Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rotary 6910 Receives First Arch Klumph Society Gift

Named after the sixth president of Rotary, the Arch Klumph Society (AKS) was established to acknowledge and recognize The Rotary Foundation's highest tier of donors - those who have contributed $250,000 or more during their lifetime. Arch Klumph was the 1916-17 Rotary president and addressed the 1917 convention in Atlanta with the idea of an endowment for "doing good in the world." This vision was the beginning of The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International. Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Foundation has received gifts totaling more than $1 billion.

During a dinner with President John Germ and wife Judy at Little Bacch in Atlanta on World Polio Day, several Rotarians informally spoke about the importance of ending polio and the importance of continued emphasis on PolioPlus, the polio eradication campaign that is a fund of the Rotary Foundation. Earlier in the day, top global health experts and Rotary's polio ambassadors gathered at the headquarters of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to hail progress made by Rotary and its partners, verifying polio is on the brink of eradication. 

After the informal remarks on polio, Tommy Bagwell ended the dinner with a surprise AKS gift to The Rotary Foundation. In celebration of the Foundation's 100 year anniversary, Tommy Bagwell, the charter president of The Rotary Club of Forsyth County, and his wife Chantal, presented a gift to Rotary International President John Germ, welcoming President John and Judy to Atlanta, where Rotarians from all over the world will gather in June for Rotary's International Convention to celebrate the Foundation's Centennial. Prior to this gift, Rotary District 6910 never had an Arch Klumph Society member or gift of this magnanimity. 

Tommy addressed the small group, talking of his earlier years in Rotary, serving as Charter President of the first Rotary club in Forsyth County in 1975. He said that although he hadn't been as involved as others in Rotary leadership, he always supported the mission and was appreciative of those individuals and their service. Having been recognized in the past as a Major Donor of The Rotary Foundation, he humbly quoted Kahlil Gibran On Giving,  "You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." When I, on behalf of the Rotary Foundation's trustees and Rotary District 6910, thanked Tommy and wife Chantal, for the generous gift, his selfless reply was, "Thank you for your service." Tommy and Chantal Bagwell are the epitome of altruism - they care about the welfare of other people and act to help them.

Rotary International President John Germ with Tommy and Chantal Bagwell, Rotary Club of Forsyth County, and District 6910's first Arch Klump Society (AKS) members.

RI President John Germ pins Tommy Bagwell, Rotary Club of Forsyth County, with AKS pin.

RI President John Germ with Tommy Bagwell after presentation of AKS gift and pinning.

- Submitted by Kim Waters, Rotary District 6910 Governor

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Braselton Rotary Club Provides Relief for Louisiana Flood Victims

Braselton Rotary President Chad Bingham and the club's liaison to the Mill Creek High School Interact Club, Carolyn Smith, assisted Interact members in loading the donations collected at the school to be delivered to Baton Rouge and Youngsville, Louisiana, after the recent disastrous flooding.

Mill Creek High School Interact Club members sort the items collected during a school-wide drive to help victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana. Jon Howell of the Jefferson Rotary Club and Chad Bingham of the Braselton Rotary Club loaded the donations of much-needed cases of water and clothing, toiletries and other items collected by the Jefferson Club. Ryan Jerrald of Ace Comfort Heating and Air, who donated his time to the relief effort trip, and Braselton Rotary Club president Chad Bingham loaded up Jerrald's trailer at one of the donated Premier Storage units.

Braselton Rotarians and Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County volunteers help to load one of the four trucks and trailers bound for Louisiana packed with relief aid donated by four Rotary Clubs, the Mill Creek Interact Club, West Jackson Elementary School, Jackson County Comprehensive High, local businesses and individual families. 

Donations were staged at two units at Premier Storage in Flowery Branch and then loaded into four trucks with trailers for the delivery ride to Louisiana on Sept. 26.  For Braselton Rotarians, it was all hands on deck for this "Act of Kindness" project to aid victims of the recent Louisiana floods.

Arrival at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank found the four drivers, Chad Bingham, Ronnie Jones, Blair Marshall and Ryan Sherrold greeted by thankful Rotarians and volunteers helping with the relief effort.

The Georgia delivery team with representatives at the First Baptist Church of Youngsville, which served as a relief station for local families.

The gratitude of having in-person delivery of much-needed items including bottled water and food as well as clothing and toiletries was overwhelming. Braselton Rotary President Chad Bingham said, "They appreciated it so much more than us just writing a check."   

Donations were staged at two units at Premier Storage in Flowery Branch and then loaded into four trucks with trailers for the delivery ride to Louisiana on September 26.

For Braselton Rotarians, it was all hands on deck for this "Act of Kindness" project to aid victims of the recent Louisiana floods. 

