News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Program Report: District Governor Leigh Hudson

BillandDistGovwebI’ve listened to a lot of annual addresses by new district governors making the rounds of clubs to deliver the ritual message for the year. I hope I don’t offend anyone but they seldom rise to the level of great oratory. So, with low expectations, new District Governor Leigh Hudson may not have had to strive too much to impress. Nevertheless, the Rotarian seated to my right leaned over to me and commented that this was one of the best district governor addresses that he had ever heard. High praise from another long time Rotarian.

Reviewing my notes, it is pretty clear what District Governor Leigh did right. First he acknowledged the people in the room that have been involved at the district level that he’s worked with including future District Governor Newman, BC Dash, Past President Arthur, and Southwest Durham Rotarian Joyce McKinney, who as succeeded Newman in his role as an Assistant District Governor.

Governor Hudson also turns out to be a good storyteller and he told about moving from the Garner club to Clayton when he opened a second hardware store in the latter town. The club shrunk in membership, lost a couple of presidents mid-term and became just lunch for a dwindling number of members. He decided to engage and lead and built the club back up to about 45 engaged members.

He also told some interesting stories about Paul Harris and the founding of Rotary, way back in the early years of the last century. What Paul Harris had in mind was a group of “friends in business.” This is something that gets lost sometimes in a club like ours with so many members that are in government, academia, and non-profits or are simply retired. He went on to tell the story of their first service project, campaigning for public restrooms for women in downtown Chicago, something they were in a position to do as a non-political, non-sectarian organization. Governor Hudson also reviewed how the Rotary Foundation came about and its initial emphasis on scholarships. And then there was the origin of the 4 Way Test, which was the credo of the successful turnaround of an aluminum company that had made shoddy products.

He also told the story of how the gender barrier was breached by a 1987 Supreme Court decision brought by a California woman who wanted a leadership role in Rotary. Governor Leigh recalled a survey that was taken in 1989 in the Clayton club where everyone voted NOT to consider women for membership. That was about the time our club inducted its first women member. I remember this because it was the same meeting where I was inducted so it’s hard for me to imagine a club without women.

All this interesting storytelling had a point which was to illustrate the origins of his theme for his term. He created the acronym FLIDS, standing for Fellowship, Leadership, Integrity, Diversity and Service. This flows from new International Rotary President Ron Burton’s theme of Engage Rotary, Change Lives.

He pointed out that unlike the Masons, Rotary is not a secret society and that to engage we need to tell people about it, get them involved and let Rotary change their lives for the better. To illustrate engaging, he pointed to his own lapels with his own version of Rotary bling lined with buttons and pins. He then recognized our new President Bill and gave him a pin for his contribution to the current Polio Plus push and the 100% participation by the Presidents in our district.

Recognition, storytelling, a strong message and more recognition all presented with obvious enthusiasm make for a strong speech and a very promising Rotary year for District 7710. Our thanks and congratulations to new District Governor Leigh Hudson.

Submitted by Jay Zenner

New Paul Harris Fellows

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but some gifts say much more about the character of a couple. A Paul Harris pin barely qualifies as bling but when given by one spouse to the other it shows both a deep commitment to each other and the Rotary tradition of Service Above Self.  At the year end celebration of now Past President Don’s term of office, three spouses became Paul Harris Fellows. Earlier in the week at the meeting another pin was given.

Dallas Stallings presents a Paul Harris Fellowship to his wife Donna










BC Dash presents a Paul Harris Fellowship to his wife Asha

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Foundation Co-Chair Andy Barada, who announced the presentations, with Harvey and Calla Sellner with Calla’s certificate.









Host of the celebration, Past President Don with his wife Bettina shortly after her presentation.


Service Above Self Award – Rick Jorgensen

RickwebPresident Don awarded a Service Above Self to Rick Jorgensen who has worn the mantle of Club Treasurer for the last 5 years. This is much more than a bookkeeping function, as anyone who has ever held the position knows. The continuity Rick has brought to the position has been invaluable along with advice on where to invest the Club’s assets and the dynamics of working with Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. As a CPA with Hutchings and Hutchings he brought the right skills to the job as well as sensitivity to the mission of the club and the perseverance to never miss providing a balance sheet for the club through 5 tax seasons as well as participating in other club activities.

Rotarian of the Year – Todd Taylor

RotarianOfTheYearWebTodd Taylor accepted the Rotarian of the Year Award for 2012-2013 for leading the highly praised Reading Rangers Program. As part of the Club’s partnership with the East Durham Children’s Initiative to attack illiteracy in our population Todd relentlessly recruited volunteers both in and outside the Club and worked closely with  Durham Public Schools administrators to coordinate the efforts. Even with over 50 volunteers the program has much room to grow. Besides the coordination Todd effectively “branded” the program with the cowboy theme and an abundance of humor. Congratulations Todd….Yeee…haw!ToddAcceptsweb

President’s Award – Jay Zenner

PresAwardwebJay Zenner accepted the President’s Award for his outstanding work on and dedication to the Club’s communications program. Jay thanked Don and the Communications Committee of Deirdre Haj, Mark Lazenby, Matt Dees and Allen Cronenberg for taking over much of the “content” creation to allow him to focus on the mechanics of the website.  He also thanked President Don and Past President Newman for giving him the opportunity to run with the program.

Service Above Self Award – Carolyn Aaronson

CarolynAwardWebCarolyn Aaronson has always been generous with her time, money and talents and this year she went beyond her ordinary generosity as she led several fund raising efforts including the sale of valentines that she created and a brainstorm for increasing the CART bucket collections by distributing baggies to bring in loose change that often collects in jars on dressers. 101_1011CraneWeb