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.  We will also be exploring a method to automatically renew membership annually to make it easier for everyone.  

The birth of virtual reality as an art form

Chris Milk uses innovative technologies to make personal, interactive, human stories. Accompanied by Joshua Roman on cello and McKenzie Stubbert on piano, Milk traces his relationship to music and art -- from the first moment he remembers putting on headphones to his current work creating breakthrough virtual reality projects. VR is the last medium for storytelling, he says, because it closes the gap between audience and storyteller. To illustrate, he brought the TED audience together in the world's largest collective VR experience. Join them and take part in this interactive talk by getting a Google Cardboard and downloading the experience at with.in/TED.
 

Why you should listen

Chris Milk is a visual artist who has created music videos for Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Beck, U2, Johnny Cash, Gnarls Barkley and many more. He is known for weaving artistic and technological innovations in pursuit of the next great platform for storytelling. Milk's acclaimed interactive projects include Wilderness Downtown (with Arcade Fire), The Johnny Cash Project and The Treachery of Sanctuary. His interactive installation artworks have been showcased at the MoMA, the Tate Modern and museums around the world.

Milk's most recent contribution to the art and tech frontier is as founder and CEO of the virtual reality company Within (formerly Vrse). In collaboration with the New York Times, Zach Richter and JR, Milk created two VR films, Walking New York and The Displaced, which were distributed along with Google Cardboard viewers to 1 million NYT subscribers in 2015. He has also collaborated on VR projects with the United Nations (Clouds Over Sidra and Waves of Grace), Vice, SNL and U2.

 
Professional development is an integral part of membership in Rotary.  Did you know that once you have set up your My Rotary account on the Rotary International website, there are many courses available for you to explore.  Simply login to your My Rotary account, select Learning & Resources, and then select Professional Development.  There you will find topics such as:  Becoming an Effective Facilitator; Building a Welcoming Community for People with Disabilities; Building Consensus; Building Strong Intergenerational Relationships; Committing to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Deliver a Speech; Leading a Team; Leading Change; Leading Effective Committees; Managing a Training Session; and more.  These topics in leadership and professional development may be useful in your business world as well as the Rotary world.
The ICC Ukraine-USA (InterCountry Council) has a new project proposed to submit to ROTARY INTERNATIONAL for a Disaster Relief Grant.  We have supported the delivery of medical supplies and medications, and now want to help develop new jobs for about 5 Ukrainians to create their own tourniquets.    We want to purchase the equipment to manufacture effective tourniquets with 3-D models, producing a press mold ($6,700 USD) and purchasing materials and accessories ($3300 USD).  The tourniquets will be provided free to Ukraine's rescuers, medics and volunteers.  This will help save lives.  
 
The press-mold will produce parts for up to 200,000 tourniquets.   The demand has been quite high, especially on the front lines.  The production cost will be reduced to about $3.30 USD as opposed to current purchase prices ranging from $14 - $40 USD as well as long delivery times for quality products.  
 
Our Rotary District 5890 has submitted a Disaster Relief Grant for $25,000 to deliver medical equipment in partnership with Medical Bridges.  The second Disaster Relief Grant for $25,000 shall be in partnership with Project Cure to send more medical equipment.  Tourniquets remain in high demand and the European market has been nearly depleted.  Thus, majority of sourcing if from USA.  
 
If you want to help with this grant, please donate to our club's Foundation account.  If you have questions, please contact Robin Charlesworth, D5890 District Representative for ICC-Ukraine.
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)
                                     +1 312 626 6799. (Chicago)
                                     +1 929 205 6099 (New York)
     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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Melodies and memories

The nonprofit Music Mends Minds, launched by Rotary member Carol Rosenstein, provides people with memory loss an opportunity to reconnect through song.

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