The Light for May 10, 2022
 
By Kate Collinson
 
President Linda Gerber welcomed members to the meeting before Marisa Naujokas led the group in our statement of purpose.  Marisa shared a Thought for the Day from Henry Van Dyke – “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
 
Announcements
 
Kristin Brown shared with members that on Saturday, May 21 Rotarians and friends will rally at One Rotary Center from 8– 8:30 a.m. to send Edwin Velarde off on his fifth bike ride to a Rotary Convention. If you would like to ride, rally, or help Edwin connect with Rotarians between Joliet and Houston, please email kristin@coursedesign.com.
 
There are two opportunities to cycle with Edwin: Friday afternoon, May 20, we will do a short warmup ride around Evanston. On Saturday, May 21, riders will join Edwin and team for any distance they like between Evanston and Hyde Park along the lakefront.
 
Kelly Fidei and Helen Oloroso updated the club on plans for the TOE Silent Auction.  They are looking into sophisticated software that could potentially improve many aspects of the auction process – item management, expanded bidding and promotion, invoicing, payment, thank-yous. They will be working with the Public Image Committee on pre-event social media posts and the creation of a flyer designed for soliciting local businesses.  They also plan to use the Evanston Chamber’s messaging capabilities to spread the word about our event.
 
Thanks to Bruce Baumberger, Chris Joyce, and Chip Uchtman for spearheading the effort to replace our time-worn member badges.   Member classifications were updates, badges were redesigned and our badge box was rebuilt.  Linda even has a new gavel to begin our meetings.  
 
Katherine Peterson announced that the Club Service Committee would be meeting tomorrow morning, May 11, 8:30 a.m. via Zoom.  Members are encouraged to join us ‘in person’ next week at our usual Tuesday meeting at One Rotary Center.  While there is a capacity limit, we have not reached it at our recent meetings.   Please consider joining us!
 
Marisa Naujokas encouraged members to participate in two events on Saturday.   The Umbrella Arts Festival, celebrating Asian American heritage, will take place from 1– 4 p.m.  As sponsors of the event, we will have a table from which we’ll distribute materials and answer questions.  Please let Marisa know if you’re able to help staff the table on Saturday afternoon. 
 
Brien Johnson promoted the Rotary Hope Walk for the Homeless, a multi-club Rotary effort to support organizations that provide food, shelter, clothing, and living essentials to the homeless in our community.  Participants have the option to do a self-paced run/walk from May 5 - 14, or they may participate in a 5K fun run/walk through Gillson Park in Wilmette on Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. – noon.  For more info, or to sign up, please visit the website of the Wilmette Rotary Club.   Individual and family tickets are $50 and $100, respectively.  With increased club member participation, our community’s share of the proceeds will increase!  Thanks to Kathy Tate-Bradish, Ann Weatherhead, Bruce Baumberger, and others who have already registered.
 
Ann Weatherhead requested member assistance with an Alley Cleaning/Planting project planned by Rainbows for All Children on Saturday, May 21, from noon to 2 p.m.   Rainbows for All Children is a recent recipient of a Community Service grant from our Club.  Please consider joining your fellow members in helping out this worthy organization.  
 
Ann also reported that the Housing Committee (Ann, Georgia Vlahos, Keith Banks, Dan Coyne) have been working, in conjunction with Connection for the Homeless, to develop an advocacy strategy (and possible petition) related to their potential Margarita Inn purchase.  For more information or to get involved, please contact Ann.
 
Don Gwinn explained that two new dates have been set aside to assist the Evanston Development Cooperative with painting and trim carpentry at its new 1930 Jackson property.  Rotarian help will be needed on Saturday, June 4, and June 11.  Please contact Don if you are available.    
 
Linda Gerber described a current and relevant exhibition at Northwestern’s Block Museum -- A Site of Struggle: American Art Against Anti-Black Violence, running through July 10, 2022.  On Friday, May 27, at 5 p.m., club members (limited to 25 persons due to Covid protocols) are invited to view the exhibition, followed by a conversation with curator Janet Dees.  Please contact Linda if interested.
 