Rotarians Michael Williams and John Wheeler with Rotarians at Work shirts.
- Submitted by LeAnne Akin, Public Relations Chair, Rotary Club of Braselton

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rotary Christmas Bike Gift Program Gets Early Start

Rotarian Bill Newell, right, chairman of the Jefferson club’s Christmas Bike Gift program, introduced Lee Fox, left, with Club President Sam McDuffie, center.

Lee Fox, who owns State Street Bikes in Commerce, last year refurbished donated used bicycles for the club to give to needy children at Christmas. Club President Sam McDuffie welcomed Fox, who also oversaw a trail project in Commerce

 In introducing Fox, Dr. Newell said data on youth obesity rates indicate that today’s youngsters generally are likely to have shorter life spans than their parents, due to being so overweight and not exercising.

 Last year, the club and Fox refurbished or bought 30 bicycles to give children at Christmas, Dr. Newell said. The club hopes to exceed that level this year. Fox provides parts at cost for older bikes in need of repair and doesn’t charge for labor.

 Donations of good, used bicycles in need of some repair or painting are now being accepted at Fox’s store and by Jefferson Rotary Club members. Larger bikes for teens are a special need. The club is also accepting cash donations for the purchase of new bikes or for parts.

-Submitted by Tommy Toles, Rotary Club of Jefferson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rotary District 6910 Governor Message - Oct 2016

What are you and your club doing to celebrate World Polio Day?  Rotary International and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be joining together for the 4th Annual World Polio Day event on Monday, 24 October. More than 50,000 viewers around the world will join together in viewing the live stream event. We will be joined by celebrities and experts to share our progress on the road to polio eradication. If you haven't yet made a plan, consider joining up together in a club member's home to watch the live streaming event at Share the live-stream and educate your social media network about the campaign to #endpolio.

Spearheading the most successful global health partnership in history with the launch of PolioPlus in 1985, we have nearly eradicated polio, one of the world's most feared diseases, from the face of the earth. Polio remains endemic in only three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. For up-to-date statistics on polio, updated weekly, visit Committed to supporting PolioPlus, our Rotary District 6910 recently made a contribution of $38,450 from our Rotary Foundation District Designated Fund to PolioPlus. Based on funding requirements to continue this campaign of eradicating polio through 2019, a funding gap of $1.24 billion exists. Therefore, it is vital we continue to support this campaign. Many clubs have fundraisers specifically designated for PolioPlus. Not only does this raise needed funds, it raises awareness of our PolioPlus fund and lets our communities know that we as Rotarians are a vital part of the EndPolio campaign.

Rotary Club of Gwinnett Mosaic is a 25 member club committed to EndPolio.
Their bowling fundraiser "Bowlio" raised a total of $14,511 for Polio Plus.  
We have not seen a case of polio in India since 2011, yet the government still holds National Immunization Days (NID) twice a year as it is still important, especially in high risk areas, that children continue to receive immunizations. The goal is that each child under five receive two drops of oral vaccine. The scale of this is extraordinary with more than 172 million children vaccinators who visit more than 209 million homes in every city, town and village across the country. Since becoming involved in Rotary, I have always wanted to be involved in NID. In February, David and I will have the opportunity to visit India as part of a team of Rotarians participating in this NID. If you are interested in going as a part of this team, please email me, to let me know. The tentative departure date is 29 Jan 2017 returning 8 Feb 2017.

I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all the District 6910 Rotarians who so generously support our Rotary Foundation. The good work we do in our communities and around the world is only limited by the amount we give to The Rotary Foundation, which allows us to 'do good in the world.'

In celebration of our Rotary Foundation's Centennial, more and more clubs in Rotary District 6910 are achieving 100% Paul Harris Fellow Clubs. If your club is not there yet and you'd like ideas on how to accomplish this outstanding achievement, please contact our Rotary District Foundation Chair, Bill St. Clair. I would like to thank Bill St. Clair, our District Rotary Foundation Chair for helping clubs all around the district achieve this, the donors and the clubs who have achieved 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club. Thank you for your support of our Rotary Foundation. Congratulations to these clubs:

We will celebrate 100 years of The Rotary Foundation in Atlanta at The Rotary International Convention, kicking it off with a Million Dollar Dinner on 9 June. I hope to see you there. Contact Rich Panyik for more information on the Million Dollar Dinner (you don't have to give a million dollars to be invited, but we'd love it if you did). Volunteer opportunities are now open at the convention website. I hope you'll get registered for the convention and also as a volunteer as we hope to show a record number of Rotarians what southern hospitality is all about.

