We encourage ALL members to attend this multi-club event this week which is our monthly meeting.  Meet our District Governor and learn more about Rotary beyond our own club.  Hope to see you online!
Join Zoom:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7315779463
 
Meeting ID:  731 577 9463
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Find your local number:  https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbZNibGFXm
 
 
Being an active Rotarian not only involves commitment to  the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self", but also a commitment to support our club with payment of annual dues.  Our dues are structured to pay for Rotary International dues, Rotary District 5890 dues, and a small amount for club operations.  We will be sending invoices soon in the amount of $200.  Please pay promptly.  

If you choose to terminate your membership, notification must be sent to the Board of Directors.  Only those members who have paid dues will be given a dismissal in good standing.  Another Rotary Club may not accept your application for membership until the Board approves the resignation and deletes the member from Active Membership.  The member's Rotary ID number transfers with the member to another club.
 
If you have any questions, please contact PDG Ed Charlesworth, Treasurer.

Jennifer Jones, Rotary International’s first female president, is the perfect leader to spread the word about the good Rotary does in the world, and inspire its members to keep going.

By Diana SchobergPhotography by Monika Lozinska

At a training seminar for Rotary club presidents-elect at a Dallas-area hotel in February, sergeants-at-arms wearing yellow vests and Stetsons lead participants, grouped by Rotary district, into a small room for a photo op with 2022-23 Rotary International President Jennifer Jones. As the groups enter, the club leaders mob Jones — the room a flurry of handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, and the occasional squeal. For each photo, the Stetson-clad Rotarians (nicknamed "Rangers") give instructions on who should stand where, then Jones, who is seated front-row center, stands up, turns around, and warms up the crowd. "Is this the best district?" she asks one. She challenges a district to dance, busting a groove on the tan and gray patterned hotel carpet. Another, she teases, is the best looking. And then there's the "party" district, whose members give a raucous cheer.

The groups file out. More than a few people linger to get selfies with Jones and her husband, Nick Krayacich. One young woman, dressed in cobalt blue, shouts, "Congratulations and thank you for being a leader for women in Rotary!" More cheers. She and Jones bump fists as she departs.

"She's just amazing. She's a rock star," says Rhonda Walls Kerby, past governor of District 5890, who has been observing the scene.

"She makes everyone feel special. That's why everyone feels like they are best friends with Jen," says Eric Liu. Liu met Jones at the International Assembly in 2016, when he was an incoming district governor and she was the incoming RI vice president, and they hit it off.

Liu's sentiment is among the common refrains heard during a whirlwind weekend traveling with Jones. Over and over, people mention that she has an easy way with people, that for years everybody "knew" she would be the first female Rotary president, that she's a new kind of leader.

And that she's the leader Rotary needs right now.

Jones, 55, was born in Windsor, Ontario, and — save for a few post-college years working in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Manhattan — has lived there her whole life. The oldest of three children, she'd run lemonade stands to earn money to give to charity, and recalls organizing a carnival in her family's yard to benefit kids with muscular dystrophy. "Growing up, my parents had given us wings to do service in our community," she says. Today, her mom, dad, and one of her brothers and his wife are Rotarians. Her other brother created a painting that inspired Jones' presidential-theme ties and scarves.

Both Jones and Krayacich are originally from Windsor, but the two met in the Caribbean. Burned out after finishing university and working in the newsroom at a radio station, Jones took time off and worked at a resort in the Caribbean, while Krayacich, a physician, had just finished his internship in Toronto and went to the islands to go scuba diving. They struck up a friendship, and when they both eventually moved back to Windsor, they started dating and got married shortly thereafter.

In many ways, Krayacich, the governor-nominee of District 6400, is the opposite of Jones. He's quieter and more serious, preferring one-on-one conversations, traits that are suited to his vocation. "Jennifer is definitely an Energizer Bunny. She's outgoing and very much a connector," he says. "We complement each other very well."

