Meeting Notes from June 12, 2018
 
By Chris Joyce
Photography by John Searles
 
President Marv Edelstein opened the meeting with a hearty Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!! and led the club in a recitation of the Rotary Pledge. The thought for the day was by Ann Searles, who quoted Rep. John Lewis: “When you see something happen, you have an obligation, a mandate, a mission, to speak up, to speak out.”
 
Announcements
 
Marv Edelstein announced that the Board meeting will be June 18 at Rotary International. It will be a joint meeting with the incoming and outgoing boards. The budget for next year will be discussed and, hopefully, approved.
 
Marv and Harold Bauer both talked about making annual contributions to the Rotary Foundation. We are close to hitting our goal of 100% club participation. The end of the fiscal year is June 30.
 
Neil Gambow discussed the upcoming 4th of July parade. The incoming RI president, Barry Rassin, is the parade marshal. We should support him by showing up to march that day. Bruce Baumberger emphasized the importance of making a good showing.
 
Kristin Brown is participating in a bike ride from Rotary International tomorrow morning. It is the first leg of the EPIC Ride to support diabetes awareness.
 
Bill Glader updated the club on the progress of Taste of Evanston. Some 120 tickets have been sold so far, and it is expected that the pace will pick up as we get closer to the date.
 
Linda Gerber talked about the Taste of Evanston kickoff event on June 20 at Terra and Vine from 6 to 8 p.m. Please come and enjoy the discussion and tasting of summer wines.
 
Jean Saunders presented a banner from the Vienna, Austria, Club. She visited Vienna in May while filming for Rotary’s People of Action campaign. Also, she announced that she would be hosting a get together at her house on June 12 at 7:30 p.m. Jean grew up in Toronto and will share her knowledge of the town for those attending the RI convention, as well as for anyone who simply wants to learn about Toronto.
 
Jean Saunders
 
Marcia Kazurinsky presented a banner from the Blenham, New Zealand club. She recently visited there.
 
Marv Edelstein and Marcia Kazurinski
 
Ann Searles reported that the recovery of Horton Kellogg is proceeding nicely. We may see him at a meeting soon!
 
Joan Borg and Holly Halliday are speaker co-chairs for next year. Joan asked club members for any speaker ideas that they might have.
 
Roasts & Boasts
 
Sergeant-at-Arms Albert Menard called for Roasts and Boasts:
 
Ann Weatherhead told us that her daughter’s Oregon wedding is over. It was a beautiful day and a happy and wonderful event.
 
Ann Searles shared with us that she and John have “survived” 29 years together. Happy Anniversary!
 
Helen Oloroso boasted Chris Joyce and Bruce Baumberger. Marv Edelstein joined in the boast. Chris has assumed responsibility for the venue change from the Hilton Gardens to Rotary International. Bruce has provided a very detailed and helpful list of tasks that are involved in the move.
 
Bill Vernon boasted seven Boy Scouts in his troop who are on their schools’ Honor Roll.
 
Neil Gambow boasted two Rotarians, David Hood and Ellen Bruning. They are the District Administrators of the Rotary
Youth Exchange program and put in a tremendous amount of work in making the program so successful.
 
Bruce Baumberger boasted the Music Theater Works. They will be presenting an outstanding production of a Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.
 
Albert called upon Paul Brown to be interviewed. Paul stated that there were many moments over his 33 years in the club when he felt proud to be a Rotarian. The proudest moment is right now, when daughter Kristin Brown will become the next club president. He said that not many people knew that he had been recruited to play football at Northwestern, under Ara Parseghian. He decided not to play football during his years at Northwestern and focused on his studies instead. 
 
Program
 
Speaker: Myra Janus on “Working with Refugee Families”
 
Myra is chair of the refugee committee at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She was a Peace Corps volunteer from 1968-1970, teaching biology in Ghana. After raising her children, she  worked for District 65 as a program manager and grant writer, retiring in 2012. Myra and Linc first became involved with refugees in 2015, sponsoring the Yancuba family from Sierra Leone. They still keep in touch with the family. In 2016, she helped re-establish an effort at St. Luke’s to help refugees through World Relief Chicago.
 
Myra used as examples of their refugee work two families, the Yancuba family from Sierra Leone, and the Adbullah family from Sudan. She discussed their experiences in trying to navigate the application process and assimilation into the American culture.
 
A refugee is defined as someone who has fled from their home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. There are currently in excess of 16 million refugees in the world. The US has only admitted 14,000 so far this year. The process for admittance as a refugee is very complicated and time consuming.
 
What are some of the challenges facing refugees once they arrive in the US?
 
Finding safe affordable housing-can be very expensive.
 
Finding employment-often have to take low paying jobs.    
 
Transportation to employment.
 
Medical care-a serious issue, as health care in the country      
they come from is often very poor, resulting in chronic
problems.
 
Education, as culture shock--going from a camp in the desert to a big city like Chicago--can be very disruptive.
 
Finding friends who speak their language.
 
As you can see, the whole refugee experience is very traumatic, itself resulting in serious health issues, like PTSD. The current attitude of the US government is exacerbatiing the situation. It is clear that the current government wants to discourage most, if not all, immigration.
 
What can we do? We can sponsor a family and give them support in a way that encourages independence. Support the Evanston Interfaith Refugee Roundtable, which is helping families seeking asylum status in the US. And finally, make sure that your governmental representatives know that you strongly support the fact that the US should welcome those in need.  
 
Myra Janus and Marv Edelstein
 
Guests & Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarian
 
Mary Bak, Glenview Sunrise Club, Assistant District Governor, 2017-2018.
 
Other Guests
 
Myra Janus, speaker and spouse of Lincoln
 
Corky Siegfried, friend of Ann Searles
 
Cynthia Doucet, friend of Ann Searles
 
Karen Bauer, spouse of Harold Bauer
 
Birthday
 
Bill Vernon
 
Club Anniversaries
 
Kathy Tate-Bradish, 3 years
 
Paul Brown, 33 years, charter member
 
Bob Teska, 33 years, charter member
 
Ira Graham, 33 years, charter member
 
Sponsors