the five characteristics that Tim described, the one that seemed to draw the rapt attention of some of the women I was sitting near was that the F3 workouts are men only. It did seem a little retro at a time when we had a women candidate garner more votes in the presidential election than any man or woman had ever done before. Tim was apparently asked about this before and pointed out that there were also groups of women (See Females in Action – FiAnation) doing the same thing.

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Durham’s 2017 Citizens’ Financial Report

I don’t pay much attention to the inserts in the daily paper and they usually go directly to the recycle bin, but one day not too long ago one caught my eye. It was the annual Citizens’ Financial Report for the City of Durham. This annual report is produced by the City’s Finance Department and has won awards for over 30 consecutive years for providing a readable, attractive and accurate summary of a much more detailed report.

This year the report is special for the Rotary Club of Durham. As in most years, it was introduced by Rotarian and City Manager Tom Bonfield and pictures on the same page Rotarians and City Council Members Cora Cole-McFadden and Charlie Reese.  But this year it also includes two essays from Rotarians Willis Whichard and Past President Lois Deloatch both reflecting on what Durham means to them.

Durham’s coolness gets most of the headlines these days but operating quietly in the background is a city government that has long had a reputation for financial stability. It turns out they can also produce a pretty cool report.

Thanks to Tom Bonfield, for providing a pdf version of the report. If you missed it tucked in the paper tucked between Walmart and CVS flyers, click the link and take a look. It is well worth perusing.

– JZ

Lois R. Cranford Learning Legacy Fund

This year the club transformed its annual poinsettia sales into the Lois R. Cranford Learning Legacy Fund (aka the “Lois Fund”). This fund provides scholarship funding to Durham Public School students who graduate from Student U’s high school program and who are selected by Student U for scholarship recognition. The fund honors Lois R. Cranford, long-time Rotary member, and the many years she led poinsettia sales to raise scholarship funds. It will be an annual fund and contributions will be collected during October-November.  In December a small portion of the funds will be used to purchase poinsettias to give to the Durham Police and Fire Departments along with 1-2 local non-profit organizations. 

Our initial goal was to raise $2500 this year.  However, we raised more than $6000 through contributions by club members and Lois’s friends and family.  On December 4, Don Stanger led a celebration of Lois’ and the fund and presented a commemorative plaque to her daughter Susan Ross, club member and Assistant District Governor.

Following the meeting, club members delivered poinsettias to the Durham Police Department, the Durham Fire Department, the Family Exchange Center, and the Durham Literacy Center.

Program Report: Andy Esser Advocates the Basics in Market Update

Long-time members know fellow Rotarian Andy Esser plays a mean piano and sings like champ when called to service to help open club meetings.

At Monday lunch, they learned by way of an introduction from Steed Rollins that Esser is married with two daughters, holds platinum academic credentials, has a law degree and is active in local leadership at the Boy Scouts.  (Add the great head of hair and it begins to get annoying.)

Esser, a financial advisor at national financial services firm Edward Jones, combined an optimistic long-term view of global market opportunities with traditional strategic investment advice during a market-update presentation.

“The market is not crazy overvalued right now, though it is still at an all-time,” Esser said during a detailed powerpoint presentation that acknowledged 284 percent growth in value since its March 2009 low. “There are still some bargains to be had.” [Read more…]

Veterans Day with Todd Taylor

We have many veterans in the club that could do a presentation for Veteran’s Day, but I believe few with more military “connections” or the ability to make it as entertaining as Todd Taylor. 

Todd’s military career in the Navy also brought him a distinction few can claim.  Of the billions of humans that have ever walked the earth only about 200,000 have ever set foot on the continent of Antarctic, where he set both feet and flew helicopters. So here is his invocation and veterans’day presentation, which followed the singing of all the services songs by the Rotary Chorus and of club members brave enough to join in.  Here is Todd’s invocation and presentation.

When my son was in Scouts, we had a couple WWII vets speak to the boys.  They walked from Normandy to Germany all along the way they spoke of how singing sustained them.  Popular songs to hymns.  They sang to keep morale up.

A lad was to make a sea voyage in 1860 and was petrified of the thought.  William Whiting wrote a hymn for that young man to sustain him on the voyage.  Eternal Father has become a beloved song of the military today.  Sung at every service I attended in the Navy, and every time, this song got to me.

Let us pray:

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