Jones started her own television production company when she was in her late 20s, wowing bank officials with her business plan, negotiating a lease, and investing in hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment. "I've always wanted to carve my own path," she says. "Sometimes that's meant taking risks and making yourself open to new experiences."

One of those was Rotary. As a rookie radio reporter in the late 1980s, she'd covered the organization and remembers attending club meetings where the members were nearly all men. "I remember feeling very intimidated by the experience," she says. "I was in my early 20s. It was the power brokers of the community." Fast forward to 1996, months after she'd started her business, Media Street Productions. The manager of the local cable station invited Jones to a meeting. She realized she had found her home. "It was clearly one of the greatest gifts I've ever received," she says. "I didn't think walking through the door that day that it would change the trajectory of my life."

In 2001-02, she served as president of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland. Every meeting, she'd randomly pick a member, have them stand, and tell them why they were important to the club. "Every week, people would show up to see who the next person would be," she says.

It taught her a lesson about the importance of taking care of members, a priority now that she is RI president. "We were having fun, doing good work, and we liked each other," she says. "Sometimes we try to over-manufacture the reason why people join and stay."

At that point, her district had never had a female governor. She was under 40, and she "wanted to try to take that for a ride," she says. "I knew I wanted to put my full-on energy into Rotary. I loved it."

After her term as governor in 2007-08, she chaired the local chamber of commerce and the University of Windsor board of governors. "It was the most amazing precursor to sitting on the board of directors of Rotary," she says. "Each one was a building block."

EVANSTON, Ill. (June 29, 2022) – Jennifer Jones, member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, will be the first woman to take office as Rotary International President in the service organization’s 117-year existence on 1 July 2022.

During her one-year term, Jones will focus on building new relationships and establishing collaborations with organizations that share Rotary’s commitment to driving impact through humanitarian service and to developing leaders around the globe. She has also made Rotary’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion a key part of her presidential platform.

“Diversity has long been one of our core values and continues to serve as a foundation for how we interact with each other and our communities,” said Jones. “I know that my experiences and perspective as a woman mean that I bring a different lens to how I see and approach opportunities and challenges for our organization. I hope to be a catalyst for similar opportunities for leaders from all backgrounds that comprise the global mosaic of our organization. We are stronger, more creative, and more effective when we ask for and leverage those diverse perspectives to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.”

As a professional communicator with more than 30 years of experience, Jones will also use her vocational strength as a storyteller to shine a light on the positive and lasting impact Rotary clubs are making to improve lives and strengthen communities across the globe. “This year, we are going to bring Rotary service projects center stage around the world. We will put a special focus on visible, high impact acts of service across our areas of focus, drawing attention to the incredible work that Rotary members are doing.” said Jones.

Jones officially takes office as Rotary International President on 1 July 2022 in Ottawa, Canada at the mid-point of her cross-country tour. Dubbed Imagine Rotary Canada, Jones is traveling coast-to-coast, stopping at twelve hubs along the way to meet with local officials and participate in projects that address pressing issues including food insecurity, plastic and litter in waterways, and the safety of seasonal guest workers.

Jones will also mark her year as president by touring model examples of Rotary's impact in action. Throughout the year she will connect with Rotary members and clubs spanning the globe to explore and share learnings from Rotary projects, with a focus that includes:

  • the vital role of women health workers in the efforts to end polio in Pakistan;
  • a day in the life of a community health worker helping to reduce malaria in Zambia;
  • the efforts of 600 Rotary clubs to improve education for underserved students in Guatemala;
  • a former refugee who is now a Rotary Peace Fellow at the Rotary Peace at Makerere University, in Uganda;
  • health workers reaching children with live-saving vaccines in remote islands in the South Pacific; and
  • Rotary's efforts to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to all of Haiti

As president, Jones will oversee Rotary’s top goal of eradicating polio. “When we harness our connections, deepen our relationships, and create new partnerships - our collective efforts can change lives for generations,” said Jones. “There is no better proof point of our impact than our effort to eradicate polio.”

