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Minutes: First World Problems (09/03/2014)

September 21, 2014

Invocation: Scott Burns
Flag Pledge: Diana Cecala
Raffle: Andrew Chung
Sgt. At Arms: Suzy Cobb

Visiting Rotarians: Loretta Butts, Paul Clayton

Guests: Charly Moneyor, our foreign exchange student from Belgium; Autusa Pardisi, our outbound to Italy;


  • Dana Goba announced that Sherrie Fisher has resigned.
  • Upcoming Weird Event: The Rotaract Miniature Golf Tournament has raised $15,000 so far. Does not include the family day fees for Saturday. They sold out tee hole sponsorships and four-somes for Friday.
  • International Committee Trip to Nicaragua.
  • It’s not too late to sign up for the Group 8 Social. RSVPs are due Sept. 7. So far, 38 people have signed up.
  • Also coming soon: District Conference in Monterey October 3-5.
  • Fiddlers Festival! October 12.
  • Social for Brooke Sawyer will be Sunday, October 26 from 3-5 PM at Valle Verde. Thank you to the planning committee. Scott Burns is serving as the temporary assistant junior vice chair. Also on the committee: Eric Ryan; Gary Jensen, Joanne Orenstein Schoenfeld, Janet Napier, Liz Alves, Luz Maria Ortiz Smith, Sandy Grasso-Boyd
  • The Rotary Holiday Party will be Saturday, December 13 at Ennisbrook.
  • Public Relations:  Who worked Rotary into a conversation this past week? Fundraisers: Fiddlers. Who sent out an email, posted on Facebook, or promoted Fiddlers in some way?
  • SB vacation fundraiser: Committee now forming. The kickoff meeting will be Monday, Sept 8, at Joanne’s house at 7 PM.
  • Lucille Ramirez did not announce next week’s duties. Greeters: Sandy Grasso-Boyd and Ted Deck; Invocation: Lucille Ramirez; Flag Pledge: Tim Durnin,  Raffle: Lucille Ramirez, Sgt. At Arms: Fred Gaeden
  • Jody Dolan-Holehouse said the district charitable foundation met. District travel grants are still available. Rotaract grants are also still available.
  • David Velarde announced that the membership seminar on September 20 at the Braille Institute from 10-12.
  • This week’s Weird Al video is in honor of the team going to Nicaragua: First World Problems.
  • Raffle Results: Jody Dolan Holehouse won.
  • Pay & Tell with Sgt. At Arms Suzy Cobb.
  • Little known fact: This Rotarian learned to drive a motorcycle and took a spouse of two weeks to tour London. Gary Jensen.

Program: AG Paul Clayton introduced Rotary District 5240 Governor Loretta Butts

  • She’s a financial advisor. She came to the Central Coast in 1989. She’s been an active board member of RC of Atascadero in 1994. In 2001, she was charter president of the RC of Templeton. She went to 4 RI conventions. She also participated in an NID in Nigeria. In Uganda, she helped with a medical clinic project. She has held numerous District positions. She was Rotarian of the Year. she is a benefactor and member of the Paul Harris Fellow Society.
  • She said she wants to share her Rotary story. Although she joined Rotary in 1994, but said she did not become a Rotarian until 2005. Before then, she was just a good member of those clubs.
  • In 2005, she was going to turn 60, and she wanted to do something special.  That was the year she went to Nigeria with Rotary for a National Immunization Day for polio.
  • At that time, Nigeria had stopped giving the vaccine for about a year and a half. The rumor was that the vaccine would make female children sterile. Random samples of the vaccine were sent to four labs around the world to prove it was just the vaccine. So the group she went to Nigeria with was the first group back in the country since the hold.
  • The team got extensive training about administering the vaccine. Dr. Otto Austel had been all over the world, and he explained all the details of the process. But he asked the team not to go for their own safety.
  • In Northern Nigeria, the population is about 90% Muslim. In Southern Nigeria, the population is about 90% Christian. Conflict was often sparked and followed with retaliation.
  • They went to the palace of the Amir and to visit the governor, where media covered it, showing the religious and governmental leaders supported the immunization efforts.
  • They were hosted in a secure compound.
  • An advance team secured permission for the team to visit most Muslim villages, where a different set of laws govern things. At one village, they did not have advance permission. Many people were coming out, and the Rotary team left.
  • It’s impactful to deliver the vaccine and vitamin A.
  • At the end of the trip, exhausted with 40 hours of travel ahead of her, she had to report she was not taking any money out of Nigeria. A nearby man, looking very militant, asks her how she enjoyed her time there. She said she had a good time. He asked if his children will get sick. She said they would get sick without the vaccine. She told him that she had to explain to her children what polio is because they haven’t seen it, but she has. And she told him she wanted his grandchildren to not know what polio is. He extended his hand to shake, she returned the gesture. Then he took her hand in both of his and thanked her. THAT was the moment she became a Rotarian.
  • This is the greatest humanitarian organization that has ever existed on this earth. We are 1.2 million volunteers.
  • Anil Garg is planning an NID to India for early 2015.
  • She shared ideas of how you can get more engaged with Rotary.
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