Club Service

The Club Service committees are set up to insure the quality of the Club experience and it's growth and awareness in the community. Committees include the Sergeant-at-Arms Committee, the Fellowship/Social Committee, the Finance/Audit Committee, the Membership Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Orientation Committee, the Program Committee, the Public Relations Committee and the Bulletin Committee which handles the weekly bulletin and the website.

Program Report: Centennial Community Service

DonStanger at wrap-upWebCentennial Co-Chairs Don Stanger and Brady Surles shared the podium to provide a wrap-up before the end of the year of the Community Service aspect of the centennial milestone. Our chief fundraisers, Susan Ross and Andy Esser also shared the results of those efforts.

There were a lot of numbers and they were all good. We’ve blown past the fund raising goal and we’re now at $265,812. Ditto for the 100 Acts of Service where we are over 2000 and headed for 3000. All in all, it was an excellent summary of a year’s worth of activities with details and pictures. The PowerPoint that accompanied it is well worth clicking through to see a lot of smiling faces of Rotarians and some of the beneficiaries of the 100 Acts.  The links to the two pdfs are here and here.

All that detail presents a challenge to this reporter to pick the right things to summarize the summary. Should I note the breakdown of the uses of the funds? I could easily dwell on the Habitat House and the Habitat Family that were guests of the club at the meeting? Maybe highlight the active participation of so many Rotarians on a beautiful fall weekend at Centerfest? Or maybe the partnership that brought about the construction of toilets in Pune India.?

Rather than do try to do that, let’s step back and reflect a moment on what the original objectives were before the signs of “centennial fatigue” begin to show around the edges.

The first objective was to celebrate and reflect on the first hundred years. We’ve done that remarkably well. We’ve honored long time members, past presidents, and our history. Still to come is a written history of the last 25 years and a wrap-up celebration at the marvelous 21C Hotel.

The second objective was to prime the pump for the next 100 years and beyond.  We’ve had some extremely generous financial contributions from major donors to provide a solid underpinning for future activities and everyone in the club at the beginning of the Centennial Year has made some contribution.

BradyCentennialWrapupJust as important, the Centennial did something I really haven’t seen like this in all my years in Rotary. This was the effort to recruit and even badger everyone to participate in what Rotary is known for, Service Above Self. Some of the biggest beneficiaries of this were the many non-profits led by members including Habitat, Urban Ministries, EDCI, the Rescue Mission, the Carolina Theatre, the Senior Center, the Arts Council and others. There were so many things going on in Education that they had to be pulled together in one large committee to keep a handle on them. Partnerships became a big idea especially in the International Committee where other clubs locally and around the world and Sister Cities came together to tackle bigger goals.  All the people involved in organizing and supporting these efforts from Don and Brady all the way down to the humble communications committee contributed hundreds of hours that weren’t recorded as official Acts of Service.

One sign that we have been successful in creating the momentum needed to keep growing in service are the trends in membership, attendance and participation. Even such mundane things as the pot in the weekly raffle seem to be going in the right direction.

One thing that can never be completely documented are all the stories that this service generates that enrich us through getting to know our fellow Rotarians, people in need, our community, and ourselves.  Listening to Tom Kern recruiting for this year’s bell ringing, I can remembered vividly how wonderful the coffee tasted after spending an hour standing in front of WalMart one frigid December morning and how I was struck by the generosity of people that obviously didn’t have much and often parents teaching theirs kids to give.

BaradaHabitatFamilyWebSeeing Placide Barada and the new Habitat family recalled a moment on an earlier Habitat House working with Andy Barada and being struck by this dimension in a person I had known as a neighbor and Rotarian but not as a carpenter.

Another vivid memory I have is the shy smile of recognition from the beautiful 1st grader I saw in the hall at YE Smith that I had tutored the year before using flash cards and tissue to wipe her nose. Every time I drove over to YE Smith last year, I felt a little ashamed that I had spent more time in East Durham in three years of Reading Rangers than I had the previous 20 plus years put together and still called myself a citizen of Durham. I learned that it’s not scary and is part of the wonderful texture of Durham that I was barely aware of.

Yep, the motto is Service above Self, which sounds very noble. But it could easily be Give a Little Service, Grow a Little Self.

Flag Exchange: Rotary e-Club District 317

aprilflagwebFlags were exchanged between our club and the e-Club of District 3170 from Goa, India. Dr. Nischai Pandey represented the e-Club and President Vandana Dake represented the Durham Rotary.