Alongside its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, Rotary has achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases, and contributed US $2.4 billion to protect more than 3 billion children from this paralyzing disease. Nearly 19.4 million people are walking today who otherwise would have been paralyzed by this vaccine-preventable disease, and 1.5 million people are alive who otherwise would have died. With the infrastructure Rotary helped create to end polio, a lasting global health legacy is now being used to protect millions of people from other diseases – including Ebola, malaria, and COVID-19.

 
The Board of Directors accepted the application of Shirin Parke in their meeting on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Her sponsor is Active Member Anais Watsky.  Their paths have crossed as Shirin is a parent of an Outbound Rotary Exchange Student this year.  Shirin is an IT Project Manager.  She says, "I am looking for a way to give back to my community and to the youth of this world."  She is interested in Reading, Quilting, Crafting, and Biking.  Shirin is interested in getting involved within our club concerning literacy, medical, and fundraising projects.  We look forward to her participation in our Rotary e-Club of Houston!

Polio

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.

PolioPlus

For more than 30 years, Rotary and our partners have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Our PolioPlus program was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. As a core partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary focuses on advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and awareness-building.

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.

Polio Today

When Rotary and its partners formed the GPEI in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners, nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. The infrastructure we helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases (including COVID-19) and create lasting impact in other areas of public health.

Challenges

Rotary and our partners have made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases is going to take even more progress and perseverance. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments,

page1image12265600 page1image12267712 page1image12266752

and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio.

Ensuring Success

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million per year for polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total commitment of $150 million each year. These funds provide much-needed operational support, medical workers, laboratory equipment, and educational materials. Governments, corporations, and private donors all play a crucial role in funding.

Rotary in Action

More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and money to eradicate polio, and every year, hundreds of member’s work with health workers to vaccinate children in countries affected by polio. Rotary members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute informational materials for people in areas that are isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. They also mobilize to recruit fellow volunteers, assist in transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.

Celebrity Support

Rotary has a growing list of public figures and celebrities who support our fight against polio, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actresses Kristen Bell and Archie Panjabi; actor and wrestling superstar John Cena; supermodel Isabeli Fontana; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; action-movie star Jackie Chan; actor Donald Sutherland; boxing great Manny Pacquiao; pop star Psy; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; conservationist Jane Goodall; premier violinist Itzhak Perlman; Grammy Award winners A.R. Rahman, Angélique Kidjo, and Ziggy Marley; and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan. These ambassadors help Rotary educate the public about the disease and the fight to end polio for good.

By Ryan Hyland

Anyone who wants recommendations for food or one-of-a-kind cultural experiences while they’re at the 2022 Rotary International Convention should ask Michelle Bohreer. But she also really wants to talk about the ways in which Rotary clubs in Houston are transforming their communities.

Bohreer is governor of District 5890, which includes all 60 Rotary clubs in the city. She's hoping that while people enjoy Houston's amenities and diversity, they also learn about local efforts to protect the environment and fight human trafficking.

"Houston clubs are really focused on being part of the solution to these problems," Bohreer says. "The convention is a good opportunity to share the work we're doing."

Cooling the urban heat

In the shadows of Houston's skyscrapers, the historic Third Ward neighborhood is an urban heat island. The neighborhood is full of dark, impermeable surfaces like pavement and roofing that absorb heat, and it lacks greenery — as is often the case in low-income communities. The city can get up to 17 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius) hotter than outlying areas that have the same weather conditions.

In 2020, Rotary members Ed Pettitt and Dakota Stormer began leading a project to transform donated vacant lots in the community into parks and greenspace — which can reduce the effects of urban heat. Stormer, a member of the Rotary Club of Memorial-Spring Branch (Houston), who died in 2021, had scouted potential locations and found a spot along the Columbia Tap trail in the Third Ward.

