News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Presentation: Durham Arts Council

If you missed last Monday’s Meeting, you missed more than a pretty good beef brisket. You missed some strong Ngoma drum work by two Congolese musicians garbed up to drive an opening ceremony fit
for a king. You also missed the best part of all – watching the assembled membership of Durham Rotary bust a move when lead drummer, Pline Mounzeo, invited everyone to join in dance, chant, and fun.
And much fun it was.

Hosting the off-site event was The Durham Arts Council Downtown. Executive Director, Sherry DeVries, updated Club Members on the tremendous progress the Council has made since it opened its doors in 1954 — to the tune last year alone of $10 Million Dollars in estimated economic activity.

Club Managers also updated Members on progress toward fundraising goals and, staying on perpetual
message, pitched for more money. Our thanks to all for a fun and productive Meeting!

Submitted By: Mark Lazenby


Books on Break

Pictured from L to R: Amanda Kuruc, Mimi O’ Brien, Jenny Levine

Once again this year, Books on Break was a tremendous success. As Rotarian volunteers circulated the space that was set up as a book “store”, they could hear enthusiastic children saying things like, “Shhh, I’m trying to read!” and “I can’t wait to get home and read my new books.” 31 Rotarians and friends put in 122 volunteer hours to make the event successful. The theme of “Reading Connects the World” was depicted on the backpack that each child was given courtesy of Durham Rotary Club. 3,520 abooks were distributed at Y.E. Smith Elementary School. Thank you to our fearless leaders for their dedication and support.

Donald Addu – Citizen’s Climate Lobby

petite young woman with several degrees in environmental related areas named Katie Rose Levin joined the Club a little less than a year ago. Among other things she is the is the co-founder of the non-profit TreesDurham and volunteers with a non-partisan group called Citizens’ Climate Lobby. In April Katie, now a professional arborist, delivered a program on the history of trees in Durham.  And now in May Katie has brought us a program delivered by her husband, Donald Addu, who is the Southeast Regional Director of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. 

Mr. Addu is a native North Carolinian and graduate of Appalachian State university with a degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology. He has spent over ten years now advocating for renewable energy and action on climate change.  In 2011 he founded the first Citizens’ Climate Lobby group in North Carolina and is currently the Southeast Director managing over 40 active groups spanning the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. This means that he spends most of his time focusing on two things, grassroots organizing and direct Congressional lobbying.   [Read more…]

Thank you to Ann and Carl Evans

L to R: Dallas Stallings, Andy Esser, Ann Evans, Carl Evans

Carl and Ann Evans may have joined Rotary just a few years ago, but their impact has been amazing. Their financial support of the Rotary Foundation has placed them at  Major Donor Level 3 Rotary Foundation Supporters.  A Level 3 Major Donor is one who has given over $50,000 to the Foundation.  They have been active in the Sudan with their own long time projects dealing with health issues of women and children.  Ann shared her passion for Rotary’s international initiatives. She states, “There is so much work to be done in the world; it will take all of us making some sacrifices.  If we don’t, I fear the violence and terrorism that are gripping our communities and less developed countries will continue to gain ground.” We are so glad that Ann and Carl chose the Durham Rotary Club as their “tribe”.

The following are the giving levels for Major Donors:

Level Contribution (US$) 

Level 4 –  $100,000 to $249,999

Level 3 –  $50,000 to $99,999

Level 2 –  $25,000 to $49,999 

Level 1 –   $10,000 to $24,999

New Member: Ellen Stone

L to R: President Brady Surles, Kay Gresham, Ellen Stone, Rebecca Newton

Please take a moment to say hello and introduce yourself to our new member, Ellen Stone. Thank you to Rebecca Newton for your sponsorship of Ellen.

Here’s some background on Ellen career:

Ellen joined the staff of the Carolina Theatre of Durham in July 2018 as Senior Director of Development.

Ellen has spent over 40 years of in fundraising and event management– regionally, nationally and internationally – during 25 years in sports marketing and, most recently, 14 years as Director of Development at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

While in sports, Ellen worked in professional tennis for 10 years in Washington DC with ProServ directing the 3 annual professional tennis events on the men’s and women’s circuit. She then branched out to multi-sport events including the 1990 Goodwill Games for Turner Broadcasting and the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. She consulted with international sports organizations and events and helped start a national non-profit that integrates able-bodied and disabled people in sports events and programs, World T.E.A.M Sports, before moving back to her hometown of Durham in 2001.

At the North Carolina Museum of Art, Ellen directed a membership and development team that raised critical private funds on an annual basis to supplement state funding as the museum expanded its programs and campus development. In addition, she oversaw the museum’s largest campaign in its history, the $50 million Our Transformation campaign, in conjunction with the building of the West Gallery building in 2010 and Museum Park renovation in 2015. During Ellen’s tenure, the Museum experienced its highest number of members (25K HHs), received its largest planned gift ($9M) and received its largest cash donation ($13M).

Ellen is happy to be helping develop a robust Development program at the Carolina Theatre as Durham experiences an exciting period of growth.

Ellen’s daughter, Anna, is a 2018 graduate of UNC CH and has been enjoying a year in Spain teaching. Ellen’s advocacy work is dedicated to breast cancer prevention via a product she developed, Feel the Difference, that helps remind women to do their monthly breast self-exam.