News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

EDCI End of Summer Camp Craft Event.

Volunteers needed for 15 one hour shifts, 5 to setup, 5 to serve and 5 to clean-up Friday, August 4 at the Maureen Joy Charter School on Driver Street.

EDCI’s Summer Camp is ending and we could use your help to wrap up with Arts and Crafts and a big thank you to our campers, staff and volunteers during lunch. Over 60 campers enjoyed 6 weeks of camp this summer with EDCI at Maureen Joy Charter School. Please come out and have some fun! Contact Rotarian Brady Surles at or DeDreana with East Durham Children’s Initative at for more information or with questions.

To Sign up click here.

Welcome Rotarians – Durham, UK, Oct 24-31

We look forward to having our fellow Rotarians from Durham, England, Oct.24-31.
There will be three couples and two singles.  We need host families for their stay, plus
anyone who would like to have some or all of them for dinner any evening.

Tony & Brenda Ford: Retired Royal Air Force; Retired Educator.  2017-18 Vice Pres.
They love music, (Tony plays the Tuba), singing in several choirs, and grandchildren

David & Jillian Jackson: Business Consultant; Radiographer
They love gardening and hiking, and their small children (4 & 6)

Edward & Cliona Kear: Retired Earth Scientist working with oil companies; 2017-18 Pres.
Retired Financial advisor
They both love gardening, hiking, flower arranging, and grandchildren.
Edward wants someone to explain Am baseball and Am football to him.

Clive Beddoes: Retired educator.
He loves music, hiking, and studying the American Civil War
He also says he is an Apple Computer Addict.

Judy Morris: Retired educator, worked with Disadvantaged Children. Secretary, 2015-18
Also worked with a National Dementia Charity.
She loves travel, needle crafts, and her grandson.

New Member: Dr. Kenneth Chandler

Please welcome new member Dr. Kenneth Chandler to the club. Dr. Chandler was sponsored by Sheridan van Wagenberg and Sam Nichols.

Kenneth (Dr. “C”) received his bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, his master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Upon graduating from Guilford, he taught public school in Pennsylvania prior to beginning his career in higher education administration and finance at Lincoln University (PA).    He then continued his work in higher education project administration at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey –  working in the Graduate Record Examination and Special Testing Division.   He moved into the philanthropy arena at Guilford College and eventually excelled to the positon of special assistant to the president at Guilford College focusing on corporate and major donor relations.

Prior to his current work as Director of Development at Duke School, he served as Interim Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement at North Carolina Central University. He has also served as the Director of Development for Corporate and Foundation Relations at Winston-Salem State University (NC) and the American Council on Education in Washington DC.

Kenneth has two children – His oldest – Kenneth II –  attended high school in Fairfax County, Virginia and performed at high academic standards to be admitted to UNC as an out of state student.  He then attended Vanderbilt University School of Law and is an attorney in Washington DC.  His youngest, Sharice, attended Cary Academy where Kenneth and his wife, Glynis, were active volunteers and members of the parent advisory board.  Sharice attended both the University of San Francisco and has her B.A. from Guilford College.    Sharice is the assistant director of admission for Cary Academy.

His wife (Glynis) – whom he met while in undergraduate school at Guilford –  is assistant head of school at The Hill Center – Durham, NC.

Program Report – Alex Protzman: LIFE Skills Foundation

Living Independently & Finding Empowerment

The acronym for LIFE Skills Foundation, spelled out above, is a completely appropriate name for this Durham non-profit. Originally known as the Carolina Outreach Foundation, the organization transitioned to LIFE Skills in 2013, Rotarian Ari Medoff explained in his introduction, to better address its mission to providing housing, life, and job skills for the community’s young adults in need.

Founding Director Alex Protzman earned his MSW (Master of Social Work) from NYU and focuses on LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Work), supporting individuals specifically with mental and emotional health needs. LIFE Skills provides housing and wraparound support services to youth ages 15 – 24, Protzman explains, “because often they have nowhere else to go. They’ve aged out of foster care, they’re justice-involved, or their families can no longer support them, and they are not well served by either child or adult social services.”

Wraparound services involve seven fundamental areas: housing, employment, education, communication, financial literacy, development of a support network, and personal health (both physical and mental.) “These transitional youth are costly to society,” Protzman says. “Of young adults aging out of foster care, one in five will become homeless and one in four will become incarcerated. But until they can learn how to apply for credit, fill out an apartment lease, or even properly complete an application for college or a job, their future options are very limited.”

Currently, LIFE Skills owns eight residential units where they can house their youth. On-site staff support includes weekly support groups, training in basic home maintenance, and conflict resolution for 30 hours per week. “These young adults have little or no experience in how to live independently,” Protzman emphasizes. “So, we help them master simple skills that many of us take for granted such as grocery shopping or basic respect for a roommate. We work on incremental changes – ‘baby steps’ – but just as long as they keep moving forward.”

