News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

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:

[Read more…]

Program Report: Tom Bonfield – State of the City

What’s Next for Durham? What to Watch for in 2018

The agenda for the Monday, November 13 Downtown Durham Rotary Club meeting was packed, as was the PNC Club at the DBAP, so club president Seth Jernigan cut short his introduction of City Manager and fellow Rotarian Tom Bonfield to allow as much time as possible for his presentation.

Bonfield jumped right into the results of the recent election, noting the outcomes represent the most significant change in the Durham City Council since council was reduced from 13 to 7 members in 2001. The transition from 16 years of outstanding leadership by Mayor Bill Bell as the gavel is passed on to council member Steve Schewel will have the community’s full attention.

Bonfield recognized fellow Rotarian Cora Cole-McFadden, thanking her and congratulating her on a successful career in public office that has spanned 16 years. She was the first African-American woman to lead a city department, as well as the first to serve as the council’s mayor pro-tem.

He pointed out that with three newly elected members (DeDreana Freeman, Ward I; Mark-Anthony Middleton, Ward 2; and Vernetta Alston, Ward 3) plus a new appointee to fill Schewel’s place, there could be as many as four council members venturing into public office for the first time. They will join current at-large members Charlie Reece and Jillian Johnson; Reece will become the senior member with just two years of service under his belt when the new members are sworn in December 4.

“There’s an enormous amount of information to be absorbed,” Bonfield cautioned. “Policy, direction, actions – there are consistent themes that emerged during the election, big challenges for our community that cannot be addressed in the short term.”

[Read more…]

2017 Community Service Award: Ray Fredrick – The Bouncing Bulldogs

Community Service Award

For the Annual awarding of the Community Service Award for a non-Rotarian who has made a significant contribution to the community, Committee Chair Dieter Mauch described the selection process and the and how the selectee is honored as well as the field of nominees. He then introduced Danielle Kaspar who nominated the current winner who then made the award.

This Year’s Award presented by Danielle Kaspar

Below is Danielle’s presentation of the award:

It was my honor and pleasure to nominate Coach Ray Fredrick for Durham Rotary Club’s Community Service Award.   I’d like to tell you a little bit about him and the Bouncing Bulldogs.

Coach Fredrick retired from teaching in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools System in 2007, after teaching P.E. for 30 years in the State of North Carolina. He earned his B.S. Degree in Health and Physical Education from Western Carolina University, and Advanced Certification in Administration and Supervision from North Carolina Central University. Coach Fredrick has received numerous awards, including the highest award for service in North Carolina, given by the Governor, The Long Leaf Pine Award.

As an internationally recognized teacher, he has presented innovative jump rope techniques at camps, workshops, in-service meetings, and conventions world-wide. He has coached the Bouncing Bulldogs for 31 years.

[Read more…]