Program Report: Mike Wienold on Rotary Fellowship Groups and Our Next 100 Days

For many Rotary members, new and old alike, we join service groups on a one-time or regular basis to feel connected to our local community and other local Rotary members. On Monday, we learned about the benefits of a different type of group, Rotary Fellowships — these groups are international in scope (a minimum of three countries must be represented) and they consist of 12 or more participants. Each group is organized around a theme, often a hobby or occasion or activity. A couple of examples include Rotary Global History Fellowship or the Fellowship of Canoeing Rotarians.

There are several reasons to get involved in fellowships; it’s a way to connect with Rotarians outside of the local network; it’s a recruiting tool to draw new Rotarians to service; and, Rotarians can learn valuable vocational skills through fellowship. Additionally, if a local chapter is organizing a fundraiser around a particular theme, there might be a fellowship group that specializes in that theme and can help with organization.

The fellowship groups often plan and meet via email or video chat, and they typically organize an annual in-person meeting around their shared activity. The ski group plans a two week trip each year where they ski, fundraise, and plan future activities and fundraisers, for instance. Groups also meet at the international convention each year.

To get involved in a fellowship group or to learn more, check out

Our Next 100 Days

We have 100 days until the end of the Rotary year, and there are several projects that need our utmost attention.


The Education Committee presented on several volunteer opportunities, and they have three more meetings where members can get involved. Please check the calendar for dates and locations:

Topics to be covered in future Education Committee meetings include:

  • the RYLA retreat which will be the weekend of April 21st
  • finding more volunteers for Reading Rangers to help students with end of year test preparation
  • identifying host families for Youth Exchange
  • working with Book Harvest on a partnership project
  • growing the scholarship fund


New membership chair, Marge Nordstrom, presented on their plans for the next 100 days.

They are tackling the membership directory and making sure each member has a photo in it – if anyone needs a photo to be taken for the directory, Jay Zenner will take photos on 3/6 and 3/13.

Rotary Club of Durham has added 18 new members since July 1, 2016. There will be another orientation for new members on March 13th, and the New Membership Committee will use a new team member approach. New members are placed on six to eight person teams and each team will have two guides, one veteran member and one newer member. With a more hands on approach to club membership, the committee hopes to further their central tenets of retention, engagement, recruitment and technology.

CART Bucket

Other important topics of note include our district fundraising goal for Alzheimer’s research. We have two weeks to meet our $4,000 goal and so far we have raised just shy of $2,000. Plan to bring large bills to drop into the CART buckets next week.

On March 13th we vote for our new board – be there or be square!

Community Service Recognition

Last but not least, five Rotarians were recognized for their community service achievements:

Peter Jacobi – Salvation Army Bell Ringers

Carver Weaver – MLK Meal Packing

Nancy Gordon – Alzheimers Caregivers Luncheon

Nancy Marks – Alzheimers Caregivers Luncheon

Meg Solera – Alzheimers Caregivers Luncheon

Program Report – Adam Eisenrauch – Emily K Center

Adam Eigenrauch, the Executive Director of the Emily K Center asked for a show of hands of those that had been to their facility on Chapel Hill Road.  A lot of hands went up but it probably didn’t surprise him because we have had at least one meeting there and we do award the Brown Family Scholarship to one of the graduates of their program every year.  At least once several Rotarians have participated in a career night at the center.

Adam was introduced by Rotarian Gerry Musante who joined the board of the Emily K Center in 1999 when planning for the center began and remained on it until last year when he was honored with Emeritus status.  Adam has been Executive Director since November of 2010 and came to the Center in 2006 as Director of Education after 10 years as an educator and administrator in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

The Center’s mission revolves around identifying promising students in Durham County from disadvantaged backgrounds and providing intense tutoring and support to lay a future foundation for getting into college and being successful there. Separate programs support the We have met several of these students when the scholarships have been awarded.  Pioneer Scholars is for first through eighth graders, Scholars to College is for them as high school students and Scholars on Campus supports them during their first two years of college.

While this intense focus on a few students has been very successful, what Adam came to talk about was an expansion of their support for potential college students to all Durham high school student. Students participate in interactive college access focused workshops and individualized one-on-one advising services. Workshops are offered both at the Center and in the community. Advising sessions are personalized and flexible, with office hours established based on student availability. Students may participate in as many or as few Game Plan: College services as they wish.

Since there was a little confusion caused by me about who was going to do this write-up, I had to go to the Emily K website to make sure I had some of the details right. Like often happens when I do this, confused or not, I get engrossed in whatever site I find. One of the interesting features was the embedded video below which introduces Game Plan: College. If you are reading this in the printed bulletin you can find the video on the Center’s website at under the Programs tab or go to this write up on our club’s website at

For those of you who might be reading this in India or Argentina on our website and wondering who Emily K was, she was the inspiration for Hall of Fame Duke Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K is the Founder of the Emily K Center and it is dedicated to his mom.


Submitted by Jay Zenner

Alzheimer’s Caregivers Celebrated Again

On February 19th, 75 guests gathered at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham for the 3rd annual Rotary Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Appreciation Luncheon. The event is jointly sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Durham.  Attendees were treated to lunch, an acapella serenade by the Pitchforks of Duke University, a takeaway gift box of truffles and a great raffle of twenty prizes.    Raffle prizes were generously donated by local merchants and included gift certificates from local restaurants, bottles of wine, massage and pedicure treatments and movie night packages among many others. The event was great fun and guests were very appreciative of the opportunity to attend.

