News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Program Report: Former District Governor Tim Mannix – The Rotary Foundation

rotaryMannixThe good news is that our club gave $33,000 to the Rotary Foundation last year, the second most in the district.

The bad news is that only put us 19th out of 46 in per capita giving.

“I say thank you, and I bet you can do better,” said Tim Mannix, former District Governor and current District Chair of the foundation.

The colorful former IBMer shed light on the new streamlined process for collecting and spending foundation funds.

Mannix stressed that “more has not changed than has changed,” but told us how an audit had found our district doing too many “feel-good projects” that fizzled out after a short time.

Sustainability is the watchword now. One key change is that global foundation funds will go to projects valued at a minimum of $30,000.

Districtwide, foundation giving has grown steadily over the last three years.

Mannix wants to further that trend by getting 100% of district members to become sustainers by contributing a minimum of $100 annually to the foundation. Right now, only 49% of district members do so.

Our club already has taken a big step in that direction by automatically tacking on $50 to our biannual dues payments.

Dallas Stallings told us before Mannix’s presentation – as he prepared to honor Kay Gresham as a Paul Harris Fellow Plus 4 – that only a small percentage of our members have opted out of their foundation gift.

Mannix told us that his presentation Monday was the 73rd such program he’s led in the last two-and-a-half years.

You could tell he’s had practice, as he rattled off an inspirational poem from memory and even wove in a prop, lighting a candle as a reminder that the district needs “each one of you individually.”

He didn’t bank on Jennifer Noble sitting right in front of him when he set the smoking candle back on the table, however. As caretaker of the Convention Center, she couldn’t just sit there and watch it smolder, so she snatched it and carried it to the kitchen.

Mannix indicated he had planned on bringing back that candle for his closer, but let’s go ahead and thank Jennifer for playing it better safe than sorry.

Submitted by Matt Dees

Program Report – Sam Wazan – Business Consultant and Peace Advocate

Wazan2Sam Wazan is an author, senior management consultant, speaker, and survivor.  He spent his young adulthood living in – actually, trapped in – Beirut during Lebanon’s long and violent sectarian war.

In his second appearance before our club at Monday lunch, Wazan recalled a stark portrait of life in a society ruined by radicalization and sectarian violence and cautioned that troubling signals of radicalization are on the rise here at home.

In Wazan’s young adulthood, fanatics carried out religious massacres. Sniper and rocket attacks routinely happened.  Water and power service were scarce. As a young man, he woke not to the chirping of birds but to a “poetic voice” on the radio saying “martyrdom is the only calling.”  His was a life of city buildings with billowing plastic sheets as windows, of roads made barely usable by craters and potholes. Sometimes you dashed from the protection of sandbags for food. 

The author of a novel inspired by reality, “Trapped in Four Square Miles,” Wazan now includes a cautionary note in his public speeches: America demonstrates troubling signs of division and polarization that are signs of radicalization. “I am afraid in this country that we are going backwards,” he said.

(Wazan, a Muslim, first spoke last year on April 15 – mere hours before the Boston Marathon bombing and recalls extreme religious sentiments being expressed in the aftermath.)

Among signs of radicalization are venomous rhetoric, “incubation” of citizens allowing themselves to be “locked into one-sided views” promoted by biased talking heads and zealous commentators, and even short-burst social media reducing discourse to soundbites and “zingers.”  Social dating websites based on religion he views with suspicion. 

“We are turning into a sectarian nation, I fear,” he said.

Noting that “radicals are raised, not born,” as in Beirut, Wazan said that the best battlefield to stop the growth of radicalization here at home was “the kitchen table, the family room.” In those spaces, he said, “we have the most formidable frontier to neutralize the forces of hate.”

“It’s there where you safeguard your children,” he said.

While some cast bravery and courage as battlefield traits, Wazan said that we can and should view bravery and courage as intellectual and spiritual virtues to be promoted in the cause of peace, against sectarian and religious hatred.

Wazan was introduced by Past President Don Stanger who said his friendship with Wazan has deepened since Wazan’s first appearance last April because the author is “an incredible cheerleader for peace.”

Our thanks to Sam Wazan for the return visit and best wishes.

Submitted by Mark Lazenby

Program Report: Christmas Luncheon

The Morehead Montessori Elementary School Suzuki Violin Students

Carrington Middle School’s Eight Grade Chorus

Our Rotary Holiday Luncheon did not disappoint this year. Two schools treated us to their musical talents. Mary Casey, the Director of Arts for the Durham Public Schools introduced the Morehead Montessori Elementary School Suzuki Violin students first, and their teacher Betsey Hughes.