Polio eradication is our #1 external goal. With membership our #1 internal goal, here's an membership update:  We are the number one district in Georgia year to date in membership growth with 23 new members as of 30 September. But this means we are behind if we are to accomplish our goal of at least net 200 member growth by 30 June. I hope you'll be thinking about who you can bring into Rotary this year. Thank you for all you do to keep our organization relevant and a vital part of our communities and the world, Rotary Serving Humanity.

Rotary District 6910 Governor

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ShelterBox Relief Efforts Underway

When disaster strikes, ShelterBox is typically one of the first on the ground. And this has been the case in the areas suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that provides temporary shelter and life saving supplies to displaced families. Our Rotary District 6910 ShelterBox Chair, Mike Freeman, asked that this update be shared.

ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray was interviewed by CNN.  See the interview here.  "ShelterBox is preparing every single day for the worse day ever." - Kerri Murray from the CNN interview.

Key points:
  • While Hurricane Matthew made landfall elsewhere, Haiti was the worst hit.
  • Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries, and was only just starting to recover from the catastrophic earthquake in 2010.
  • While reports are still coming in about the level of devastation, Hurricane Matthew is the worst storm to make landfall in Haiti for more than 50 years.
  • At its height, the storm had wind speeds of 155 miles per hour.
  • Torrential rains have caused mass floods in many communities.
  • Extensive damage to main bridges and other transport networks has left some parts of Haiti completely cut off, leaving communities extremely vulnerable.
  • Reports are being updated still, but the death toll has surpassed 1000.
  • Reports suggest that more than 330,000 people have been affected by the hurricane.
  • Some areas are still cut off, but officials have said that parts of the south of the country of Haiti have suffered between 90-100% damage.
  • The first cases of cholera have been confirmed and medical facilities are overwhelmed by the amount of people wounded by the hurricane.
ShelterBox Response:
  • A ShelterBox response team, including volunteers from the UK, the US and Canada arrived in the capitol of Port-au-Prince on Friday night.
  • They have started to work with contacts in the country, including local Rotary contacts and representatives from IOM (the Organization for Migration) to get data on the affected areas.
  • These Rotary contacts have helped us gain information on some of the areas that have been inaccessible up until now.
  • The team will be carrying out thorough assessments to work out the level of need, as well as the most suitable selection of aid for each community.
  • We already have limited stocks of aid in Haiti and we are working with the Dutch Navy to transport many more stocks from our nearby storage locations.
  • We are exploring every option to get aid to Haiti as quickly as possible.
  • We are also looking at the possibility of partnering with fellow aid agency ACTED who we have worked with on several projects, including our response in Nepal. Working in partnership could give us more flexibility and capacity to reach isolated communities in the country.
  • The team includes Rebecca Swist, who lived and worked in Haiti for six months, and Yi Shun Lai, who took part in the ShelterBox response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. They will be able to provide invaluable insight into working in the country.
Why does ShelterBox need support?
  • Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries. Many families are incredibly vulnerable and live in shelters made of flimsy materials. Very few of these shelters will have been able to withstand the strongest storm in more than 50 years. While we don't yet have a clear picture of the situation, we expect the devastation to be huge. Torrential rains have caused flooding and landslides, which are likely to bring life threatening illnesses like cholera.
  • We need to be able to send ShelterBox aid to Haiti quickly.
  • We already have stocks of aid in Haiti, as well as on the way. 
  • Even with boxes and equipment already on the way and more coming, our stocks of aid won't be enough. With each new report that comes out, the situation becomes more desperate,
  • We need people to donate to ShelterBox so that we can send more aid, along with more response teams to reach even the most remote communities to ensure that no family goes without shelter.
ShelterBox Experience in Haiti
  • ShelterBox has worked extensively in Haiti, with the largest response after the 2010 earthquake.
  • ShelterBox played a major role in the provision of tented shelter after the 2010 earthquake, which displaced 1 million people. ShelterBox provided more than 30,000 boxes for that emergency, which represented a third of all tented shelter provided for the displaced families of the earthquake.
About Accepting Donations
  • Because ShelterBox is currently assessing still the best way to respond and the most appropriate aid for the situation, the full scale of the response is not yet known. Therefore, donations cannot be restricted to the Hurricane Matthew response.
  • It is requested that donor support be provided to help provide emergency aid to families affected by the hurricane, support people affected by disaster in numerous other ongoing responses around the world, and enable replacement of exhausted aid supplies.
  • Deployment Essentials or Unrestricted funds would be most appropriate at this time.
How You Can Help
  • Social Media - One of the quickest ways to help is by sharing updates with your entire network and encouraging them to share.  Please be sure when posting to social media or emailing information to link to ShelterBoxUSA information (not ShelterBox).
  • Donate now.
- Submitted by Mike Freeman, District 6910 ShelterBox Chair