The problem is growing. Since 2013, the number of youth in foster care in Durham has increased by 47 percent. Each night, there are more than 80 young adults who are homeless, adding up to more than 700 per year. North Carolina has the second fastest growth rate of teenage homelessness in the nation.

LIFE Skills’ approach is working. Over 80 percent of its participants are either involved in an education program or are employed; most youth find work within three months of enrollment. Participants are required to be employed and/or in school a minimum of 30 hours per week. One-third of their income is “paid” to LIFE Skills in the form of rent; the organization actually banks the money for each individual and pays it back when they are ready to move on from the program. “That way they have a little nest egg that they have to manage responsibly to help them get started on their own two feet,” Protzman notes.

The organization has a number of community partners, including Durham Public Schools and the Department of Social Services. Protzman and his team dream of expanding the program and its partnerships to increase its collective impact by purchasing additional residential units; improving access to regular medical, dental, and mental health services; providing year-round, ‘round the clock access to support services for residents; and involving its participants in community service projects.

And that’s just for starters. According to the website (, “each transition youth we work with has the fundamental right to a life of happiness, full of possibility, and free from oppression.” That’s a goal that I daresay my Rotary colleagues would heartily agree with.

Submitted by: Carver C. Weaver

New Class of Innovation Fellows

Christopher Gergen introduced the next group of Innovation Fellows. From left to right are Alexandra Zagbayou, Beatrice Parker and Katherine Gill. Early in the fall they will be given a chance to introduce themselves to the whole group and talk some about their projects. If you get a chance before then to introduce yourself, please take the opportunity.

Program Report: Christopher Perrien – USS NC SSN 777 Club and Youth Day

Several “opening acts” preceded the announced program.  First of all, Durham Rotary celebrated “Children’s Day.”  Several Rotarians brought children and grandchildren who introduced themselves.  Hopefully, these youngsters will be inspired to become Rotarians in the future.  Christopher Gergen introduced a new cohort of Innovation Fellows.  They will present a program in the fall.  Meg Solera introduced several Rotary scholars who are recipients of Centennial and Brown Family Scholarships.

Most North Carolinians are familiar with the USS North Carolina moored in the Cape Fear River in Wilmington.  Many have trod on the decks, explored battle stations and imagined what life was like on this highly decorated battleship that played an important role in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II.  But few North Carolinians know a modern, Virginia-class fast attack submarine bears the name of the old North State, the fourth U.S. Navy warship to honor North Carolina.

Our main speaker, North Raleigh Rotarian Christopher Perrien is trying to remedy that.  Perrien, by the way, was masterfully introduced by Wyatt Jernigan, son of President Seth.  Future Rotarians need to keep an eye on Wyatt.  He will make a terrific Rotary president someday.

A graduate of the Naval Academy and retired IBM executive, Perrien is President and Executive Director of the USS North Carolina SSN 777 club.  The club’s goals include supporting the crews and families of the boat; increasing  awareness among North Carolinians of the “Tarheel Boat;” and raising funds to acquire the boat when it retires—maybe around 2048—and moor it in Wilmington along with Battleship North Carolina.

A few crew members of SSN 777 are North Carolinians.  Earlier this year, Gary Montalvo was piped ashore as commanding officer of the boat.  Montalvo grew up in Durham, attended the School of Science and Mathematics, and graduated from the Naval Academy.  Under his leadership the USS North Carolina earned the 2015 Battle “E” Award, recognizing it as the best boat and crew among the ten boats in Submarine Squadron 1 home-ported at Pearl Harbor.  As Perrien said, it’s the crews and technology of submarines like SSN 777 that keep the Chinese on their toes.

Perrien described the SSN 777 as a “long tube.”  Its length is approximately the distance of a home-run ball hit over right-center field in Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  The Virginia-class sub is built as a smaller and less expensive alternative to the Cold War era boats.  It can operate in littoral waters as well as deep ocean waters.  Its weaponry is lethal.

Perrien brought along a friend, Matthew Cox, who served on the USS Alaska, an older and larger Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.  Matthew spoke and answered questions about life aboard submarines. The typical deployment is 180 days at sea, 92 percent of the time underwater.  Boats like the USS North Carolina carry a crew of 120 enlisted men and 14 officers.  Personal space  averages about 15 sq. feet.  A watch of six hours is followed by twelve hours off.  The wardroom is the center of social life.  Understandably, contact with families at home is very limited.  Usually, once a week submarines surface to give crews and families an opportunity for emailing.

Obviously, the service men and women of the submarine force make many sacrifices to earn their coveted dolphin pins and to ensure the nation’s security.

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg