New Members – More September Inductions

Please welcome these new members to the Durham Rotary.

new member1webCicely Mitchell, President of the Art of Cool non-profit here in Durham with her sponsor Deirdre Haj.

new member2webMartin W. Morris, Attorney and Retired Chief of Staff of US Senator Richard Lugar with his sponsor Bill Stokes.

Crayons2Calculators – Joint Meeting

Cray3CaldPresWebCrayons2Calculators is a national program to provide underfunded school programs and their students and teachers with the basic supplies necessary for a productive teaching/learning environment.  States have so underfunded schools that it is common knowledge that teachers must dip into their own pockets to the tune of $500-1000 annually to buy construction paper, protractors, pencils and other essential items for students whose parents find it difficult to come up with that extra $5.00 or so at the beginning of the school year.  All four Durham area Rotary clubs –our club, Sunrise, North Durham and Southwest Durham—were represented at the meeting and share in organizing the “Fill that Bus” campaign that is a part of the C2C program.  Hundreds of area businesses; government, educational and civic partners, as well as generous individuals roll up their shirt sleeves to collect school supplies and raise money.  In its first endeavor a few years ago, “Fill that Bus” raised about $5,500 in cash and school supplies.  Urged by past club president Newman Aguiar the campaign established an aggressive goal of $50,000 for the 2013 drive.  Exceeding expectations, nearly $60,000 in supplies and cash, including a matching Rotary District grant, will support Durham teachers and students during the current school year.

Crayons2Calculators Executive Director Julie Marshall reported that two new schools were added this year, raising the total to seven.  The challenge, though, is to provide assistance to the eleven other schools whose teachers and students are in dire need.  A principal problem is that 62 percent of Durham public school students (over half of the students in 23 of Durham’s 30 elementary schools) qualify for free or reduced price lunch meals, meaning that their families are living at or near the poverty level.  A link between poverty and low academic achievement is generally incontrovertible.

The bulk of the school supplies is raised by the “Fill that Bus” campaign.  During the month of July, hundreds of businesses put bins in prominent sites where employees, clients and other visitors can deposit their donations of school supplies.   Additionally, two school buses are parked in busy shopping center parking lots to receive donations as well.  For future reference the ten most needed items include: pencils, markers, clipboards, copy paper, notebook paper, boxes of crayons, composition books, staplers, highlighters, and glue sticks.  Teachers in participating schools receive points (dollars) which they use to “shop” for supplies in the C2C warehouse.

Steve Schewel, founder and former publisher of the Independent Weekly, former school board member, current city councilman, and visiting assistant professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy not only pitched the need for C2C in Durham, but spoke about its origins.  According to Steve, it began with his mother, a schoolteacher in Lynchburg, Virginia, who was part of a program to hand out supplies to needy students.  Steve brought this idea back to Durham, recruited four students—two from Duke, two from UNC—to develop a business plan that grew into the C2C program.  Unlike some undertakings, Steve wryly noted, C2C was not controversial and has become part of the civic fabric of the community.

Several club members spoke passionately about the need for greater vocal advocacy for public education and for Rotary to continue its leading role in helping break the cycle of poverty that so often stands in the way of education.

We were also pleased to have as our guest, Joyce McKinney, Assistant District Governor for Area 7, and a member of the Southwest Durham Rotary Club.

 Submitted by Allen Cronenberg

Progressive Dinner – Save the Date – Sunday October 27


The Fifth Annual Progressive Dinner
This year, we move to a Sunday, change the appetizer location, change the menu and add a great surprise during dessert.  Curious?  Save the date and Sign-Up!

This is our Club’s premier Social/Fellowship event of the year.  Here is your opportunity to bring a spouse, partner or simply come alone to mingle, dine and meet new folks in a casual setting.  We meet up for appetizers, then are given an envelope with the dinner host’s name and address (with

a map) and split up to dine at one of eight catered dinners hosted at the homes of fellow Rotarians (within a ten minute drive of the appetizer location).  Following dinner, every host hands out envelopes giving directions to our dessert location which is always held at a Rotarian’s place of business (also no more than a ten minute drive) where we all meet back up to enjoy delicious goodies and beverages, and wrap up the event.  Starts promptly at 4:30pm and ends at 9pm.

This is a great opportunity for new and ‘seasoned’ members of our Club to meet people and socialize together. $30/person includes scrumptious appetizers, dinner with wine, and lovely dessert treats.

No one knows which home they will be assigned for dinner, but we mix it up annually and everyone has a great time.

No football conflicts (it’s Sunday), so jump on board and save the date.  Sign-ups will begin after Labor Day at our regular meetings and spots fill up quickly as we can only accommodate approximately 65 total guests (including hosts).