The 3rd through fifth graders treated us to six selections! They had extremely serious faces and finished with a lovely “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.  More importantly we learned that this is a free program that has been in Durham for six years. The only requirement is that a parent attends with their student in the mornings when they take their group classes. And lest you think our young talents are not serious, they recently played with the North Carolina Symphony!


Next was Carrington Middle School’s Eighth Grade Chorus. As some of you know my high school chorus was a pretty serious thing that took me across the world, so I was a bit teary listening to this devoted group of enthusiastic singers!

Their teacher, Alicia Jones, who was an enthusiastic leader for these teens, conducted them. She praised them, told them to breathe and enjoy themselves and relax! And they did. They sang in four-part harmony five selections, ending with one (edited version) of a Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe”.  And sporting Santa hats and reindeer antlers, they truly brightened up the convention center ballroom. Ms. Jones told us that Carrington Middle School is one of the largest middle schools on the east coast, with over 1200 students in North Durham. Well, Alicia Jones, the eighth graders in your chorus will not, as my favorite selection sang out “Forget You”.  She is exactly the kind of teacher you hope one’s eighth grader will be lucky enough to hear from.


And we were lucky enough to hear from as well.

Happy Holidays!

Program Report: Andrew Bauer – Insects of the Dominican Republic

AndrewBauerWebThe Convention Center dining room was festively decorated for our Monday meeting with red tablecloths, poinsettias, and candy canes.  I had the unusual good fortune to be seated at a table where I was the only male.  My tablemates did not to hesitate to indicate their squeamishness about the topic of our program …bugs.  However, by the end of the meeting I think everyone was equally in awe of the beauty captured in Andrew Bauer’s photographs of the insects he photographed in the Dominican Republic.

Carver Weaver introduced Andrew, a Durham Tech student and aspiring entomologist. She also brought with her Dr. Constanza (Connie) Gomeź-Joines, the executive director for Durham Tech’s Center for the Global Learner. Dr. Gomeź-Joines spoke to the Club in June about the Center when we visited the campus at the invitation of President Bill. One of the relationships the Center is involved in is with the Universidad Católica Nordestana (UCNE), which is creating the first community college, as we know them,  in the Dominican Republic.

In the Spring of 2012 the Center for the Global Learner expanded its relationship with the Dominican Republic with a course that discusses the literature, politics and culture of the Dominican Republic. The goal of the course is to prepare students to become part of a globally competitive workforce by exploring the political, economic and social interconnections between communities in the US and Latin America. The course includes a weeklong trip to the Dominican Republic. Andrew was one of those students and found the variety of insect life fascinating.Boss Jumping Spider Web

Upon returning to Durham Tech he approached Dr. Gomeź-Joines about the possibility of returning in the summer to continue his insect research. The request was granted by UCNE and Andrew spent the summer of 2013 photographing and cataloging the native insects. One day he hopes to return and continue his studies but in the meantime is excited to share his photographs and knowledge about the insect life of the Dominican Republic.

With good humor and obvious relish, Andrew described his stay including helping some of his acquaintances in the host country overcome their reluctance to handle some of the native insects including giant tarantulas and centipedes.

It also evolved during the presentation and the questions afterwards that Andrew’s passion might be as much about photography as science. Nevertheless, this life-long passion, he confessed, had created some interesting family stories, but no discouragement from his mother.

As charming as he was, the heart of the presentation was the slide show of some of Andrew’s photographs set to music. It looked like the little guys (and the bigger ones too) dressed for the Christmas season.

You never know what you’re going to get sometimes with our programs. With this one we got a demonstration of one of the international initiatives of Durham Tech, an introduction to a young man with a passion, some beautiful nature photography that oddly complemented the holiday decoration and a demonstration of Vice President Todd Taylor’s extermination skills with his heel. (You had to be there.)

Below is Andrew’s video on YouTube.


Feeding Durham

Feeding Durham

Hunger remains a serious problem in Durham.  You can help feed one individual and together we can feed our community.

Feeding Durham:  Cans 4 Our Community is a Rotary led community food drive.  Durham area Rotary clubs are partnering with Durham County Department of Social Services, Duke University, North Carolina Central University and Durham Technical Community College to support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and food pantries in Durham.

The Feeding Durham:  Cans 4 Our Community campaign will run from December 12, 2013, to January 20, 2014.

During the campaign, purchase an extra can or two of needed food items (see below) when you visit a participating Kroger grocery store to shop for your family and drop off the items in the containers provided at the store.  You can also drop off needed items at any of the partner locations.  For a printable list of most needed items, click here.

To celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, donated food items can be dropped off at Durham Technical Community College on January 20, 2014.  Additionally, students from Duke University, North Carolina Central University, Durham Technical Community College and Rotarians will be packaging 100,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now!  Every year, Stop Hunger Now provides millions of nutritious meals and other life-saving aid to children and families all over the world. Stop Hunger Now collaborates with existing development efforts in vulnerable communities internationally to provide meals to places such as schools, orphanages, nurseries and medical clinics.

Sign up for the Stop Hunger Now! meals packing event at Durham Tech, Monday January 20, at

The Problem:

Many individuals in Durham struggle each day to provide enough food for themselves and their families.  In recent months, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and local food pantries are seeing unprecedented increases in demand for food. The Durham Branch of the Food Bank has experienced a 29% growth in distribution over the last four years.  Additionally, recent computer problems at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services left many Durham families unable to access the food stamps they depend on, so supplies at local food pantries and soup kitchens were left depleted.  They need our help to restock their supplies, so that individuals and families at risk of hunger can continue to be served.

According to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, “over 96,000 individuals are at risk of hunger in the area served by the Durham Branch of the Food Bank.  Nearly 30 percent of the people served by the Food Bank’s network are children, and another 8 percent are elderly. 30 percent of the families served are the “working poor,” people who work hard and still have to choose between eating and other basic necessities such as medicine and housing.”

To learn more about the need in Durham County, click here.

The Food Bank Solution:

Established in 1980, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for over 30 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through distribution centers in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines) and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2012-2013, the Food Bank distributed nearly 52 million pounds of food and non-food essentials through these agencies.


  • The Feeding Durham:  Cans 4 Our Community campaign will accept monetary donations and canned goods from December 12, 2013 to January 20, 2014.
  • On January 20, 2014, Rotarians will be located outside Durham Technical Community College, 1637 E Lawson St, Durham, NC 27703, and donors are asked to bring canned goods to help support the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and local food pantries.  Volunteers from the four Durham Rotary clubs will be available to collect supplies as they arrive.
  • In addition, donors may also drop off supplies during normal business hours at any of the collection locations (see, Partners) listed below.
  • Financial donations can also be made to the Food Bank from their website at  Financial contributions will be used to purchase additional food.  For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10 worth of food or five meals.
  • Individuals are encouraged to drop off canned goods, and businesses and organizations are encouraged to host their own drives.

At local Kroger Supermarkets:

  • Purchase pre-packaged boxes with items most requested by the Food Bank.  (The boxes are available in all stores and cost $10.95 each for anyone wishing to have a quick way to donate.)
  • Coins can be donated in coin donation boxes at store registers
  • Use the drop-off bins to easily donate non-perishable items

Most needed items include:

  • Canned Meals: Stews, Soups, Tuna, Ravioli, Lasagna, etc. (Pop-top cans a plus!)
  • Peanut Butter, Canned Vegetables
  • Grains: Cereal, Rice, Pasta and Dried Beans
  • Fruits: Fruit cups, Dried Fruit, Applesauce, 100% Juice and Juice Boxes
  • Rice, Pasta and Dried Beans
  • Kid-Friendly Items: Granola Bars, Popcorn, Graham or Animal Crackers, Fat-free/Sugar-free Pudding Cups
  • Baby Products: Diapers, Wipes, Formula, Infant Cereal
  • Hygiene Items: Toothpaste, Feminine Products, Shaving Items, Hand Sanitizer, Soap, etc.
  • Paper Products: Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, etc.

(Please – No loose glass and plastic jars of baby food as they will have to be discarded due to health regulations)



Durham Technical Community College Campus Harvest Food Pantry – 1637 Lawson Street, Durham, NC 27703

Durham Rescue Mission – 507 E Knox St, Durham, NC 27701

Urban Ministries of Durham – 410 Liberty St, Durham, NC 27701

Durham County

  • Human Services Campus  – Main Lobby – 414 E. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701
  • County Administration Building – Lobby  – 200 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701
  • Durham County Center – (Cooperative Extension) – 721 Foster St., Durham, NC 27701

Durham County Library

  1. Main Library – 300 N. Roxboro Street, 
Durham, NC 27701
  2. East Regional Library – 211 Lick Creek Lane
, Durham, NC 27703
  3. North Regional Library – 221 Milton Road
, Durham, NC 27712
  4. South Regional Library – 4505 S. Alston Road, 
Durham, NC 27713
  5. Southwest Regional Library – 3605 Shannon Road
, Durham, NC 27707

Kroger Supermarkets

  1. 3457 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705

Boy Scouts of America – Occoneechee Council


For more information:  Call or email Joyce McKinney – Assistant Governor, Durham area Rotary Clubs; Phone: 919-308-2176; E-mail

Click here to download the campaign flyer.