Our Club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow (plus 5!)  is Paul BrownPaul joins a growing company of people throughout the world who support “service above self” with their contributions to the Rotary Foundation.  Since joining Rotary in 1985, Paul has found the Rotary Foundation to be a very effective way to impact people around the world in meaningful ways. He is pleased to do what he can to help out!  Thank you for your sustained commitment, Paul!
 
Program
 
Topic: Haiti HANWASH
 
Speaker: Barry Rassin
 
Linda Gerber introduced Barry Rassin, former RI President from 2018-2019 and ELRC guest/speaker on Sept. 18, 2018.  Barry’s awards and accomplishments could fill an entire program!  In short, he sees a problem and devotes himself to its resolution, no matter how challenging!   
 
A past Rotary District Governor, Barry visited Haiti in 1991 as part of the usual club circuit.  After repeated flat tires on a sweltering day, Barry asked his Haitian host if he could take a quick shower before heading to a club meeting.  He soon learned that water was only available two hours/day in that area.  Embarrassed at his naivete, Barry resolved to bring water to all of Haiti’s residents.
 
HANWASH is the Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation, and Health Strategy.  It is an ambitious, multi-decade, $2 billion-plus initiative, designed to bring potable water (and good hygiene and sanitation practices) to all citizens of Haiti.   The International Service Committee, at its recent meeting, voted to participate in a Global Grant to a project of HANWASH Haiti.
 
Currently, half of Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure is not functional.  HANWASH seeks to remedy that situation with locally owned, sustainable development.  Not interested in “one off” projects that are quickly abandoned, HANWASH is an umbrella organization, coordinating the efforts of many diverse, capable, transparent, accountable partners. 
 
HANWASH, from 2021-2024, seeks to promote its values and mission, to increase interest, change the culture (moving at the pace of the local communities), strengthen all stakeholders, and impact seven (of a total 144) municipalities. Their efforts are empowering, collaborative (volunteers, governments, partners), systematic (scalable), impactful (sustainable) and committed.  They won’t stop until the work is done!
 
HANWASH has a long list of important partners in this effort.  Haiti Outreach (on whose board our own Yves Lassere and Gary Peterson served in recent years) has led the way in detailed mapping of Haiti’s current water situation. 
 
Dinepa, Haiti’s national water and sanitation agency, is grateful for the wisdom and opportunity presented by HANWASH.  Barry’s home district (Rotary 7020) and other Champion Districts (5060, 5130, 6290, 6940 and 6960) are utilizing Rotary’s structure and networking opportunities to rally support and raise funds for the program.  All 22 Rotary Clubs in Haiti are involved, as well as Operators Without Borders, Hope for Haiti water, Pure Water for the World, Water Mission, Rotary’s WASH action group, and Northwater.   HANWASH is bringing together all those who work with water in Haiti. 
 
A map of Haiti, showing acceptable water (green) and dangerous water (red, tainted with E coli), reveals the extent of the challenge.  Overwhelmingly red, projects are already underway in a handful of areas, building capacity in the country for communities to handle their own water needs.  A culture change is necessary. Haitians have never paid for water, but this must change.  A small, non-burdensome water charge must be assessed to create sustainability and fund maintenance/repairs.
 
HANWASH is also fervently committed to community (and local government) input and buy-in.  At a series of meetings in each community, Rotary is explained and needs are assessed.  Local engagement, sustained support (from ambassadors and Champion districts) and accountability are critical to the success of each well/water system. 
 
Barry Rassin
 
Guests and Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarians
 
Basil Lewis, UK Rotarian
Barry Rassin, RC East Bahamas, former RI President
Kevin Stevens, District Governor 6440
Jose Lopez, Michigan Rotarian and frequent visitor
 
Birthday
 
Steve Steiber – May 15
 
Sponsors