The Light for May 26, 2020
 
By Kate Collinson
 
President Helen Oloroso welcomed members and guests to the virtual meeting before leading the group in the Why We Are Rotarians pledge. 
 
Ann Searles shared a Thought for the Day from St. Francis of Assisi – “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
 
Announcements
 
Helen reminded members that District Governor Suzanne Gibson’s weekly email message includes a helpful Virtual Event/Speaker Series Calendar with upcoming Zoom programming  (example: June 8, 12:30 pm. Steve Dudenhoefer will discuss the partnership between District 6440 and Ak Tenamit in Guatemala), as well as available Recordings and Notes from previous speakers.
 
Helen also noted an urgent appeal by John Germ, Polio Countdown to History Chair, for additional contributions to Donate to End Polio.  With attention on COVID, it’s easy to forget the importance of Rotary’s polio eradication efforts. Please consider a donation within the next month to help Rotary achieve the $50 million target needed for a critical Gates Foundation match.
 
As part of RI’s recently announced collaboration with Toastmasters International, several online courses (Develop a Speech and Deliver a Speech) launched in May 2020 and will be available to Rotary members.   More details to come.
 
Chris Joyce announced that the Club Service Committee will meet on Thursday, June 4, 7:30 a.m. via Zoom.  Topics of discussion will include outdoor socially distanced fellowship opportunities and installation dinner details. 
 
Linc and Myra Janus reported that Potter has made it safely to Bangkok and is currently midway through his 14-day quarantine period in a local hotel.  Unable to leave his room, he is bored but well-fed, having received food supplies from his mom and dad.
 
District Governor Elect Lyle Staub added to Helen’s remarks on the District Speaker Series.  Lyle explained that Round Table discussions are being held monthly which are open to any Rotarian in the District.  They cover a variety of important topics, including virtual meetings, fundraising, club finances, etc.  Today at 4 p.m., there will be a discussion of finances in the age of COVID.  These discussions are a perfect opportunity for Rotarians to come together and share ideas!
 
Kathy Tate-Bradish encouraged members to continue to support our Taste of Evanston restaurants.  (No specific restaurants have been selected for this week.)   Both the Club and TOE websites contain links to our restaurant partners, so please check them out and offer your support!  Paul Weber will not be able to continue tallying ELRC-purchased meals, but Joan Borg graciously stepped up during the meeting to offer help with this recordkeeping.  Thanks, Paul -- & Joan
 
As explained in the past, please let Joan know if you purchase items from any of our Taste of Evanston partner restaurants.
 
Kathy also announced that the International Service Committee will be gathering via Zoom this Sunday at noon.  The meeting will focus on our club’s work in Kenya -- with slides and an appearance from member Patrick Mbullo. To enhance the experience, Tusker beer (Kenya’s premium lager) is available.  Please contact Kathy for beer pick-up/delivery details.   All are welcome! 
 
Bill Glader announced that the Taste of Evanston Committee will be meeting tonight via Zoom (Tuesday, 6 p.m.) to discuss naming and other details of our Virtual Taste event.   Helen noted that our club has recently signed two contracts with our event planner – for a virtual 2020 event and (hopefully) a more typical 2021 Taste of Evanston. 
 
Special Mention
 
In addition to circulating an article from the Daily Northwestern via email, Helen encouraged members to share their memories and tributes to Hecky Powell, legendary Evanston restauranteur, activist, and philanthropist who passed away last week from COVID-19.
 
Linda Gerber spoke briefly about meeting Hecky in 2016 when soliciting support for the Taste of Evanston.  At that time, she explained the event and its goals and was prepared to leave when Hecky drew her into a long and meaningful conversation about charitable organizations, a general lack of accountability and the importance of taking the long view.  A “balance of reprimand and encouragement”, that interaction was the first of many, generating direction and movement for TOE (from food insecurity to job training and housing solutions).  Admired for the Work Ethic program he founded, his philanthropy, his dedication to youth, his personal convictions (hard work and ethics) and his sense of fun, Hecky was a charismatic leader who will be sorely missed.  
 
Known for treating everyone as a best friend, Hecky (while cooking in the restaurant recently) told Marisa Naujokas “I love that Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club   Tell everyone hello!”
 
Roasts & Boasts
 
Sergeant-at-Arms Nick Powers provided a riddle (Q: What is one question you can never say YES to?  A:  Are you sleeping yet?), before soliciting Roasts and Boasts.
 
Marv Edelstein boasted Zoom Co-host Steve Goranson.  Members of the Tech Committee will be rotating as Zoom hosts/co-hosts so our Tuesday morning meetings will continue to stream smoothly. 
 
Myra Janus boasted Neil Gambow for arranging Potter’s travel, getting him to his physical exam, and handling the many, many details of his complicated return trip to Thailand.
 
Helen boasted Kristin Brown for sharing her heart on Caring Bridge.  We all send positive thoughts to Mahmoud!
 
Program
 
Topic: Heart 2 Heart, International Service in Mexico
 
Speaker: Ron Appuhn
 
Linda Gerber learned of Ron Appuhn, a Rotarian from Maryville, TN, from her Rotarian contacts in Mexico City.   In addition to being the spouse of former RI Director Karen Wentz, Ron has served in many positions at the district, zone and Foundation levels and will be District 6780 Governor during the 2020-2021 club year.
 
For more than a decade, Ron has been involved in international service, focusing his energies on Heart 2 Heart, a cooperative partnership between Rotary clubs, districts and individuals in Mexico (Districts 4170 & 4140 in Mexico City and Guadalajara, respectively) and Rotarians in the “heart of America” (Zones 30 & 31, with a few outside partners – including the ELRC).   Just ending its 15th year, Heart 2 Heart leverages the assets of its partner organizations (including the Rotary Foundation) to positively impact lives via Rotary’s six areas of focus.
 
A visit to an overburdened public hospital outside Mexico City with substandard equipment catalyzed Ron’s passion for service.  Humanitarian matching grants were funded through Rotary and needed craniotomy equipment and infant radiant cradles were purchased.  Subsequently, Heart 2 Heart (H2H) put together humanitarian matching grants, now Global Grants, to purchase water tanks for 140 schools.  Heart 2 Heart (H2H) has also tackled sanitation needs, putting toilets in numerous school facilities. 
 
In the areas of Disease Treatment and Prevention, H2H has also made huge strides.   In partnership with four private hospitals, H2H has supported (at a cost of only $2,000/person) more than 400 life-saving kidney transplants.   The organization regularly contributes to a children’s cancer center in Guadalajara and the cleft lip and palate efforts of the Rotary Club of Vallejo (a partner of the ELRC).   H2H has also trained 500 midwives and purchased penguin suction devices (which remove fluids from newborn nasal and oral cavities), positively impacting more than 24,000 infants.  Heart 2 Heart has also worked with Project CURE to deliver repurposed medical equipment and supplies to areas with limited economic means.
 
In the area of Peace and Conflict Resolution, H2H has trained mediators to help with private disputes.  H2H has also supported “Positive Peace” efforts.   Fostering Education and Literacy, H2H has built schools in poorly served areas, reducing pregnancy rates and gang participation and providing needed community meeting areas.  They have also impacted Economic and Community Development with their tortilla/bread bakery which both feeds and employs the rural poor.  And a low-cost shelter project has been developed to house those who lost their homes in the 2017 Mexico City earthquake. 
 
In its history, Heart 2 Heart has facilitated more than $5 million of projects (with Rotary’s match exceeding $2 million).  
 
Global grant projects in 2019-2020 included kidney transplants, Project Cure medical equipment, autism detection/research, scoliosis equipment, bathroom renovations and high school science lab equipment.  Non-global grant projects are equally varied and extensive: drug and alcohol abuse prevention, chem lab equipment, solar panels, water pumps, school renovations, books & supplies, medical missions, …
H2H has altered its plans for the coming year, taking into account the financial, medical and implementation challenges of COVID-19.  
 
Projects will include the purchase of additional Project Cure equipment, knee prosthetics, COVID-related equipment (movable beds), the development of a children’s education program, the Angel project and additional WASH (Water, Sanitation, Health) and Peace projects. 
 
Sadly, Mexico faces some very serious challenges.  The state of medical facilities in Mexico was poor and overburdened prior to COVID-19.  
 
More than 50% of Mexicans have no medical care and there is little income protection.  The President and his government have been largely ineffective and there are serious concerns about underreporting the severity of the crisis.  (The NBC Nightly News on Sunday, May 24 had some heartbreaking coverage of the current situation in Mexico.)  Social distancing is an impossibility with high density in the cities, few masks and people needing to work.  Even their culture – which historically has included seeing and touching the dead prior to burial – works against them during this time.   Local Rotarians are doing what they can, actively developing COVID-19 projects and grants, but our help will be even more necessary post-COVID.
 
At the same time, Rotary will be celebrating its 100th year in Mexico!   Heart 2 Heart’s goal is 100 0pportunities for 100 Clubs!   This ambitious program is designed to foster club-to-club (and person-to-person) connections through service.   Every Rotarian is welcome -- including Rotaractors, Interactors and non-Rotarians.  Projects of all sizes are encouraged.   For more info on the 100-in-100 program:   https://www.rizones30-31.org/news/100-in-100-program/
 
Why work with H2H?  Project ideas are home-grown, not imposed by a U.S. partner.  Mexicans design the projects, so there is 100% ‘buy-in’.  They are ‘hands on’ and generally easily visited (pre-COVID).   Mexico is the U.S.’s 2nd largest trading partner.  Our communities have strong Hispanic ties. Heart 2 Heart nurtures lasting connections.
 
Linda Gerber added that our club is still partnering with the Rotary Club of Vallejo and has several options to consider as part of the 100-in-100 effort.
 
For more info, please contact rappuhn53@yahoo.com
 
Guests and Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarians
 
Ron Appuhn, Rotary Club of Maryville (Knoxville), TN
Linda Brennan, RC of Macon, Georgia
Don Griffing, RC of Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Lisa O’Halloran, RC of Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Lyle Staub, District Governor-Elect
 
 
Club Anniversaries
 
Ilana Seligman – 7 years 
 
Sponsors