Rotary Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army 2017

This year, 2017, we ring at Wal-mart at New Hope Commons11 – 8, Tues, Dec. 12 — Sat, Dec. 16.  The shifts are one hour in length, but you are encouraged to sign up for two hours if possible.   Also, we like to have two Rotary members for every shift.

The bell ringing raises money for very good cause but it also has another benefit that many members have discovered over the years.  It’s a great way to get to know another Rotarian.  If you are a new member, just pick a date and time on an “empty” day.  You’ll probably then get a partner that you don’t know well. Then as slots start filling up pick another hour with someone you don’t know but might like to get to know.

Don’t be put off by the picture of Rotarians Meg Solera and Vince Simonetti.  You don’t have to sing or play the Sousaphone. These guys are just natural performers and love to do it. Vince was one of he founders of the Durham Symphony.

All you have to do is ring the bell and wish the givers a Merry Christmas. You will also be surprised at where the generosity comes from.  It can be a cold day but it will warm your heart.

Click here to sign up with Sign-up Genius.

For questions, contact John Cross.

Rotary Minute: Blake Strayhorn

We’re feeling called to be bold these days at Durham Habitat.  With so many thousands of Durham neighbors living in need, we have to be.

I live in Old North Durham and my wife, Dell, and I have two boys, Will and Thomas, who are 26 and 24. Both boys went to Carolina and both live in the Triangle.  Younger son, Thomas, just moved back to Durham after serving a year with AmeriCorps, working for Denver Habitat.

I grew up in Nashville Tennessee and seems I’ve almost always had quirky cool jobs.  I started that trend when I worked for a vet in high school. Since it was Nashville, that meant rubbing shoulders with country music stars, both human and canine.  Y’all remember the TV show, Hee Haw?  One of my job responsibilities at the vet was to bathe Beauregard, the big bloodhound on Hee Haw, before he went on the set.

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New Member: Savannah Lennertz


New Member Savannah Lennertz introduces herself to the Club. She is pictured with her sponsor, Guy Solie. Kay Gresham of the Membership Committee performed the induction.

Ms. Lennertz is the Senior Development Associate for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Prior to joining the Full Frame team in 2017, Savannah was the Development and Communications Associate for the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai in New York City. Savannah graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Health Policy. Savannah is a native New Yorker and recent transplant to Durham, NC.

Please introduce yourself me to Savannah and welcome her to Durham and the Club.

Program Report: Duke President Vincent Price

Duke’s tenth president, Vincent Price, was introduced to a full Rotarian house on Monday November 7 by Dr. Phail Wynn Jr., Duke’s V-P for Durham and Regional Affairs (“Doing good in the neighborhood”).  Dr. Price comes to us from the University of Pennsylvania, where was Provost.  Before going to Penn, Price was at the University of Michigan, where he headed up the Department of Communication Studies.  His short 1992 book Public Opinion is a summary of the difficulties in tying down this tricky concept.  He recently taught on the role of online communication and how the media frame political issues. He has advised the online teaching company Coursera.

Dr. Price explained how delighted he was to be at Duke at the end of a successful fund-raising campaign: Duke Forward, the largest campaign in Duke University history, has concluded by raising $3.85 billion over the past seven years.

But Price’s biggest surprise seemed to be the city of Durham and its people.  He was taken on a tour that was supposed to cover both Duke and Durham but, Durham took the lion’s share of the time.  He was much impressed with the enthusiasm of Durhamites and the many entrepreneurial innovations to be found in a town once better known for other things (like the odor of tobacco, still missed by some, and the lacrosse debacle, regretted by many).  He especially appreciated the number of dog-lovers in Durham.  (Possibly our large number of dogs is related to the many trees – which have also impressed Dr. Price.  But on this matter, he did not speculate.)

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In Memory of Lois Cranford

Dear Fellow Rotarians: 

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of fellow Rotarian Lois R. Cranford.  Lois passed peacefully last night at The Hock Pavilion, where her daughters, Susan and Kathryn, and their husbands, had moved her the day before from Duke Hospital. 

Lois lived a long and happy 93 years and was, in many ways, the matriarch of our Club.  Lois had a passion for community service, particularly through Rotary and particularly focused on children and education.  She is perhaps most well-known among us for launching and running our Club’s poinsettia sale fundraiser, which raised thousands of dollars each year for our Club’s scholarships.  Lois and her family’s history in Rotary is second to none.  Here are a few highlights: 

Lois was made an Honorary Member of the Club in 1989 and was also a Paul Harris Fellow.

In 2013, Lois was awarded our Club’s Nicholas B. Fagan Award. 

Lois’ late husband, H. C. Cranford, Jr., was a 50+ year Club Member, a Past-President, Past District Governor, and Paul Harris Fellow. 

Lois’ daughter, Susan Ross, is a current Club Member, a Past-President, and currently an Assistant District Governor. 

Additional details regarding Lois’ history in our Club can be found here: 

To honor Lois and her commitment to helping young people, our Club recently established The Lois R. Cranford Learning Legacy Fund.  The majority of this Fund will be used to fund scholarships for deserving Durham students, with a smaller amount to be used to purchase poinsettias for Durham’s first responders, something Lois took great pleasure in delivering for many years.  Susan was able to tell Lois about this “surprise” on Monday, and she was very pleased and asked that memorial gifts be made to this Fund.  Checks should be made payable to The Rotary Club of Durham, with a note in the memo line that says, “Lois Cranford Fund”.  Checks can be mailed to The Rotary Club of Durham, Attention: Sharon Lassiter, Post Office Box 51572, Durham, North Carolina 27717.  Donations can also be made with credit cards at our regular meeting.  

The funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church.  There will be special music of Lois and H.C.’s era beginning at 2:00 p.m., so consider heading over right after our Rotary Meeting.  Lois asked that Rotarians and their spouses be seated together as honorary pallbearers, so please identify yourself to the ushers when you arrive.  There will be a visitation on Sunday night from 5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m., at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home. 

Yours in service, 

Seth J. Jernigan

Lois Cranford’s full obituary as published in the Herald-Sun on Sunday, November 5 is on at the link here or at the Hall-Wynne website here. Please feel free to leave your own memories of Lois a comment below.

New Member: Steve Hancock

After 30 years of searching for the right club to join, well known accountant Steve Hancock became a member of the Durham Rotary Club. He was inducted by one of those friends, Kay Gresham, a past president and member of the Membership Committee. Please introduce,  or re-introduce yourself to Steve and welcome him to the club.