Many thanks to House Hosts: Newman & Ann-Louise Aguillar, Arthur & Caroline Rogers, Ellen & Ken Reckhow, Mark Higgins, Shannon & Wil Leskin, Harvey & Calla Sellner, Susan Ross & Tom Hadzor, Vandana Dake & John Warasila…………and Appetizer Host Nancy Gordon.

Questions?  Email Progressive Dinner Chairperson Meg Solera

New Members – September

newmembers2From left to right:

New member Alison Steele with her sponsor, President elect Vandana Dake.

Returning new member, Roz Grace with her sponsor, Meg Solera.

New member Craig Reed with his sponsor, Membership Chair Sheridan van Wagenberg.

Program Report: Donate Life -Tammy Dunne and Karen Devine

DonateLifeWibWe learned Monday that 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant.

Karen Devine might have been one of those people. The Durham resident shared her moving story of how the death of someone in Tennessee in January 2007 brought to an end decades of poor health.

She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a child, which didn’t affect her too much until she went to college. During a physical doctors discovered she had dangerously high blood pressure, which later started to affect her eyesight. In fact, it was an eye doctor who told her, “Don’t you ever even think about getting pregnant.”

Karen and her husband moved to Durham in 1989 for his work and she was “thrilled to be this close to Duke.” She got on a blood pressure drug in 1994 that kept her health problems in check. But in 2004 she was told she had two years before she would either need to go on dialysis or get a transplant.

On Jan. 16, 2007, she got a call from Duke saying they had a kidney and pancreas for her. She rushed to the hospital – time is of the essence when it comes to transplants – and heard the helicopter land that brought her new organs from Tennessee.

Karen shared her gratitude and even some conflicting emotions after receiving a kidney and a pancreas from the anonymous person.

“I was completely alone in the pre-op area and for the first time I allowed myself to get excited,” said Karen, the wife and mother of two adopted boys. “But I also realized there was a family in the state of Tennessee that just had one of the most horrific days of their life. It’s a real mix of emotions, but I’m very, very thankful that someone was able to be generous, to see beyond themselves.”

Karen read from a letter – as yet unreturned – to the donor’s family, thanking the person and pledging to be a good steward.

“I want you to know I take this precious gift you’ve given me very seriously, and I’m forever grateful.”

Unfortunately, less than half of drivers in North Carolina are registered organ donors. If any of us are were in that number, I imagine they’ll be giving it a second thought after hearing Karen’s story.

Tammy Dunne, program director for Donate Life NC, told us before introducing Karen that many people worry they’re too old or have had too many health problems.

The truth, according to the Donate Life website, is that “Just about everyone is eligible to donate, regardless of age, medical history or health habits. Newborns as well as senior citizens have been organ donors.”

Go to to register as an organ donor today. You could be a lifesaver.

Submitted by Matt Dees

Program Report: DRC Social Media Communication Hubs – Jay Zenner

Jay2SocialMediawebCarver Weaver gave a brief introduction for our friend, Jay Zenner, to discuss communications with us last Monday. Jay seemed determined to make up for what he perceived as a very long “Rotary Minute”, but when you have had a career that spans from Notre Dame football to Durham Real Estate who can blame him?

Jay treated us to an energetic look at communications on the web and how we can harness these better as a club. After all, Jay created an award-winning website, and with so many members in our club, the internet is vital to both our internal and external communications.

So, armed with a power point presentation that flew by, Jay gave us a lot of laughs (starting off with a clever quiz) and much to not think about, but to act upon.

Starting with Facebook, Jay underscored that this communication site is so popular because its free, easy to use and habit forming: a perfect tool for a club which seeks to recruit (new members) and engage (our community). Jay rightly pointed out that our club has a big agenda: to improve literacy, plan our centennial, acquire large grants and have 100% of our members be Paul Harris Fellows. But with attendance at 50%, which is understandable with such a large club, we must have a hub for communications, so members know about all the other activities we have going on, from Rotary After Hours to who will ring the Salvation Army bell.

So Jay, and all of us in the communications committee, urge all of our members to sign up for Facebook, and if you have, please like our page. It is easy to do. Just as easy as signing onto our website and signing up for our newsletter. And once you read, watch and explore our site, to send us more of your own information so that we can post it. Whether that is a fellow Rotarian hammering a nail into a beam at our Habitat House or drinking a glass of good cheer at the progressive dinner, take a photo and send it in.

Doing this, Jay explained, develops internal and external support for all of our rotary programs. It helps recruit not just members but help for our committees. So Jay asks us to all do the following easy, free things: Like our Facebook page, subscribe to our website for updates, add our website to to your favorites tab and explore our website.

After all, like I said earlier, Jay made it an award winning site!

In the future, submit your own content, comment on our pieces on the website, and be brave: become a contributor of photos and rotary content. Its beneficial to all concerned!

Submitted by Deirdre Haj