About Rotary International

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 1.2 million Rotary members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary clubs have been serving communities worldwide for more than a century.

Southwest Durham Rotary Club – Meets Thursdays at Hope Valley Country Club – 12:30 PM

Durham Rotary Club – Meets Mondays at the Durham Convention Center – 12:30 PM

North Durham Rotary Club – Meets Tuesdays at Parizade Cafe – 12:30 PM

Durham Sunrise Rotary Club – Meets Thursdays at the Millennium Hotel – 7:00 AM

About Durham County Department of Social Services

The Durham County Department of Social Services invests in the safety and stability of families, elderly, and disabled adults.  The agency also invests in meeting basic economic needs, provides access to health care and nutrition to improve health status and helps people to find jobs, develop strong work habits and create a career path.

About Duke University

The mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.

About North Carolina Central University

The mission of North Carolina Central University is to prepare students academically and professionally to become leaders prepared to advance the consciousness of social responsibility in a diverse, global society. The university will serve its traditional clientele of African-American students; it will also expand its commitment to meet the educational needs of a student body that is diverse in race and other socioeconomic qualities

About Durham Technical Community College

Durham Technical Community College’s mission is to enrich students’ lives and the broader community through teaching, learning, and service.

About Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for more than 30 years.  In fiscal year 2012-2013, the Food Bank distributed nearly 52 million pounds of food and non-food essentials through a network of more than 800 partner agencies.

Program Report: Ivan Martinez – Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in New Zealand

MartinezIvan Martinez, a recent Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar who arrived in New Zealand in mid-Winter 2012, began his presentation by talking about his connection with Rotary which started as a teenager and has been a transformative part of his life.

Ivan’s first Rotary experience began when he was invited to attend a RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) camp.  The invitation came quite unexpectedly.  He describes himself as a pretty typical teenager.  At home he was what might be called a little sullen, spending much of his time withdrawn in his room with the door shut.  A neighbor across the street, a Rotarian, came over one day and asked if he would like to attend a RYLA workshop.  Ivan was not terribly enthusiastic until the Rotarian said “You get two days out of school.”  That clinched it.  The experience was so meaningful that Ivan worked as a RYLA counselor for the next few years.  Importantly, Ivan says it was the first time an adult saw potential in him and encouraged him to cultivate his talents and interests.  This Rotarian became Ivan’s mentor and friend.  He admonished us “not to forget influence you as Rotarians can have on young people.”

The next pivotal Rotary moment came when he was asked as a high school senior to assume leadership in reforming the languishing Interact Club at his school.  More recently, our club and District 7710 sponsored him as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to New Zealand.  His host, District 9980 located on New Zealand’s South Island, has the distinction of being the southernmost Rotary district in the world.  It is so far south, it is only 4,000 miles from Antarctic.  Consequently, it is always cold, especially for a boy who had grown up in Miami.  His house, like others in Dunedin, was old, had neither insulation nor central heating.  Ivan’s visiting father-in-law summed it up well:  “This is like America, forty years ago.” To combat the cold, locals laconically advised adding another merino wool sweater.  Fittingly for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, a tree in front of the Martinez home was supposedly planted by Paul Harris.

The population of South Island which has only two Maori tribes is small in comparison the North Island.  Dunedin, located adjacent to the Otago Peninsula and once visited by Captain James Cook in 1770, was in years past the number two city in New Zealand.  Most early European settlers were Scottish Presbyterian farmers who, as Ivan put it, “got on boats and sailed to the bottom of the world.”  Ivan pointed out that New Zealand is the only place in the world where Europeans had permission to settle, confirmed by a treaty signed by a Maori king and the British monarch.  New Zealand remains a member of the Commonwealth.  It is a constitutional monarchy without a written constitution.  Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand.

Kiwis, says Ivan, have a keen appreciation of the environment.  Whenever the sun breaks through the clouds everybody goes outside.  One of his family’s favorite places to visit is Wanaka, a resort town, situated on a beautiful lake carved by glaciers millennia ago and close to ski runs.

Rotary in New Zealand dates back to 1921when a Canadian, Colonel James “Big Jim” Davidson—who was responsible for starting more Rotary clubs than any other individual—enjoyed great success in the South Pacific.  In mid-century, New Zealand Rotarians established the prototype for the Group Study Exchange program when they sent six young professionals and businessmen led by a Rotarian abroad for a two-month study tour.

We perhaps sometimes forget how difference Rotary can make in the lives of individuals as well as doing good for communities in need.


Submitted by Allen Cronenberg