Pettitt, a member of the Rotary Club of Houston Skyline, worked to follow through on their vision and honor Stormer, an environmentalist who had founded the Footprint app that lets users track their carbon footprint. Rotary members, friends, and supporters recently planted more than a dozen trees and other greenery. The park includes benches, trash cans, water fountains, bike racks and fix-it stations, and educational signs. The greenspace was named Dakota's Peace Grove.

"There is enough ... information out there that shows the importance and urgency for Houston to address the various climate and environmental issues featured in our service project," Pettitt says. "We're going to build on our efforts."

Look for the Dakota's Peace Grove booth in the convention's House of Friendship. It will feature a small-scale version of the space with real trees and vegetation. It will also have a bench where people can take selfies and share messages about the importance of parks and greenspace.

Addressing human trafficking

Houston consistently ranks among the U.S. cities with the most human trafficking, in part due to its two international airports, busy seaports, and proximity to the border with Mexico. The hospitality industry is often used as a front for or the site of trafficking and forced labor.

Recognizing that link, Texas law requires hotels to train employees to identify the signs of trafficking and know how to respond. A District 5890 task force that fights human trafficking has worked with the nonprofit organization Unbound, which supports people who have been trafficked, to contact every Rotary convention hotel to confirm that employees have completed the training. Houston clubs are also using a global grant from The Rotary Foundation to fund operations for a stabilization and assessment center for young people who have been trafficked.

"We wanted to make sure that hotel owners, management, and guests know that Rotary is serious about this issue," says Kerri Taylor, a member of the Rotary Club of Houston Downtown and executive director of Unbound. "I want Rotarians to be inspired to lead the way in making human trafficking a rare occurrence rather than an accepted, dark underbelly of our communities."

Linda Blench is providing leadership in organizing interested Rotarians in  new gourmet dining groups.  One couple will host a thematic dinner, perhaps focusing on a specific region.  The next meeting will be hosted by another couple in the group. Linda Blench has organized similar groups before although a new twist will be offering the experience via Zoom in addition to the in-person dining experience.  An organizational meeting is set for February 21st at 6:30 pm on Zoom.   Further refinement of the details to kick-off this fun fellowship will be discussed.  The following have already expressed interest:  Linda and Karl Blench, Wind Nguyen, Ed and Robin Charlesworth, Dick and Barbara Robie, Chopin and Joan Kiang, Anais and Buddy Watsky.  We welcome any additional members to join us, too.
 
Zoom meeting:    ID# 867 6379 2290
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86763792290
 
Dial by your location:  +1 346 248 7799. (Houston)
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     Find your local number:  https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kn/AbF1LVB
 
While anyone can access the Rotary International website, members of Rotary are able to learn more detailed information including his/her contributions to the Rotary Foundation, information on Gary Rotary, and information on our Rotary District. To do this a member needs to register, or create an account on the website. Here is how you do it:
 
To gain maximum use of the Rotary International website, each Rotarian must create an account with Rotary. With this account you will be able to view your Rotary profile, as well as check your contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Here are the steps to do this.
 
  1. Go to www.rotary.org, go to "For Members" and click on My Rotary or click on My Rotarywhere ever you see it.
  2. Click on Sign In/Register.
  3. If you are a first time user, click on Create account.
  4. Fill in the Account registration information and click on Continue. If club number is requested we are club #3359. Our District is 6540.
  5. You will be informed that an e-mail has been sent to you.
  6. Check your email for the address you provided in step 5. You will receive a message which will ask you to click on the blue link to finalize the process.
  7. Fill in all the mandatory information and click on Create account.
  8. When the screen refreshes you will be given information describing what you can do with the MyRotary account. After reading, click on Continue.
 
If you are not a first time user, after step 2, just enter your email address and password and click on Sign In.
 
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Stephanie A. Urchick selected to be 2024-25 Rotary International President

Stephanie A. Urchick is selected to be the 2024-25 president of Rotary International

August 2022
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