The planning committee was comprised of Rotarians Nancy Gordon, Meg Solera, Emily Page all of Downtown Club, Della Michaux of the Sunrise Rotary and Assistant Governor Joyce McKinney of the Southwest Club. Committee members organized over the past 4 months to ensure the event’s success.  Emily Page served as emcee, the invocation was given by Nancy Gordon and Meg Solera, once again, served as raffle announcer- extraordinaire, generating great excitement for each prize.  Past District Governor Newman Aguiar shared a video and remarks about Rotary’s commitment to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.  Bobbi Matchar of Duke Family Support Services also offered remarks.  Several Rotarians volunteered to serve as table hosts and to lend a helping hand as needed.

Alzheimer’s is a chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative disease  that slowly erodes memory and thinking skills and eventually even the ability to carry out simple tasks.   Alzheimer’s disease impacts about 5 million people nationally. In North Carolina, over 170,000 people are affected by Alzheimer’s and these numbers are expected to increase to 210,000 by the year 2025.  Caregivers are tasked with tremendous responsibilities and the demands on them increase with time.

Rotary continuously supports Alzheimer’s research through CART bucket collections. The caregivers’ luncheon is a direct, personal experience offered to members of the Durham community whose lives are impacted by the disease.  The luncheon is made possible through a joint area grant from the Rotary Foundation.

Deepest thanks are extended to the Levin JCC and its wonderful staff for graciously sharing their facility, to the Pitchforks of Duke University for our fabulous entertainment, to Carolyn Aaronson for our centerpiece arrangements and to the Leaders of Tomorrow of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of the National Black MBA Association for assembling our take-away gifts.

Finally, a very special thank you goes to all of our raffle sponsors for their generous donations that helped to make this Rotary event a success:


California Pizza Kitchen – Southpoint Mall

City Barbeque of Durham – Highway 54 and Fayetteville Road

Dulce Café & Gelato – Sutton Station

Nana’s – University Drive

Nantucket Grill – Sutton Station

Pulcinella’s Italian – Woodcroft Shopping Center

Washington Duke Inn – Cameron Boulevard

Watt’s Grocery – Broad Street


Spas & Massage Services

Bella Trio Spa & Salon – Sutton Station

Luxury Nail Salon – Fayetteville Road & Highway 54

Mary McFarland Massage – Guess Road



Big Bundts Bakery – Broad Street

Carolina Theatre of Durham – W. Morgan Street

Durham Co-op Market – W. Chapel Hill Street

Rotary Minute – Harvey Sellner

One of the problems with the Rotary Minute is that sometimes they really don’t do justice to many of our members that have had long and interesting careers and active “retirements.”

Harvey is one of those members so it’s not surprising that this was his third minute. You can use the search capability on the website to see the reports of the other two. In 2015 he shared some of the background of how he and his wife Calla got to Durham and his role in getting Rotary International involved in providing safe water where it is needed in many impoverished areas of the world that has been a focus of Rotary for many years now.

It was a natural jump from that to his current interest in sustainable agriculture which he described in his Minute last year.

This year, he dug a little deeper in to his engineering career in the US Space Program.

For those of you that have many loops around the the sun on this planet like me, you will remember when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and the determination that caused in this country to catch up and surpass them.  Most of you who weren’t around should catch the movie Hidden Figures which will give you a feel for the urgency that Sputnik inspired, as well as an inspiring story about three women that worked on the space program but will be remembered more for the segregation barriers that they broke.

But even we older folk weren’t aware of some highly-classified spy satellites that Harvey worked on, one of which dropped photographic FILM back into the atmosphere. Some of the youngest of our Rotarians may not even remember that that used to be how all cameras operated. Both Harvey and the movie pointed out is that most of us have more computing power in the phone in our pockets than was available for the first manned missions.

Harvey also worked on the Hubble Space Telescope which launched in 1990 and is still functioning today and is expected to continue sending fantastic digital pictures of space for many years to come.

Rotary Minute – Carolyn Aaronson

Carolyn Aaronson used her Rotary Minute to give a moving account a childhood that was beyond difficult. But the saddest part of the minute for many was her announcement that she had requested a leave of absence. Carolyn shared how she was deeply disturbed by the direction that the country had turned with the recent election and needed time to deal with that.

Since she became a member, Carolyn has been generous with her time, her money and her artistic ability. On this particular Monday, she was selling the beautiful hand-made valentines she creates. They were there for sale the following Monday as well, with all proceeds going to the club.

Carolyn will be missed even by those who didn’t share her political beliefs and more by those, like me, who do, but most of all by those who consider her a friend.

Carolyn, please join us again very soon in support Rotary’s goals of literacy, health, inclusiveness, world peace and friendship.

Program Report – David Baron, Founder of

Don’t just sit there – go to!

As a little boy with a lot of energy, David Baron too often heard “that’s not a toy.” Delicate things, dangerous things, and things his mother claimed were “just for looks” – he converted them into tools and toys. He broke things, and sometimes broke himself. So he decided early on that when he grew up, he wanted to change that and be able to say, “that’s a toy.”

As a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, he discovered that sleeping on a futon – particularly a cheap one – was way less than desirable. He found they broke, they were cumbersome, and they ended up in the dumpster. He was offended that the big box stores could get away with that, basically “tricking customers.” It hit him: that was the opportunity to make something better, and way more delightful. He was on track to become a successful manufacturing entrepreneur just a few years later.

Baron, CEO of, an e-commerce business based in downtown Durham that sells fun foam futons called Nuggets, is a native of Atlanta. Prior to Monday’s speaking engagement, his experience with Rotary was “a dedicated park bench on a corner in suburban Dunwoody, Georgia.” He appeared a bit taken aback by the size of his Rotary audience, but quickly warmed to his topic. [Read more…]