Year End Celebration – 2013-2014


Traditionally the club holds a year end celebration to mark the transition to a new president and slate of officers, board members and committee chairs. It is also the time that we award our Rotarian of the Year award, selected by the out-going president and given to the Rotarian who the president believes best exemplifies the Rotary motto of Service Above Self and the Four Way Test. This year President Bill Ingram presented this award to Dallas Stalling, who for the last two years has raised the bar for what can be achieved in contributions to the Rotary Foundation as Committee Chair.  Dallas was not only successful prodding Rotarians to “give until it feels good” but also making sure that our Exchange Students had the best environment and experience while visiting our country and club, sometimes by asking and sometimes by doing.

The other major moment as the gavel is being pasted to new president Vandana Dake was the presentation to outgoing President Bill Ingram of a copy of the framed print, Rotary Today, which illustrates the diversity of a modern Rotary Club. Bill accepted the award with his wife Ann, of whom Bill had referred to earlier in the week as perfectly exemplifying the axiom that “behind every successful man is an astonished woman.”  In this picture she does look a little amused if not astonished.

Congratulations to both Dallas and Bill on very successful years.


The End of Another Rotary Year: President Bill Ingram Sums it Up

BillIngramWrapupwebjpgBelow are the remarks of President Bill Ingram at the end of his last meeting presiding as president. 

It is amazing how quickly a year can go by.  This morning, Ann and I were recalling that exactly one year ago we were in Lisbon and I was attending the opening session of the Rotary International Annual Conference. It has been an extraordinary year, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as the president of the Durham Rotary Club in this our 98th year of service to Durham and the world.

The Durham Rotary Club has so much to be proud of this past year.  We’ve grown the club’s membership by adding 26 new members, and we remain the largest club in the district.  Tomorrow at the Governor’s Installation Banquet we will be recognized as a recipient of the Presidential Citation with Distinction.  We have amended our by-laws, formalized policies for leave of absence and honorary membership, and we are ending the year with a budget surplus.

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Centennial Project – Oral Histories

loisSusanAnnaAs part of gearing up for Durham Rotary’s 100th anniversary, we are beginning to record some oral histories of longtime members of the club.  The first to be done was Honorary Member Lois Cranford.  Club member Anna Jones joined Lois and her daughter Susan Ross for a recording session at the Story Room of the Durham History Hub in early March.  Lois’s memories are now preserved for the Club as well as the Museum of Durham History and the Durham Library.  Plans are underway to interview additional members in the coming months – if you have a story to tell, please let a member of the Centennial Committee know.

Submitted by Susan Ross

Program Report: Mid-term Review – President Bill Ingram

rotaryjan14 017A few years ago we started devoting a meeting date to a “club assembly” where the President presented a report of the club’s accomplishments year-to-date.  President Bill extended this tradition with a Power Point and presentation reviewing the first half of his term and the plans for the last half. The Rotary International theme this year is Engage Rotary, Change Lives so Bill used that as a framework for our activities, both what we’ve done so far and what is coming up.

The Reading Rangers led by VP Todd Taylor again are at the top of the list as a community engagement project with 60 volunteers including 37 Rotarians participating at YE Smith and Neal. 80 children are involved in the program and we have provided $10,000 in grant funds for books.

Chris Hyland leads our youth leadership program, RYLA with ten Durham high school students participating. Melissa Mills among others is trying to get a Roteract club started for young adults and Audrey Zinnach-Howell an Interact Club at Riverside High.

The Crayons to Calculators program combined the efforts of all the Durham Rotary Clubs with Past President and Future District Governor Newman Aguiar providing leadership from our club to collect over $60,000 in school supplies. We participated in a Stop Hunger Now effort, provided a scholarship for an Emily K Center student led by Meg Solera and the Brown Foundation. Melissa Mills is organizing another Rotarians Against Drugs speech contest after our sponsored student took top prizes at the District level. We also renewed our agreement with the DPS Scholarship Foundation to provide a scholarship for each of Durham’s high schools.

We are engaged on the world stage as well. We sponsor Brazilian Marina Sousa, a student at Durham School for the Arts as a Rotary Exchange Student and two Rotary Peace Fellows, Rhett Sangster and Manish Kumar. Dieter Mauch and Dallas Stallings have done much to make Marina’s stay in this country a great experience.

Global Projects shepherded by President Elect Vandana Dake and BC Dash have included one in Guinea-Bissau and Pune, India.

Our engagement through fellowship includes the very successful Progressive Dinner organized by Meg Solera, third Thursday Rotary After Hours organized by Seth Jernigan and Adrian Brown. We have also added 21 new members while losing 17 for various reasons for a net of 4, which isn’t bad at all.

Bill also gave a brief review of our budget and emphasized the necessity paying our dues promptly. To wrap up he revealed the slate of new officers and board members proposed by the board to support President Elect Dake beginning with the new Rotary year in July. He also recognized the work being spearheaded by Immediate Past President Stanger and his committee preparing for the Club Centennial in the year following President Elect Dake’s term.

Submitted by Jay Zenner